Yesterday was my 29th Opening Day, 10th as a member of the media, and the Brewers here in Milwaukee, their 47th… it was NOT pretty. Our “Milwaukee Nine” lost the home opener 12-3 to the San Francisco Giants who were in Milwaukee to open the MLB season for the first time in their franchise history. I don’t think we as Brewer fans, were expecting a win, since the team is in the first stages of a rebuild… but, still, if yesterday was any sign of what this season is going to be like, it’s going to be a “long” 2016 campaign.
Things started out great, Brewers starter Wily Peralta threw a scoreless inning in the first, while the Giants ace Madison Bumgarner gave up an uncharacteristic run on a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the first, it was only the second time he had done that in his career. Turns out, he was battling the flu, he eventually turned things around holding the Brewers to just 3 runs, going 5 innings throwing 101 pitches, 55 of which were strikes. Brewer left fielder Ryan Braun summed up Bumgarner’s performance “he’s one of the best pitchers in the game, and we’ve all seen what he has done in the post season multiple time, so (I) wouldn’t expect the flu to hold down a guy like that.”
There were some signs of life, Scooter Gennett proved that he can hit lefties going 2 for 3, and knocking out the first homer for the Crew this season in the 2nd off of Bumgarner, it was his 22nd of his career and first off of a lefty. Jonathan Villar the Brewers new shortstop which they acquired from Houston also hit a round tripper off of Bumgarner in the 3rd.
Left handed reliever Chris Capuano made his first appearance in a Brewers uniform since 2010, and it was evident his return was well received by the round of applause by the sell out crowd.
After everything was said and done, the Giants had reached base 15 times, and crushed out 4 home runs in the Brewers loss. I don’t think anyone at Miller Park yesterday was surprised by the outcome, the Brewers are rebuilding, so wins are going to be far a few between for a while. The Crew isn’t going to lose 100 games like they did in 2002 (106). Fans just need to be patient, look at where the Astros and Cubs are now after 3 or 4 miserable seasons.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will a World Champion Baseball Team.
My prediction: Brewers will be 74- 88.
(photos courtesy of Yvonne Kemp, getty)