Results tagged ‘ Prince Fielder ’
The Milwaukee Brewers’ spectacular 2011 season came to a screeching halt on Sunday night at Miller Park, when the club dropped a must-win Game 6 of their NLCS bout with the St. Louis Cardinals by a 12-6 mark.
Truthfully, the lost hurt in more ways than one.
Not only did the loss shatter the hearts of Brewers fans across the nation, but it would also mark the commencement of a new era of baseball in Milwaukee. With Prince Fielder now set to become an unrestricted free-agent, it’s only inevitable that Milwaukee’s 2012 lineup will be one with an entirely new scope.
What could their opening day depth chart look like? Here’s a way-too-early sneak-peak before opening-day against the Cardinals.
Projected Depth Chart
Although a portion of Milwaukee’s opening-day starting lineup will look completely different from 2011, the starting rotation is one aspect that shouldn’t alter at all. Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum are still under contract through 2012, and Randy Wolf is also under contract through next season, with a $10 million 2013 option pending after next season.
The biggest question mark for Milwaukee’s rotation heading into next season is whether or not GM Doug Melvin decides to re-sign Chris Narveson, who made a shade over $400,000 in 2011. If the Brewers sign him to a new deal, this is what Milwaukee’s opening-day rotation should ultimately look like.
Projected Depth Chart
Frankie De La Cruz
If I had to distinguish one specific area Melvin might try to improve the most with Fielder’s massive contract off the books, it would be refreshment of Milwaukee’s bullpen.
At times, it seemed as though the Brewer bullpen was one of the deciding factors in their 2011 success. After all, they did go from maintaining MLB’s fifth-worst ERA (4.58) in 2010 to ninth-best (3.63) in 2011 after acquiring Takashi Saito, who will need to be re-signed in the offseason.
38-year-old LaTroy Hawkins had a respectable year (2.42 ERA, 20 HLD), but will likely not be back with the club next season. The same can be said for midseason pickup Francisco Rodriguez, who restructured his contract with Milwaukee, thus avoiding a hefty $17.5 million 2012 vesting option.
In turn, the Brewers will need to seek a veteran reliever with much experience to fill the gaping hole left behind from Rodriguez, and I suspect Milwaukee to target a power right-handed setup man much like Frank Francisco this offseason.
Projected Depth Chart
There’s been some speculation surrounding Lucroy’s free-agent status over the past few weeks. Allow me to clear things up: the Brewers would be foolish not to re-sign the 25-year-old catcher.
Lucroy has been an unsung hero in Milwaukee’s postseason success. Holding true to a .993 FPCT, an MLB-best 8.96 RF and but one passed ball in the regular season, Lucroy is one of the better defensive catchers in the game today. His bat wasn’t half bad either, amassing 12 HR, 59 RBI and a .265 BA during the regular season.
Backup George Kottaras is arbitration eligible this offseason, but I think management will work out a deal to bring him back next year.
Projected Depth Chart
With Fielder’s exit, 26-year-old prospect Mat Gamel will finally have his shot at being Milwaukee’s starting first-baseman.
Surely, he won’t be as big of a home-run threat as No. 28 once was, but Brewers fans should have confidence in what Gamel brings to the table. He does have power, amassing 105 HR, 503 RBI and a .873 OPS over seven highly productive seasons in the minors, and he has proved himself to be a .300-plus hitter, most notably batting .304 last season with AAA-Nashville.
He’ll need some time to become acclimated defensively, but I expect him to get into the swing of things quickly. He’s a diamond in the rough, folks.
Projected Depth Chart
Another year, another injury-plagued season for Rickie Weeks.
The Brewers’ second baseman put up some of truly magnificent numbers during the first-half of 2011. Batting .278 with 52 RBI and a MLB-best 17 home runs, Weeks’ output was enough to name him the NL’s starter at second base.
