Brewing up America’s pastime: Performance pushes team out of headlines


Ryan Braun, Brewers right fielder, trots the bases in celebration after hitting a grand slam during Thursday's 8-3 win in Cincinnati. Braun also hit a solo shot in the game to have 5 RBI's total and hopefully break out of his season-long slump. Photo by Getty Images

The smell of the freshly made hot dogs, taste of David sunflower seeds and sights of the players warming up fill the aroma that is Miller Park during the summer as our beloved Milwaukee Brewers play an old-fashioned game dating back to 1845. But it’s more than just a game: it’s a national pastime, one that has become a staple of American culture. Since I was handed a baseball bookcase when I was eight days old, I have become infatuated with the sport, and as I have aged it has become the hallmark of my interest. With this backdrop, I decided to take to The Highlander Online to showcase my thoughts about the local bunch of guys living out thousands of children’s dreams: the Milwaukee Brewers.

Well, the Brewers won TWO games this week. Yes, finally some peace is restored. But, is this celebration truly worth it or does it show the true atrocity of how this season has gone?

I think the latter. While the season has been abysmal to say the least, this week has proved that an upside, while slight, may in fact exist. Specifically, Thursday’s commanding 8-3 victory over the Reds showed that when the bats get going, the team can in fact produce at a high level.

During last weekend’s games vs. St. Louis, the Brewers lost the Friday and Saturday matchups by scores of 3-0 and 5-3, respectively. Carlos Martinez allowed four hits and struck out eight during his seven innings of work on Friday, propelling St. Louis to a calm road shutout. As for Saturday, the Brewers’ three runs in the bottom of the ninth were not enough because St. Louis’ five from earlier had already made the game out of reach.

However, the Cardinals win came with a price, as star pitcher Adam Wainwright left mid-game with an ankle injury that would force him to be out for the remainder of the season. Although this means little to the Brewers, the whole MLB will miss his presence on the mound and in the locker room.

After these two losses, the Brewers came out on Sunday and rode Adam Lind‘s two-run homer to a 6-3 victory. While the win was short-lived, it brought a quick and necessary boost to the team’s morale.

Traveling to Cincinnati for a three-game set this week, the Brewers experienced similar results. Monday and Tuesday resulted in losses of 9-6 and 4-2, respectively. Jay Bruce’s 3 RBI and Jason Marquis‘ eight innings of strong baseball fueled the Reds to become the latest to celebrate a victory over the Brewers.

Thursday, however, was a different story. Ryan Braun‘s 5 RBI, including a grand slam, injected the notion that the Brewers can hit the baseball, and hopefully this momentum can carry into the weekend. With the leader in the clubhouse, Braun, on par on the field, ideally his success can rub over onto his teammates.

As the week draws to an end, the Brewers will travel to Chicago to face the 12-8 Cubs, and finish off this 22 game streak against divisional opponents. Then, they will welcome in the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers in from the NL West Division, and take a stab at ace Zack Grienke, a former Brewer.

In a division replete with difficult teams and close competition, every head-to-head matchup is integral. After 19 consecutive divisional games so far, the Brewers own a 5-14 record. To climb out of the cellar walls, divisional wins would be a nice start.