Preview: Brewers vs. Angels
The last time the Milwaukee Brewers reached the postseason, Ron Roenicke guided them to their first NL Championship Series appearance in 29 years.
One day shy of the one-year anniversary of his firing, Roenicke may have some mixed emotions when he returns to Miller Park for the first time Monday night.
Roenicke made an impression during his first season as Milwaukee’s manager in 2011, leading the club to a franchise-best 96-66 record while becoming only the fourth Brewers skipper to have a winning mark in his first full season.
He finished second in NL Manager of the Year voting that year, but the Brewers were never able to capitalize on that success. Milwaukee (9-15) finished with 83, 74 and 82 victories over the following three seasons before he was let go last May 3 after the team had gotten off to a disappointing 7-18 start.
"I knew it was going to come sometime," Roenicke told the league’s official website. "I wish it wasn’t that quick. But I think part of managing, when you do it, is you know you’re going to have some tough times in different years. I had some great years there, had a lot of fun, and then a couple tough ones."
Roenicke landed on his feet as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ third base coach in August before leaving after the season to take over the same role with the crosstown Angels. He’s hoping to wave more runners home following Sunday’s big scoring effort.
Los Angeles had scored just four times while going 2 for 15 with runners in scoring position in back-to-back losses at Texas before Kole Calhoun and C.J. Cron had three hits apiece and Geovany Soto homered in his second straight game in a 9-6 win.
Calhoun is 5 for 8 in his last two games, while Cron is 8 for 15 in his past four.
Right-hander Jered Weaver (3-0, 3.86 ERA) will try to win his first four decisions for the first time since opening 5-0 four years ago and lead the Angels (12-13) to their first back-to-back road victories since sweeping Oakland from April 11-13.
In his only start at Miller Park, Weaver gave up three hits over six innings in a 5-0 win Aug. 30, 2013. He was 6-0 with a 1.96 ERA over 11 interleague road starts before allowing five runs over five innings in a 5-0 loss at San Francisco last May.
The veteran will face a Milwaukee team that broke out offensively in Sunday’s 14-5 home win over Miami that ended a season-high four-game slide. Jonathan Villar, Ryan Braun, Chris Carter and Kirk Nieuwenhuis finished with three hits apiece.
Two of Carter’s hits left the yard, giving him seven homers on the season. He has two in his last four games against the Angels dating to his time with Houston, but he’s just 4 for 20 with one long ball and seven strikeouts all-time versus Weaver.
"It’s pretty clear how he impacts a baseball when he hits it," said manager Craig Counsell, who replaced Roenicke the day after the former manager was fired.
Milwaukee will try to keep it going offensively for Jimmy Nelson (3-2, 3.16) as it looks to win back-to-back games for only the third time. The right-hander had his three-game winning streak end Tuesday when he allowed three runs – one earned – and two hits while walking four over 5 1/3 innings in a 4-3 loss at Wrigley Field.
The Brewers have dropped a franchise-worst eight straight home meetings.