The Milwaukee Brewers generated some momentum for the second half of the season with a special promotion this week. For every ball that Prince Fielder took deep in the All-Star Home Run Derby Monday night, the club knocked a buck off the price of a Loge Outfield Box Seat for its mid-August series with the Padres.
Prince clinched the title with 23, which dropped the $28 tickets to a cool $5 each. The 5,000 available tickets were sold out in 12 minutes Tuesday morning.
That goodwill gesture might help take fans' minds off the last couple weeks, which found the Crew winning only three of 10 games against Chicago, St. Louis and Los Angeles. Over that stretch, all-star left fielder Ryan Braun has hit .181, with just one RBI.
Fellow all-star Trevor Hoffman blew his first save of the season on June 17, giving up two earned runs on two hits and a walk at Cleveland. He's appeared in only six games since, blowing another save on July 10 against the Dodgers. He was averaging 12 pitches per inning in May, but in June and July he's up to more than 15 per inning.
Cause for alarm? Maybe not. But the Brewers will need Hoffman's 41-year-old arm to be reliable if they're still in the playoff race come September.
At least Fielder remains hot; he leads the team in every offensive category. If not for the stunning numbers put up by St. Louis' Albert Pujols, Fielder would be a favorite for National League MVP.
Footnote: One of Miller Park's coolest promotions of the season is coming up July 25, when the Brewers will remember the Negro Leagues by wearing reproductions of Milwaukee Bears uniforms. The Bears competed in the Negro National League in 1923, their only season. The visiting Braves will be wearing uniforms honoring the Atlanta Black Crackers, who played from 1919-1952.