Found May 28, 2012 on Fox Sports Wisconsin:
77124097
Just a moment after J.J. Putz 3-2 strike glided across the plate, giving the Brewers their fourth-straight series loss and dropping to nine games below .500, Carlos Gomez slammed his bat to the ground. The frustration had been building for the Brewers the seemingly endless string of injuries, the one-inning blunders, the defensive lapses. And on Sunday afternoon, it was hard not to remember where these teams were a little more than seven months ago. Gomez was standing on second base then, one out in the bottom of the 10th inning of the National League Divisional Series. In those late months of the season, it seemed, the Brewers were a team on a mission. Just two weeks prior, they had won their first-ever NL Central division title, bathed in champagne, and saw clearly all the wonders that seemed to be in store for them. And then, as outfielder Nyjer Morgan hit a 2-2 pitch to center field and Gomez rounded third heading for home plate, the Brewers had never been higher. A first-yearmanager had themin the NLCS. A player who had worn out his welcome around the MLB had been their hero. Gomez was mobbed at home plate as the Brewers moved onto the next round, sending the Diamondbacks home. On Sunday though, that moment had never seemed farther away. Gomez walked away from home plate alone in frustration this time. The Brewers had lost two of the series' three games after their offense had given them the lead. And in this series, like so many this season, Milwaukee couldn't seem to buy a break. Towering Ryan Braun moonshots fell short in the corners of Chase Field. Travis Ishikawa, Kameron Loe, Aramis Ramirez, and George Kottaras, all experienced some kind of injury. And on Sunday, a Nyjer Morgan mistake that led to a double play and a Taylor Green error at third base two seemingly insignificant plays out of context ended the Brewers hope for a bounce-back series. After Sunday's game, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke sat in his office, fielding questions again about injuries, about failures, and about opportunities missed. Oh, how he must've longed for that last Diamondbacks series and its vindication. But this season, there's little vindication to be had for the Brewers and their manager. By this point last year, the Brewers began a run that gave them baseball's best record from June on. Even before then, Milwaukee finished the month of May by winning 11 of its last 13 games. Now, the Brewers will have to win one of their next two games against the Dodgers to keep from finishing this May with losses in 10 of its last 13. Last year, the Brewers had just a handful of minor injuries through the beginning of the long season. This year, Roenicke is struggling to simply put together a lineup, night in and night out. But, as many Brewers' players have echoed throughout their early-season struggles, that's just baseball, isn't it? One year, you catch all the breaks, you drink the champagne, and you come two games from a World Series berth. The next, you're playing backups at nearly half of your team's positions and can't seem to get a single thing to go your way. The Brewers have had about as much hard luck as they possibly could through two months of the season. The optimist in us says that things can only go up from here. But is the glass really half full anymore? A win in the Brewers latest series with the Diamondbacks might have turned that tide. Just one connection, one similarity to that 2011 season, could've reminded Brewers fans of the hope they felt after that October night last year. Because if there's anything the Brewers and their fans could use right now, it's a little bit of hope. And, well, a dose of good luck might be nice, too. Follow Ryan Kartje on Twitter.
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