On Thursday, the Brewers lost their Cactus League opener to the Los Angeles Angels by a score of 3-2.
The Angels, so confident in their ability to win the game, had the audacity to pull their starters after only about two at bats apiece. Starting pitcher Hector Santiago remained in the game for just two innings despite only allowing one hit. Now, if the Brewers can't beat a team of backups and scrubs in spring, how are we supposed to expect them to win during the regular season, facing quality opponents?
We may as well call the 2015 season dead in the water right now. And that's not even the most important thing: We can also basically rule the Brewers out of contention for a Cactus League title. And that, to me, is the most disappointing thing about today.
But, in all seriousness, it was just great to actually see the Brewers playing today as the game was broadcast over Fox Sports Wisconsin. Even better was hearing Bob Uecker and Joe Block back in the booth calling the game. The Brewers may have played their first exhibition game yesterday, but seeing them and hearing them play really brought it home that they're back in action. And that's a great feeling.
Also great is the fact that Kyle Lohse looked great in his first tuneup of spring. He was so effective that the Brewers let him go 2.2 innings instead of the scheduled two he was supposed to pitch. He allowed a hit, but struck out three batters. Lohse was also tagged with an earned run when Ariel Pena, who came on in relief for the final out of the third inning, allowed the inherited runner to score.
Chris Perez allowed an earned run on two hits while Will Smith also gave up a pair of hits in an inning. Brandon Kintzler gave up the third, unearned, run.
On the offensive end, Martin Maldonado hit a double over the head of Mike Trout that had the center fielder twisting and turning. On another day, it's possibly an out. This time, though, Maldonado had the only Brewers extra base hit. He would later come in to score on a Scooter Gennett sacrifice fly. Maldonado also picked up a single during a 2-2 day. Ryan Braun drew the only Brewers walk en route to a 0-1 start in his first game action since cryotherapy.
The Brewers day on the basepaths was a little rough at times but, hey, it's early in spring training and those things tend to happen early on. They'll work the kinks out. Alternatively, they won't and they'll just be the Brewers we all know and love and get frustrated by.