MILWAUKEE -- It was all still sinking in at Miller Park on Wednesday. Scooter Gennett did what?Gennett, waived by the Brewers late in Spring Training and picked up by his hometown Reds, became the 17th player in Major League history to hit four home runs in a game on Tuesday.
MILWAUKEE -- It was all still sinking in at Miller Park on Wednesday. Scooter Gennett did what?
Gennett, waived by the Brewers late in Spring Training and picked up by his hometown Reds, became the 17th player in Major League history to hit four home runs in a game on Tuesday. Word reached the Brewers' dugout at Miller Park in about the seventh inning, by which time Brewers manager Craig Counsell had noted the lopsided score on the out of town scoreboard and figured something "crazy" must be happening in Cincinnati.
But four home runs from Scooter Gennett?
"That wasn't my first pick," Counsell said with a wide smile.
That facial expression was the common denominator as former teammates talked a day later about Gennett's feat. Many had exchanged texts with the 5-foot-10, former 16th-round Brewers Draft pick, including Milwaukee hitting coach Darnell Coles, who goes back eight years to the Minor Leagues with Gennett and still communicates with him in some form every day, and Ryan Braun, who tried to put Gennett's four home runs, five hits and 10 RBIs into historical context.
"It literally doesn't get any better, ever, for anybody. It's one of those unique moments," Braun said. "You never expect anybody to accomplish that, and when it does happen, it's cool that it's somebody most of us here know.
"Certainly it's on the short list -- probably among the five greatest individual games of all time."
• Where Gennett ranks among top single-game performances
"That was probably one of those days where he didn't even know what was going on," said Brewers home run leader Eric Thames, who had a locker next to Gennett's in Spring Training. "When you're in the zone like that, you just swing and it's a home run. But that's how he is. He doesn't overanalyze. He's that kind of old-school ballplayer."
Brett Phillips' text to Gennett was short and sweet: "You're the best player I've ever seen."
Keon Broxton tried to take some credit. He'd referenced Gennett in an interview with MLB Network's "Intentional Talk" the day before, after the network aired a photo of Broxton wearing a suit Gennett had gifted during Broxton's rookie season. That night, Gennett doubled to snap an 0-for-19 slump.
A day later, Gennett made history.
"I don't even know what to think about it. That's just the craziest moment ever," Broxton said. "Something crazy like that could only happen to him. Somebody you could never expect to hit four homers in a game, but he makes the impossible possible."
The Brewers cut Gennett loose at the end of camp because they did not feel they had a spot for him. Coming off an excellent 2016, Jonathan Villar was taking over second base, and the Brewers had a utility man they liked in Hernan Perez.
• Gennett claimed off waivers by Reds
Yet Gennett departed on good terms, and he took the time to respond to all of the texts from his former teammates. He told reporters in Cincinnati that he received about 270 of them.
"I'm just glad my phone didn't die. I still don't really know how to get home in Kentucky," Gennett joked.
Counsell was just as impressed by Gennett's grace in postgame interviews.
"I thought he handled it beautifully," Counsell said. "I always say, when you come to the park every day, no matter how long you've been coming, you can find something that you've never seen before during the game. You look for it, almost. What am I going to see today that I've never seen before. It rarely disappoints you."
On Tuesday night, Gennett didn't disappoint.
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.