Tue. Final: Twins 7, Brewers 3
By Todd Welter
Next game: Wednesday, June 24th vs. Minnesota
Quality is not a word that would be used to describe the Brewers' play as of late.
Bad would probably be the word that comes to mind in describing the Brewers' 7-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins at Miller Park. Giving away the game is the way Brewers manager Ken Macha would sum up the Brewers losing their fourth in a row.
"I don't think we were out-pitched tonight. I don't think we were out-hit tonight. If you reconstruct those innings, really we pretty much gave them every run they got. We played very poorly."
The Brewers got bad starting pitching, bad defense, and were just down right bad when it came to cashing in on scoring chances.
"We didn't play our best game today," Casey McGehee said. "We had opportunities and we just couldn't quite push it across."
Even Miller Park was in bad shape after storms last weekend left the lower level of the stadium flooded. The flooding ruined the park's service level which left the Brewers without a lot of essential amenities such as the indoor batting cage, conditioning equipment and the weight room to prepare for the game.
Brewers starter Jeff Suppan continued the Crew's recent trend of getting poor starts out of the rotation by only lasting five innings in which he gave up seven runs--only four were earned--and nine hits. Suppan allowed a baserunner in every inning he pitched as he walked three--two were intentional--and only struck out four.
Suppan's (5-5) fifth loss added to the Brewers recent stat in which the Crew has gotten just eight quality starts out of the rotation over the last 31 games. This was a pitching staff that produced 25 quality starts over the first 39 games of the season. The rotation's problem got worse before the game as starter Dave Bush was placed on the 15-day DL with a micro tear of the right triceps muscle.
Times have been tough for the Brewers since game 39 as the Brewers are 12-19 over their last 31 games. The Brewers have dropped 10 of their last 14 games to boot.
"The main thing is to concentrate on coming out and getting our intensity level up to where it should be and playing a good baseball game," Macha explained on how he hopes the Crew can turn around this recent slide.
This game just got off to the wrong foot for the Brewers and they could never quite get the game back on track. The Twins opened up the game with three runs in the first when Joe Crede cleared the bases with a three-RBI double. Those runs almost did not happen as it looked like Michael Cuddyer was going to end the inning with a strikeout. Jason Kendall could not hold onto strike three as the ball got away from Kendall and Cuddyer reached thus setting the stage for Crede.
The Brewers got two runs in the bottom of the frame off Mike Cameron's two-RBI single.
Minnesota added another run in the second but so did the Brewers. The Crew earned that run the hard way as Suppan chugged all the way from first to score on McGehee's double.
The Twins picked up three more runs in the third and bad defense once again set the stage for the Twins to go ahead by four runs. Michael Cuddyer led off the inning with a single. He was joined on the basepath by Crede thanks to J.J. Hardy's fielding error when Hardy failed to turn a double play. That error snapped Hardy's 39-game streak without an error.
Delmon Young drove in Cuddyer with a double and then Carlos Gomez brough Crede and Young home with a single. Gomez was the Twins offensive star of the night as he went 3-for-5 with 2RBI and two runs.
Twins starter Francisco Liriano (3-8) picked up just his third win of the season by getting through five innings in which he gave up three runs. He was never really in command of his pitches as he allowed six hits, walked five and struck out six. Liriano also allowed a baserunner in every inning he pitched. What he was good at was getting the outs when he needed to as the Brewers stranded 10 runners and went 1-for-9 off Liriano with runners in scoring position.
"You can say he settled down," McGehee reflected. "He made pitches when he had. He wasn't just up there saying 'hey go hit the ball.' I thought we did a good job keeping the pressure on and making him make those pitches. He stepped up and made the pitches when he had to."
The Twins (36-36) bullpen then retired 12 of the last 14 Brewers (37-33) batters to seal up the victory.