The Brewers are 2-1 on this short, poorly scheduled road trip after splitting with the Dodgers and taking the first of two from the Padres. Having entered this week with a 6-15 record on the road, a .500 road trip (however brief) is a great start to turning that stat around. The Crew now has a chance to sweep the Padres and return home with a 3-1 record, and after the Brewers bats finally made some clutch hits last night, it's possible they just might pull it off.
If you're like me, you probably cringed and complained a little when you saw that Ron Roenicke decided to start Mark Kotsay over Carlos Gomez in CF at spacious PETCO Park. Yesterday, however, Kotsay proved the doubters wrong, hitting 3-4 with 2 RBI before being replaced by Gomez in the late innings as a defensive replacement. At his age, Kotsay shouldn't start more than once or twice a week, but I can stomach Kotsay in CF from time to time if he produces on offense. I'll probably change my mind once balls that Gomez would have caught start flying by him.
In my mind Gomez, for all his offensive struggles, needs to be the Brewers everyday center fielder. His defense is just that good. I can't even count how many runs he's saved so far this season, and pulling back Juan Uribe's home run on Monday might have been the difference in that low-scoring win.
Roenicke should consider batting Gomez ninth and moving the pitcher up to the eight spot. Most of the Brewers starting pitchers put the ball in play nearly as much as Gomez, and Jonathan Lucroy has shown that he has the patience to hit in front of the pitcher. Batting Gomez ninth will also inject some speed ahead of the Weeks-Hart-Braun-Fielder top of the lineup. I'm not normally a fan of batting the pitcher eighth, but I think in this case it might be just what that lineup needs.