Blowing saves is nothing new for the Milwaukee Brewers, but
regrouping to win such a game this early could go a long way for
them this season.
The Brewers try to ride the momentum of a couple of late rallies
as their series continues against the visiting Colorado Rockies on
Milwaukee led the majors last season with 29 blown saves, a key
reason it missed the playoffs after winning the NL Central in 2011.
The Brewers appeared to pick up where they left off Monday when
closer John Axford allowed a two-out homer to Dexter Fowler in the
ninth inning, but a walkoff sacrifice fly by Jonathan Lucroy in the
10th provided a 5-4 win.
“We lost quite a few games like this last year,” said Ryan Braun
to the Brewers’ official website. “So I think it’s a great sign
that we were able to win a game like this, this year. I think that
will be encouraging for all of us moving forward.”
Braun, who had a run-scoring infield single in a three-run
eighth that rallied Milwaukee from a 3-1 deficit, may be especially
excited to move forward given his success against Rockies scheduled
starter Jorge De La Rosa. He has tormented the left-hander, going 7
for 9 with a homer and three doubles while also walking three
The Rockies are hoping for big things from De La Rosa (0-2, 9.82
ERA), who appears to have completely recovered from undergoing
Tommy John surgery in 2011. He made three starts late last season,
but with a full spring training under his belt, the one-time
16-game winner is confident he can rediscover his old form.
“I’ve started feeling like me again,” De La Rosa told the team’s
official website after a six-inning, 81-pitch minor league stint
Thursday to avoid facing the Brewers in spring training. “Last year
was a tough year, but I’m back to finding me.”
De La Rosa hasn’t found much success at Miller Park, going 1-2
with a 9.82 ERA in three starts. This will be his first appearance
versus Milwaukee since Aug. 13, 2010.
Rickie Weeks, who scored the winning run Monday, is 4 for 7 with
two doubles against De La Rosa.
Colorado scored all of its runs via the long ball as Carlos
Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki homered prior to Fowler’s solo shot.
The loss spoiled the managerial debut of Walt Weiss, who must
contend with a leaky bullpen of his own that blew 27 saves in 2012,
fewer than only the Brewers.
“It was just one bad inning in the eighth inning and that was
it,” said Gonzalez, who is 20 for 61 (.328) with three homers at
Miller Park. “We have to feel good about ourselves. We battled the
whole game. That happens sometimes.”
Tulowitzki is a .344 hitter in 17 games at Miller Park.
The Rockies seek to bounce back versus Marco Estrada (5-7,
3.64), who cracked the Brewers’ rotation after filling in last year
when Zack Greinke was injured. Manager Ron Roenicke slotted the
right-hander as his No. 2 starter after the late signing of Kyle
“I have always seen myself as a starter, even when I wasn’t.
(Relief work) was hard for me,” Estrada told MLB’s official
website. “Starting, mentally, is easier. At least for me it
Estrada averaged 9.3 strikeouts per nine innings and had a
team-best 4.93 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He did not get a decision
in his only appearance versus the Rockies last year, giving up a
solo homer to Tulowitzki and one other hit while striking out nine
in five innings of Milwaukee’s 9-4 win at home.