Found April 19, 2012 on
Fox Sports Wisconsin:
MILWAUKEE Four straight losses had followed the Brewers back to Milwaukee on Tuesday, four straight early-season slip-ups that marked a vaunted pitching staff with the worst ERA in the National League and a lineup struggling in key spots.
Last year's NL Central title winners had stumbled out of the gate to a 4-6 record.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke had watched his team slide in the first month of last year's season as well. And although that season ended with a spot in the NLCS, he wasn't going to bet on it again.
"If we play like this," Roenicke said after being swept in Atlanta on Sunday, we're going to get beat everywhere. We can't continue to play like this."
And with the Dodgers the league's hottest team at 9-1 coming to town, the Brewers needed something to get their April back on track.
On Tuesday, it was a George Kottaras double and a sneaky Mat Gamel slide that started pushing Milwaukee back in the right direction. On Wednesday, it was Nyjer Morgan, ignoring the stop sign from third base coach Ed Sedar on a Ryan Braun sac fly and scoring in the bottom of the 10th. And if it weren't for a diving web gem of a play from former Brewer and current Dodgers third baseman Jerry Hairston in the eighth inning Thursday, it might've been a sweep for the Brewers, whose next six games are against teams they arguably outmatch both on the mound and in the lineup.
Three very close games decided this Dodgers-Brewers series, and the fact Milwaukee was able to pull out two of those games in the late innings has to be encouraging for a team that lost by six or more runs in its first three losses of the season. Zack Greinke said it best Wednesday: This is how the Brewers won games last year. And certainly, with the unparalleled success of last season's squad, anyone in Milwaukee would likely take a repeat of 2011's results.
But what's most encouraging for a team that has struggled with consistency in the lineup thus far is that the Brewers' clutch offensive contributions the past three games have come from guys near the bottom of the order or on the bench, guys like Kottaras, Travis Ishikawa and Mat Gamel all of whom played major roles in one or more of Milwaukee's games this series. Those three alone combined for seven hits, six RBI and four runs in the series.
With sluggers Ryan Braun and Corey Hart struggling against the Dodgers, Milwaukee's bench and bottom of the order were able to pick up the slack something Roenicke hopes is a sign of things to come.
It certainly helps when you talk about deep lineups, and you get guys six, seven, eight contributing," Roenicke said. If we do that through the season, we're going to score a lot of runs. I know our three, four hitters, they're going to hit. If we can continue to do that at the bottom, we'll be good."
Still, consistency remains the biggest question mark for Milwaukee, with plenty of new parts still adjusting to their roles. Gamel and new cleanup man Aramis Ramirez seemed to take a step forward in this series, as both hit their first home runs in Milwaukee uniforms. And if both of them can produce enough to make the Brewers at least forget for a second that Prince Fielder used to reside at first base, then it's going to be a joyful season at Miller Park.
Of course, it's too early in the season to give any specific series a special level of credence or pass any definitive judgment on where Milwaukee stands, especially when the Dodgers' schedule had included the bottom-dwelling likes of San Diego and Pittsburgh before coming to Milwaukee.
But a series win against a team tabbed the hottest in baseball" no matter how premature that title may be sure means something. And getting back in the right direction in April, well, down the line that can mean a whole lot more.
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MILWAUKEE Zack Greinke is by no means perfect.
The former Cy Young winner has had his share of ups and downs since coming to Milwaukee before the 2011 season, including a miserable first road start this year in Chicago that saw him give up eight earned runs and nine hits in 3 23innings.
But that was on the road. At home in Milwaukee, Greinke has been about as perfect as it gets...
MILWAUKEE With just two outs remaining in Tuesday nights game and the Brewers down one run with runners on first and second, manager Ron Roenicke knew he had to gamble.
The Brewers were already one man down on the night, with shortstop Alex Gonzalez still on paternity leave. If Roenicke made a move, hed have to shuffle up the infield.
So he made the same roll of the dice that...
MILWAUKEE -- Brewers' fifth starter Chris Narveson was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Friday with a torn rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder.
Narveson was scheduled to start in Milwaukee's second game of its series with Colorado, but instead, Brewers' manager Ron Roenicke said today that reliever Marco Estrada would get the start on Saturday.
MILWAUKEE All systems seemed to be go for Nyjer Morgan in the 2011 season, arguably his best in the major leagues.
The six-year pro kept his batting average above .300 throughout the entire season and became one of the Brewers' most important pieces down the stretch, culminating in a groundball single up the middle that will forever be remembered in Brewers lore.
Nyjer Morgan usually has been as loquacious off the field as much as a solid contributor on it since joining the Milwaukee Brewers last year.
While "T-Plush" has been silent thus far due to a slow start, he has the chance to build off a winning play Thursday afternoon when the Brewers try to complete a three-game home sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Morgan was a vital...
The Milwaukee Brewers have placed left-hander Chris Narveson on the disabled list because of a tear in his rotator cuff, and he might need surgery.
Narveson says he is hopeful that his injury won't need more than some rest to heal. But he's also preparing for the possibility of surgery, saying, ''Sometimes, the outlook doesn't look too good, but we'll see...
The Milwaukee Brewers have placed left-handed starter Chris Narveson on the 15-day disabled list with a tear of his left rotator cuff. Right-hander Marco Estrada will start Saturday's game against Colorado in Narveson's place.
Right-handed reliever Kameron Loe will be placed on the bereavement list Saturday after the death of his grandfather.
The Brewers recalled right...
The NL-leading Los Angeles Dodgers found themselves on the verge of yet another victory before the Milwaukee Brewers rallied to take the opener of this three-game set.
Los Angeles could be in for further disappointment with Milwaukee's Zack Greinke scheduled to take the mound Wednesday night at Miller Park.
The Dodgers (9-2), who entered Tuesday winners of six in a row, saw...
Pitching is a funny thing sometimes and Chris Narveson's horrible last outing may have an actual explanation other than he just sucked as it was released today that he's being put on the 15 day DL with a torn rotator cuff. The sevarity of the injury isn't known and that's the reason for the 15 day disabled list placement at this point in time. I've got plenty...
Nyjer Morgan scored on a fly ball by Ryan Braun in the 10th inning, giving the Brewers a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night -- Milwaukee's second late-inning thriller in a row.
With the bases loaded and one out, Braun lofted a shallow fly ball to center field. Morgan took off for home despite a stop sign from third base coach Ed Sedar and was called...
The Brewers suffered a significant blow to their pitching staff today with the loss of Chris Narveson for what may be the rest of the year. Narveson went on the 15 day DL today with a torn rotator cuff, and, barring a second opinion, is likely headed for surgery. For parts of the last three seasons, Narveson has been the Brewers' fifth starter, a spot many teams struggle to...
Milwaukee entered the series finale on the heels of two dramatic walk-off wins and looked to sweep the Los Angeles Dodgers, but a furious late innings rally came up short this time as the Dodgers took the finale 4-3 over the Brewers. A fifth inning blast by Matt Kemp gave the Dodgers a 4-2 lead and proved to be the winning margin as the Dodgers avoided their first ever sweep at...
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Matt Kemp hit his seventh home run of the season and the Los Angeles Dodgers avoided a three-game sweep with a 4-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday.
Andre Ethier and Juan Rivera added RBI singles while Jerry Hairston Jr. made two big late-inning defensive plays for the Dodgers, who lost the first two games of the series on late-game fireworks by the...