Thursday, April 30, 2009

Arizon D-Backs Come To Town


The Arizona Diamondbacks are in town to take on the surging Milwaukee Brewers. The DBacks have a losing record of 9-12 and are in 4th place in the NL West. While Milwaukee has won 7 of their last 8 games, sitting at 11-10. Tonights game will pit veteran right hander Jeff Suppan (0-2, 7.32) against Max Sherzer (0-2, 4.91). HERE is the list of probable match-ups for the 4-game series. The big one is Braden Looper vs Dan Haren on Saturday. HERE is another snapshot of the match up. This will be a great series, but a tough one.


With Mike Rivera on the DL, the Brewers decided to call-up Carlos Corporan from AAA Nashville, instead of the top prospect Angel Salome. I think we all knew that the kid isn't even close to being ready....yet.


Apparently Corey Hart reads this blog (yea right) and listened to the gripes from last season. His patience at the plate is starting to pay off. I was about to rip my hair out while watching the NLDS. The damn guy would swing at every first pitch...no matter where it was.


Ken Macha is enjoying his rebirth in Milwaukee. Overall, I like his style and how he leads. One thing I do laugh about it is his post-game Q & A's. He sounds like a damn redneck from Upper Michigan.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Gallardo Shines Once Again


Finally, the Crew had their first series sweep of the season and are now at .500 on the year. Yovanni Gallardo (3-1), pitched another gem of a game this afternoon lasting 8 complete innings, giving up a measely two hits and striking out 11 batters. This also included 5 scoreless/hitless innings as well!
Gallardo (2) also won the game for them on offense by driving a 7th inning pitch out of the park, proving to be the only run of the game. This was Milwaukee's 15 straight win over Pittsburgh.
At the plate, Milwaukee was led by Fielder, Hart, and Chris Duffy who all doubled.
JJ Hardy went ofer....again. Fielder went 2 for 3 and was reached base 3 times.
-Mike Rivera was placed on the DL this afternoon. Despite reports X-Ray reports coming back negative. As I stated this morning, Salome will probaby be the one brought up. However, it may make sense for Vincent Rottino to get the call. Despite not being a full-time catcher.
-The Buc's finished April with their first winning record since 2002!
-More on today's stellar performance by Yovanni....HERE....HERE...HERE

-Milwaukee outscored the Pirates 17-10 in the series.

-Mike Cameron is close to hitting the 250/250 club! He's only 4 homeruns away from the feat and is already 291 career stolen bases.

Lastly, good news for the Appleton area...NCAA has decided to keep the D-III World Series right there in Grand Chute's Time Warner Field!

Crew Come From Behind

Not even being down by 4 runs could cause the Brewers to quit last night at Miller Park. The Pittsburgh Pirates, who were looking to snap a 13 game losing streak against Milwaukee, certainly let a a game that should've been won slip away. By the bottom of the 5th inning the Crew was down 5-1. That turned around quckly.

The offense was led by Corey Hart who reached base 5 times on 3 walks, a double and a single.

Milwaukee scored 4 runs in the 6th inning to go-ahead.

Rickie Weeks (5) and Billy Hall(3) continued to stay hot; both homering twice. Holy Balls, did I just hear myself type this. I just said that Weeks & Hall were on a hot streak. At the same time nonetheless. I'm not ready to eat my words yet, from the last two seasons. If their numbers stay consistent through May...I will then apologize to all of those that I bitched and griped about regarding these two infielders.

Despite being an narrowly beat-out by Albert Puhols last week for NL Player of the Week, Ryan Bruan is continuing his dominant numbers. He doubled yet again last night and walked once. He is now batting .351 on the season. Batting averages, in my opinion, start to mean something come May 1. So we're still a few days out.

Low Points on the evening....JJ Hardy went ofer and Brad Nelson continued his horrific start to his career. He is now 0-14 on the year and is batting .95 in his career. It's time. With Mike Rivera getting knocked out of the game yesterday, one has to imagine that Angel Salome will get the call up. This all hinders (i hate that band) on Rivera coming back.

