by Danny Mehigan
I’m not sure really sure if play-by-play announcers have relationships with the players, but I’m absolutely positive that if they did, tenured Brewers are distraught over the return of Daron Sutton to the Miller Park booth. The Dbacks strolled into town and swindled the man with promises of beautiful sun, beautiful golf and the Phoenix Coyotes (Ed. note: Coyotes fandom probably not part of the deal.). Needless to say (but I’ll say it anyway), the Crew played to show Sutton what he’s missing this weekend. You know, or something. At least they didn’t get their hands on Rock or Ueck.
Thursday – Brewers 4, Diamondbacks 1: Jeff Suppan might have actually figured it out. He gave up a leadoff bomb to Felipe Lopez to lead off the game (again … first Rollins, then Soriano, now this. Might as well intentionally walk the first guy and go from there). But after Lopez, he was in lockdown mode. He went 6.1 innings and only gave up that one run. Arizona’s Max Scherzer (former Mizzou Tiger – fuck and yes) was even better – going six shutout innings with seven strikeouts. But three Dbacks relievers combined to give up four runs in the seventh with a Prince Fielder bases-loaded walk and a Mike Cameron 2-run double doing most of the damage.
Friday – Diamondbacks 5, Brewers 2: The Crew clearly felt bad about stealing Thursday’s win, so Carlos Villanueva and Todd Coffey obliged by giving one away late. The Dbacks scored four runs in a 2-out, 8th inning rally after the Brewers had taken a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the 7th. A walk, two singles, and then the backbreaker – a 2-run double by Tony Clark that landed quite foul. But the ruling stood, and the game was essentially over. Villa and Coffey ruined a fantastic outing by Manny Parra, who struck out eight in six innings and remains winless on the year.
Saturday – Diamondbacks 4, Brewers 1: Braden Looper pitched decent, giving up three runs, but Danny Haren was on point for his second straight gem. He threw eight innings, striking out 11 and giving up just one run. The best highlight – Justin Upton hit a home run farther than anything I’ve seen at Miller Park (not including Sammy Sosa in the 2002 Home Run Derby presented by illegal steriods). The most important shit happened off the field, however. Ryan Braun sat out due to “tightness in his upper back.” It’s a new injury, but it’s related to the intercostal strain that bothered him last season and again in Spring Training and the WBC. J.J. Hardy sat out as well, but that’s just because he sucks right now.
Sunday – Brewers 4, Diamondbacks 3: The Crew got the split, but damn, it got close at the end. Dave Bush was in the process of tossing a gem when he decided to give up three solo shots in the 7th inning. Those tied the game at 3 apiece, and it was only a Brewers win thanks to Chris Duffy’s RBI groundout in the bottom of the 8th. Fielder hit a loong homer in his first at-bat and was promptly walked three times. Cameron had two more hits, including his 6th homer of the season. Hoffman locked down the save because that’s what he does, even though it evidently scares the shit out of his manager. Braun sat out again, but the win means the flight to Pittsburgh gets to be happy fun times. Which is always welcome when you’re flying to Pittsburgh.
Hot Fire Player of the Series: Trevor Hoffman. After the awfulness that has been Carlos Villanueva in 2009 (read below), Hoffman’s lockdown of the 9th inning has been a blessing for the Brewers. Against Arizona, he pitched twice. He went two innings, gave up one hit, notched four strikeouts, and most importantly, got two saves. Thank you so much, Trevor.
Weak Sauce Player of the Series: Carlos Villanueva. This is more of a season-long futility award, but his only appearance against Arizona was a debacle. He got the first two guys out before issuing a walk and a single with two strikes each. He was relieved by Todd Coffey, who finished off the implosion and the loss. Villanueva is now 1-3 and has three blown saves. As mentioned above, thank the big guy upstairs for Trevor Hoffman. Get your game up, Carlos.
Records: 13-12, 4th in the Central. 7-6 at home.
Next up: A miniature road trip starts with two in Pittsburgh (shenanigans expected!). Yovani Gallardo goes Monday and Jeff Suppan on Tuesday.