Yet, it would be an ankle sprain in late July that would get the better of Weeks’ campaign, and he would never really return to his previous form thereafter. Nevertheless, the Brewers will be absolutely in need of No. 23 to step it up in 2012 with Fielder now gone. Chances are, he’ll be protecting Ryan Braun as the cleanup hitter — something he’s done just twice in seven seasons.
Projected Depth Chart
Do I think the Brewers will pick up Yuniesky Betancourt’s $6 million 2012 option? Of course not. The 29-year-old shortstop has largely overstayed his welcome in Milwaukee after just one season.
That being said, if Milwaukee does decide to look elsewhere for talent on the left side of the infield, I think Melvin will key in on someone like Clint Barmes to hold the fort down. The 32-year-old shortstop will be one of the most defensively apt infielders on the free-agent market this offseason. I think Melvin will pull the trigger.
Projected Depth Chart
Jerry Hairston, Jr.+
Acquiring Hairston fromWashington in a trade that added depth to Milwaukee’s injury-plagued infield back at the deadline proved to be invaluable to the Brewers’ late-season run.
The 35-year-old Hairston essentially swiped the starting position right out from under Casey McGehee’s feet, and produced impressively. His .385 BA in the postseason ranked second among all third basemen in the playoffs, surprisingly enough.
Making $2 million last season, Hairston is relatively cheap, and with his outstanding performance (for the most part) in the postseason, I expect him to be the opening-day starter for Milwaukee next season, ergo giving prospect Taylor Green another productive season down in the minors.
Projected Depth Chart
I attempted to come up with something fascinating here, but it’s really just a vanilla subject at best. Looking ahead, expect Braun to be starting in left field for at least the next nine seasons.
Projected Depth Chart
Could “Beast Mode” already be over? Not so fast.
Last year, Nyjer Morgan earned every penny of his one-year, $450,000 salary, batting .304 with 4 HR and 37 RBI. There’s still a chance Milwaukee could re-sign him, and I think Melvin will take than chance.
That being said, Carlos Gomez must be able to produce with consistency if a starting roll is imminent. Despite missing significant time due to a collar bone injury last summer, the speedster batted just .225 with 8 HR and 24 RBI in 231 at-bats, while notching 16 stolen bases. He’s the better defensive outfielder, without question, but his bat remains a hit-or-miss (pun not intended).
Projected Depth Chart
Again, not much to be said here. Milwaukee came to terms with Hart on a three-year, $26.5 million contract extension back in August of 2010, and they’ll need his services next season and beyond.
Mark Kotsay is set to become a free-agent, and there’s no questioning the depth and talent he brought forth to the club in 2011. Expect him to be re-signed this offseason to a short-term deal.
Complete Opening Day 25-Man Roster
1. RF Corey Hart
2. CF Carlos Gomez
3. LF Ryan Braun
4. 2B Rickie Weeks
5. 1B Mat Gamel
6. 3B Jerry Hairston, Jr.
7. SS Clint Barmes
8. C Jonathan Lucroy
9. P Yovani Gallardo
C George Kottaras
UTIL Josh Wilson
CF Nyjer Morgan
UTIL Mark Kotsay
RHP Yovani Gallardo
RHP Zack Greinke
RHP Shaun Marcum
LHP Randy Wolf
LHP Chris Narveson
RHP John Axford
RHP Frank Francisco
RHP Kameron Loe
RHP Takashi Saito
RHP Frankie De La Cruz
LHP Zach Braddock
LHP Mitch Stetter
Follow Alec Dopp on Twitter! @alecdopp
After a magnificent 2011 regular season in which he produced massive MVP-caliber numbers, Prince Fielder has solidified himself as this offseason’s hottest free-agent commodity. The only question is, where will he sign?
Several teams will battle it out for the right to MLB‘s most famous vegetarian, but some are beginning to separate themselves from the pack as the postseason winds down. With the offseason just around the corner, here’s an in-depth look at the six teams most likely to nab Fielder this winter.
