Back in first place! Oh, how I missed it. It's been a rough 24 hours.
We got the win, but it wasn't pretty. Chris Capuano looked great through six innings...and then went out to pitch the seventh. I have this awful feeling that this is how it's going to go for the entire first half: Chris will be great for x innings, and in inning x+1, Ned will come trotting out to bring in [choose one: Aquino, Villanueva, Shouse, Wise], who will then let in [y, where 1 < y < 4] of the inherited baserunners.
We know that script: Ned's been tweaking it (but only a little) for over a year. That said, it's not that big of a deal when the Brewers start that inning by five: the only difference it made was that Turnbow and Cordero pitched tonight, which they probably wouldn't have if Villanueva had started the seventh inning himself. It's all well and good to push your starters, but this is getting a little silly.
On the positive side, there's plenty to focus on. As I said in the game thread, I think that Corey Hart will be the first guy in major league history to hit 20 home runs and get 20 bunt singles in the same year. (I don't know that it hasn't been done before; just a hunch.) He stole both second and third off of Brad Ausmus--sure, he really stole them off of Wandy Rodriguez, but it was still pretty cool. The downside is that that inning (Corey bunt single, Corey steal, Corey steal, Graffy sac fly) gives Ned (and the announcers) a manufactured run to talk about for the next month. Not looking forward to that.
Manufactured runs create good manly feelings and all, but they pale in comparison to the long ball, especially when you've got a team with so many home run threats. Hell, our #2 hitter shortstop hit a pair tonight! He's now leading the team with five, while Prince is settling for doubles. Even Damian got an extra base hit tonight, reminding us that this team isn't just strong 1 through 8, it's strong 1 through 13. 1 through 14, if you're inclined to count Suppan.
Of all the wins this year, this one leaves me the emptiest--great to get it, of course, but plenty sloppy, both in Capuano's overstaying of his welcome, and the nine total walks given up by Milwaukee pitching (six from Cappy!) are distressing. But hey, there are going to be some like this, counterbalancing the ones that we don't get but should. As long as the other five teams in the central have to look up to see is, it's all good in the end.