Despite Dave Bush getting the no-decision and pitching a below average game, he still kept the Brewrs relatively close. For any other team, being down by 4 runs is not considered "close". But for Milwaukee that's with in striking distance, or so it seems as of late. The bullpen did the rest and went 4 scoreless innings. Most impressive was Trevor Hoffman and Jorge Julio. Hoffman notched his first save in a Brewer uniform and reminded us of why we signed him. Julio bounced back from his poor outing a week ago to go one inning with a strike out. Only TH gave up a hit out of the 4 relievers. Pretty damn sweet.

-Buc's take on how the game unfoled last night.

-Let's not forget that manager Ken Macha is from Pennsylvania and is a graduate from Pitt.

-Ex Pirate Chris Duffy is still hitless for Milwaukee. Our bench is horrific, except for Craig Counsell. Horrific. They cant hit the ball and are weak defensively.

-Cecil Cooper may get punished further for his toss-out incident from Saturday.

-Jason Jaramillo, the minor leaguer who was called up last week to fill in for the injured starter. He is a Racine native and graduate of Case High. This series is like a homecoming for the guy.

Russell Branyan went 5-5 last night.

-Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune (Tribune Newspapers) wrote a story this past Sunday that I griped about. The story lacked any substance and relevancy. It basically stated the Milwaukee had "pitching woes" and that the losses of CC and Ben were, basically, catastrophic. I decided to type him an email letting him know that his story was out-dated and wasn't even "news-worthy". He responeded, politely:

Phil,
Your article from Sunday’s paper seems to be a bit late to the punch of being news worthy. At that time (Sunday) the Milwaukee Brewers had 8 solid starts by their pitchers in the past 11 games. They were also on a 4-game win streak. But no, your brilliant story told America that the Brewers pitching was huring. Not entirely true ol’ Phil.
Now if you had broken this story in the first two weeks of the season, you would’ve been on to something.
Perhaps you could report on the Cubs’ injury problems and their knack for losing lately. Then again, maybe you shouldn’t. By the time it hits the print they will be on a short win streak.
Scott Olson

__________________________

Scott,Thanks for the note. So you are feeling good about the brewers rotation? Phil
__________________________
Phil,
Thanks for your response.
What you were stating in your news story (Sunday) was the obvious. The press has been saying this about the Brewers’ rotation since losing CC and Sheets. What isn’t being published is the fact that Braden Looper’s earned-run-average is at 2.45. Or that Yovanni Gallardo pitched his first career complete game and Dave Bush, for the 3rd time, came within a few outs from a no-hitter. Most of these accomplishments were achieved last week. The national press makes no mention of this. Instead, critics like you point readers to the obvious and offer no depth to what the rotation is really doing up in Milwaukee.
I am feeling good about the rotation in Milwaukee. The main reason why I feel this way is because there are no egotistical knuckle-heads. All 5 know what they have to do and our finding their roles. Chicago doesn’t have that luxury. They know who their #1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 is. It’s set in stone. In Milwaukee, the rotation is not and any of the 5 could step up and be the leader, thus keeping them on their toes.
It will be this kind of hunger in Milwaukee’s starting rotation that will surprise the media.
Scott Olson

__________________________
Scott,I hope you are right. I really like doug melvin. Phil




Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Crew Goes The Distance

This game was an odd one from the very start. It could have been Braden Looper (2-0, 2 no-decisions) stumbling out of the blocks. Or perhaps Carlos Villanueva, once again blowing a hold for closer Trevor Hoffman. Thankfully Mike Cameron was able to contain the damage to two runs as he was able to throw out runner at home plate with a hoper from deep center.

