COMMENTARY | Rarely does opening day give you a true indication of how the season is going to pan out. After all, it's only the first of 162 games, and for the Milwaukee Brewers, the 2013 season couldn't have started on a more promising note as the Crew escaped with a victory at Miller Park.
That's essentially where the fireworks ceased - at least for the home team. The Colorado Rockies had their way with the Brewers in the final two games of the series, and several of the warning signs for Milwaukee entering the season showed up in full force.
What would you like first - the good or the bad? In hopes that Brewer fans can leave feeling better about their team, we'll begin with the worst moments from the first series of the 2013 regular season.
Dexter Fowler's ninth inning two-out dinger
The bullpen did all it could to keep the Brewers in game one, and once they grabbed the lead, in came closer John Axford. After striking out the first two Rocky hitters, Axford grooved a belt-high fastball on the inside corner to Dexter Fowler. The result was a home run and a blown save. Not exactly the start to the season Axford had envisioned.
Aramis Ramirez gets gunned down at home
In the third inning of game three, the Brewers put together a nice little two-out rally. Alex Gonzalez poked a base hit to left field to score Ryan Braun, but unfortunately, Ramirez was also sent. He isn't very fast, and the throw was basically on the way home as A-Ram was rounding third. Needless to say, he was a sitting duck, and the rally was terminated.
John Axford's second appearance
If you thought opening day was bad, Axford had a second act up his sleeve. He came on in the ninth inning of game three with Milwaukee down 4-3. Five hits and two home runs later, Axford was pulled and the Brewers were down 7-3, basically ending any hope of Milwaukee staging another late comeback. Axford's ERA after the series: 21.60. Ouch.
A broken bat attacks Alex Gonzalez
True story. On a slow roller to first, Carlos Gonzalez's broken bat followed the path of the batted ball. Sea Bass elected to preserve his life while attempting to field it, and that resulted in an infield single for Car-Go. Three runs wound up scoring in the inning, and pitcher Michael Gonzalez had an ERA of infinity following game two (it has since decreased dramatically to 81.00). The moral of the story here is that there were far too many Gonzalez's involved in this play.
Aramis Ramirez's go-ahead two-out double
Down 3-1 in the bottom of the eighth of game one, Ryan Braun's infield single plated a run to bring the Brewers within one. Ramirez followed that up with an incredible at-bat, finally smashing a double down the left field line to bring home Rickie Weeks and Braun and put Milwaukee ahead in dramatic fashion. And all of this happened with two outs.
Carlos Gomez's highway robbery
Perhaps the play of the season thus far was made by Carlos Gomez. In game three with the Brewers trailing 4-2 in the sixth, Carlos Gonzalez gave one a ride to center. Gomez backtracked to the wall, timed his leap perfectly and robbed Gonzalez of a home run. It swung momentum a bit, but not enough to help Milwaukee pull out a win.
Ryan Braun's assist to Martin Maldonado
The Brewers' outfield continued to dazzle in the final game of the series against Colorado. On a Josh Rutledge base hit to left, Carlos Gonzalez rounded third and headed home, but Braun had other plans. On a one-hop strike to Maldonado, Gonzalez was narrowly tagged out at the plate, keeping the Brewers within one run. All in all, the Brewers' defense was one of the few positives to take away from the opening three games.
Jonathan Lucroy's walk-off sacrifice fly
This selection is a no-brainer as Lucroy stepped up in the bottom of the tenth on opening day with the bases loaded. Luc managed to hit a fly ball to center, which was deep enough to plate Weeks and earn a chorus of "LUUUUC" cheers from the delighted fans. In the dugout, Lucroy received a shaving cream pie in the face from Carlos Gomez, and he was upset (h/t BrewGIFs).
Dave Radcliffe is a resident of a little known Milwaukee suburb who contains an unhealthy amount of knowledge about Wisconsin sports. He has contributed to JSOnline and as a featured columnist among other sites and publications.
You can follow Dave on Twitter @DaveRadcliffe_ .
- Sports & Recreation
- Milwaukee Brewers
- John Axford
- Carlos Gonzalez
- Ryan Braun
- Aramis Ramirez