It was quite a game on Tuesday night in Miller Park. The mighty Los Angeles Dodgers were in town for a three game series where the two big ball players in the National League, Braun for Milwaukee and Kemp for Los Angeles would face off against each other for the first time this season. In a game that reflected for 8 1/2 innings the Brewers season in a nutshell, some things just didn’t change.
The pitchers can’t pitch.
The hitters can’t hit.
The players can’t field.
Pitching, hitting and catching. These are three fundamentals that a ballplayer has to be able to do if he wants to be successful.
For the Milwaukee Brewers after their first eleven games of the season, while supporting a 5 & 6 record, only Lucroy (.346), Gomez (.350), Braun (.316) and Hart (.314) are batting above .300. The rest are in the tank. The new first baseman, Gamel is inconsistent at .282. All-Star second baseman, Weeks is at .214; new shortstop, Gonzalez is .214 and new third baseman, Ramirez is at .103. Together, the starting infielders have produced a grand total of 30 hits in 11 games, while striking out 38 times. Along with the pitchers, who are reputed to be the best hitting pitching staff in the majors, none have a single hit this season. Nada. Zero. Zilch.
Great teams, those who win division and league titles, along with a World Series, are strong up the middle. Great catching, great second baseman and shortstop and a great center fielder. So far, the Brewers have great catching and with Gomez, great center fielding. When Morgan (.125) is replacing Gomez, that only leaves the catchers, Lucroy and Kottaras (the hero of Tuesday night batting .417).
The good thing about all of this is baseball is a marathon. We have only completed 6% of the season.
But there is another thing that is handicapping this team from reaching their full potential: fielding. The new infield has created 8 errors in the first 11 games. Gamel (2); Weeks (2); Gonzalez (3) and Ramirez (1). If you remember, this was to be a new and improved version of the 2011 team that was horrible defensively.
But there is a bright patch above. Aoki (.375) and Kottaras have been superb. Aoki executed a precision safety squeeze driving in Gamel from third in the bottom of the 7th last night while Kottaras smashed the walk-off winning double driving in Gomez, from second and Gamel, from first.
Now, if the infield can begin hitting, perhaps the Brewers can be the team to beat in the Central Division.