Brewers improve to 2-0 on Opening Day 2008
How can a Tuesday night game in April serve as a second Opening Day for a team? When you get your staff ace back and a Gold Glove centerfielder, it's quite easy to see why.
The Brewers took a 10-7 win in Chicago Tuesday night to pull within a game of first place Chicago and St. Louis. Ben Sheets improved to 4-0 with the win while making his first start since April 16th.
Sheets showed signs of rust as he walked a career high seven batters while only striking out two. He got through five innings while giving up four runs, three of which were earned. Only allowing three hits in those five innings is what kept Sheets around so long. It was a cold night in Chicago and the Brewers should feel fortunate that he went as long as he did and came out feeling pretty good afterwards.
David Riske gave up two hits in an inning but got out of it unharmed thanks to a double play turned by Hardy, Weeks and Fielder. Salomon Torres struggled as he gave up a bases clearing double to Mike Fontenot in the seventh. Guillermo Mota pitced a scoreless eighth and Eric Gagne came on to record his eighth save in the ninth inning.
The star of the night was the returning Mike Cameron. Everyone wondered how he would adjust coming off of his 25-game suspension, but he showed early on he would be just fine. He doubled in the first and scored the first run on a Prince Fielder sacrifice fly. For the night, Cameron went 3-5 with a double, two runs scored and two RBI. Corey Hart, Bill Hall and JJ Hardy joined Cameron with three hits. Ryan Braun had two hits while Prince Fielder had a hit with two RBI.
Rickie Weeks only went 1-6 but did have a couple hits robbed on balls hit right at the defense. Now that Rickie has seen what this offense his capable of, hopefully he can just relax and get in a groove that will allow him to raise his batting average and on-base percentage.
I know it's only one game but Brewer fans have to be encouraged by what they saw Tuesday night. The team stayed competitive for a month without their starting centerfielder and he could prove to be the spark needed to wake up the big bats in the lineup. If the hitting catches up with the early hot pitching, the rest of the Central Division will be battling for second very soon.
The Crew improved to 15-11 with the win and will go for the series win Wednesday night as Jeff Suppan takes the mound against Ryan Dempster.