The Sports Daily > The Brewers Bar
Brewers blow another big lead on a Sunday

The Brewers wanted to finish this homestand on a high note, coming into Sunday’s game with a chance to sweep the Phillies. The struggling Jeff Suppan took the mound against the Phils’ Adam Eaton. Jeff Suppan took command–after a scoreless first, the Crew sent all nine batters to the plate in the bottom of the first, spotting Suppan a 4-0 lead, as well as forcing Eaton to throw 43 pitches in the first inning. That lead allowed “Soup” to go after the Phillies’ hitters, and Suppan was able to keep the Phillies scoreless until the top of the 6th…just after the Crew had plated two insurance runs in the 5th, one on Ryan Braun’s 20th home run of the year. Suppan left after 5.67 IP with a 6-1 lead. After Brian Shouse finished off the 6th, Yost felt the lead was large enough to give Carlos Villanueva a try. Villanueva has been struggling of late, having given up earned runs in 3 of his last 4 appearances, including 3 against the Mets last time out. Villanueva fanned two in a scoreless 7th, but gave up a lead-off walk to Jimmy Rollins, followed by a double by Tadahito Iguchi, in the top of the 8th, forcing Yost to go to Linebrink…good move–Linebrink got Pat Burrell and Ryan Howard…and then Aaron Rowand…to all strike out, stranding runners on 2nd and 3rd. Yost opted to pinch-hit for Linebrink and–after having used his best two middle-relievers of late, followed by his worst–decided to press his luck and give Matt Wise the ball. Wise, too, has struggled of late: Wise had posted a 2.87 ERA before the All-Star break, but a 5.14 ERA after the break. Former Brewer Wes Helms started off the inning by getting on thanks to an error by Wise; Wise, then, served up a 1-1 gopher ball to light hitting outfielder Jayson Werth, making the score 6-3, Brewers, but with no outs. Yost, wisely (pun intended), immediately called for Cordero. Cordero forced catcher Chris Coste to pop-out to Craig Counsell, then got pinch-hitter Carlos Ruiz to fly out to Corey Hart in right. Jimmy Rollins then walks on four straight pitches, sending “Brewer Killer” Tadahito Iguchi to the plate. Iguchi plunks an infield single, putting Rollins at third after Rollins had advanced to second on defensive indifference during the at bat. Pat Burrell, with runners on the corners, and Ryan Howard on deck, forces a 3-0 count leading to a walk to load the bases, setting the stage for Ryan Howard and his 30 HR’s to square off against Cordero. Cordero, on a 2-1 count, plunks Howard in the foot to plate Rollins and make the score 6-4, with bases still loaded, and the tying run now at second, with the lead run at first. Aaron Rowand, coming into the at bat with a .314 BA, took a called strike, then fouled one off, to make the count 0-2…then fouled off another, took a high pitch to go 1-2, then a check swing ball to go 2-2, then another half swing that was called a ball to go 3-2, before a ground ball that got past Ryan Braun’s glove at third to score two to tie the game at 6-6. Wes Helms then flew out to Jenkins in left, forcing the Crew to bat in the bottom of the ninth. Charlie Manuel then sent left-handed pitcher J.C. Romero out to face Prince Fielder, no doubt remembering that it was Fielder that hit the game winning home-run the previous game. Fielder, however, fanned on a 3-2 offering…Kevin Mench, a right-handed bat, was next…Mench was already 2-for-4 on the day, yet Manuel kept Romero in. Romero gave Mench little to swing at, sending Mench to first on walk. Geoff Jenkins, 3-for-4 on the day, came up next…the lefty Jenkins has, historically, had difficulties with left-handed pitching…and with the slow moving Mench on first, extra innings looked imminent. Jenkins swung and missed at two offerings, then fouled one off, before striking out swinging on a breaking ball. Damian Miller came to the plate, and Manuel replaces Romero with starter-turned-reliever Brett Myers. Myers, despite having a .320 BAA against righties this year, gets Miller to strikeout, too, forcing extra innings. Derrick Turnbow got the call for the 10th, and fanned the #7 and #8 hitters, before walking Myers…but Turnbow then got out of the inning on a grounder. The Crew could score none. Manny Parra took the hill in the 11th, got the first two batters out, before putting runners on 2nd and 3rd; Wes Helms doubled off Parra to drive in two to make the score 8-6. The Crew tried an 11th inning comeback…also with two outs (the last 5 Phils’ runs came with two outs), Kevin Mench drew a walk, followed by a Geoff Jenkins double. Johnny Estrada came on to pinch-hit, and drew an intentional walk. Craig Counsell, who the FSN Wisconsin guys indicated had a lifetime .400+ BA with bases loaded, drove a screamer towards the gap…only to have second baseman Tadahito Iguchi snare it to end the game. So the Crew lost (yet another) game that they should have won. Side note: this is at least the second post that I started during the game (the other one that I remember was that Sunday loss to the Twins…I was also at the Sunday extra-innings loss to the Royals ) where the Brewers had the lead, and wound up losing…this time, however, I didn’t write the word “win” anywhere in the post…but I also started one where they were down and came back to win…from now on, I will only start posts during the game when the Brewers are down. Onto Colorado for three starting Monday evening.