Brewers lose another lead

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McClatchy Tribune
Thursday, June 11, 2009
— Spoiler alert:

The Milwaukee Brewers are having trouble keeping leads.

As if you hadn’t heard.

For the sixth time in nine games, the Brewers took a lead only to watch it vanish and be replaced by a deficit they could not overcome. Wednesday night was the 14th time this season that the Brewers have lost after being ahead.

The Colorado Rockies were to thank for that, just as they were a night before. The Rockies picked up their seventh consecutive victory, 4-2, in the second game of the series at Miller Park, taking the best-of-three set.

The Brewers are 4-6 in their last 10 games and sit 1½ games in front of the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central.

“If you only get two runs and they score three, they’re going past you,” Brewers manager Ken Macha said. “My concern is not so much them going past, but us not scoring enough.

“You score enough so (the starter) can stay out there or you just have shutdown pitching the whole time. We kind of haven’t had either of those.”

The Brewers’ offense had chances to score beyond the two runs it posted, but as was the case Tuesday, the Brewers went into a shell after the early innings, at least in terms of the timely hit.

The offense was 2 for 12 with men in scoring position and stranded eight.

Mike Cameron and Corey Hart both reached to lead off the second inning, but Mike Rivera hit into a 6-4-3 double play and Bill Hall grounded out to end that threat.

The Brewers again had two on in the fifth but walked away empty-handed.

The seventh inning gave them another scoring chance when Hall and Casey McGehee, who reached base three times out of the leadoff spot, walked. But with one out, J.J. Hardy struck out and Ryan Braun hit into a fielder’s choice to again leave the Brewers grasping at air.

The Brewers had yet another opportunity in the eighth when Prince Fielder led off the inning with a chance double after centerfielder Dexter Fowler couldn’t run down a shallow fly ball in left-center. But Cameron, Hart and Rivera each went without incident and left Fielder at second.

“We just haven’t been able to execute when we’ve had opportunities,” Cameron said. “It happens. Sometimes you’re going to run into some good pitchers, sometimes you’re going to struggle.

“It shows up even more so when you lose close games. The opportunities have been there.”

The Brewers did get some timely hits in the third inning against Colorado left-hander Jorge De La Rosa when McGehee, Braun and Fielder all doubled to score twice.

Staked to a 2-0 lead heading into the fourth, Brewers right-hander Dave Bush couldn’t clutch it long enough.

Troy Tulowitzki hit his seventh home run of the season with two outs in the fourth.

After striking out Fowler to start the fifth, Bush allowed consecutive doubles to Clint Barmes, Todd Helton and Brad Hawpe and the Brewers surrendered another lead.

Bush allowed at least one base runner in every inning in his first start since taking a line drive off his right arm in Florida.

“They made me work hard,” Bush said. “I really wasn’t able to get many quick outs, just a lot of deep counts. A lot of strikeouts and a lot of walks, which is atypical of me on both counts.”

But even before that ball struck him near the elbow, Bush was sputtering. In his last four starts, Bush has allowed 16 runs in 21 2/3 innings. He has walked 13, struck out 18 and allowed six home runs.

Bush is 0-3 in those starts and the offense scored nine runs in the other to get him a no-decision.

Even with a so-so outing, Bush kept the Brewers in the game. But with up to five guys in the starting lineup slumping and the offense stalled after the first third of the game—it had no hits after the fourth inning Tuesday and one after the fourth Wednesday—the Brewers just aren’t doing enough to hold leads.

and win games.

“You have to find ways to continue to manufacture,” Cameron said. “We just have to find ways to execute offensively. That’s kind of the proof in the pudding right now.

“We just have to execute from the fifth, sixth, seventh innings on.”

Last updated: 10:43 am Thursday, December 13, 2012

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