CHICAGO -- A national television audience on Sunday got a glimpse of Brewers slugger Prince Fielder's famous temper.
Fielder struck out on three pitches against Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter in the third inning and then took out some aggression on the padded bench in the Brewers' dugout. After giving his seat a good pounding, Fielder grabbed a bat and appeared poised to do some real damage before thinking better of it. Calmly, he set the bat down.
Manager Ken Macha certainly noticed Fielder's outburst. He preferred to focus on the peaceful ending.
"I saw him pick up the bat and very gently put it back down. It shows you how he knows there's a certain point where he needs to become calm," Macha said. "He's going to be fine. I think his desire to get off to a good start is [causing some frustration]. That happens to everybody when you get off to a slow start."
Macha pointed out that it's not as if Fielder is really slumping. Including his 1-for-3 afternoon on Monday, Fielder is batting .280 with two doubles and has scored five runs. But he's 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and has yet to hit his first home run, leading the team with nine strikeouts.
"He's going to be fine," said Ryan Braun, who bats ahead of Fielder. "He has crazy-high expectations of himself. He expects to have an amazing amount of success, and his track record speaks for itself. It will come with time. I think once he gets that first homer, he'll be fine."
Fielder is trying to follow up a fabulous 2009 season in which he belted 46 home runs and tied for the Major League lead with 141 RBIs.
"His [batting practice] has been phenomenal," Macha said. "He just has to back off his emotions a little bit."