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Gallardo walk-off caps Brewers’ weird week

May 29, 2014

You can’t predict baseball.

If ever there were a week which embodied that notion, it began Thursday with the Brewers’ bullpen snafu and ended Tuesday with Yovani Gallardo’s pinch-hit walk-off double. Sure, the Brewers won 8-3 Wednesday night, but that game was mostly by the book.

Just as the Brewers appeared poised to get out of Atlanta with a split in the four-game series, things took a turn for the bizarre Thursday night.

A miscommunication between the dugout and the bullpen led Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke to call for a double switch despite having no relievers warming in the bullpen. Following a lengthy delay and just eight warm-up pitches, lefty Will Smith allowed both inherited runners to score and the Brewers went from a 4-2 lead to trailing 5-4 after a 47-minute seventh inning.

Roenicke took the blame for the miscommunication, as he should. Even with the absence of both pitching coach Rick Kranitz and bullpen coach Lee Tunnell, such an inability to get the proper reliever warming up at the proper time is mind-boggling.

Then came Friday night’s game, during which the Brewers and Marlins played home run derby in Miami, with the Crew coming out on top 9-5 while hitting three of the game’s seven home runs. They weren’t cheap ones, either.

The seven blasts traveled nearly 3,000 combined feet, with an average distance of 421 feet. Giancarlo Stanton hit the longest at 463 feet, while the shortest went 374 feet off the bat of Garrett Jones.

On Saturday, the Brewers ran themselves out of a potential win, with Carlos Gomez getting thrown out at third base before Ryan Braun touched home plate on a Mark Reynolds single. Afterward, Gomez defended his decision, and implied that Braun may not have run hard enough on the play.

Finally, Tuesday night’s finish topped it all.

With the Brewers out of hitters on the bench, Gallardo was called upon to pinch hit in the 10th inning. As he was intentionally walked for the pitcher, Reynolds laughed about the situation in the batter’s box. All the Brewers needed was their starting pitcher for Wednesday’s game to deliver a game-winning hit Tuesday.

And that’s exactly what Gallardo did. He drove a pinch-hit double off the wall in left, scoring Reynolds from first and sending the Brewers to a walk-off win.

As the Brewers continue to remind us, baseball is a weird game.

Categories: Uncategorized
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