Wed. Final: Rockies 4, Brewers 2
By Todd Welter
Next game: Thursday, June 11th vs. Colorado
The Brewers are in first place but does it really feel like it?
The Crew's offense has been in a recent slump, the pitching has not been as sharp and Milwaukee has now dropped six of their last nine games thanks to a 4-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies at Miller Park.
This one was a tough to watch from the fourth inning on as the Brewers produced just one hit and blew a 2-0 lead in the fifth. During this nine-game stretch, the Brewers have held the lead at some point but have walked away with just three wins. Over their last 20 games, the Crew is 8-12.
Some key bats such as Mike Cameron (just two hits in last 22 at-bats), Corey Hart (only three hits in last 27 at-bats), J.J. Hardy (six hits over his last 47 at-bats) and Bill Hall (five hits in his last 63 at-bats) are in some deep slumps right now. That has now prompted Brewers manager Ken Macha to make some changes in the lineup--at least for the finale of this three-game set.
"Once again we didn't have much offense," Macha said. "I think I am going to give a few guys a day off tomorrow and hopefully get some of these other guys in there and get our offense going. We got too much effort in the swing and perhaps pressing a little bit and trying too hard."
This recent loss can not be all put on the lack of hitting. Brad Hawpe certainly did his part in beating up the Brewers. There might not be a hotter hitter in baseball right now than Hawpe.
Hawpe went 2-for-4 with a home run, a RBI double, and a walk as he extended his hitting streak to 12 games--a career high.
During his hitting streak, he has been hitting .369 with three home runs and 10 RBI. It may be a coincidence but Hawpe's bat really started to come alive on May 30th--a day after the Rockies fired manager Clint Hurdle and replaced him with Jim Tracy on an interim basis.
Right now the Rockies (27-32) are playing lights out baseball and that has not boded well for the Crew. The Rockies extended their win streak to seven games. They are doing it with hots bats--their offense has produced 50 runs during this win streak--and with quality pitching. During this Rockies win streak, the starting pitcher has picked up the win.
Former Brewer Jorge De La Rosa (2-6) picked up his second win of the season as he pitched six strong innings. He gave up two run, allowed four hits, walked four and struck out eight. He retired 10 of the last 12 batters he faced.
"The proof in the pudding right now is we just haven't executed from five, six, seven innings on," Mike Cameron said. "They really pitched well. We just have to continue to find ways to get it done."
De La Rosa spotted the Brewers an early 2-0 lead in the third thanks to a couple RBI doubles from Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder.
The Rockies picked up a run in the fourth on Troy Tulowitzki's home run. Colorado took the lead with two runs in the fifth thanks to RBI doubles from Todd Helton and Hawpe off Brewers starter Dave Bush.
"They made me work hard," Bush said. "I wasn't able to get many quick outs."
Hawpe added another run in the seventh with a solo home run to deep center off reliever Seth McClung. Huston Street picked up his 11th save of the season by pitching a clean ninth.
Bush (3-3) was handed with his third loss of the season as he lasted just five innings in which he gave up three runs and five hits. He struck out a season-high seven batters and walked four.
"We're not playing our best right now [but] we are not playing terrible either," Bush said. "I wouldn't look at and say we are necessarily struggling a whole lot. We are just not winning games and to me there is difference. You can lose games badly and you can lose close games. We are just losing close games right now."