W: Mark Rzepczynski (1-0)
L: Shaun Marcum (0-3)
HR: Corey Hart (1), Rickie Weeks (2), Jonathan Lucroy (1), David Freese (3), Rafael Furcal (1), Albert Pujols (2)
MVP: Jonathan Lucroy (+.135)
LVP: Shaun Marcum (-.315)
About a week ago, a friend posted this on Facebook:
Spotted a big purple van cruising around West Des Moines, colorfully decorated clearly in homage to Scooby Doo and the Gang's Mystery Machine. While I applaud the time and effort put forth to painstakingly recreate such an iconic vehicle from classic television, my eye wandered to the side of the van, where in big, bold black paint print, it said, "Mistry Machine" That's right. MISTRY.
Tonight, I feel like that's a fair analogy for the 2011 Brewers. After spending months constructing a record-breaking, at times awe-inspiring thrill ride, the Brewers were given an opportunity this week to put on the finishing touches and misspelled their own name instead. It's hard to treat the 2011 season as anything but a massive success, but that doesn't make its sudden and underwhelming conclusion any less disappointing.
If you had told me the Brewer offense would score six runs tonight, I would've told you I thought they had a pretty good chance at winning. But if you had told me that Shaun Marcum would allow four runs in the first and Chris Narveson would surrender five more in the second and third, then I probably would have predicted an outcome like this.
The Brewers hit three home runs in the game, but also allowed three. Jerry Hairston Jr. was the only Brewer with multiple hits in the game, going 2-for-3 with a double. Ryan Braun went 0-for-4, so he'll finish the postseason tied for the Brewer single season record with 22 hits.
There's a strong chance that we saw several final Brewer moments tonight:
- Prince Fielder went 0-for-4 with three groundouts and a fly out in what will almost certainly be his final game before becoming a free agent.
- LaTroy Hawkins, who will be a free agent this winter, recorded the final out in the third inning and pitched the fourth, allowing one hit and nothing else.
- Takashi Saito, also on track to become a free agent if he doesn't retire, pitched two scoreless innings in relief. It was his longest outing since August of 2009.
- Craig Counsell grounded out in a pinch hit appearance in the bottom of the seventh.
- Francisco Rodriguez pitched the eighth, allowing a run on two hits.
And, given the way things have gone this week, I can't think of a more fitting ending than this: Mark Kotsay struck out on three pitches to record the season's final out.
So, with that, a 96 win season, the first to include a Brewer postseason series win since 1982, draws to a close. The World Series will open in St. Louis on Wednesday.
We'll have postgame comments and more in a bit.