Ryan Braun spearheaded the onslaught of home runs with a solo homerun in the bottom of the first inning. When he returned in the third inning Pirate starting pitcher Jeff Karstens beamed with a wild fast-ball. Braun gave Kastens the traditional stare down and gradually made his way to first base. Thankfully, we were able to see the old Macha from his Oakland days. He barked at the home plate umpire for quite sometime, even after the official issued warnings to both teams....which by the way is like telling your two kids they both get "time-outs" for being naughty. It doesn't work. I doubt if Dave Bush will retalliate today, we'll see.

Week (4), Braun (5) and Cameron (5) all went yard last night.
Prince Fielder slammed a stand-up triple in the third inning, right after Braun went the distance.

Ryan Braun on Jeff Karstens:
Asked if Karstens drilled him intentionally, Braun said, "Probably, yeah. It's rare for major-league pitchers to miss by that much with a fastball."
Then, issuing a not-so-wise warning to the commissioner's office, Braun added, "We play them about 17 more times (actually 13). Tell Mr. Selig, we'll see what happens. It's going to be interesting."

Monday, April 27, 2009

State News



Wisconsin native Jordan Zimmerman notched his second win in as many starts. He also led the Nationals to their first road win of the season. They spanked the Mets 8-1 yesterday afternoon. Zimmerman and fellow rookie start Sharion Martis are the only National pitchers to have wins in the rotation. Sadly enough. He allowed only 1 run in 5 1-3 innings. Randy Johnson was the last pitcher to win consecutive first two starts. This kid seems to be the real deal.


The Milwaukee Panthers are in second place, right behind University of Ill-Chicago. Chicago is in search of their 8th consecutive league championship. They have won the last 11 out of 14 games. HERE are the team leaders.


Brewers Let Sweep Get Away

The history books will have to remain intact, with out any changes to be made. Milwaukee came up short in it's quest to sweep the Houston Astros for the first time in history. Instead, they battled all the way up to the last out and came with in two runs shy of winning.

Manny Parra (0-4) looked better than his previous starts but was still unable to keep his walks in check. He was able to last only 5 innings, which has been the archillies heel for the Brewers.
In 5 complete, Parra gave up only 5 hits and 1 earned run. But his walks and a throwing error by Jason Kendall resulted in 2 more runs that weren't earned.

Mike Cameron continued his hot streak by blasting a double and a single; he's now batting .328 and leads the team. Cam came up short a few feet in the latter part of the game with a towering shot to right-center field.

Likewise, Braun came close to tying the game as well when he ripped a shot to the gap at first and second. Corey Hart, thanks to a delayed reaction, got hit by the blazing grounder and was called out. That was the third out of the inning and the Brewers standed 3 hitters (Braun got credited for the hit, that makes 3).

JJ Hardy had the day off, Counsell started in his place and had a hit.

Brad Nelson's time has to be coming to an end. He once again went 0-4 and is batting .000 on the season. He's had plenty of good looks too. Nelson had his time and now it's someone elses turn. I was thinking Lorenzo Cain, but now he's out for the season.

Trevor Hoffman was unable to come in to the game. His first appearence in a Brewer uniform won't happen until t0night when Milwaukee takes on Pittsburgh at Miller Park.

Tonight, Brewer slinger Braden Looper (2-0, 2.12) will take to the mound against Jeff Kastens (1-0, 3.60). HERE are the probable pitchers for the series. HERE is more on the series with Pittsburgh.

Humberto Quinton, the Astro catcher who was knocked in to last week by a colliding Mike Cameron, is now on the DL. Here's a video clip of the hit.

Mike Lamb signed with the Mets.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Win Streak Hits 4

It took 11 innings and a couple of blown save/win opportunities, but the Milwaukee Brewers were able to come from behind and defeat the Houston Astros last night, 9-8. Mark DeFilice took the mound in the 11th inning and finally closed the door on the 'stros. The win provides the Brewers a winning record on the lengthy road trip that had then playing two of the best teams in the NL. Although the Mets are up and down right now, one can imagine they will be competiting with Atlanta and Philly in September.

