That slow start—it’s a thing of the past. Prince Fielder hit two homeruns on Tuesday night and suddenly has 17 total, just one behind the NL league leaders.
Prince’s two homeruns helped Milwaukee collect another W against the Houston Astros. On a night when Yovani Gallardo didn’t have his best stuff, the offense picked him up. And Yo’s homer helped, too. Gallardo went six innings and gave up four runs on seven hits and two walks. He also hit the first pitch he saw in the third inning into the left field stands to get the offense started. Jonathan Lucroy* smashed another homerun in the sixth. John Axford pitched a less than stellar ninth inning to pick up his eighth save.
With the “resurgence” of Prince Fielder, talks of his contract have also heated up. (Ten of Fielders 17 homeruns have come in June.) Prince will earn $10.5 million this year and will be eligible for arbitration for the last time in 2011. Apparently contract negotiations between the Brewers and Fielder (and Fielder’s agent, Scott Boras) have come to a complete halt after Fielder and Boras rejected the Brewers’ initial offer. Baseball insiders feel that the Brewers have two options: trade Fielder now or keep him and try to re-sign him after the 2011 season. Before the season began, Fielder and Boras made it known that they want “Alex Rodriguez money”—something in the neighborhood of $200 million over the next eight years. It is unlikely that the Brewers will be able to keep him and remain competitive. The question is whether the Brewers try to trade him or take their chances after next season.
I foresee a CC Sabathia situation all over again. And I only had half of a season to become attached to CC. Prince has been a full-time Brewer since 2006. It happens all the time, I know. Players follow the money. I don’t blame them but it still hurts when they leave. You cheer for the player’s success even though you know that that success will mean they won’t play for your team in a few years. (Maybe Prince can bat .165 in 2011?) A Prince-less Milwaukee sounds pretty bad to me right now. I think I’ll have a beer and stop thinking about it.
Brewers 7, Astros 5
Game played 6-29-10
* Over the weekend, I selected Jonathan Lucroy as my Mom’s summer boyfriend because he is one of the youngest players on the team. He just turned 24 on June 13. When I started referring to Lucroy as her boyfriend, my Mom said, “Yah, right.” I think that she is secretly pleased.