OAKLAND, Calif. — Upon first glance at the 18-2 record, you would have to say that it feels great to be a Brewers fan right now.
Such a gaudy record will do that to the faithful, especially after the 8-7 win they pulled out of their keister in Oakland to become the fifth team in Major League history to win 18 of their first 20 games.
But that giddiness took a smack right in the puss tonight when Paul Molitor went down with a hamstring injury in the second inning on a three-run homer. Yes, a homer.
Molitor, who leads the American League with a .388 average, injured the hammy when he thought his second-inning tater didn’t have enough to clear the left field fence. Busting around the bases, as he does, Molly pulled up limping between first and second base, as Molly too often does. He missed 56 games last season with a torn hamstring and the Crew went 25-31 without him.
So, it won’t be too hard to imagine what would happen if the Crew was without Molly for any stretch of time. Lacking “The Ignitor” would hamper the streaking Brewers’ offense in many ways.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We don’t know the severity of Molly’s injury, but we do know that this could be huge if it is serious.
In the meantime, Teddy Higuera, the first hurler in the AL to reach four wins, couldn’t get to No. 5 because of his uncharacteristic wildness. The lefty walked seven in four innings and gave up five runs, four of the them earned.
Yet, after letting the A’s back in it, that the Crew pulled this one out is a testament to their grit and fortitude this season.
That won’t matter however. Grit and fortitude can’t replace a singular talent like Molitor.
Crew fans, let’s hope for the best.