More inexplicable results emanated from the radio again late last night, with Hall Of Fame broadcaster Bob Uecker exclaiming in the top of the 12th that Jonathan LuCroy was on his way home on a Kris Davis triple, giving the red hot Milwaukee Brewers a 4-3 lead, and ultimately a 5-3 come from behind road win against the seemingly, unbeatable St. Louis Cardinals. The win protected the best record in baseball moniker for the Brew-Ha’s, now 19-7, and gave them an unfathomable 10-1 record on the road.
Seemingly left for dead and trailing 3-0 in the top of the 7th, the short handed Brewers managed to piece together a 3 run rally courtesy of Michael Wacha, who had cruised through the light hitting lineup, minus Braun and Segura, up until that point. Then, as it has happened in nearly every single game this year, Ron Roenicke turned to his bullpen and the lights went out on the St. Louis Cardinals, salvaging a no decision for gopher ball prone Yovani Gallardo, and earning Francisco Rodriguez his mind-numbing 12th save in as many attempts, and yes, we’re still in April.
So let’s give credit where the credit is obviously due; throw out Hank The Dog, forget about a clean Ryan Braun, dismiss the fact that Carlos Gomez is playing like an All-Star (again), and yes, even discount the fact that the good luck charm know as Matt Lepay, the voice of Badger basketball and football, is now calling Brewer games for FSN, and you’ll finally get to the real reason these guys are off to such a great start, the pitching.
Credit first and foremost pitching coach Rick Kranitz and bullpen wizard Lee Tunnel, because they are obviously doing things their nondescript predecessors could never have imagined. How about a team ERA of 2.56, 230 strikeouts and a league low 62 walks, 13 saves and seven pitchers with ERA’s under 2.00, four still stuck at 0.00. Show some love for Magic Doug Melvin and his foresight to nab Garza and Smith and move Tyler Thornburg into a reliever role, and possibly a slot on the All-Star team. Give some props to Jim Henderson for accepting his demotion from the closer role, and of course, how about a round of applause for K-Rod, who is baffling not only every hitter he faces but most of the Brewer fan base who witnessed him throw batting practice for most of 2012.
Before you sit down from your standing ovation, however, make sure you tip your cap to manger Ron Roenicke, because he is punching all the right buttons when he decides to make the US Cellular call to the bullpen, on a rotary phone, no less. (Why aren’t there smart phones in dugouts anyway – how about a text?). Anyway, besides the solid efforts from the starting rotation, it’s been the bullpen that has stolen the show. What once was reminiscent of a bag of charcoal, lighter fluid and and a box of Blue Tip matches coming in with the game on the line, resembles nothing like that description anymore.
Now those hurlers called upon are wheeling in 64 quart Coleman coolers, chock full of ice.
So there’s my pitch, baseball fans, if you’re wondering how long this Brewer miracle can last, look no further that the walls beyond the outfield fences in your local major league ballpark if the Brewers are in town. Chances are sooner or later you’ll discover this bunch is pretty good at pitching in when they’re called upon.
And For what