By Nathan Petrashek
Realistically, the Brewers are on what should be an extremely easy stretch of the schedule for any would-be playoff team. After a disappointing 5-4 homestand against the Pirates, Padres, and Cubs, the Brewers are pretty much in must-win territory every game even though they’re only a handful of games out of first place. When I left for Kansas City, I believed the Brewers had a very good chance to sweep a team that one of their fans described yesterday as being “one game from the cellar in the AL Central.”
Since getting here, I’ve realized that I need to take this three-game series against the Royals and completely remove it from the context of everything that has come before. This allows me to enjoy the game regardless of the outcome. This is just baseball.
If you view last night’s game separately from the season, the Brewers actually played it pretty close.
Greinke was his usual dominant self despite the fanfare of his return to Kansas City. I’ll have more on the Greinke situation later – he had some very interesting postgame comments – but he didn’t seem at all fazed by the media and fan attention that inevitably came with his first start at Kauffman since he forced his way off the Royals. Greinke allowed only one run, a leadoff homer by Alex Gordon. A second run – and all that the Royals would need to win – was given up by Francisco Rodriguez. And that’s it. Two earned runs. Not a bad day of pitching.
The Brewers offense sputtered against Luis Mendoza, who was clearly on his game. Still, the Brewers had shots. Ryan Braun was gunned down at home plate on a perfect throw by Gordon in left field in the seventh, and the Brewers had runners in scoring position in both the eighth and ninth innings.
I wish I could say there is some larger lesson to take away from a close, one-run loss against one of the worst teams in baseball. But the reality of it is the Brewers just have to take it one game at a time. And at this point, I think that’s probably how the fans should treat the season too.