Billy Hall has had an excellent road trip and a great start to the season. Primarily his defense has been significantly better than his last two seasons. Although Hall did contribute to putting the Crew behind early in the game with a throwing error, he did provide a spark to the offense. Billy went 3 for 6 and had the play of the game with his towering shot that tied the game 4-4.

Prince Fielder provided some heroics of his own, going 3 for 5 with a another home run that tied the game late.

JJ Hardy (.177) went ofer and will probably get the day off today and Counsell will fill in. Hardy has struggled at the plate and almost looks like a lost little boy when entering the batters box.

Carlos Villanueva, once again, struggled on the mound. He beamed his first batter in Lance Berkman, which isn't too bad considering that he is bound to snap out of his slump. Carlos hung in there for almost two full innings and did work himself out of a couple of jams. That makes it two blown saves on the year. His role will significantly change when Trevor Hoffman makes his appearence today in Houston.

Jeff Suppan impressed me a bit. He had a no-hitter going in to the 4th, until he left one hanging on Carlos Lee. He looked calm and collective up there and didn't walk as many batters in the past (4). Soup also tallied 6 strike outs too. I hope this is a sign of good things to come.

*Prince Fielder's (4) homerun was off a 98 mph fast ball that All Star- Velverde provided to him. It was a line drive that traveled over the rightfield fence in a hurry.

*Braun won the game when he lit a single up the middle, just out of reach of the pitcher.

-Bad news on the farm...Lorenze Caine is finished for the season. He messed up his knee a good one. The Crew would have seen him called up in September, had this not happened. Caine was considered the #6 prospect in the Brewers farm system.

-Phil Rogers of the Tribune Newspapers (multiple cities) is a little behind the 8-ball here. This story, which was printed just this morning, mentions nothing about Milwaukee's current 4-game winning streak or the fact their pitchers had provided 8 solid starts in the past 9 games. Dueche bag.
I will have to email him now and show him the light.

-Boston Red Sox scouted Mitch Stetter last week. Interesting.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Crew Opens Up On Astros


Yovanni Gallardo pitched another fantastic game against the Astros last night. Yo notched his first complete game in his professional career; a feat he hasn't accomplished since high school.

In front of 25 family members and his home state (lived shortly in Mexico as well), Yo allowed 2 runs on 5 hits. Although Houston stud Lance Berkman (I believe him to be gay) is in a season opening slump, Yo was able to strike him out 3 times. Most important, Gallardo didn't have a single walk. It's looking like the pitching staff has saved Billy Castro's job over the past few games.


*Yo faced 18 batters to get the final 17 outs....think about that for a minute.


Weeks belted his third homerun of the season. He looked equally impressive defending secondbase.


Every Brewer except Bill Hall had a hit last night. Cameron (.315) doubled and JJ Hardy was 3 for 4. Ryan Braun (.328) also stayed hot with a hit and was struck by a pitch.

Cecil Cooper said Mike Cameron's collision at home plate with Humberto Quintero was a clean hit. Man, that was some scary shit. That was one of the worse collisions I have ever seen.
Houston newspaper take on the Astros effort last night.
Cole Hammel's arm is still in a sling since Thursday.
The T-Rats defeated the Peorio Chiefs last night, 5-3 at Miller Park. They drew over 17,000 fans. Brett Lawrie and Cutter Dykstra were on display. I think a lot of us forget just how talented Cutter is. The kid can flat out hit. He and Brett are 19 years old.
The Cubs are in a slump and they are hurting. I love it. I despise this Ffaakjqewfo 'n team.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Another No Hitter Escapes Bush...barely


6-9
Brewers 6 - Phillies 1

Dave Bush (1-0, 3.86) flirted with a no-hitter this afternoon by lasting almost 8 innings against the Phillies. Matt Stairs finally broke the no-no by belting a solo homerun that bounced off the foul pool. Sadly enough, Bushy's quest to notch Milwaukee's first no-hitter since 1987 when Juan Nieves accomplished this coveted goal. We all remember last season when Bush lasted 7 2/3 innings with a no hitter as well. His time will come. Dave Bush is inching closer. This is the third time in his career that he had a no-hitter in to the 8th inning.

