Brewers 8, Padres 3
W: Wolfe (2-2) L: Wieland (0-4)
San Diego Padres starter Joe Wieland is not going to want to face slugger Ryan Braun any time soon, in fact I do not think any of the pitchers will. Braun hit three home runs for the first time in his career and did it at Petco Park in San Diego of all places, something no one has ever done in the history of the stadium.
It was clear from the get-go the Padres pitchers were going to go right at Braun, which initially seemed like a good idea as he flew out to center in his first plate appearance of the night. Unfortunately, for San Diego it was all downhill from there.
Braun homered off Wieland in the fourth inning on a first-pitch fastball that he crushed over the right-field wall. Ironically, that is exactly where the Padres organization is contemplating moving the fences in due to no one hitting homers there. San Diego legend Trevor Hoffman was in the booth with Fox Sports Wisconsin’s Bill Schroeder and Brian Anderson during the Milwaukee Brewers telecast and was in in awe of Braun’s power. In the fifth inning, Wieland challenged Braun with a 2-2 slider that was rocketed into the top deck of the Western Supply Co. building in left field, a place few hitters have ever gone. He hit his third homer off of reliever Ernesto Frieri in the seventh inning on a first-pitch breaking ball that left the bat quickly and barely made it over the fence in left-center field.
Braun capped off his historic night off with a two-run triple in the ninth inning for good measure. He is the first player since 1975 to have three homers and a triple in the same game. He improved his batting average from .263 to .294 in five at-bats.
“It’s definitely special,” Braun said, according to the Associated Press. “It’s an extremely challenging game we play. You’re going to deal with a lot of failure, a lot of adversity, and when you have a special night like that you try to enjoy it and it’s that much more fun and enjoyable when your team wins the game. It was definitely a pretty cool night.”
Braun may have struggled at times already this season but he is slowly working his way back to the MVP player Brewer fans saw last season. There is no doubt Monday night’s performance should give him all the confidence he needs to start swinging the bat well again.
Wieland is the third Padres pitcher to start a season 0-4 in his first four starts as the 22-year-old will have to wait until his next outing to try and record his first major league win. He allowed five runs but only three earned after second baseman Orlando Hudson committed a throwing error.
Despite allowing nine hits in 5.0 innings pitched, Randy Wolf recorded his second-consecutive win of the season after giving up three earned runs. He still struggled with his command at times and there is no doubt spacious Petco Park saved him a couple runs, but nonetheless, he still struck out batters and got the necessary outs to secure the victory.