Found June 11, 2012 on Fox Sports Wisconsin:
It's all too easy in baseball to get sucked into the little moments of drama sprinkled throughout a 162-game regular season. The bottom-of-the-ninth comebacks. The walk-off grand slams. The game-ending strikeouts. It doesn't often matter when in the season these instances take place. We are, after all, just 60 games into the 2012 baseball season a little over one third of the way through. Still, those moments can feel like defining ones. And in front of over 43,000 people at Miller Park on Sunday, the Brewers had one of those moments. In the scope of an entire 162-game schedule, that moment bases loaded, bottom of the ninth, a four-run lead wasted with two outs, their closer chased may not, when all is said and done, mean much more than a single win on the Brewers' schedule. But through 60 games, that moment, that tiptoeing of the line between winning and losing, has come to define the first third of the Brewers season. After beating the Dodgers in four straight games out in Los Angeles, riding a boatload of momentum back to Milwaukee, the Brewers dropped three out of their first four games back at Miller Park. The next four games yielded three wins, as the Brewers seemed to regain that same momentum all leading to Sunday's ninth inning with John Baker at the plate, the Padres trailing by just one, and the bases loaded. Just a few games back in the NL Central a division that seems to be up for grabs through 60 games the importance of moments like this aren't lost on the Brewers now. There's no talk of the season being too early to discuss long-term outlook anymore. And with the handful of opportunities that the Brewers have blown already this season, moments like that have become increasingly important as the season fades into the summer months. Now, with an incredibly manageable schedule through the rest of June, the Brewers know there's no time left to blow opportunities. "We played some teams that we felt we could have picked up some more games against," closer John Axford said. "And we wish we could have." That's why Jose Veras' final pitch in the ninth inning, the 14th curveball of the inning, was so important for the Brewers' momentum going forward. Baker watched the ball hit Martin Maldonado's glove to end the game, as Milwaukee took the series against a team that it obviously outmatched. And the Brewers will see more of the same in the next week with series against the Royals and the Twins. Winning four out of those six games is a reasonable goal, one that the Brewers should hold themselves to. Because the moments sure to come in the next month are ones that will undoubtedly affect the rest of the season. And with the division lead just four-and-a-half games out of Milwaukee's grasp, the Brewers could realistically be at the top of the heap a place they feel they're talented enough to be in by the end of the month. It'll take a few more moments going their way like Sunday's ninth inning show for the Brewers to get to that point. But winning the close ones, the ones that could just as easily fall out of their grasp, is the first step on the long road toward being back on top. Follow Ryan Kartje on Twitter.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

2012 Uniform Change: Milwaukee Brewers Become Birrai

On July 1st, the Brewers will be having an Italian Heritage night. Heritage nights are common in baseball, but this is the first time to my knowledge that a team will be wearing an Italian Heritage Uniform on the field (and definitely the first time an opponent will be wearing an Italian themed uniform, but more on that tomorrow). Anyway Uni Watch Blog posted this image of the Birrai’s...

Estrada making strides toward return

The road to recovery is starting to become clearer for one of the injured Brewers. Right-hander Marco Estrada, who has been on the disabled list since May 24 with a strained right quad, threw off the mound prior to Sunday's game against San Diego and will move forward with plans to throw a simulated game on Tuesday in Kansas City. If all goes well, Estrada will throw one more...

The Brewers 80s Theme Road Trip

As a part of a travel day to Kansas City, the Brewers decided to have a little fun on their trip, all dressing up in 80's-themed clothing on the flight. The players had a ton of fun with this on Twitter, posting some individual photos as well as the big group picture you see here. I tried to identify each player/team official in costume, but I know I missed a few, namely...

Some Milwaukee Brewers players made the trip to Kansas City dressed as a cheesy 80s hair band

I get the rest of the outfits, but why is closer John Axford wearing a tutu? The Milwaukee Brewers are in Kansas City for a three game interleague series against the Royals, and a few of the players thought it would be an ideal time to ditch their regular attire and don the costumes of that dreaded 80s relic, the hair metal band.  From left to right there’s George Kottaras, Marco...

Brewers are simply 80s on road trip to KC

The 1980s were good to the Milwaukee Brewers, with a World Series trip, two Cy Young winners and three MVP awards. So on their latest travel day to Kansas City on Monday, the Brewers paid homage to that decade but with some noticeably bigger hair and much tighter pants. Dressed in 1980s gear, the Brewers covered all the bases of the decade's fashion trends before they boarded...

Taking a Trip Back to the 80′s

The Milwaukee Brewers held an 80′s flashback road trip recently, but Ryan Braun was too cool to participate I guess. BREW CREW: Circa 1980   Picture is compliments of Carlos Gomez’s Twitter account.

Greinke welcomed back by Kansas City fans

After just one batter on Tuesday night, Zack Greinke's return to Kauffman Stadium -- the waterfall-laden ballpark that started his career -- wasn't quite going exactly as he would've hoped. Royals outfielder Alex Gordon had extended the game's very first count to 3-2 when Greinke's next pitch hit Gordon's bat right on the barrel. The sound of the bat gave...

Brewers 6, Padres 5

Ryan Braun homered and Yovani Gallardo pitched seven innings to help the Milwaukee Brewers beat the San Diego Padres 6-5 Sunday. Martin Maldonado homered to cap a four-run sixth inning for Milwaukee and Braun drove in three runs for the Brewers, who finished a nine game homestand by going 5-4 against the Pirates, Cubs and Padres. The last two teams have the worst two records in...

Brewers revisit the '80s for some retro laughs

When a team is riddled with injuries and is struggling just to get back to the .500 mark, it's not easy to come together as players. With that in mind, the Brewers decided to have some fun as they began a six-game interleague trip to Kansas City and Minnesota. Following on themed trips from last season, the players and staff decided to dress in 1980s garb to Kansas City on...

Brewers not quite satisfied with 5-4 homestand

By ANDREW GRUMAN FOXSportsWisconsin.com Fresh off a four-game sweep of the team with the best record in baseball, the Brewers had a nine-game homestand looming with two of three opponents coming to Milwaukee with the two worst records in baseball. It was a chance for Milwaukee to really surge ahead and get back into the race. In the end, the Brewers escaped with a 5-4 record and...

Brewers-Royals Preview

Zack Greinke hasn't pitched as consistently on the road as he has at home, but his next road start isn't in unfamiliar territory. Greinke faces his former team for the first time Tuesday night when the Milwaukee Brewers visit the Kansas City Royals. Milwaukee traded for Greinke (7-2, 3.13 ERA), the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner, prior to the 2011 season. He was 60-67 with...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.