MILWAUKEE -- Judging by the Twitter chatter during the Brewers-Rockies game on Saturday night, Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke is going to provide plenty of fodder for a season-long debate about the merits of the sacrifice bunt.
Roenicke's much-debated decision to bunt came in the fifth inning, when Rockies starter Drew Pomeranz suddenly struggled to find the strike zone, losing his perfect-game bid by walking the first batter of the inning, Aramis Ramirez, and his no-hit bid when Corey Hart smacked a ground-rule double.
A passed ball gave the Brewers their first run, and an Alex Gonzalez double just inside of third base gave Milwaukee the lead at 2-1. When Mat Gamel followed with a walk, Pomeranz had already thrown 17 pitches in the inning, and only five for strikes.
But the Brewers had been struggling badly for offense over the past week, and Roenicke decided to play some small ball. Jonathan Lucroy gave up an out with a sacrifice bunt, Colorado got the second out at home when pinch-hitter Norichika Aoki grounded to third with the contact play on. Rickie Weeks worked a walk to load the bases, but Carlos Gomez flew out to deep center field, and the rally was suddenly over.
"If we're bashing the ball, I probably don't do that," Roenicke said of Lucroy's bunt. "But any time you're a little stagnant with your offense, I think you need to create things, instead of just sitting back and watching.
"Luc is a good hitter, is the thing. That's why it's a tough decision with him. I know he can drive the ball, I feel very confident with him swinging the bat. I really
wanted to get [another] run. If we got two, great, but I really wanted to get a run."
In the end, the Brewers' offense broke free in a six-run seventh inning, and they won the game, 9-4.