The depressing fact on Friday night was that the Brewers lost another game they should have won. It was compounded because it was the second time LaTroy Hawkins lost the lead in the eighth inning by giving up 3+ runs.
But we could rationalize it — whatever is going on with Hawkins, he’ll figure it out. We were in that game. That logic seemed sound when the Brewers were losing 50-50 battles with the Cubs and the Cardinals, and scratching out wins to avoid sweeps.
The difference is those are the teams we expect to measure up against to challenge for the NL Central. Then 35-year-old Nats pitcher Livan Hernandez pitched the first complete game-shutout of the year, and his first since 2004, holding the Brewers to only four hits. After an another abysmal Saturday — following last Saturday’s blowout on national television — the Brewers will be forced to claw out a win or suffer their first sweep of the season, at the hands of the supposedly lowly Nationals.
This Nationals series was supposed to kick off a stretch of favorable match-ups with the Pirates, Cubs, Pirates and Padres to follow. But the first two games in D.C. have inspired no confidence that the Crew can fatten up their record on lesser opponents before May.
There are no positives to take from this.
Now the Brewers will be fighting to keep from being swept for the first time this year, as Doug Davis takes the mound at 12:35 p.m. Central. And, as we’ve documented, Double-D prefers playing under the lights to the daylight.