Hart powers Crew past Cards; Greinke brilliant in 2012 debut
MILWAUKEE — So much for easing Corey Hart into the regular season.
After a knee injury in Spring Training required surgery, it was unclear whether Hart would be ready to go on Opening Day for the second year in a row.
Through two games, Hart appears to be in midseason form.
Following a 1-for-2 performance Friday, Hart blasted two no-doubt home runs Saturday as the Brewers picked up their first win of the season, 6-0, over the Cardinals.
“I think it was big for us to come back today and show that we’re still a good team,” Hart said. “I think we did that.”
Hart’s first homer went deep into the second deck in left, while the second was a two-run shot to center field. Between the two, Hart had an estimated 860 feet worth of home runs on the day.
Not bad for a guy with a knee that is not yet at 100 percent.
“He’s really seeing the ball well,” said manager Ron Roenicke. “Hopefully he’ll come in tomorrow feeling well and we can get him back in there.”
Rickie Weeks also homered in the game, while Aramis Ramirez had a key RBI double in the sixth inning for his first hit in a Brewers uniform. Add in a 2-for-3 day by Ryan Braun — with a pair of doubles, a walk and a run scored — and the Crew showed just how good the offense could be this year, even without Prince Fielder batting cleanup.
All they really needed Saturday was the one run, which Hart provided with his second-inning blast that nearly went over Bernie Brewer’s slide beyond the left field bleachers. That’s because Zack Greinke delivered one of his best outings since coming to Milwaukee last offseason.
Greinke had everything working in his 2012 debut, facing the minimum through 4 1/3 innings. Had it not been for three singles in the fifth and sixth innings — two of which were nearly outs — Greinke may have been on his way to a complete game. Instead, he turned in a stellar seven frames, giving up just four hits and striking out seven batters without a walk.
After starting the season without both Hart and Greinke a year ago, the Brewers already are enjoying what each of them brings to the table just two games in. Full seasons out of both All-Stars could go a long way toward making up for the lost production of Fielder.
“It makes a difference,” Roenicke said. “Last year, we didn’t have those two guys together for quite a while.”