Brews drop finale, series, and out of first
Well, that didn't last long.
The Crew dropped Sunday's finale to the Astros, 11-6, after having led 4-1 after 4 IP. With the Cubs' win, the Brewers drop to a game out of first in the NL Central.
The culprit was a 7-run 5th inning by the Astros, for which Ned Yost should shoulder much of the blame...true, Yost wasn't pitching, and there is no guarantee that going to the bullpen would have averted the disaster, but Yost clearly showed too much confidence in Jeff Suppan and too little in his bullpen.
First Suppan walked #6 hitter Hunter Pence...on four pitches. Then, Suppan served up a single to Darin Erstad, followed by a 3-2 single to Brad Ausmus that scored Pence. Suppan was ahead of Ausmus 0-2, and then threw three straight balls for a full count. This should have been a clear signal to Yost that Suppan was tiring...but the pitcher, Randy Wolf, was coming to bat. But Wolk gets a bunt single on the first pitch to load the bases. Here, it was crystal clear that Suppan should be out. Suppan gets a 1-0 groundout of Kaz Matsui for the first out of the inning, but plating Erstad. Then Miguel Tejada singled...then Lance Berkman...then, after Carlos Lee flew out, Geoff Blum smacks a three-run homer.
Amazingly, Yost left Suppan in to pitch the 6th inning, too. How can Yost be so good at reading hitters (Weeks, Hall), but struggle so much with his starting pitchers...it is almost as if he wanted to send Doug Melvin a message that Suppan isn't durable enough to be a starter.
Oh, well, tomorrow's another day...the Cubs come to town for four for the most important series of the season to date. At least a lot of the bullpen is rested.