In the first five innings of today's game, the Brewers' bats were as cold as the skies -- a chilly 45 degrees at gametime, and it only got colder from there.
Once again, Max started in Right Field, showing that he has earned the trust of his manager.
Max waits for the first pitch of the bottom of the first inning in Right Field.
Max was involved in three key plays in Right-field. He backed up a bad throw to the first baseman, and fielded two grounders. Each time, he hit the cut-off man.
The first inning was a good one for the Brewers, with the RedSox pitcher hitting the first two batters, the lead one of which was batted in by an infield grounder. The bottom of the first inning went even better, when a RedSox runner was tagged out at the plate for the third out.
However, the second and third innings went more poorly for the Brewers, when bad throws and fielding errors allowed the Red-Sox to run up a lead of 6-1. The fourth inning saw the Brewers extend that lead to 7-1, and the fifth, to 9-2.
Max waits for the RedSox to hit it out of the infield. That's actually a different game going on in the background.
Max batted three times -- once in the second, once in the fourth and once in the sixth.
Max waits for his chance to bat in the top of the second.
The first two at bats were not good for Max, who maintains a .000 Batting average. Max has struck out three times in his last five at-bats.
Max continues to struggle at the plate.
However, the top of the sixth gave the Brewers a chance to rally. With the bottom of the order up, after the first out, Max worked the count to 3-0, took a strike, and then walked. This means he has a .200 OBP. He's just like Milton Bradley!
Max stands at first base, watching the signs from his third base coach.
The next batter walked, which advanced Max to second.
Max on second base, ready to run.
The next batter hit a double, which brought both runner home to score, giving Max a run, and running the score up to 9-4. The Brewers would score two more times before the final out.
Unfortunately, not only was it getting dark at that point, but my camera's batteries ran out, which means I don't have any pictures of Max crossing the plate.
Coach has called a rare mid-week practice to deal with the fielding problems, and the Brewers' next game is Thursday, although there's rain in the forecast.
Max has shown marked improvement in fielding and throwing, although I'm still working on getting him to catch with both hands. Where he really struggles, however, is hitting. When he swings, the bat drops before it starts to move forward, and he has a very jerky motion. This is one of those places where I'm like Lou -- I was a natural hitter (although much more in the Riot-Eckstein model than the Alfonso Soriano model) so I'm not sure how to teach him better how to hit. He does fine with the little pitching machine I have, but that uses a plastic bat and balls. I couldn't find a tee that I liked that I didn't think he'd put out windows with. The practices are mostly scrimmaging, and there's not a lot of focus on batting. If anyone has any ideas, I'm happy to hear them.