After bringing up the spirits of the Brewers faithful with the last minute signing of Kyle Lohse, the Brewers endured about as rough a first two weeks as one could imagine. General Manager Doug Melvin expected raw players such as Mike Fiers and Wily Peralta to provide a youthful punch alongside the veteran influences from Lohse and Yovani Gallardo. In reality, Lohse has been the only one pulling his weight with a 2.08 ERA (as of Wednesday morning) while Gallardo has struggled both in the ballpark and out. Gallardo was second in league last season in quality starts, essentially providing the Brewers a reliable start every fifth day, but it has been quite the opposite this season as he has racked up a 6.61 ERA over his three games. On-field struggles should be expected, and accepted, for every professional athlete, but Gallardo took his issues off the field early Tuesday morning and onto I-94. Gallardo was charged with an OWI after blowing a .22 on a breathalyzer, his first offense. Though far too many of us have been in similar situations as Gallardo, it does not excuse his behavior; he is a professional athlete and a model for the Latino community and should be treated as such. Hopefully, he learns from his mistakes and returns to last seasons form on and off the field.To be fair to the Brewers, they have en dured injuries to two linchpins in the batting order that has left them obviously short-handed. After losing Mat Gamel and Corey Hart to knee injuries in the preseason, Aramis Ramirez went down with one of his own after just four games, a huge blow to the Brewers both offensively and defensively. Ramirez, known more for his bat than his glove, was still the only true third baseman on the Brewers’ roster, and his injury has left Alex Gonzalez trying to make it work at third. Meanwhile, Yuniesky Betancourt has been holding down the fort at first base until Hart can make his way back.
There have been quite a few silver linings for the Brewers so far as well, including the fantastic play of shortstop Jean Segura. Segura has shown that he has the instincts and glove to play the demanding shortstop position in the majors. His biggest question has always been his bat, though, and he has been tearing the cover off the ball thus far. Segura has hit .415 (as of Wednesday morning) with an OPS of 1.040. He has hit so well in fact that manager Ron Roenicke has been hitting him second, right in front of star slugger Ryan Braun. Another positive has been the continued great play of Norichika Aoki. Looking to build on his strong rookie season, Aoki has been getting on base, and scoring when he does get on.
Interesting Facts: Giants pitcher Barry Zito had thrown 15 2/3 innings before Carlos Gomez hit a home run off the left field foul pole on Tuesday. Zito went on to give up 9 runs in 2 2/3 innings, making his ERA jump from 0.00 to 4.86… Aoki had a box score we will probably never see from him again: 1-2 with a home run, 2 runs scored, 2 walks, and a HBP, all while seeing only 17 pitches.
The Brewers hopefully get back on track with a series win against the World Series champs San Francisco Giants before facing the Cubs in a three game series at Miller Park.
The upcoming Brewers games are Friday, 7:10pm vs Cubs; Saturday, 6:10pm vs Cubs; and Sunday, 1:10 vs Cubs.