Brewers: Hit and Run

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Brewers: Hit and Run

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Hit and Run 
Milwaukee Brewers

In 1987, there was something brewing besides beer in this famous town: it was a baseball team that captured the imaginations of Brewer fans with its pugnacity and no-holds-barred play. And, yes, there was something reminiscent of those days of yesteryear when the likes of then Milwaukee Braves’ Eddie Matthews, Warren Spahn and Hank Aaron gave the Yankees fits in those thrilling World Series duels. Make no mistake about it, this team will always be remembered for shattering records, a tribute to Manager Tom Trebelhorn’s philosophy of individual self-expression. In essence, the Brewers found themselves. They found both individually and collectively that they could indeed play ball. They found within themselves a myriad of gifts and talents, and nobody was more delighted that the Milwaukee fans.

Everyone knew from the start that Trebelhorn had kindled a new fire in the Brewers, as they reeled off 13 straight wins—something that no other American League team had done. The feat also tied them for first place with a host of other National League teams. During this run, second year pitcher Juan Nieves etched his name in Brewer record books as the first to hurl a no-hitter. Nieves’ heroics would have been incomplete without the acrobatic diving catches of left fielder Jim Psciorek and a leaping final out catch by centerfielder Robin Yount. But Nieves wasn’t the only Brewer pitcher claiming the limelight. The entire Brewers’ pitching staff cooperated in the effort, with relief pitcher Dan Plesac leading the way with five saves in 13 games. That distinction earned him a place on the All-Star team. But other Brewer pitchers were not to be denied their own claims to fame. For example, veteran Teddy Higuera helped propel this brilliant early season effort with three consecutive shutouts. But Higuera didn’t stop there—he ended with the season with 18 wins, 32 scoreless innings and a Brewer record 240 strikeouts for the season.

But the record also shows there was firepower to go with the defense. And none ignited a Brewer rampage like Paul Molitor, the team’s incomparable Designated Hitter. Monitor, who came back after an early season injury to do a little record setting of his own, captivated Brewer fans with a 39-game hitting streak. The effort was good enough to put him in fifth place in that category behind such immortals as Cobb, DiMaggio and Rose. Veteran Robin Yount was another Brewerwho added clout to the Brewers’ power hitting by at least matching his 1982 performance, a year that earned him MVP honors. Credit Yount’s clutch fielding and hitting with giving the Brewers the edge time after time. Not only did these Brewers display bitting prowess, they led the league stolen bases. Their theft reached a high point in one game as Molitor singled then stole second, third and home, sliding past the catcher just ahead of the throw.

In the end Trebelhorn’s philosophy of self-expression paid big dividends as the Brewers “let it all hang out” style of play was truly one of Hit and Run.