2011 Team Payroll: $68 million. Noteworthy Expiring Contracts (with 2011 salary): Ivan Rodriguez ($3 million), Mike Morse ($1.05 million), Tom Gorzelanny ($2.1 million)
Maintaining MLB’s ninth-lowest payroll, the Nationals finished their 2011 campaign with a surprisingly competitive 80-81 mark, despite the absence of Stephen Strasburg. Ranking 17th in baseball in home runs (154), 24th in RBI (594), 25th in OBP (.309) and 22nd in SLG (.383), the Nationals lacked the offensive power necessary to compete in a power-packed NL East. With the addition of Fielder and a Bryce Harper promotion, that could change substantially.
The Nationals won’t have nearly as much money to throw at Fielder as some of the more desperate teams, but they do have one thing going for them: young talent. Fielder would be wise to recognize the tremendous potential in D.C., with Strasburg, Harper, Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman and a slew of up-and-coming prospects making the Nationals top competitors for No. 28 this offseason.
2011 Team Payroll: $86 million. Noteworthy Expiring Contracts (with 2011 salary): David Aardsma ($4.5 million), Jason Vargas ($2.5 million), Brandon League ($2.3 million)
If Fielder is keen on getting his money’s worth this offseason, he should look no further than Seattle, where it’s safe to say they’ll be desperate to gain big-time offensive firepower. Ranking dead last in runs scored (556), hits (1,263), RBI (534), OBP (.292) and SLG (.348) in 2011, the Mariners will likely set their sights on Fielder’s big bat in order to reshape their once-proud franchise.
Toronto Blue Jays
2011 Team Payroll: $63 million. Noteworthy Expiring Contracts (with 2011 salary): Kelly Johnson ($5.8 million), Yunel Escobar ($2.9 million), Frank Francisco ($4.0 million), Brandon Morrow ($2.3 million)
Picturing Prince Fielder and Jose Bautista in the same lineup is frightening.
The Blue Jays, who have now gone 18 illustrious seasons without a postseason appearance, would be thrust into postseason contention with the addition of a talent such as Fielder. With the talent they’ve already assembled, an AL East title may be on the horizon.
Granted, it’s easier said than done. Toronto has a number of contracts that will need to be restructured this winter, including re-signing Brandon Morrow to a respectable new deal. The money won’t be flowing quite as much as it will in Seattle; however, there’s more to be had than his $15.5-million contract with Milwaukee. This deal could certainly be a possibility.
2011 Team Payroll: $125 million. Noteworthy Expiring Contracts (with 2011 salary): Aramis Ramirez ($14.6 million), Jeff Baker ($1.2 million), Matt Garza ($5.9 million), Carlos Pena ($10 million)
With Theo Epstein now running the free-agent show in Chicago, anything is possible. Inking Carl Crawford to a seven-year, $142-million deal last December, the former Red Sox general manager isn’t hesitant toward wafting around vast amounts of cash.
Wrigley Field has been a home away from home for Fielder throughout his career. Batting .298 with 11 HR and 34 RBI to go with a 1.003 OPS in 49 games at the friendly confines, Fielder should be Chicago’s primary offseason target as the Cubs prepare for next season.
San Francisco Giants
2011 Team Payroll: $117 million. Noteworthy Expiring Contracts (with 2011 salary): Mark DeRosa ($6 million), Carlos Beltran ($20 million), Cody Ross ($6 million)
It remains to be seen whether San Francisco chooses to pursue re-signing Carlos Beltran, but with the way things turned out, it would shocking if they did. Struggling to produce runs at the plate all season long, the Giants will be on the hunt for a bat such as Fielder, who can also take over the reigns at first base along with driving in runs.