Bush gave up a pair of hits and one run in his best career start to date. He fanned 4 and only gave out 3 free passes. Once again, if he can escape the 1st inning with out causing a lot of damage, the man will do fine.

Thankfully, Milwaukee provided plenty of power at the plate this afternoon. I think Braun may have sparked a nerve with in the clubhouse, because the entire team was in full gear.
Ryan Braun (4) and Bill Hall (1) both went yard. Prince Fielder tossed in another double (4).
The top 4 batters all had a pair of hits each. Cam and Hardy were hitless, but both reached base on walks.
Mike Rivera went o'fer.

I wasn't able to watch this game, sadly enough. Stuck in the old office. Perhaps this is good luck, because Bushy came close last season during an afternoon game as well (at Miller Park).

Prince Fielder took out Phillies ace Cole Hammels early-on in the game. He launched a line drive that struck their star pitcher on his throwing arm.

Miller Park sold 15,000 tickets already for Friday's "Border Battle" against the Peoria Chiefs. That is insane. To sell that many tickets for a low class-A ball is impressive. Meanwhile, PNC Park is figuring out how to attract fans.


Looper to the rescue

5-10
Brewers 3 - Phillies 1

Braden Looper (2-0, 2.12) and Yovanni Gallardo have proven to the be the ONLY productive pitchers in the rotation. One could even throw in Dave Bush, if he could only skip the first innings of his starts.
Looper pitched 6 scoreless innings and limited the Phillies to only 5 hits and two walks. A solid defensive outing could also be credited, as Looper did not strike out a single batter. Despite a surling wind that constantly shifted in direction, the Brewer outfielders were able to stay on their toes and make some difficult catches. All three outfielder (Braun, Cam, and Hart) had big grabs, most noteably Harts where he had to twist his torso at the last second to snatch a liner to the rightfield corner.

Todd Coffey, once again, assisted in the win by notching his second save. Of course, those who watched the game on tv or in person were probably sitting on the edge of their seats after Coffey gave up a blast to Jason Werth (solo-shot). But he hung in there and sealed the deal, striking out 2 but also giving up 3 hits. Regardless, he was efficient.

Additionally, the bullpen pulled a 180 and had a great night in Carlos Villanueva and Mark DeFilice who both threw hitless frames.
Offensively, JJ Hardy led the charge with a homerun (3) and a single. JJ is now batting .157 on the season. He'll start to come around.
Mike Cameron, probably the best pick-up by Doug Melvin in the past two years (besides CC of course) cracked another double and had 2 RBI's.
Prince Fielder (.170 average), Jason Kendall, and Ryan Braun all had hits, while Corey Hart added a pair (he he).
-Go figure...David Riske will undergo season ending surgery. What a joke.
-Ryan Braun is gunning for the All-Star game. He also had some choice words for his fellow teammates. I'm sure we all remember how he lashed out last year after the Boston series (swept). Personally, I like this. You have to call others on to the carpet...if you also criticsize your own mess-ups. Which he does. Meanwhile, Prince Fielder is quietly day-dreaming about becoming a Yankee.
"It's frustrating," said Braun. "If you don't make them swing the bat, you don't keep your defense in the game. You don't give yourself a chance to get anybody out. It's not just the walks. We're falling behind every hitter.
"The pitching obviously has been pretty bad but the offense has been pretty bad, the defense has been pretty bad. I don't think we've really done anything well the first 13 games of the season. We've got to find a way to turn it around.
This afternoon, Milwaukee and Philly square off in the rubber match.

