Brewers' offense hits rough patch on road
Milwaukee falls in third shutout loss of seven-game road trip
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Brewers finished their road trip with a whimper Wednesday, going 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position in a 5-0 loss to the Giants. Milwaukee was shut out three times while going 2-5 in Phoenix and San Francisco, and batted .128 (6-for-47) in the clutch.
"We would love to be more consistent. We would love to score five runs every day," said right fielder Ryan Braun, who was 0-for-4, struck out twice and left five runners on base. "Unfortunately, the game doesn't work that way."
Braun is back to being the Brewers' most productive hitter, but he had a tough afternoon after missing the previous two games with back spasms, going hitless in three at-bats against Jake Peavy to fall to 2-for-17 lifetime against the right-hander. Peavy struck out Braun with two runners aboard in a scoreless game in the sixth inning, and Sergio Romo did the same to Braun in the eighth after the Giants had opened a 5-0 lead.
Braun was 4-for-19 on the trip and was not alone. First baseman Adam Lind was 1-for-15 on the trip and missed time with his own back issue. Carlos Gomez, whose name was all over Wednesday's trade rumor mill, was 4-for-23. Scooter Gennett was 3-for-23. Jean Segura was 3-for-22.
It was a dramatic departure from the rest of the month. From the start of July through Thursday, the Brewers owned baseball's best OPS (.859) and second-best scoring rate (5.88 runs per game, tops in the National League).
But in the seven-game road trip, Milwaukee managed 12 total runs.
"Our lineup, we get hits. We're not an on-base team," manager Craig Counsell said. "You're swinging the bats and I think that's going to lead to [ups and downs] a little bit. But there are going to be stretches during the season where you run into a guy who pitches a good game, and that's what's going to happen."
He added: "We'd been scoring a bunch of runs, and I think we'll score runs again."
Entering Wednesday, the Brewers were sixth of 15 NL teams in runs scored and eighth in OPS. With runners in scoring position, they were fourth in batting average and fifth in OPS.
"It's the nature of this game," Braun said. "It's a hard game, and if you watch every team, you're not going to see many that score four or five runs every single day. It comes down to hitting with runners in scoring position. I didn't do a good job of that today. On the trip, we didn't do a good job of that. But for the most part all year, I think we've been pretty decent in those situations.
"Those are the at-bats, the meaningful moments, that sway the momentum of the game and give you an opportunity to put some runs on the board."