Other than signing Tim Lincecum to a contract extension, San Francisco doesn’t have much else on their plate this offseason. We’ll see if that plays into their aggressiveness with Fielder.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
2011 Team Payroll: $138 million
Noteworthy Expiring Contracts (with 2011 salary): Joel Piniero ($8 million), Fernando Rodney ($5.5 million); Howard Kendrick ($3.3 million)
The Angels avoided arbitration by re-signing Jered Weaver back in August, locking the star right-hander up with a five-year contract extension worth roughly $85 million, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Fielder’s agent, Scott Boras, tries to woo the slugger to Anaheim.
They Angels will look for more starting pitching via free agency or trade this winter, but there is one clear lingering issue restraining Mike Scioscia’s ballclub from postseason contention: the ability to hit the long ball.
Stacked up against AL teams, the Angels ranked eighth in home runs (155), 10th in RBI (629) and 11th in OBP (.313), and still nearly snuck into the playoffs. With the addition of Fielder, they could be early favorites to represent the AL in the World Series next season.
While the baseball cosmos remained fixated on the critical ALCS Game 3 bout between the Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night, word broke on Red Sox GM Theo Epstein’s job status with the club, and how he may be on the cusp of joining the Chicago Cubs.
Rumor has it, we may be just hours away from an official announcement, said Steve Buckley—a Red Sox beat writer for the Boston Herald.
According to the Buckley, the only holdup preventing the deal from materializing is how “the Red Sox are going to want “something real” in return, and how they would ideally still like to keep Epstein as their general manager.
Here’s exactly what Buckley had to say:
“Two baseball sources have confirmed that Theo Epstein is on the cusp of leaving his job as general manager of the Red Sox to accept a position with the Chicago Cubs that is believed to include powers greater than he has in Boston, with an announcement expected to be made “within the next 24 to 48 hours.”
Chicago, who fired GM Jim Hendry back in April, are certainly in need of Epstein’s services.
If the Cubs are in fact able to corral Epstein to Wrigleyville within the next few days, it may not be out of the question to suggest a colossal free-agent addition to a Chicago clubhouse desperate for leadership in talent within the next few weeks. One notable target, among many, would be free-agent-to-be Prince Fielder.
Let’s be honest: without the addition of a home-run threat to their lineup such as Fielder, 2012 doesn’t look to be any different than that of 2011. Ranking 19th in MLB in runs scored (654), 20th in home runs (148) and 21st in RBI (610). With Aramis Ramirez likely on his way out, these Cubs will need to upgrade in a huge way offensively this offseason if they expect to contend for a division crown.
Epstein has been known for his gargantuan signings in the past as a member of the Red Sox, and with the amount of payroll he’ll be able to fill up this winter, it’s certainly a possibility to suggest Fielder could be playing for Mike Quade and company in 2012.
The 2011 Milwaukee Brewers, in theory, could go down as the most successful team in the franchise’s 42-year history.
In the club’s 6-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night, Ron Roenicke and his record-breaking crew surpassed what was previously the franchise’s record for home wins in a season (55), with winning their 56th home victory of the season. The win would be enough to put the Brewers at a 95-66 overall mark, with one final game remaining with the postseason just around the corner.
The game would also prove to be a historic night for Prince Fielder.
In three at-bats during Tuesday night’s memorable victory, Milwaukee’s first-baseman launched three home runs off Pittsburgh pitching, marking the first time the slugger had ever reached such a feat. His three home run effort would become the third instance this season a player managed three-home runs in a game (Casey McGehee, Corey Hart).
Fielder, who has been presumably losing ground on Matt Kemp and fellow teammate Ryan Braun in the NL MVP race over the past few weeks, could have bought a few more votes after his performance on Tuesday night. With one game remaining, Fielder is now tied for the league lead in home runs (38) and is second in RBI (120).
The production out of Milwaukee’s hearty slugger this season has been enough to put the Brewers over the top and into the postseason for just the second time since 1982, and will likely be enough to make him one of MLB‘s most highly payed players next season and into the future.
