Standing ovation for Jonathan Lucroy at Miller Park in what could be his final appearance for Brewers
MILWAUKEE — Jonathan Lucroy waved his helmet to acknowledge a standing ovation at Miller Park and, in what could be his final appearance for the Milwaukee Brewers, flied out as a pinch hitter Sunday, July 31st in a 4-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Lucroy turned down a trade to AL Central-leading Cleveland over the weekend — after his representatives tried to change his contract to make him a free agent after this season. The Indians denied that request — and Lucroy vetoed the trade.
Additionally — Cleveland reportedly would not guarantee Lucroy the starting catcher’s position next season.
There are other teams that want the All-Star catcher before Monday’s deal deadline, and he has a limited no-trade clause — so he may not be a Milwaukee Brewers player for much longer.
Lucroy, who made his major league debut with Milwaukee in 2010, batted in the eighth. He faced Felipe Rivero, acquired by the Pirates on Saturday in a deal that sent closer Mark Melancon to Washington.
Keon Broxton and Chris Carter hit solo home runs as Milwaukee completed a three-game sweep.
Pirates second baseman Josh Harrison exited with discomfort in his right leg after a collision with Broxton on a sacrifice bunt in the sixth.
Matt Garza (2-4) gave up one earned run in five innings, ending his four-game losing streak. Jeremy Jeffress earned his fourth save in as many days and his 27th of the season in 28 chances.
Francisco Liriano (6-11) allowed four runs in five innings.
Ahead of Sunday’s game, Lucroy addressed the situation involving Cleveland:
“Well, I didn’t go to bed until about four in the morning, obviously. Woke up at seven — so I didn’t sleep long but, you know, when you’re dealing with life-changing decisions like this there are a lot of different factors that come into play. Mostly, it’s family and the other half of that is your future in this game, your career. There’s a lot of different things to take in and whenever those things don’t line up, then decisions have to be made that might be tough — but that’s the way it’s gotta be because in my eyes we have to look out for our best interests. I couldn’t ask for a better environment to grow up in if something does happen. The fans here are awesome. They’ve always treated me great, and I’m very blessed to be able to grow up in front of fans like this. The fans have treated me really well. They have shown me nothing but love and respect — and that’s all you can ask out of your home fans. There are not a lot of home teams that can say that. We have fans here that love you no matter what. I can’t even remember the last time we were booed here — so it’s pretty impressive with our fan base how positive and loving they are. I have a lot of memories here. My daughter was born here. There’s a lot of things I have here to remember Milwaukee by — good friends. Guys I consider family. We’ll see what happens. It’s one of those things that’s out of your control at this point in time. I’m probably gonna be here the rest of the year. If nothing happens, I will be at the game (Monday) in San Diego,” Lucroy said.
Lucroy is a fan favorite among Brewers fans, and many said they’d love to keep him on the team. But at the same time, some said they understand why the Brewers are interested in trading him.
Fans said the team could benefit from some new prospects — with a lot of fans saying they doubt Lucroy will remain a Brewers player for much longer.
“Unfortunately, there`s just, this is such a new team. There`s not a lot of Brewers that I remember from the older teams. Basically its him and Braun that`s left. I really hope they hang on. I don`t think they will though,” Michael Madsen said.
“100 percent I understand why the team wants to trade him. He`s one of the best catchers in baseball — maybe the best overall, and they could get prospects and whatever else to better themselves,” Kenny Romani said.