Sat. Final: Brewers 7, Giants 6
By Todd Welter
Next game: Sunday, June 28th vs. San Francisco
Prince Fielder will get a lot of credit for leading the rally but he was just part of a collection of heroes in the Brewers' 7-6 comeback victory over the San Francisco Giants (39-34) at Miller Park.
Fielder does deserve a lot of credit. He smashed a three-run home run in the sixth that scored the first couple of Brewers runs and then hit a walk-off double in the ninth.
Joining him in the glory was Mike Cameron who made a game saving catch in the seventh that kept the game tied. Craig Counsell, Mat Gamel, Corey Hart and J.J. Hardy get credit for bringing the Brewers back from a two-run deficit in the ninth. Not to be forgotten was Casey McGehee who hit a game-tying home run in the sixth.
It was not a good night to be a closer. Trevor Hoffman was unable to keep the game tied at four in the ninth as he gave up two runs on four hits. Luckily for the Brewers (40-34), the Giants' closer had a rougher night.
Flamethrower Brian Wilson (2-4) took the loss as he gave up three runs in the bottom of the frame. Counsell hit a one-out single and Gamel followed with a walk. Counsell came home on Hart's RBI single up the middle. Hardy tied the game up with a RBI single of his own. Ryan Braun tried to be the hero but he became out number two with a strikeout. That is when Fielder stepped up to the plate and ripped a double down the right-field line to score Hart from second and the celebration erupted at homeplate.
"A lot great at-bats to get to Prince," is Brewers manager Ken Macha summed up the inning.
"I was trying to jump on that pile after the game. I couldn't get out there fast enough."
Hardy seems to be coming out of this funk he has been in lately as he went 2-for-5 with a RBI. Hart finished 1-for-4 with a walk, two runs and a RBI. What really mattered most was the paid attendance certainly got their monies worth in this one as it had all the twists and turns that a fan would hope to expect.
"I think the fans got their monies worth tonight," Brewers manager Ken Macha thought. "Zito had us shutdown pretty good and then bang, bang we got the scored tied. We had a couple plays that saved runs. Cameron going over the fence was a tremendous catch out there."
Although it was looking like the Miller Park faithful was being setup for a rip off as the Giants jumped out to a 4-0 nothing lead on starter Seth McClung. McClung was making his first start of the year and it was quite evident his arm was not stretched out enough to handle the starting gig just yet. McClung pitched just four innings in which he gave up three runs on six hits. He struck out three and walked two. Despite a modest stat line, McClung showed he is a work in progress when it comes to getting back into the groove of being a starter.
"He needs improvement," Macha thought. "He needs to get out in the game a little further. I know it was his first outing so hopefully his next outing will be a little better."
McClung gave up two runs in the second on four consecutive hits. He surrendered a solo home run to Pablo Sandoval in the third inning. Despite not going very deep in the game, McClung actually thought he did not pitch all that bad for his first start
"I really felt sharp to tell you the truth," McClung felt about his outing. "I felt like I was making some really good pitches. Those guys hit some really good pitches off of me."
Sandoval would hit another dinger in the fifth off reliever Chris Smith. Sandoval finished 3-for-5 with two runs and 2RBI.
Giants starter Barry Zito kept the Brewers' bats shackled through most of his 5.2-innings of work. He retired 14 of the first 18 hitters he faced. He worked himself into some trouble in the sixth when he issued a one-out walk to Hart and a two-out walk to Braun. Giants manager Bruce Bochy came out to see if Zito had enough in the tank to get Fielder out. Zito should have said no because Fielder blasted a three-run bomb to the right-field bleachers.
That would be all for Zito as he allowed just three runs, three hits, walked three and struck out three.
"He was hitting his spots," Fielder commented on Zito's performance. "He didn't throw too many mistakes."
Reliever Brandon Medders then served up a home run to Casey McGehee who continues to stay hot. McGehee has 33 hits, four home runs and 16RBI over his last 27 games.
Todd Coffey almost gave the lead right back to the Giants in the seventh when Nate Schlerholtz hit a shot to deep center. Cameron robbed Schlerholtz of the home run with a leaping catch over the wall. It was just another amazing catch in a long list of great catches Cameron has made.
"I never put a ranking on them, I just try to make a play on the ball and if it is a good one, I will let everybody else kind of rank them all up," Cameron said. "It was on that little short side of the wall and I got my old legs to get up and go."
Cameron had a shot to drive in the winning run in the eighth as the Brewers had bases loaded with one out but Cameron grounded into an inning ending double play.
Hoffman was close to being the goat of this game as he failed to keep the game tied. It was just the second time this season Hoffman failed to keep the game tied in the ninth. He gave up three straight hits to start the inning which loaded the bases. Bengie Molina would put the Giants ahead by a run with a sacrifice fly to left and Edgar Renteria drove in the insurance run with a sacrifice fly to center.
Thanks to the heroics of Counsell, Gamel, Hart, Hardy and Fielder, Hoffman (1-1) walked out with the win.