Opportunity Missed. Watch Out For #9.

The Milwaukee Brewers missed a great chance to do something they have never done before…sweep the Dodgers in a series. Their 4-3 loss on Thursday made their record 6-7 compared to 7-6 last season after their first full 13 games and after winning the first two against the Dodgers by 3-2 scores.

The City of Milwaukee in major league baseball has only swept the Dodgers five times in history. The first time came in the inaugural year of the Milwaukee Braves in 1953, when in September on the 2nd (Bob Buhl won his 11th of the year 9-8 in relief of Warren Spahn and Ernie Johnson) and 3rd (Lew Burdette won his 14th of the year, 6-1 as Eddie Mathews hit his 44th home run of the year driving in 3 in the 8th and Jim Pendleton hit his 6th driving in 2, also in the 8th off of Carl Erskine), they swept the boys from Brooklyn at Ebbets Field.

Their next sweep was also at Ebbets Field on May 11 (Gene Conley won his second of the year, 2-0, striking out 7 with Joe Adcock hitting the home run for victory in the 6th) and on the 12th (Lew Burdette won his 3rd, 5-1, getting key home runs by Mathews & Adcock off of Don Newcombe) in 1954.

Finally in 1956, they beat ‘the Bums’ in Milwaukee in a major four game series, July 12 (in the first game of a double-header, Bob Buhl won his 10th, 2-0, with an Adcock home run – his 13th off of Craig), in the second game of the double-header on July 12 (Burdette won 6-5, with Adcock hitting his 14th home run off of Carl Erskine),  July 13 (Ernie Johnson won his 2nd in relief of Ray Crone, 8-6, again with Adcock’s 15th home run off of Newcombe), and on July 14 (Johnson again won in relief, 3-2, with yet another home run by Adcock, his 16th off of Sal Maglie in the 10th on a walk off). It is the only time a Milwaukee team swept a Dodger team in the Cream City thanks in large part to the Dodger killer, Joe Adcock. By the way, Jackie Robinson hit his 7th of the season in the 8th on July 13th off of Burdette.

Two other times, in Los Angeles, the Braves swept the Dodgers on April 24 (Hank Fisher won his 2nd of the year, 6-3, with Ed Bailey hitting his 5th home run) and April 25 (Warren Spahn won his first of the year, 5-1. beating Johnny Padres), 1964 and in the final year of the Braves being from Milwaukee in 1965 on July 21 (Wade Blasingame won 6-4) and July 22 (Tony Cloninger beat Bob Miller for a 5-2 victory).

Will this be the year of opportunity missed?

The Crew will play the Dodgers one more time this season, in Los Angeles in late May (28-31) at Dodger Stadium. With history on its side, the chance of a Brewers sweep is nil. That is unless we can wake up Joe Adcock from the grave. “Billy Joe Adcock”, ironically as Vin Scully popularized him, wore number 9.

Guess who wears #9 for the Brewers. George Kottaras.

There is a chance.

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