Dave Bush (0-0) vs Cole Hammel (o-1)
Milwaukee will then board their Midwest Airlines jet and head south to Houston for a 3 game series at the juicebox.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It's time for heads to start rolling....



Bill Castro:
Why is it that as soon as you become pitching coach, Milwaukee's starters and relievers have now flip-flopped strikes for balls? In the first 2.5 weeks of play, Brewer pitchers have walked 63 batters. That my friend, is unacceptable.

I realize that you have been with team since I was a toddler. That is besides the point though, it is time for you to start showing some results on that mound. If we don't see a minimal (25% drop/weekly average) in walks by next week this time, you will be given your walking papers. I realize that it's not all of your fault. Much of the blame can be put on Para & Soup. But it's time for you to pull those pitchers' heads out of their asses. This is embarrassing.

Get it done,
ScottageCheese






__________________________

4-10
Brewers 4 - Phillies 11

This game stunk to high heaven. It was an embarrassing for me to even wear my Brewer t-shirt in my own house, if fear that my Cub-neighbor would see me. Okay, maybe not that bad. But it was bad enough.

Manny Parra (0-3) has decided to forget how to throw strikes in 2009 and now relies on high fastballs and sliders that drop far out of the strike zone. His location is......is.....well....is just bad.

"I felt fine; I just (stunk)," said Parra, who fell to 0-3 with an 8.16 earned run average in three starts.

"I never gave our team a chance to win. It's (lack of) command. It's simple. It's pretty poor right now. Everything is up." -jsonline.com

Don't get me wrong, we all know that Parra can flat out throw. But right now his confidence is lower than the collective sluts on Brett Michael's Rock of Love Show....combined. He gave up 7 hits, 3 walks (one run), and 5 earned runs.

Prince Fielder has also decided to play like a sally-mander. He's cutting away like a gull-damn golfer when he swings at the first pitch. He trying too hard. I sound like a little league coach, but it's true.
Right now, the team is literally being carried by Ryan Braun (5-5 / 2 HR) and Mike Cameron (2-4). That's it. Milwaukee's bench is horrific. Chris Duffy? You suck. Brad Nelson? You suck. Casey McGahee? At least you got a hit and didn't commit an error.

Jason Kendall is batting .118 two and a half weeks in to the season. I don't care how much you body weight you yacked out last week while suffering from the flu. Your hitting is worthless. And now, your defense is even looking a little off. With two errors on the season, that's unlike the Kendall of the past. It's time for Mike Rivera to get 1-2 starts a week.

And Mr. Macha. I am backing you 100%. But you have to show some of that Oakland temper. Don't be afraid to light these players up and getting on their asses.

-Jamie Moyer looked like the second coming of ..... never mind. He tore the Crew a new ass last night.

-I was actually hoping that they would call the game and credit the Phillies with the win, during the rain delay. Sadly enough, it only made me stay up later to watch this train wreck.

:) The good news is that we're only in our 3 week of the season. A lot can happen. But Looper and Yovanni can't carry this rotation all on their own. Likewise with Cam and Braun.
THIS story helps a fan handle the season-opening slumps that Hart, Hardy, and Fielder are having. They will probably snap out of it...all at the same time. I hope so. That's what happened last year too.
The link also mentions Trevor Hoffman's rehab start in Nashville. He gave up a run in one inning of work. That's okay though, better than Carlos V.

TH should be able to rejoin the Crew in Houston.
-Jamie Moyer sums it up pretty well in discussing the Phillies success of destroying the Brewers:
"Some teams do better against us, some teams don't," Moyer said. "I don't know what it is. We've just had success against them."

-I'm calling it...The Brewers, led by Braden Looper (1-0) on the mound, will beat the Phillies tonight. Joe Blanton (0-1/9.00 era) is Looper's opponent.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Brewers Reach 2 Million Tickets Sold!

This is most impressive for the city and the state.

