But not anymore.
This may not be a year of redemption for Weeks, but it has been one thing: sensational. The Brewers' second baseman is batting .276 with 114 hits, 22 home runs and 67 RBIs -- the latter three figures already career highs. Recently, Weeks has been even better. In his previous 14 games entering Wednesday, he had a .339 average with seven home runs.
"Last three or four weeks? The whole year. And what he did for the club the first month and a half last year," said Macha of Weeks, who hit .272 with nine home runs in 37 games last season before he suffered an injury.
"He's been the most productive leadoff guy in the Major Leagues," Macha said. "He's been amazing. It's not [Ryan] Braun and [Prince] Fielder, it's how Rickie Weeks goes is how the club goes."
Such a statement may seem startling, considering both Braun and Fielder are perennial All-Stars. Plus, when the average fan thinks of the Brewers, they think of the aforementioned duo. But Weeks' production is typically more important -- as Braun and Fielder have consistently dominated in the past, while Weeks has not.
If the 27-year-old Weeks continues his current pace, he'll finish with 106 RBIs, making him the second player ever with 100 RBIs from the leadoff spot. Darin Erstad did it in 2002 for the Angels.
"I don't want to put too much undue pressure on him, but just the last couple days, [he's had] a big hit to get on base to start a rally, he hit a home run the other night out there and of course, [Monday] night's home run," Macha said prior to Tuesday's 12-4 loss to the Reds. "He's an impact on several games. He's been great."
Coinciding with Weeks' hot streak has been the Brewers' own hot streak -- as they had won five straight, and seven of their past 10, before falling to the Reds.
Weeks and the Brewers will be backing starting pitcher Chris Narveson as he takes the mound against the Reds' Travis Wood on Wednesday.
The Reds' left-handed rookie is 0-1 on the year with a 2.76 ERA in five starts. Granted, Wood has been fairly sharp throughout his first Major League campaign. He's completed six innings or more in four of his five starts and nearly threw a perfect game against the Phillies on July 10, allowing his first and only baserunner on a hit in the ninth inning.
Reds: Comeback kids
After jumping to a big lead against the Brewers on Tuesday, there was certainly no need for the Reds to mount a comeback. But the club is tied for second in the Majors with 29 come-from-behind wins on the year. Coming into Tuesday, the Reds were tied with several teams with seven extra-inning wins.
Further, they rank second -- just behind the Braves who have 16 -- with 15 wins in their final at-bat. Twenty-five of those 29 comebacks occurred before July 1.
Brewers: Homer happiness
The Brewers have been known in recent seasons for their offense, boasting perennial league-leaders Fielder and Braun, along with Corey Hart and Weeks, who have both had highly successful seasons at the plate.
As such, the team has homered in 16 straight games. It marks the longest such streak for the Brewers since they did it in a franchise-record 20 consecutive contests from July 1, 2008, to July 28, 2008.
Reds pitcher Homer Bailey made a rehab start Monday night for Class-A Dayton, allowing three earned runs in his team's 5-0 loss. ... Narveson has an 8.85 ERA during his past four starts for the Brewers.
Wed, 7/28 2:10 PM ET
Big bats carve out rookie's first win
Rookie Travis Wood got his first big league win after the Reds had two five-run innings, including Brandon Phillips' monster grand slam and Joey Votto's career-high 26th home run off the Brewers' Carlos Villanueva.
|Phillips, B, 2B||4||2||2||4||0||0||0||.289|
|Cabrera, O, SS||3||1||1||0||1||0||3||.260|
|Gomes, J, LF||5||1||1||1||0||1||2||.273|
|Wood, T, P||2||0||0||0||0||0||1||.143|
|a-Nix, L, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.267|
|Smith, J, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Escobar, A, SS||4||1||2||0||0||0||2||.251|
2B: Gomes, J (18, Loe), Cairo (8, Loe).
HR: Phillips, B (14, 8th inning off Villanueva, 3 on, 0 out), Votto (26, 8th inning off Villanueva, 0 on, 1 out).
TB: Phillips, B 5; Cabrera, O; Votto 6; Gomes, J 2; Cairo 3; Bruce 2; Heisey; Hanigan.
RBI: Votto 2 (70), Gomes, J (65), Cairo 2 (19), Hanigan (22), Phillips, B 4 (39).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Heisey; Cairo; Wood, T; Cabrera, O 2; Bruce.
Team RISP: 5-for-12.
Team LOB: 7.
SB: Cairo (3, 2nd base off Narveson/Lucroy), Phillips, B (12, 2nd base off Narveson/Lucroy).
CS: Bruce (3, 2nd base by Narveson/Lucroy), Cabrera, O (3, 3rd base by Narveson/Lucroy).
Outfield assists: Gomes, J (Gomez at 3rd base).
DP: (Wood, T-Phillips, B-Votto).
2B: Braun (26, Wood, T), McGehee (23, Smith, J), Gomez (9, Smith, J).
TB: Weeks; Escobar, A 2; Braun 2; McGehee 2; Lucroy; Gomez 2; Narveson.
RBI: Braun (64), Lucroy (10).
2-out RBI: Lucroy.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Gomez; Lucroy; Fielder.
Team RISP: 1-for-6.
Team LOB: 5.
E: McGehee (12, fielding).
|Wood, T(W, 1-1)||5.0||5||2||2||1||6||0||2.87|
|Smith, J(H, 1)||1.1||2||0||0||0||0||0||2.70|
IBB: Nix, L (by Loe).
HBP: Phillips, B (by Loe).
Pitches-strikes: Wood, T 82-60, Smith, J 21-16, Rhodes 5-4, Masset 17-10, Cordero 19-13, Narveson 78-54, Loe 27-15, Coffey 21-13, Braddock 2-2, Villanueva 33-21, Riske 11-7.
Groundouts-flyouts: Wood, T 3-1, Smith, J 2-1, Rhodes 0-1, Masset 1-1, Cordero 0-0, Narveson 4-5, Loe 1-0, Coffey 2-0, Braddock 0-0, Villanueva 0-0, Riske 0-2.
Batters faced: Wood, T 20, Smith, J 5, Rhodes 2, Masset 4, Cordero 3, Narveson 21, Loe 7, Coffey 4, Braddock 1, Villanueva 8, Riske 3.
Inherited runners-scored: Loe 2-2, Coffey 3-0, Braddock 1-0.
Ejections: Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder ejected by HP umpire Mike DiMuro (9th).
Umpires: HP: Mike DiMuro. 1B: Tim Welke. 2B: Scott Barry. 3B: Bill Welke.
Weather: 84 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 9 mph, Out to CF.
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media