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There’s No Puking in Baseball

Sunday’s rubber match between the Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers offered a strange spectacle to the home crowd in Wisconsin. Trailing by a score of 8-5, Brewers manager Craig Counsell assigned RP Adrian Houser to face the visitors in the top of the 8th inning. Houser finished his warm-up tosses and then tossed cookies.

The game was then delayed to clean up and check on the pitcher. Inexplicably, he remained in the game. After giving up a double to the leadoff hitter, C Jorge Alfaro, and inducing a groundout by INF Jesmuel Valentin which advanced Alfaro to 3rd, Houser had another episode of vomiting. The game was delayed yet again for a cleanup, but Counsell still did not remove Houser. He then gave up an RBI double to INF Scott Kingery to place the Crew further behind with a score of 9-5. Houser was then able to retire the next two hitters to end the inning.

Although any other Brewers RP could have given up a run to the Phillies offense, it is arguable that the decision not to remove Houser played a decisive role in the outcome, as the Crew mounted a comeback in the bottom of the 9th, scoring 4 runs on a solo shot by INF Jesús Aguilar and a three-run homer by INF Eric Thames to bring the Brewers within one run. The Phillies ultimately emerged victorious by a score of 10-9.

The weather conditions in Milwaukee on Sunday were hot and humid, with a temperature of over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the roof at Miller Park was kept closed. According to Houser, who had recently been called up from the minors, the temperature difference between Colorado Springs and Milwaukee may have been one of the factors causing him to be ill. Even though the roof was closed and the stadium was air-conditioned, there is still no excuse for Counsell to have allowed Houser to continue pitching. There’s no puking in baseball. No one wants to see this. In addition, even if Houser insisted on staying in the game, he was obviously not in a condition to put forth his best effort for the team and asking him to continue to pitch likely put him under more physical stress. The Brewers currently hold a 0.5-game lead over the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central standings and will need everyone healthy to hold off the North Siders and advance to the playoffs. I had previously thought the meathead Pittsburgh Pirates, who have lost two games this season due to playing beanball with opposing hitters and allowing the other team to rally, were the dumbest team in the NL Central, but they now have competition in the Brewers. This was an exceedingly idiotic move for which there is no excuse whatsoever.

The Brew Crew is scheduled to hit the road to face the Pirates for a three-game series opening at 7:05 PM ET (Tickets – SeatGeek). Attend at your own risk.