I would imagine that they will surpass last years record year as well. They will also move up on the list of MLB teams.

Milwaukee Set To Battle World Champs



The Crew will start a 3-game series in Philly today, going head-to-head with the 2008 World Champions. We all look back at the regular-season series that resulted in Milwaukee getting swept in an embarrassing fashion. It was bad.

Of course, Milwaukee faired a tad bit better when the matched up with Philly in the NLDS where the Crew only scored 9 runs. Regardless of that, the Crew isn't out for redemption this week.

Tonight, Manny Parra (LHP, 0-2) will face off against Jamie Moyer (LHP, 0-1) in a showdown that will display the two struggling southpaws. Philly was rained-out yesterday.

Probable pitchers for the series (disregard Blanton for today).

HERE is a break down on the match-ups. Phillies (5-6) vs Brewers (4-8)

-Corey Hart has made some changes to his stance. Whatever. Basically the dude isn't swinging at the first pitch. Like he did in the playoffs last year.

-The Phillies have had some concerns with their pitching this season. They are hoping to turn it around against the Crew.

-Jordan Zimmerman notched his first career win in his first career start last night in D.C. Despite the rain and chilly temps, he was able to work 6 innings and work his way out of a couple of jams. The Nats beat the Braves 3-2. HERE is a nice story about this eventful evening. Washington has high hopes for this young Auburndale native rightie. Apparently there were only 70 (estimated) fans that stuck around to watch it. The game ended just after midnight. Congrats to this Wisconsinsite.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Brewers drop another series

4-8 record

The Milwaukee Brewers have yet to win a series in 2009. Tied for last with the Houston Astros is probably not what the Crew had in mind to start the season. Despite this, the team is showing signs of improvement in areas of pitching and hitting. Milwaukee dropped their series at the new Citi Field in New York to the Mets 1-2. Their lone win came yesterday afternoon on the heels of a strong performance of Jeff Supan. Everything worked and the team looked sharp, and that of course, is why they actually took a game. They certainly played well on Friday and Saturday too. Both times they come up short by a run to the team who has the best line-up in the National League.

Friday's game was a heart breaker. The Crew came from behind on a Ryan Braun (1) homer and should have pulled away. Instead, Gary Sheffield belted his 500th HR of his career and Louis Castillo smacked the final nail in the coffin. In the end, it was the team that made one too many mistakes that ended up losing the game. Milwaukee's inability to turn double-plays was what finally cost the game. That, and Dave Bushs' first inning that put the Mets up 3 runs right out of the gate. That being said, Bush settled in after that and threw quite well. How long now have known about this first inning drought that Bush throws?

The following afternoon Milwaukee and New York played a day game that pitted two of the best National League pitchers against one another. Of course, Johan Santana is the very best. He's a veteran who hasn't lost a game since mid 2008. On Milwaukee's side you have Yovanni Gallardo, probably one of the best young pitchers in the game. It came down to, once again, the team with the fewest mistakes winning the game. Thanks impart to Rickie Weeks bobbling a play, New York was able to score the lone run that won them the game. Yovanni pitched 6 scoreless innings, fanning 7 and giving up 5 hits. Santana matched that and last one more inning. It was identical performances, which isn't too shabby considering Johan was throwing at home. Carlos Villanueva, yet again, gets the loss and blown save.

The two teams met for the rubber match yesterday afternoon. Brewer fans cringed when they saw Jeff Supan take to the mound. After all, the man hasn't won a game since August 2008. That being said, Soup looked damn good out there and finally pitched like his contract pays....very well. He was able to work through his first inning run that he allowed to notch the first victory for a starting pitcher. Soup walked only one batter, but did give up 8 hits. Thanks impart to some nifty defense and double plays (finally), the Crew were able to hold the Mets at bay. The big hat-tip goes to Todd Coffey who earned his first save for Milwaukee. Most impressive was the fact that he came in with bases loaded and one out, to get the Mets to ground out to him. Coffey bobbled the ball briefly and quickly launched it to home plate where Jason Kendall then turned two at first base. Coffey pitched 2 and 2-3 innings.