For the past few months, Brewers fans have been clinging to the hope the Fielder will resign with Milwaukee this offseason. After his remarkable performance on Tuesday night, that notion will more than likely take a turn for the worse.
If you needed any more proof, here’s what Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweeted:
@Haudricourt: “That “ka-ching, ka-ching” you’re hearing is coming from Scott Boras’ office.”
With each home run, the chances of Fielder returning to Milwaukee next season only become more unlikely. I hate to dampen the mood, but enjoy it while he’s here, Brewers fans.
If there’s one thing Brewers fans have learned over the course of this marvelous 2011 regular season, it’s that Prince Fielder’s inevitable exit will sting. A lot.
Assuming Fielder’s ill-timed comments in an interview with TBS earlier this month prove to be valid, Milwaukee natives must live with the fact that they will be without their star-studded first baseman for the foreseeable future — for better or worse.
Wait a minute…doesn’t this sound eerily familiar? It does, as a matter of fact.
One could make the argument Fielder’s stay in Milwaukee is comparable to that of LeBron James’ in Cleveland.
James, whose rookie season came all the way back in the 2003-04 season with the Cavaliers, stood pat in Cleveland for seven full seasons until his rookie contract dissipated at the end of his 2009-10 campaign. He then, as we all know well-and-full, took to the free-agent market. Amid the persisting speculation and controversy, James decided to (literally) air a live show on ESPN, declaring once and for all where he would “take his talents” for what would presumably be the remainder of his historic career.
While I can’t say Fielder will hold a live press conference announcing where he plans to play for the next decade, I can say this: the loss of Fielder, no matter how likely or unlikely it may be at this juncture, will be catastrophic for the city of Milwaukee. What No.28 has been able to accomplish over his six full years as a Brewer (.281 BA, 226 HR, 648 RBI, .536 SLG, .924 OPS) will never again be replicated — just like that of James’ stay (40.1 MPG, 27.7 PPG, .328 3P%) in Cleveland.
Sure, Fielder has (through last season) never successfully won an MVP award like that of James. But, statistics aside, Fielder is every bit as valuable to the city of Milwaukee as James was to the city of Cleveland, and his departure will be treated as such.
Here’s to the hope that Milwaukee doesn’t burn Fielder’s jersey after he cashes in this winter.
Alec Dopp is a Milwaukee Brewers featured columnist on Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter: @alecdopp
Prince Fielder’s untimely comments have officially been blown out of proportion, not to the surprise of Milwaukee Brewers fans. The fact that Fielder would bring up such a sensitive topic when his own team is in the midst of a deeply competitive pennant race won’t bode well with Brewers fans, either.
Will his comments derail what was once a steamrolling Milwaukee ballclub off the path of success? Is there still an outside chance of Fielder resigning with the Brewers in 2012? Is he still a vegetarian? These are all merely insignificant topics for discussion at this point.
Maybe I’m simply speaking out of utter disgust, but here are six reasons the Brewers are better off without Fielder in 2012.
They Won’t Have to Deal with Any More “Beast Mode”
Okay, so it was cool the first 200 times. Now it’s just straight up uncalled for.
More Money to Sign More Players
The MLB winter meetings were extremely kind to the Milwaukee Brewers last year. They were able to acquire Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum, among others, to bolster a lagging starting rotation, despite Fielder’s already massive $15.5 million 2011 salary.
What GM Doug Melvin plans to do this offseason will be uncertain at best.
That being said, without Fielder’s contract eating up roughly 20 percent of Milwaukee’s payroll, Melvin will (finally) have the opportunity to test a promising free agent market and/or trade for any number of quality, cost-effective players.
Mat Gamel Won’t Be as Good, But He’ll Be Good Enough
The 26-year-old Gamel was one of the few top-notch prospects the Brewers didn’t deal away in acquiring Greinke or Marcum last offseason. Since being drafted by Milwaukee back in 2005, he has worked his way up through the minors while making a few forgettable MLB appearances along the way.
