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)
Carlos Gomez Visits Kid He Hit with Foul Ball: At his best, Gomez is an exciting player to watch and an easy guy to root for. At other times, he lets his less mature instincts get the better of him. He more than occasionally commits facepalm-worthy TOOTBLANs by being overly aggressive on the base paths (more on that later). He pimps homeruns/deep fly balls. He seems to be less worried than others about showing up opposing players. But he clearly is a fundamentally decent fellow, and the story of him visiting that 8-year-old boy in the hospital exemplifies the best of Gomez. His tweet on the subject put a smile on my face.
Just went to see the young fan that was hit by my foul ball last night. He was in great spirits and I had a chance to sign the ball.
— Carlos Gomez (@C_Gomez27) May 21, 2014
It’s moments like these that show Gomez has grown worthy of the title “fan favorite.”
Buzzkill (Worst event/news of the week)
Bullpen Follies in Atlanta: What the hell was this crap? Surely, we all have stories about how something at work got screwed up because someone was on vacation/out sick, but C’MON. Both Brewers pitching coaches were off to watch their kids’ graduations, and apparently Ron Roenicke forgot to tell their fill-in to warm a guy up. This led to mass confusion, a bizarre replay challenge of a substitution, and set the stage for the Braves to take the lead and the series. The responsibility for that nonsense obviously falls on Roenicke, but…maybe I’m unsentimental, but are graduations really something to take off work for? If it’s a college graduation, you’re only celebrating the accumulation of debt and a miserable job market. If it’s a high school graduation…I mean, you might as well take off for your kid’s sixth grade graduation. My insensitivity aside, that whole situation was torture to watch and I’m sure we all felt embarrassed to be fans of these jokers.
Have One on the House (Brewers player who deserves a drink)
Jimmy Nelson: I would have picked Nelson to be player of the week if he came in today, let the Marlins bat around on him, and got pulled before the third inning – that is, “pulling a Hellweg.” Making a spot start with only a few days’ notice is an unenviable task, and no one would blame guy for not being ready and letting the situation get to him. For Nelson to pitch 5.2 shutout innings, only giving up five singles – who could ask for anything more? He didn’t seem to have his best stuff, but that was a big league win right there.
Time to Sober Up, Pal (Brewers player who made me want to drink)
Carlos Gomez: It’s been a great week at the plate for Gomez. Against Atlanta and Miami, Gomez went 13-26 with 5 RBI. I’m putting Gomez in this slot solely for his daft base running move on Saturday’s game against the Marlins. By getting thrown out at third when he had no business being there, Gomez got a run taken off the board. Since a single run ended up being the margin of victory, Gomez really hurt his team. Gomez has been so productive offensively and defensively, when he does screw up – and he did royally in this case – it’s that much more galling.
Back on the Wagon (Thoughts on the week ahead)
The Brewers have been slumping, but to their credit they haven’t let things spiral out of control. In fact, all things considered they’re in a very strong position, nine games over .500 and leading their division. An interesting tidbit from beat writer Tom Haudricourt: today is the earliest the Brewers have gotten to 30 wins in team history, even better than Best Ever Brewers 2011. What the heck was I so worried about last week?
The Orioles come to town for the first time since 2008. Fun fact: the Orioles franchise originated in the late 19th century with a minor league team called the Milwaukee Brewers. These teams have history that goes way beyond that J.J. Hardy trade. Speaking of which, it will be nice for female Brewers fans to have an excuse to wear their Hardy jerseys again. I understand both team also have players named “Davis” so I’m anticipating more than a few amusing social media observations about that little coincidence.
The upcoming weekend series is already the third meeting with the Cubs. This season has gotten long already. I was a little casual in my prediction the Brewers would win at Wrigley last week, but this time will be different. Instead of assuming they’ll win the series easily, I assume they’ll win the series with some difficulty – thus making the victory all the more rewarding. That’s the ticket!
(Image: Mike Zarrilli)