Chess Match: Patience is key
Brewers' plan to take pitches vs. Moyer pays off in victory
MILWAUKEE -- The free-swinging Brewers came out in Game 3 at Miller Park and exhibited much more patience at the plate against 45-year-old left-hander Jamie Moyer, whose fastball averaged about 82 miles per hour and didn't look like it could have shattered a pane of glass.
This was in stark contrast to their first-ball hitting in a 5-2 loss in Game 2 at Philadelphia.Most noticeably on that night, Corey Hart hit Brett Myers' first pitch with the bases loaded in the first inning and bounced into a rally-killing double play. Ditto Prince Fielder with runners on first and second and two out in the eighth: broken-bat grounder to second, ending Milwaukee's last threat of that game. And the new approach started Saturday night in the first inning. The Crew takes some pitches
The situation: The Brewers needed to jump-start their offense and get the home crowd immediately into the game.
The outcome: Mike Cameron and Bill Hall opened the first inning with walks. Both scored on Fielder's sacrifice fly and J.J. Hardy's single, giving the Brewers their first two-run lead of the series.
The analysis: "Yeah, these guys knew what they had to do with a guy like Moyer on the mound. They knew they had to be patient, and they were. I mean, we had 60-something pitches after two innings off him. But the fact of the matter is the guy still never gave in and never really gave us anything to hit when we had all those guys on base. He still just nibbled and he nibbled, and he got out of some jams because of the way he pitches. But I think the guys gained a lot of confidence today by their at-bats. Billy Hall had some phenomenal at-bats today, as well as everyone. Hopefully it pays off in the next two ballgames." -- Sveum
Fielder gets to hit this time
The situation: Bottom of the first inning, Brewers runners on second and third, one out.
The outcome: Fielder hit a sacrifice fly to right, driving in Cameron with the Brewers' first run and sending Hall to third. Hall scored a moment later on Hardy's single.
The analysis: "I guess it was who was pitching at the time. Moyer, left-handed pitcher, probably, yeah. I figured we were going to get him out." -- Manuel
The situation: Top of the sixth. Jayson Werth opens with a triple off the glove of right fielder Hart. Chase Utley pops up for the first out. Starter Dave Bush has thrown only 70 pitches.
The outcome: Howard grounds out to third, driving in Werth. Right-hander Carlos Villanueva replaces Stetter to face the righty-swinging Pat Burrell, who also grounds out to third, ending the inning.
The analysis: "Well, the game shrunk to 3 2/3 innings left and we had a very fresh bullpen. We had three lefties out there to face Howard. I have all the confidence in Bushy. I think the world of him that he can do it, but when you have lefties and a guy like Stetter out there and a guy on base, you can't walk Howard at that point. You've got to get somebody in that game that can hopefully really keep them in the ballpark. Stetter came in and did that, and the rest of the bullpen obviously did a great job, too." -- Sveum
To Eyre or not to Eyre
The situation: Bottom of the seventh, Brewers leading, 3-1, three of the first four Brewers hitters are right-handers.
The decision: Manuel leaves lefty reliever Scott Eyre in the game.
The outcome: Hardy singles, is sacrificed to second and later scores on Jason Kendall's single.
The analysis: "We got into a little pickle when we took Jamie out of the game. We had to get some outs there, and we figured that he was going to be facing -- first of all, he's gotten right-handed hitters out since he's been with us, and second, [lefty-hitting Craig] Counsell was in the lineup. Counsell became a big out, and he had a swing and bunt hit, and that really kind of set things off. Then when we got down to where it was either Kendall, or we felt like if we brought a righty in or something, they might put [Ray] Durham or something. So that was the move that we ended up making." -- Manuel
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.