However, don’t let a few meaningless major-league at-bats get you down. Gamel has tremendous power, accumulating 28 HR, 96 RBI with a .942 OPS in 2011 alone, and will fill the left-handed void in Ron Roenicke’s lineup once Fielder is out the door.
Gamel has arguably been one of the most promising young prospects in the minor leagues over the past few years, and he will be an exceptional talent at the major league level when given a realistic opportunity.
Brewers fans: don’t fret. Help is on the way.
Less Unwanted Media Attention
Don’t get me wrong — Fielder is a once-in-a-lifetime-type player that will likely never be replicated anytime soon. However, the unwanted media attention No. 28 has brought is probably a bit too much for Roenicke’s liking (or mine, for that matter).
By and large, the Brewers have never been a flashy, in-your-face type of organization (Tony La Russa may disagree, but that’s beside the point). They’ve come to be more known as a darkhorse/underdog type of team; probably because they’re MLB’s smallest TV market.
Not to say that I don’t appreciate Fielder’s antics, but there’s no disputing how much redundant media attention Fielder has brought to the Brewers.
It won’t be missed.
The Brewers Can Finally Play Ron Roenicke’s Style of Baseball
Milwaukee’s rookie manager Ron Roenicke is a sure-fire candidate for NL manager of the year. Taking over a team that largely underachieved under Ken Macha each of the past two seasons (80-82 in 2009, 77-85 in 2010), Roenicke has incorporated his aggressive style of baseball into the Brewers this season.
So far, it’s worked handsomely, with exception to Fielder.
Roenicke pushes the limits of base-running on a regular basis, leading to a dramatic improvement in team stolen bases from last season to this season. Collectively, the Brewers stole 81 bases in 2010. In 2011, Milwaukee already has 88 — even with Fielder in the lineup.
From a dynamic base-running standpoint, Fielder isn’t the typical athlete. With him out of the picture next season, the Brewers will be much more lethal on the bases.
They’ll Be Able to Focus on Winning…Not Someone’s Contract Status
The Brewers are in the midst of what could become an all-time great season, but that doesn’t necessarily mean winning is the only thing on their minds.
Clearly, Fielder’s free agency status has impacted everyone associated with the organization as a whole.
That won’t be an issue in 2012.
Follow Alec Dopp on Twitter: @alecdopp.
by Adam McClavy, MLB.com
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke felt an unfortunate sense of déjà vu on Thursday night.
“I’ve seen a lot of these games,” Roenicke said. “Whether it’s on the road or not, a lot of these games.”
The Brewers are just not the same team on the road as the one that slugs its way to wins at Miller Park. And after scoring five times to win the opener of this brief, two-game series, the hitters slipped back into their inexplicable away-game funk, going 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position in a 1-0 loss to the Padres at PETCO Park that was decided in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Orlando Hudson, fresh off the 15-day disabled list, won the game after a single, a stolen base, an intentional walk and a sacrifice bunt pushed the winning run to third base with one out. After another intentional walk loaded the bases, the Brewers employed the same five-man infield alignment they tried last month in Washington, but Hudson lined a first-pitch changeup for a sacrifice fly to right field.
That piece of hitting beat right-hander Marco Estrada (1-2), who joined the Brewers in early April as Zack Greinke’s fill-in and has remained because he’s so effective in relief.
“What are you going to do?” asked Estrada, who surrendered only one hit in the inning.
Before Estrada took the mound, the Brewers squandered one final scoring opportunity. It came via hard-nosed catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who threw up his left hand while sliding into second base to break up the Padres’ double-play turn. Credit Craig Counsell, who had hit the ground ball to second, for seeing the ball deflect off Lucroy’s hand and scuttling to second base, giving the Brewers one last opportunity to put up a run with a clutch hit.
Pinch-hitter Yuniesky Betancourt didn’t last long. He swung at the first pitch from Padres closer Heath Bell, a breaking ball, and hit a routine grounder to second base.
