Thursday, July 28, 2011

'This does not look good'

I feel like puking. And it's not from liquor consumption.

Prince Fielder led off the second inning of Wednesday night's game against the Chicago Cubs with an opposite field home run. It was Prince's first homer since July 5 and his 23rd of the year. Rickie Weeks followed with a grounder to Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro. Castro couldn't get the ball out of his glove and with each tiny millisecond that he tried to get his fingers around the baseball, Rickie Weeks motored closer to first base. Sensing a hit, Weeks put everything he had into one gigantic lunge toward first base. His left foot hit the bag and rolled grotesquely. Weeks took one more step with his right foot, hit the ground, rolled over and didn't get up.

BA: "This does not look good. Rickie Weeks is down in a heap. Hit the bag hard trying for that last stretch to beat out an infield hit."

Rock: "That's the last thing the Brewers need is to have Rickie Weeks down."

You could have heard a pin drop in Miller Park as Ron Roenicke and one of the trainers carried Weeks off the field. After the game Roenicke said that Weeks would be out for awhile. On Thursday, the Brewers put Weeks on the disabled list and called up Eric Farris.

Farris is a 2007 fourth round draft pick, who enjoys playing video games and making music. Farris has a .256/.308/.358 line in AAA Nashville this year. A cursory glance at his minor league stats would seem to indicate that he doesn't strikeout very much and he is fast. He's a threat to steal bases (he had 70 in 76 attempts in 2009 in the Florida State League) and he's a good bunter. He missed a good chunk of the 2010 season with a torn ligament in his right knee. Farris is considered a good defender but he has never appeared in a major league game.

The Brewers would go on to win the game 2-0 behind a brilliant performance by Zack Greinke, who went 6.2 innings and gave up no runs on three hits and three walks, while striking out nine. Takashi Saito got the third out in the seventh inning, Frankie Rodriguez pitched a scoreless eighth inning and John Axford got the save. Axford's save was his 26th in a row.

Despite the win, the injury put a dark cloud over the game. At this point, we only know that the ankle is not broken but ankle sprains can take a long time to heal. Replays showed just how much the ankle rolled. Watching it makes me sick to my stomach.

Weeks' injury comes just one week after centerfielder Carlos Gomez broke his collarbone on a diving catch against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Gomez had surgery to expedite his recovery and is expected to miss about six weeks. It was unfortunate timing as it seemed that Roenicke had just started to use Gomez in a role in which he could excel--against lefties, as a defensive replacement and as a pinch runner. For his part, Gomez played hard and seemed to have a great attitude despite his diminished role.

No doubt, this is a bummer. But the Brewers are now in sole possesion of first place at 56-49, with a .5 game lead over St. Louis and a 1.5 game lead over Pittsburgh. With one more game against the Cubs and then a weekend series with the Astros, the Brewers need to find a way to score runs and beat the bottom of the Central. As Seth always says to me, "Get over it and move on!" because Milwaukee also has six games against the Cardinals. It is no time to feel sorry for yourself.

Brewers 2, Cubs 0
Game played 7-27-11

Brewers 3, Cubs 2
Game played 7-26-11

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