Sunday, September 19, 2010

Rising to the level of your opponents

Sometimes when you compete with a better team, they batter you. At the end, everyone knows that the better team won. We all remember that four-game series with the Giants back in July in Milwaukee. Game No. 1 of the series had me contemplating having a baby so I would have something to do besides watch baseball. Game No. 2 was when I admitted, in writing, to lowering my expectations for the Brewers season. Game No. 3 was the game where the fans gave the Brewers a standing ovation for cutting the deficit to 13 runs. Oh, and Game No. 4 capped off a five-game losing streak in style, a 9-3 loss.

Other times, you rise to the level of your opponent and, for just a minute, it feels like you are good team, too. You, too, are in the middle of a pennant race.

“It’s been phenomenal,” Axford said of beating the Giants for the second time in two nights. “It’s great to step up to the quality of this team.”

Much like when Napoleon Dynamite rose to the occasion and danced Pedro into the class presidency, the entire Brewers team came together and earned a well-fought victory against two-time Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum, 2-1, on Saturday night. The win knocked the Giants out of first place in the NL West.

Milwaukee starter Yovani Gallardo stepped up, giving up just one run on five hits and one walk in seven innings. He struck out six.

The Brewers got to Lincecum in the fourth inning with back-to-back-to-back one-out singles from Prince Fielder, Casey McGehee and Carlos Gomez. Alcides Escobar grounded into a fielder’s choice that forced Fielder at the plate, but Jonathan Lucroy came through big time when his soft liner fell in right field scoring both McGehee and Gomez. Lucroy also threw out Mike Fontenot at second to end the first inning.

Lincecum, meanwhile, was pulled for a pinch hitter in the fifth inning. Having gotten shut out by Randy Wolf on Friday night and having scored two runs or fewer in their last eight games, Giants manager Bruce Bochy used pinch hitter Nick Schlerholtz when San Francisco got runners on the corners with one out. Schlerholtz would walk to load the bases. The Giants scored on a fielder’s choice but Gallardo got out of the mess by enticing Jose Uribe to pop out to short.

Also pitching in were Kam Loe, with a perfect eighth inning, and John Axford, with three strikeouts in the ninth, for save number 22. Even home plate umpire C.B. Buckner helped the cause with a puzzling strike call against Aubrey Huff. Gosh, it sure was a nice win. 

Brewers 2, Giants 1
Game played 9-18-10

No comments:

Post a Comment