“We had chances to win that game today,” Roenicke said. “Sometimes you look at games [like Wednesday's], and you think you’re going to get it going. Early on, we had people on base. We just didn’t get them in.”
The Brewers lost the game, and lost their left fielder in the fifth inning. Ryan Braun made an early exit after an inning-ending popout, and two innings later, the club offered a vague diagnosis: left shoulder soreness. Braun, who has started all 44 of the team’s games this season, said the injury was probably not serious, but he was unsure whether he’d play against the Rockies on Friday night.
Lucroy was examined by the training staff, too, and said he would be fine.
The real pain is being felt by the Brewers’ offense, at least on the road. They are the best hitting team at home in baseball, but went 6-for-43 in the clutch during their four-game West Coast road trip, and are 12-for-101 in their last 14 road games.
Braun was in no mood to discuss the team’s road woes.
“You just keep moving forward. Never look back,” he said. “It does us no good. You can’t go back to change anything, so you keep moving forward.”
The Brewers were blanked through eight innings by Padres starter Aaron Harang, who owned an 8.46 ERA and had surrendered seven home runs in his previous four starts — three of them at pitcher-friendly PETCO Park. He held the Brewers to five singles and a Prince Fielder double, working around two walks and striking out four in his best start this season. He threw only 98 pitches, 10 of them to the second batter of the game, Corey Hart, who worked a walk.
It should have been a good matchup for Milwaukee. Harang, the former Cincinnati Reds right-hander, was 0-2 with a 7.91 ERA in his previous five games (four starts) against the Brewers since the start of the 2009 season.
But he was tough from the start on Thursday. Hart worked his 10-pitch walk with one out in the first inning, and moved to third on a single by Braun, who stole second base. That gave the Brewers runners at second and third with one out, but Fielder popped a 1-and-0 pitch to shortstop, and Casey McGehee hit an inning-ending comebacker to Harang.
The Brewers had three more opportunities for a clutch hit in the fourth inning, after Fielder scalded a leadoff double. McGehee grounded out to shortstop, freezing Fielder, before Mark Kotsay grounded out to first base and Lucroy flied out to center field.
In the fifth, it was Braun’s turn. But he flied out to right field with runners at first and second and two outs, and then left the game with his shoulder injury.
The Brewers’ continued road slump wasted left-hander Chris Narveson’s best start of the season. He scattered four hits and one harmless walk in 7 1/3 scoreless innings, with four strikeouts.
“Baseball goes like that,” Narveson said. “One swing different for us, one swing for them, and it could have easily been the game. We had opportunities, and they had opportunities, too.”
“It was really the first time I’ve seen [Narveson], but I was very impressed by his changeup,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “I think that was a key, and that he kept the ball down. They’ve got the makings of a good rotation over there.”
by Adam McClavy, MLB.com
Prince Fielder clapped his hands when the baseball reached the seats — partly because he’d just tied the game with a two-run home run and partly because he’d just become the 15th-youngest player in Major League history to reach the 200-homer plateau.
Fielder’s blast was a two-run shot in the fifth inning of what devolved into a 13-6 Brewers loss to the Padres on Wednesday. It made Fielder the fifth player to hit 200 home runs in a Brewers uniform.
“At the time, I was excited because it tied the game up,” Fielder said. “Now, it’s cool from an individual standpoint, but we lost.”
The Padres rallied for eight runs in the eighth inning, muting Fielder’s enthusiasm.
The same fan who caught Geoff Jenkins’ 200th home run in 2007 caught Fielder’s milestone baseball. After Fielder spoke with reporters, he was to meet the fan and trade an autographed bat for the ball.
Fielder needs one more home run to tie Cecil Cooper for fourth-most in Brewers history. Hall of Famer Robin Yount is the franchise’s all-time leader with 251 homers. Jenkins is second with 212, followed by Gorman Thomas at 208 and Cooper at 201.