Labor (Day) problems in Milwaukee
No other city in Wisconsin is more synonymous with labor than Milwaukee...and what a perfect way to spend Labor Day than to watch the Brewers. Er, not this year.
For a record setting 15th time this season, the Brewers blew a lead of 3 runs or more, and lost to the Astros, 9-7. Thankfully, the Cubs and Cards also lost.
Scoreless, after 3, both teams plated runs in the 4th...the Astros got 3 off Ben Sheets, then the Crew plated a pair off of Roy Oswalt. Side note: the FSN guys got it wrong (again) when they ostracized catcher Johnny Estrada's attempt to reach third-base...true, Estrada was out by a mile...but had he not tried, the Crew would have still had runners left on first and second with two outs, and Ben Sheets due up. There was no way Ned Yost would have pinch-hit for Sheets in the 4th--and it wasn't exactly a bunting situation with two outs--so the gamble was worth the risk.
The Brewers added 3 more runs in the bottom of the sixth, and all were charged to Oswalt--Oswalt left after 5.67 IP and 5 ER.
The Astros cut the lead to 5-4 after their 7th, but the Crew rebounded for a pair in their half of the 7th, to take a 7-4 lead into the 8th...Derrick Turnbow was off again Monday, giving up a pair of walks and a base hit, eventually leading to 3 ER's in 0.33 IP. Yost opted for lefty Brian Shouse to get the second out of the inning on a sac fly that cut the lead to 7-5...but decided to play the percentages with right-handed hitter Hunter Pence coming up and go to a righty out of the pen.
Again, the FSN guys missed the point when criticizing Yost's decision to go to a righty...the problem, in hindsight, was not with putting in a righty for Shouse, but with going to Greg Aquino. Aquino hadn't pitched in "the bigs" since having been called up on 8/31...and Aquino promptly threw a wild pitch to put the baserunners on second and third, and then proceeded to give up a triple to tie the game up at 7-7. Aquino and Estrada then teamed up for a passed ball, that plated Pence with the eventual winning run. Righties Matt Wise and Chris Spurling were both available at the time Aquino was put in.
Carlos Villanueva (6-3, 4.68) returns to the rotation tomorrow evening for the Brewers...let's hope he can take a lead into the 7th or 8th...if only for the sake of the position players' sanity.