MILWAUKEE For 16 straight games and 27 straight at-bats, Brooks Conrad looked up at the scoreboard and saw a zero next to his average.
He had been called up and sent back down and called back up again. After a difficult start and the frustration that followed his cold bat, Conrad had been given another chance, coming up 10 days after he had been sent down. Still, three games passed without a hit.
But it just didn't make sense. Conrad had been one of the best players in Triple-A baseball when he was sent down, tallying a batting average above .400 and hitting 10 home runs and 28 RBI in 21 games. Why weren't things working against major league competition?
He adjusted how he held his hands. He made plenty of small adjustments like that, while his average remained at .000. But in the lineup as the Brewers' first baseman on Saturday, Conrad stood at the plate and saw the zeros again. He wouldn't let it affect him.
"I can't say I was feeling good about what ...