The Brewers' inspired play of late (the team is 8-5 since the All-Star break) has helped lighten up these dog days of summer. Hearing a game like Monday night's tense victory over Cincinnati end with Bob Uecker shouting "Haaayyy struck heem out!" is a welcome treat after the 11 weeks Mr. Baseball spent recovering from heart surgery.
Eight games behind St. Louis in the National League's Central Division, Milwaukee is not among the teams mentioned as playoff contenders. That has led some grumpy fans to insist that the Brewers trade Prince Fielder, Corey Hart and possibly others for some quality pitching that could help them compete next year. But why can't they follow the example being set by Jim Edmonds and enjoy the hell out of the present?
Edmonds, the 40-year-old veteran centerfielder, suggested Saturday, after leaving the game with an inflamed Achilles tendon, that he might be done after this year.
"I figure this is probably going to be the last nine weeks I get to play," Edmonds told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Tom Haudricourt. "I'm definitely not going to spend that on the disabled list if I don't have to."
Playing several of the 12 games since the All-Star break in pain, Edmonds is hitting .400 (10-for-25) with four home runs and eight RBIs. But the numbers don't measure how he's come through in the clutch. On Monday, for instance, he tested Uecker's blood pressure by pinch hitting a go-ahead home run in the eighth.
Edmonds' shot, and John Axford's subsequent save, gave fans something almost as good as a pennant race: well-played and exciting baseball.