When you're right, you're right.
A week ago, when I reviewed the pre-All-Star break Milwaukee Brewers and apparently dealt out incorrect grades to each player on the roster, I suggested that the Crew make a rather ballsy move. I believed (and have since before the season even began) that Rickie Weeks should be removed from the lead-off spot in the lineup and hit in the five hole. Thankfully, Brewers' manager Ron Roenicke is an avid reader of the blog and decided a change was necessary after dropping the first two games of a four game series at Colorado. Although he didn't put Tony Plush first in the order like I had suggested, he did swap Corey Hart with Rickie Weeks and low and behold, the Brewers are 2-0 with Hart first and Weeks fifth. The change had an immediate impact on Saturday when both Hart and Weeks went yard, with Weeks' blast coming in the top of the ninth after Fielder got on base. Weeks' home run was not only noteworthy because it gave the Brewers the lead, but because it shows how important it is to have a run producer hitting behind King because of how much Fielder gets on base. And as if Weeks' blast Saturday wasn't enough, he was part of the tie-breaking rally in Sunday's win over the Rockies in the fifth inning. In other words, this appears to be a solid move by RR and he knows when to heed good advice.
With the two wins over the Rockies, the Brewers split the series, gained some momentum heading into the Arizona series and won consecutive road games for the first time in six weeks. Plus, the Brewers once again responded to the Pittsburgh Pirates being in first place and jumped back into the driver's seat in the NL Central. That's right, folks...the Brewers are in first...AGAIN. Something tells me this division race is going down to the wire and I'm going to have to go to the well for some heartburn medication. Let's hope it isn't dry.
But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves, just like we have throughout the entire season whenever the Brewers go streaking. The Brewers are playing the three best teams in the NL West in ascending order during this road trip, which means it's only going to get harder this next week. Milwaukee played the D-Backs right before the All-Star break at home and lost two of three, so it's not going to be easy going into Phoenix where it can't possibly be any warmer than here. Holy hell it's hot right now. Then again, Prince appears to enjoy playing there judging by his MVP performance in this year's ASG. Speaking of the All-Star Game, the Brewers were the main attraction not only during the Midsummer Classic with Fielder, but also immediately afterward. Of course, I'm talking about the kind-of-blockbuster deal that brought K-Road, Francisco Rodriguez, to Milwaukee. So far, I can't say that I'm disappointed in the single season saves record holder. All K-Rod has done since putting on a Milwaukee uniform is get a win and a hold in his only two appearances thus far. Gotta admire how General Manager Doug Melvin continues to push any remaining chips he has in the middle of the table. They might not always pay off, but if the Brewers really are going for it all this season, making moves like trading for Greinke and K-Rod are needed.
To recap: The Brewers are 2-0 when Rodriguez pitches and 2-0 when Rickie Weeks hits fifth in the lineup. Yes, this means that the Brewers will never lose when either of these things happen...simple as that. But really, I really, really, really like the two moves I discussed above. Should be interesting to see when K-Rod gets his first opportunity to save, especially since Ax has been a little iffy lately.
Tough day for America. The U.S. Women lost in the World Cup Finals to Japan, a game they certainly should have won, and both Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson faltered after both being at or near the top of the leaderboard during the Open Championship on Sunday. Oh well. I'll continue to care about women's soccer every four years and golf roughly four times a year. Stay cool, everyone.