Posted by Steve
Last night’s game was just awesome to attend. Though it wasn’t particularly well-played, it was close and exciting, and obviously ended on the extremely high note. The atmosphere was different from any Brewers game I’ve been to. This was really the first game the Brewers absolutely needed to win in the history of Miller Park, so it was exciting but also very tense. Early on the Brewers held a 2-0 lead and the Cubs were leading the Mets 2-0, and the park was buzzing. Then the Mets took the lead around the same time the Pirates went ahead 3-2, and things were much more subdued. So, this is what a playoff race is like.
As for the game itself, I did not like the way it was managed even though it worked out in the end. Sac bunting drives me totally nuts, and I really only advocate it if the pitcher is batting. It was embarrassing to have your number two hitter sac bunt in the first inning. The one thing I liked about Ned Yost was he rarely sac bunted or issued intentional walks. Sveum seems to be a bunting machine.
Then there’s the eighth inning. I did not like the way the eighth inning was handled at all, and I thought they were lucky to tie the game. After Hardy’s lead-off single, Sveum naturally had Corey Hart bunt. I realize that Hart has struggled mightily as of late, but I still hate giving up an out there when you have Craig Counsell and Jason Kendall coming up next. Sveum was bailed out when Pittsburgh brought in a lefty for Counsell, because you just know he wouldn’t have hit for Counsell otherwise. Then after Hall was retired, we yet again saw Jason Kendall come up to hit with the game on the line. I know I shouldn’t be surprised by this anymore—really, I’ve come to accept the fact that Jason Kendall will simply not be removed from a game—but that doesn’t mean I have to agree with it.
I give Kendall credit, obviously. He had a nice hit (Pearce was playing shallow in right, but I digress) and was able to drive in the tying run. It was the wrong decision to let him hit, though, and that same decision has definitely hurt the Brewers in the past. Of course, from purely entertainment value, that made the result that much better because Kendall’s hit was the ultimate OH MY GOD! moment.
The Brewers are starting CC on three day’s rest again. I’ve already gone over why I don’t like it, so I’ll just say that I really, really hope the Brewers can jump on Paul Maholm early so Sabathia only needs to throw about 80 pitches.
As for the title of this post, these next two days are where the Brewers need to pick up at least a game, because the match-ups in both games are in their favor. Tonight I must do one of the hardest things I’ve ever done as a sports fan: root for Carlos Zambrano. If I had my druthers, he would get bombed but the Cubs would still win. Since I’m not going to be picky, I’ll take any form of a Mets loss with gratitude.