Gallardo Let Down by Brewers Defense

When you look at the Brewers on paper -- say like when you're trying to make your playoff predictions -- it's easy to get lost in the glare of all the power they possess. Prince Fielder. Ryan Braun. J.J. Hardy. Corey Hart. There's a lot of pop in the lineup, even outside of the middle of the order.

All that raw power makes it easy to ignore the things that Milwaukee doesn't necessarily do well -- like play defense. The Brewers are decent up the middle, but weak on the corners in the infield. Mike Cameron is the only plus defender in their everyday lineup.

The irony, of course, is that Cameron's miscue hurt Milwaukee most in Game 1. His awkward misplay of Chase Utley's sharp liner, which took off in the whipping wind at Citizens Bank Ballpark, led to two Phillies runs. That was all the Fightin's needed with Cole Hamels dealing.

But those runs were set up by a more unforgivable sequence earlier in the third inning. After a leadoff single by Carlos Ruiz, third baseman Bill Hall bobbled Hamels' sacrifice bunt attempt, blowing a chance to gun down the slow-footed Ruiz at second. Then Rickie Weeks dropped Hall's throw at first, spoiling the consolation out and setting up Cameron's gaffe.

The Brewers probably didn't have much of a chance with the way Hamels was dominating, but they made it a moot point with their poor defense. The pair of miscues cost them runs and probably cost starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo, who was on a tight pitch count, an extra inning on the mound.

It's cliche, but you can't give a good team extra outs and expect to win. Milwaukee doesn't have the type of defense or the type of pitching staff -- save CC Sabathia -- where it can afford to make fielding blunders. If the Brew Crew doesn't sharpen its glovework, it's going to be a very short return trip to the postseason.

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