Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Brewers Sweep Cards! - Weeks out for the season...

For many, May 18th 2009 was a historic date. The Crew swept the Cards in 3 games, Jason Kendall tallied his 2,000 hit, and rookie Mat Gamel had his first homer in the bigs. On the flipside of that coin there was a sad day. It was announced that Rickie Weeks will be out for the season....More on that later....
Braden Looper held the Cardinals scoreless until the seventh until he gave up a homerun to Rasmus that put 2 on the board. The 7th took a turn for the worse, yet again when the reliable Mark DiFilice got rocked by good ol' Skip Shumaker.
It was Carlos Villanueva that came in to the game who was able to put the nail in the coffin against a team who has it out for him (think 2008 in St. Louis). He fanned 4 and gave only 1 hit in 2 innings pitched. Mitch Stetter collected his 8th hold of the season.
At the plate the offense was led by Mat Gamel who blasted his first career homerun and Jason Kendall who collected his 2,000th hit of his long career. Kendall went 2 for 5 and an RBI.
Mat Gammel's homerun escalated his RBI total to 3...in his first game.
Everyone contributed in the starting line up except Looper, who did his part on the mound. Hart and Cameron went hitless, but each added an RBI on sac-flys.
Braun & Fielder contributed by reaching first base 4 and 5 times each, respectively.
** Milwaukee outscored the Cardinals 17-6! Meanwhile, the Cards and Cubs are probably bitching about not having their best players available. I'm sorry St. Louis, but if Rick Ankiel and Troy Glaus are your best players...then you are in a sad state. Be more excoted about Kolby!
-When I was watching the game last night I noticed (along with everyone else) a cool looking scene after Gammel hit his homerun. He had Fielder and Braun on his sides congratulating him on this all important feat. What a great picture that will make in years to come. These three will be the face of the team for many more season....well, at least for the next 2 that will include Prince.
Gammel had a web gem that allowed him to show off his canon of an arm, but he then followed that with a throwing error. But hey, he's a kid and he'll hopefully come around on defense. Bill and Brian were both saying that he has his hardest time play defense when he has a lot of time to make the play. Seems to be challenged by the routine plays and not the advanced ones.

-Sadly, for Rickie Weeks, this is yet another set-back to his career. I feel bad for the guy, but you can't help but think that he just won't cut it. Despite his fast start to the 2009 season (9 hr's), he will forever be looked at with a cautious eye. Now both of his wrists will have gone under surgery and both injuries could re-occur. Too bad. Willie Randolph was pretty sure of himself that Rickie Weeks would become an All-Star this season, which would've made me laugh alout if I heard this in spring. Now I'm looking like the jack ass. Regardless, this is looking like a chronic problem...Rickie Weeks can't stay healthy....nor can he talk clearly.

Ken Macha had some kind words to say about Rickie Weeks as well. He even dropped the "L" word to his team!

-Alcides Escobar WILL NOT be considered for the open roster spot. Hernan Irbarren will probably get another shot at the bigs instead. So this will mean that Milwaukee could have 4 left handed batters in their lineup at one time...long shot, but could happen! Good heavens. This should position Prince Fielder to increase his productivity.

-Last night on ESPN's Sports Center, I noticed (unless I missed it) that the show showcased Todd Helton's 2,000 hit more than Kendalls. Granted, it was on an error by Yunnel Escobar that will probably get overturned this afternoon. Regardless, it was all Helton and only a brief mention of Kendall's 2,000th hit.

Which leads me to my next rant. The Brewers are still being left out of most conversations on the major networks despite their winning ways. Yes Yes, Milwaukee is a small market town. Regardless, Milwaukee has the third best record in the MLB and the best record in baseball since April 22nd. Only Toronto (biggest surprise) and LA are ahead of them.

LA (27-13)
Toronto (27-14)
Milwaukee (24-14)
Evenstill, all we are hearing about in the news is on the Rays (20-20) and the Giants (19-18). The latter had two games on primetime over the weekend on MLB and Fox, which makes me sick. Yes, I can see having Lincicum on primetime...but Randy Johnson versus Johan Santana was a joke. Who cares if they are both storied left-handers. Had this showdown occurred 5 years ago, you may have had my attention.

The Milwaukee Brewers should be the top story in baseball right now along with Toronto and LA. But they aren't. Instead, they make the headlines with bad news like Rickie Weeks being out for the year and when they were playing awful in the month of April.

I have not seen any stories done Ken Macha or Dale Sveum's accomplishments in turning a young team of players in to a club that is well-disciplined at the plate and getting hits with runners in scoring position. Both of these coaches are the hidden success story that the media turds aren't reporting on. Instead they are talking about Maddon's boneheaded line-up glitch, which was FUBAR in every way, and Girardi going at it with Twins skipper Ron Gardner.
-Three years ago Mark DiFilice (3-0, 0.98) was working in a warehouse and playing for a bush league minor team called the Riversharks. Now he is the go-to reliever in the Brewer bullpen at the ripe old age of 32. He even likes to rip on his slow style of pitching (82 mph), however, batters are having a hell of a time hitting it.

-Milwaukee flew in to Houston early this morning to play the 'Stros (17-19) at the Juice Box. This will be tough series. Milwaukee has never swept the Astros (to my knowledge). Lance Berkman is starting to feel better at the plate after his dreadful start to the season.

Dave Bush (2-0) will face off with Mike Hampton (2-3) tonight at 7:05. Here is the probable pitching lineup.

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