The Milwaukee Brewers did their best to stage a ninth inning rally for the over 45,000 fans in attendance at Miller Park yesterday, but Franklin Morales and the Colorado Rockies were just a bit better.
The Brewers brought the tying run to the plate with just one out in the ninth, but both Prince Fielder and Jim Edmonds hit line drives that were caught, and Milwaukee started the 2010 season with a loss.
A loss is always a bad way to start the season, but there were plenty of positives to take from the first game that should leave fans just as excited as they were prior to the first pitch yesterday.
The maturation of Yovani Gallardo continued.
Gallardo made his first career Opening Day start, and his nerves were evident from the first pitch. Although he made it through seven innings, he only had one three-up, three-down inning.
The 24-year-old righty struck out five and walked two, while giving up three earned runs. His seven hits allowed weren't that bad considering the Rockies have one of the best line-ups in the National League.
Brewer fans should be confident in Gallardo going forward this season, and his strikeout totals should improve now that his first start is in the books.
Carlos Gomez made quite the first impression for his new team.
The speedy centerfielder was everything and more in his first game at Miller Park. He covered the outfield quite easily as all had expected, but he surprised everyone with his production at the plate.
He finished the day with four hits, two runs scored, and hit the first home run of the season for the Brewers. His ability to get on base was the biggest question facing him this Spring, but he showed practically zero weaknesses at the plate.
Gomez's continued improvement at the plate will be vital to the team's success this year. As long as he and Rickie Weeks can get on base at a good rate, Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder should have big years.
Speaking of the best duo in baseball, they continued to back up such high praise with good days at the plate. Each collected a pair of hits, and Braun drove in two runs. Fielder's line drive in the ninth would have scored a run if not for Troy Tulowitzki's great leaping ability.
Although there were many positives with yesterday's game, coming out on the losing end means there were too many negatives that outweighed the positives.
The defense, something that was a concern coming into the season, faltered with two errors. Casey McGehee and Gregg Zaun were the culprits.
Jim Edmonds was given the start over Corey Hart, but it was hard to tell the difference between the two. Edmonds went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts, and he left three runners in scoring position with two outs. He also made a base-running error by being doubled-up off second base on a line-drive to left field.
The entire team struggled with runners in scoring position yesterday, going 2-for-12, and leaving 11 men on base. Those numbers aren't nearly good enough, and the Brewers will quickly find themselves in an early season hole if it continues for any extended period of time.
Alcides Escobar made some nice plays in the field, but he went hitless at the plate. His defense has never been questioned, but if he can't find success hitting, many will begin to question the J.J. Hardy trade this past winter.
It will be hard for Escobar early on since he's hitting in front of the pitcher. He's a notorious first ball hitter, so it might be beneficial for him to be more aggressive until he gets some more time with the team.
It was an overall disappointing Opening Day 2010 for the Milwaukee Brewers and their fans. However, that day is already in the past, and a new day is here for the team to erase the bad feelings from yesterday. Having the ability to make up for a bad day so soon is what makes baseball the greatest game in the world.
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