Swept in big series, Brewers left frustrated

Swept in big series, Brewers left frustrated

Published Jul. 22, 2012 5:09 p.m. ET


There were a million phrases or clichés that could have been used to describe the importance of this weekend's series in Cincinnati.

Make-or-break, crucial, or any other way it can be said, the Brewers needed a series win.

But after a three game sweep at the hands of first-place Cincinnati in which Milwaukee could muster only four runs, there is only one way to put the feeling inside the Brewers locker room.

They're frustrated.

Frustrated because they couldn't capitalize when they had runners on, frustrated also because a couple of close calls by an umpire aided the Reds in scoring the eventual winning runs in the final two games of the series.

But mostly frustrated because they know they've dropped so many close games and have now put themselves in a nearly impossible hole to dig out of, 10.5 games out of first place, with three teams ahead of them.

And now it could lead to general manager Doug Melvin looking toward the future and becoming sellers at the trade deadline.

"It is frustrating," Brewers starter and tough luck loser Mike Fiers said. "Trying to win and tired of losing. It is frustrating when you don't score runs, but I could have been one run better today."

It's hard to lay blame on Fiers, he allowed just one earned run in six innings and lowered his ERA to 1.96, the lowest in baseball of pitchers with over 50 innings pitched.

It wasn't how he pitched that had him angry, yet the pickoff throw he threw away, allowing Wilson Valdez to scamper to third and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Brandon Phillips.

"I threw a ball away when all we were trying to do was keep the guy close and ended up giving up a run they didn't earn," Fiers said. "We should still be playing right now in a 1-1 game."

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke was peeved because the inning should have been over without any runs scoring.

For the second straight day, the Brewers feel umpire Tim Timmons missed a call that ended up costing them runs.

Catcher Martin Maldonado appeared to throw out Chris Heisey stealing second base, but Timmons ruled him safe. Valdez followed with a single that scored Heisey.

"I know things can change after that, but that's two runs," Roenicke said. "I had him out. Went back and looked at the replay and I had him out."

Fiers agreed.

"I had a great look," Fiers said. "My opinion was a little different than his. I thought he was out. That's the way things go."

The Reds capitalized on breaks and mistakes, not just Sunday, but all series long. That's something the Brewers didn't do.

"It has been going on," Roenicke said. "We aren't getting a big hit. A lot of that has to do with the pitcher you are facing. If we are not facing a pitcher with that kind of stuff, we'd come through with hits. When you have a lot of opportunities against a pitcher with strikeout stuff, with two outs, you aren't going to come through that much."

The Brewers had won 10-of-15 games coming into this weekend, but only had gained a half of a game in the standings.

In three days in Cincinnati, they lost three games to the Reds.

"Whenever you don't win a game (in a series) it is tough for your team," Fiers said. "We have to just go and battle again in Philly and try and get some W's there."