Record: 2-3. Change from last season: 0
Hudson bobbling the ball and not being able to turn a double-play. Jackson trying for a swipe tag, but omitting to catch the ball first. Shawn Green lazily meandering around right field, letting a single turn into a double. "We were just a little bit sloppy defensively and it ended up costing us," said Melvin, and it's hard to argue - this was a game we could certainly have won, and probably should have won. Which is particularly irritating.
We came out of the gate strongly, and had a chance to put this away in the first: we had the bases loaded with one out, but Green (with depressing predictability - he was facing a leftie) fanned. Easley did drive in two runs with an ugly little squib shot down the right field line, but that was it. Still, that brought our total of first-inning runs this season to eight over five games - compared to only fifteen in the 42 non-first innings we've played. The D'backs made Davis throw 35 pitches, a good start towards getting rid of him early.
When Gonzo added a third run with another towering blast, that almost nailed one of the Milwaukee sausages - Luis clearly following in the footsteps of Randall Simon - things were looking good. However, the Brew Crew kept chipping away, aided by the wobbly moments mentioned above: the right side of our infield is looking pretty average, defensively. While this is forgiveable from Jackson, Hudson has definitely not shown the promised Gold Glove form, at least in this first week.
Jackson restored the lead to two with another sweet bit of hitting - he was on base three times, with a pair of walks and a hit. But Webb was having difficulty with his sinker, elevating it too much to be effective, and pinch-hitter Gross made him pay with a two-run single in the sixth, tying it up. Mulholland and Lyon posted zeroes on the board for us after Webb left [his line, an un-Webblike 6 IP, 9 H, 1 BB, 3 ER and 6 K].
As yesterday, we couldn't do anything in the second half of the game, mustering only two baserunners after the fifth inning. And in the bottom of the ninth, Vizcaino got the first out, but after a double and an intentional walk, allowed a single to Lee, scoring the game-winning run for Milwaukee and sending the Brewers to 5-0. We, meanwhile, keep bobbing along, continuing to mirror last year's results exactly. What odds a 77-85 record for the year?
Might not be impossible going by our poll on the topic. The median choice for the number of wins looks to have been in the high seventies [41% said 81 wins or above, 59% said we'd get less than .500] - it'll be interesting to re-poll at the All-Star break, and see how/if reality has checked these hopes. I think we're probably going to find much the same as last season - we're woefully weak in contrast to the other divisions, yet may well hold our own against our rivals in the NL West.
Shawn Green seems to be taking his poor spring training form into the regular season. He had a couple of deeply-hit outs today, but went 0-for-4, with 5 men left on base; he's now 2-for-16, with no walks, and an OBP of just .125. Only two players in the National League have a worse OBP and as many at-bats: Jeff Francoeur, 2-for-25, and Anderson Hernandez of the Mets, 1-for-16.
Thanks to Jeff from Brew Crew Ball for popping by yesterday, and joining myself and Devin, William K, dahlian and nargel. It was fun to hop back and forth between the two Sportblogs, seeing how the different sets of fans viewed the same events - and Jeff was distinctly unimpressed by Grace and Brennaman. Can't say I blame him, from what I saw, this was not their finest hour, highlighted by Brennaman calling Prince Fielder "Cecil" (uh, that's his Dad), and also confusing our two pitching Brandons, Lyon and Webb.
Regardless, while thoroughly enjoyable it totally killed any chances of me actually getting much done on the Saturday morning! Not least because the game basically occupied the entire period between me getting up, and having to leave for work. Nice timing, I suppose, but... Probably be the same sort of thing tomorrow: wake up, watch baseball, come to work, write about baseball. :-) At least Monday's an off-day!