Think Gregg Zaun is sweating the 0-for-14 start to his Brewers career? Here’s what he had to say on Sunday afternoon:
“I’m fine,” Zaun said. “It would be hard to take if I wasn’t having quality at-bats, if I wasn’t putting the ball in play hard. But everybody goes through stretches where they hit balls hard and they catch them. It’s part of the game. There’s eight guys out there with gloves on, and you know what? A lot of these Major League teams are sharp; they pitch you a certain way and defense you a certain way, and if you’re a guy who hits the ball where it’s pitched, a lot of times you end up hitting the ball into the defense. And yes, there have been several outstanding plays made when I’ve been hitting. I expect to see at least three or four at-bats of mine on the Web Gems or on This Week in Baseball.
“Let’s see. We’ve had, [Cardinals right fielder Ryan] Ludwick make a diving catch. [Rockies first baseman Todd] Helton makes a diving catch. Helton standing right on the bag for another one that is a base hit if he’s not standing there. Albert [Pujols, the Cardinals’ first baseman] makes a great stop in the hole to save two runs. That was me, too. Then the [Cardinals] third baseman [on Saturday], looking in the stands, not even looking at the play, he ricochets it right to Felipe Lopez [the St. Louis shortstop, who threw to first to retire Zaun]. …
Now he’s got the reporters gathered around him cracking up. He kept on rolling.
“I’m not going to cry about it,” Zaun said. “Nobody in their right mind can say they are hitting a hard .000. What can you do? I’m pleased with my at-bats. I’ve had plenty of very, very crisp contact. The only difference between this and Spring Training is they weren’t right at people in Spring Training.”
Zaun led the Brewers with a .477 Cactus League average.
“I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing,” he said. “It is frustrating, I’m not going to lie. I am frustrated. After having the best spring of my career, I expected a lot of great things to happen, and you know what? They still will. So what? It’s 14 at-bats. … Hitting the ball right on the nose five or six times out of 14, and I’ve walked a few times [so] I could very easily be hitting .400. I’m not going to change my approach and I’m not going to change my swing in any way, shape or form and there’s no panic.”
Zaun continues to be slowed by a left quadriceps strain. He has not seen the kind of progress that he had expected, but after a chat with head athletic trainer Roger Caplinger on Friday afternoon he decided to stick with the current course of treatment. The injury has slowed Zaun on the bases but has not affected him at the plate.
“I really wanted to make a good first impression on the fans here in Milwaukee and have a great homestand and continue to do what I was doing in Spring Training on some level,” Zaun said. “Things haven’t worked out exactly the way I planned them to. …
“I’m trying to keep a sense of humor to the start of the season, as much as I can. All the while, I hope everybody knows that I take it as seriously as anybody and I’m very disappointed with this first sampling of games here at Miller Park.”