Zack Greinke (12-4, 3.92 ERA) set a new mark at Miller Park by winning his 9th straight home decision. He also out dueled Dodgers highly regarded rooked Nathan Eovaldi, who had an excellent game giving up 2 earned runs in 6 innings of work. Meanwhile, the Brewers ace went 7 complete and gave up 1 earned run on 5 hits. He did walk 3 batters, which was unusual for the him.
Milwaukee's offense was led by Jerry Hairston Jr's timely hitting; he had one hit and drove in the Crew's only 2 runs of the game. Jonathon Lucroy added 2 hits (one was a double) and his batting average is now up to .289 on the season.
Lucroy is quietly putting up a huge season at the plate. The national media has yet to even mention him outside the whole LaRussa verbal dust up. It's crazy how he worked out too. All things considered, Angel Salome was Milwaukee's catcher of the future. He was drafted in the 5th round by Milwaukee in the 2004 draft. He even was apart of a September call up where he went 0 for 3 in 3 games. That was then, this is now. Salome was shuttled out of Milwaukee last season and he landed with the Seattle Mariners, Jack Z's team--the very same point man that picked him in 2004. Lucroy became Milwaukee's go-to catcher when Salome had some mental wariness problems in June of last year. Lucky for Doug Melvin, he had the young (at the time) 23 year-old playing in Huntsville in Lucroy. The 3rd round pick in the 2007 draft was slowly-but surely climbing the ranks and making waves. Obviously, Melvin and Co. wasn't too worried when Salome fell of the wagon, because they made no moves to bring in minor league catcher. Instead, they brought in fill ins like George Kottarus at the big league level. Prior to George, Damien Miller and Estrada were the fossils behind homeplate.
HERE is a good blog entry on Zack Greinke and his return to ace-hood. In hind sight, perhaps the back injury to Zack wasn't such a bad thing after all? I mean, think about it. I have written about Greinke's anxiety issues in the past. What better way to curb that all, than to have him sit out the first month of the season on the DL? By that time, the fans are settled and they are more patient with his results. Had Greinke started right away in March/early April, well, the fans would have been short on patience and he would've heard about it far sooner than later. One will never know if Zack actually messed up his back playing pick-up basketball -- I have always called bullshit on that one -- but I am guy that loves a conspiracy theory here and there. Perhaps, he was held out the first month in order to protect his confidence? Long shot I'd say, but baseball is mental game more than anything.