The Milwaukee Brewers played another close ball game on Sunday. As has often been the case during this season, countless mistakes have resulted in another close defeat as they fell 1-0 to the Chicago White Sox. The Brewers who haven't played fundamentally sound baseball this season saw their record drop to 12-21 in games decided by one or two runs. After the game Brewers manage Ron Roenicke did little to hide his displeasure as evidenced by his comments:
"We're playing all these close ball games and we're not doing the little things to help us win ball games. Like getting a bunt down, like getting caught off the bag on a 3-1 count, like not moving a runner over from second base, like coming in and walking the first guy you face."
In this particular game Roenicke had reason to be upset with the following mistakes and failed execution that led to defeat. After a leadoff double in the seventh by Corey Hart the Brewers failed to advance Hart to third when Rickie Weeks hit the ball to short instead of the right side of the infield. Nyjer Morgon was then caught between second and third as he strayed too far off the base on a 3-1 pitch to George Kottaras. When Kottaras swung through the pitch Morgan was an easy out at third and the Brewers ninth inning was over. When Kottaras batted in the tenth inning and drew a leadoff walk Cody Ransom failed to advance the runner into scoring position when he couldn't get a bunt down. Ransom would end up striking out for the 40th time in 78 at bats since being claimed off waivers.
Relievers Jose Veras and Manny Parra pitched themselves into trouble in the ninth and tenth innings. Veras was eventually able to escape the ninth inning un-scored upon even though he allowed two hits and two walks thanks to a double play but Parra wasn't as lucky in tenth as he allowed a leadoff double, a walk, and a game ending hit to Eduardo Escobar who entered the game hitting .190 with one run batted in during 22 games.
Afterwards Roenicke lamented further about his teams mistakes and where it left his team as they struggle to remain in the playoff race:
"I don't know if it's focus, but whatever it is, we need to do a better job. We didn't make all these mistakes last year. We played the way your supposed to play. Move guys around; get guys in scoring position and somebody comes up with a big hit; come out of the bullpen and throw strikes; put up a zero. We did all those things."
The lack of offense ruined what was a strong outing from rookie pitcher Mike Fiers for the Brewers. Fiers went seven and a third innings without allowing a run on five hits, one walk and seven strikeouts. The Brewers now go to Cincinnati to face the first place Reds in a make it or break it series as the Brewers sit six and a half games behind the Reds. If this team continues making the same mistakes in this series they could quickly turn into sellers at the trade deadline at the end of July.
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