I really, really hate Interleague. I think the “rivalries” are forced and the novelty has worn off for me. I just don’t get the appeal and since it’s always ended in losses for my team, my feelings on Interleague are less than positive.
As far as I’m concerned, before tonight, nothing good has come of it for my team. Before tonight’s win, the Brewers were 1-5 so far this season, and had been out-scored 20-35. Since Interleague started, the Brewers are 81-95 and since 2000 have had winning Interleauge records just three times. The only time the Brewers suck more is when they are nationally televised.
Just Saturday, Brewers pitchers had eight innings of one-run, three-hit baseball against the Chicago WhiteSox. Unfortunately, that other inning had five hits, three walks and six runs given up by starter Manny Parra. Stupid, stupid nationally televised Interleague games!
So imagine my concern heading into this week where the Brewers were heading to Cleveland and Detroit and Monday and Saturday’s games are to be nationally televised.
And it looked as though tonight was going to go the same way. Two seperate times in the game, the Brewers were down by five runs. Just as they’d gotten back into the game, the pitching staff would give up a four-run inning and it looked like another one of those games where I was embarassed for others to see my team. We’re pretty hard up for respect and attention, and yet every time the Crew has gotten a chance, they’ve not shown well. So imagine my surprise when instead, this happened: click here to watch Prince Fielder’s game-winning, first career grand slam.
Ryan Braun had a two-run homer and a two-run triple, ending up with five RBI. But Prince said “anything you can do, I can do better” and ended the game with six RBI.
Craig Counsell (!) and Casey McGehee, the one and two hitters, were on base seven times and scored six of the runs.
Just look at the seismic movement on this win expectancy graph:
And the thing is – the rally probably couldn’t have happened in the NL. Having Mat Gamel in the lineup as the DH added a left-handed bat, forcing Cleveland’s pitching decisions.
But the biggest thing was that the Brewers went through 11 batters and didnt’ have to pull a pitcher or go to the bench or double-switch, which would have changed the whole dynamic of the batting lineup.
But other than trying to shake things up during a 162-game season, I’m still not sure what the appeal of Interleauge is. Sure, it ended well for me today, but overall, I still have a bad impression.
Anyone out there a big fan of Interleague play? Maybe you can explain the appeal to me…