Each Sunday evening we will review our favorite and least favorite events of the previous week, and share our perspective on how the team is doing. Please enjoy responsibly.
Cheers! (Best event/news of the week)
Kyle Lohse Picks Up the Tab: Obviously, the Brewers’ long winning streak was the main story on the field last week. This off-the-field story might have flown under the radar, but it’s a thing of beauty. Two Milwaukee firefighters, Andrew Wilke and Ryan Venne, were in Boston to attend the funerals of two local firefighters who had died in the line of duty. They happened to meet the Brewers’ starting pitching staff at a restaurant, everyone got to talking, and Lohse bought the men dinner (credit to Matt Garza for suggesting the idea). From the fan’s perspective, you want to believe your favorite players are fun guys in real life, but you never really know. Lohse seems like he’d be a great dude to hang out with, based on things like him teasing rookies who got their first hits by pretending to throw the ball into the crowd. Picking up the check for those firemen shows he’s a real mensch to boot.
Buzzkill (Worst event/news of the week)
Ballpark Inflation Continues to Frustrate: I hate to be the boring guy who complains about how much everything costs these days, but…I mean, dammit. When I went to Opening Day I ate while tailgating, so the Friday Pirates game was my first experience trying to make the most of my concession budget at Miller Park. I can almost forgive $8.50 beer since they’re pints and I do appreciate a fine Milwaukee Brewing Company potation. But at that price, we’re only a year or two away from $9.00 beer – along with $6.50 hot dogs, $7.00 bags of peanuts, and $15.00 stuffed meatballs. Whoever is in charge of Miller Park concessions needs to realize they’re creating incentives for us to sneak food into the stadium. Those metal detectors won’t find the brats in my cargo shorts.
Have One on the House (Brewers player who deserves a drink)
Several players have to be performing at a high level for a team to win nine games in a row, but Tyler Thornburg really is coming into his own as a late inning reliever. Last week, he worked two perfect innings in Philadelphia on Wednesday (earning his second victory of the year), followed by another on Thursday, and finished off the seventh inning Saturday against the Pirates. Thornburg has only given up one earned run so far this year, with an ERA of 1.17 and WHIP of 0.5222 in 7.2 innings. Coming out of spring training, there was some question as to whether Thornburg could adjust to a bullpen role. The early returns have been remarkable.
Time to Sober Up, Pal (Brewers player who made me want to drink)
When the team hasn’t lost a game in a week and a half, it’s hard to justify criticizing any one player. But this is the internet, and unfair criticism is a big part of what we do here. Khris Davis has been up and down in the early going, which one would expect for his first season as a starter. Still, he committed a pretty boneheaded mental error in the Saturday game against the Pirates. In the seventh, Davis was on third with one out when Rickie Weeks hit a fly to left. The ball wasn’t hit particularly deep, so it’s not certain that Davis could have scored if he tagged. But he didn’t tag…or rather, he did tag, but came off the bag early, and couldn’t advance. I’m sure we can all agree few things drive fans crazier than base running gaffes. You might expect that from a pitcher on third base, and even then you’d think he was a dumbass.
Back on the Wagon (Thoughts on the week ahead)
The goddamn Cardinals play their first series against our heroes starting tomorrow. I’m not a religious man, but I wouldn’t be above animal sacrifice if I thought it would help the Brewers win a series against St. Louis. Not even a sweep, mind you – I’d set a goat on fire to get two out of three. Hell, I’d give Michael Vick a puppy and five minutes alone if it meant the Brewers went .500 in the season series against the Cardinals. And then the Brewers have their first four-game set of the year in Pittsburgh. That won’t be a walk in park, but still…goddamn Cardinals. At least we’ll miss Wainwright this time.
(Image: Associated Press)