Brewers shut out in finale vs. Padres

Brewers shut out in finale vs. Padres

SAN DIEGO -- The Milwaukee Brewers are leaving San Diego with a very different feeling from when they arrived.

Coming into the four-game set on Thursday, the Brewers led the National League in runs scored, but after being shut out three times by the Padres -- the latest being a 9-0 defeat on Sunday -- Milwaukee will spend its off-day Monday reflecting on a serious dearth of offense.

Some of the superlatives that describe the Brewers' recent struggles include being outscored 21-2 in the series, going 2-for-27 with runners in scoring position over the four games, and becoming the first team that San Diego has ever shut out three times in a single series. After dropping three of the four, Milwaukee has lost eight of 10.

The two runs that the Brewers did score in the four-game set both came in Saturday's victory courtesy of solo home runs, meaning that they've been held scoreless in 40 of their last 43 innings dating back to the 14-inning loss against Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

While San Diego's pitching staff has been equally strong, not allowing runs in 40 of 42 innings and collecting a Majors-best sixth shutout, manager Ken Macha assigned some blame to an underperforming offense as well.

"We've got some guys scuffling," Macha said. "When you're struggling and the pitching is pretty good, it's doubled up on you."

When starter Randy Wolf served up back-to-back home runs in the fifth that padded the San Diego lead to 4-0, the deficit seemed daunting to Macha, partially because of a San Diego bullpen that did not allow a run in the series.

"They got a couple of homers, and you're pretty much behind the eight ball with the way we've been swinging the bat and their bullpen," Macha said. "You can't make any mistakes early, because their bullpen, the way they pitch, it's pretty much a six-inning game. Sometimes, you can make mistakes in the second inning and get away with it, but that's not the case here."

Wolf (2-2) walked six batters and allowed four runs on six hits over five innings against one of his former teams. After yielding a pair of runs in the second, Scott Hairston and Kyle Blanks took Wolf deep in succession.

The veteran left-hander spoke after the game about individual accountability, starting with himself.

"Unfortunately, these things happen during the course of the year," Wolf said. "It's frustrating for all of us when we're not doing things well. The worst thing we can start doing is start finger-pointing or making excuses. All of us need to be accountable for what we do out there and what we don't do out there. We've got to find ways to get better."

Milwaukee created few scoring opportunities in this one. The Brewers loaded the bases in the second against San Diego starter Jon Garland (3-2), but with two outs, Wolf lined a ball directly into Garland's glove to end the threat.

Garland pitched seven innings, yielding three hits while walking five and striking out three. All three of the Milwaukee hits were singles.

"Any time you get held to [two] runs in a series, the pitchers had to be doing something well," first baseman Prince Fielder said. "I think during the series, we had opportunities that just didn't go our way. It's irritating, but I don't know what the cure is for it."

Tack on two errors for the Brewers, who also allowed San Diego to steal four bases in the contest, and little went right on Sunday.

"I think we've got to focus on getting back to playing good baseball," Macha said. "Turn the page and try to be positive, and get out there and go after the Dodgers [on Tuesday]."

An off-day Monday may be well-timed for the Brewers, who also are battling injuries to outfielders Jim Edmonds (back) and Carlos Gomez (knee).

"We've got some bumps and bruises," Macha said. "Hopefully with this day off, we'll get Edmonds back in the lineup and Gomez back in the lineup. Those are some weapons that we need."

Tim Powers is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.