DAN: A Heart Attack Brewing
By Dan O'Donnell
Admit it, your heart rate increased by just a few beats per minute when you saw Derrick Turnbow walk to the mound. Maybe it increased by a few more when when he walked So Taguchi. Maybe by a few more when Taguchi reached third on a throwing error. If you hadn't suffered a heart attack by the time Pedro Feliz grounded out to end it, you'd have to admit that this was one mighty satisfying win.
In seven of their 13 wins they've come from behind, including the last two. They've blown five save opportunities, including three straight before Wednesday night's win. They've gone to extra innings six times this season, including four in the past week.
So long as Turnbow and Eric Gagne are pitching late innings, I'm keeping the Bayer close by.
As ulcer-inducing as this team may be, though, they've gone 7-4 since losing three in a row and are starting to gain confidence at the plate, particularly after the seventh inning. The Brewers are now 5-3 in one-run games and have scored the fourth-most runs in baseball when it's close and late.
I may not make it to the All-Star break without a pacemaker, but the Crew is setting an impressive pace in clutch play. It's said that good teams win blowouts, but great ones win the tight games, too. Are the Brewers great or merely lucky? It may be far too early to tell, but what I've seen so far has been impressive.
A 13-8 record with a team batting average under .250? Five games over .500 with two regulars hitting below the Mendoza Line? A game and a half out of first with the two best bats just starting to come out of season-long slumps? These are either signs of a team that hasn't hit its stride yet or more reasons to consult a cardiologist before tomorrow's game.