Casey McGehee deposited three balls into the seats as the Milwaukee Brewers capped a 8-1 homestand with a 10-5 win over the second place Cardinals. McGehee, who had three homers in his previous 355 plate appearances, smacked three out in four at-bats today, giving Milwaukee a three and a half game lead over rival St. Louis and a six and a half game lead over Pittsburgh. Corey Hart also homered while Randy Wolf improved to 8-8 on the season. The Brewers are off Thursday and start a three-game series in Houston on Friday.
Also, take note of SI.com writer Cliff Corcoran’s latest article surrounding the MVP watch in each league, posted below. Corcoran has Ryan Braun ranked #1 with Prince Fielder holding down the #2 spot in the National League race. Stay tuned.
And if you’re keeping track like I am, Ryan Braun went 2-for-4 in the win today, raising his batting average to .324 – good enough for second in the NL (tied with Cincinnati’s Joey Votto). Mets shortstop Jose Reyes sits at .339. Brewers outfielder Nyjer Morgan is creeping up on averaging 3.1 plate appearances a game, the minimum to qualify for a batting title. T-Plush is hitting .328.
It may be mid-90’s in Wisconsin these days… but it’s still not as hot out as Prince Fielder is at the dish. Prince smoked two key home runs in a dramatic 7-6 come from behind victory over the New York Mets Wednesday night. Wow. What a game. Starter Randy Wolf gave the Crew a solid outing, pitching 6.2 innings and surrendering only a single run. Kameron Loe came on in the 7th, getting the third out of the inning on just one pitch. However, he struggled mightily in the 8th, giving up 5 earned runs and deflating the Milwaukee faithful. Lefty Zach Braddock got the Crew out of the mess, but the damage was done. The Brewers entered the bottom of the 8th inning trailing 6-2, yet never blinked. After Craig Counsell walked, Rickie Weeks grounded into a fielders choice. Nyjer Morgan was next, lining a single into right field, putting runners on first and second. All-Star slugger Ryan Braun followed by hitting a ringing double in the left-center gap scoring both Weeks and Morgan, cutting the deficit to two. With Braunie on second, Prince stepped to the plate and blasted a monster home run to deep left-center field, his second of the game and sixth in his last six games, tying the ballgame 6-6. John Axford, back from being with his wife for the birth of their son, pitched a scoreless top half of the 9th. In the bottom of the inning, Counsell worked the count to his favor, then singled sharply into left with one out. After a check swing strikeout by Weeks, Nyjer Morgan, a.k.a. Tony Plush, stepped into the batters box and promptly smacked a double into right field scoring Counsell from second and giving the Brewers a heart thumping walk-off win. It was a signature W for a Milwaukee club who boasts an insane 22-8 record at home, the best in the Bigs. The Brewers go for the series win tomorrow, as Yovani Gallardo is set to take the mound against Met’s starter Jon Niese.
Some other interesting tidbits:
- The Brewers have not lost consecutive home games in 2011.
- Milwaukee’s bullpen had an astounding 1.88 ERA in its previous 72 innings before Kameron Loe’s horrendous 8th.
- With his two homers, Prince Fielder passed Gorman Thomas for sole possession of third place on Milwaukee’s all-time home run list. Fielder (209) is only 4 home runs away from passing Geoff Jenkins for second place.
- Casey McGehee’s 7th inning single up the middle snapped his 0-for-27 skid at the plate.
- According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Randy Wolf committed the first balk of his career – he had the most innings pitched without a balk in the majors up to that point (1,968.2). The new active leader in innings pitched without a balk is Chad Billingsley of the Dodgers (906).