Milwaukee, Todd Coffey is your new closer...until Trevor Hoffman returns.

*Rickie Weeks is hitting .271 thus far in to the season. He went 3 for 5 yesterday with a double. His one hiccup did indeed cost the Brewers the game on Saturday. Other than that, he's been pretty impressive.

*Mike Cameron is leading the Brewers offensively. He is batting .316 with 4 home runs, striking out 7 times.

*Corey Hart looks less funny-looking with his hair dyed black.

*Trevor Hoffman will pitch Tuesday for Nashville. This is great news. With TH returning to the closer role, Coffey could then be used as the set-up man.

*Nelson Figueroa was shipped back down to the minors after pitching 6 pretty damn good innings against Milwaukee. This occurred only one hour after the game. Nelson was scrubbing himself in the shower when Jerry Manuel poked his head in (probably).

*If the Mets don't win the NL East this year, I will be shocked. They have the best line-up in the National League and a solid 1-2 punch in their rotation. Their bullpen has certainly improved.



***Auburdale, WI native Jordan Zimmerman will get his first major league start today! The Nats suck pretty bad this year.

Florida Marlins have only one loss thus far in to the season. Then again, they played the Nats 6 times. Coincidence?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Milton Bradley begins his re-imaging launch!


Deadspin had this little piece about Milton Bradley claiming that his childish past is gone. He's a new man. Change! It's all about change in 2009!

Well, it's only the second week of the season and the "game-board master" has already made the sports ticker.



Thursday, April 16, 2009

Reason #1921, why I hate the RedSox

It seems that the ALROY and 2009 MVP hopeful has some explaining to do to his old boyhood town. He apparently bashed his hometown of Woodland (Northern California). The only thing wrong with that is that his parents still live there and run a small business. Oops.

Travel Day


Tonight I will probably finish raking my lawn. I would like to get this done before the weekend because I will probably spend it watching/listening to Brewer baseball.


As we speak, the Brewers are probably out enjoying the scenary of New York. They may even link up with the beloved Trenni. Then again, with Drill Sergeant Macha on the prowl...they will probably be in bed by 7pm and up by 4:00am tomorrow to run laps around Central Park.

I wonder what it's like in that club house right now? With easy-going Ned and "let's go out and get drunk with my players" Dale Sveum, you have to think to yourself that players like Braun and Hall are pissed. Macha, I'm sure, allows them to go out on game nights especially if it's a night game the following day. But he just seems like he would be there making his rounds in the hotel doing bed checks at 10:00pm in his bathrobe that Billy Beane gave him for his wedding anniversary a few years back.


*** As expected, the pathetic David Riske is on the 15 day DL and RJ Swindle was brought up. RJ has minor league options therefore the Brewers can leave open a roster spot. Makes you wonder if anyone else will get a call-up?

Milwaukee should've unloaded Riske when they had the chance a couple of weeks ago. He has been a complete bust and shows no signs of recovery. He also looks like Matt Wise.


Mets pitcher Mike Pelfrey, who is slated to start against the Crew on Sunday, will probably miss that game due to tendenitis. Great news for Soup! Minor leaguer Nelson Figueroa may get the call-up from Buffalo.


This date in baseball....The 1987 Brewers had their 13-game winning streak snapped by the White Sox. They shared that streak with the Braves...

Speaking of the Atlanta Braves, shortstop Yunel Escobar left the game today with a strained ab muscle.

Cameron & Looper to the rescue


To start this piece off, I would like point the middle finger to the Brewers organization and the FSN. They continue to put games on WMLW (Milwaukee) and cut the rest of the state off from watching our beloved club. Please FSWisconsin, show me some more Milwaukee Bucks' action because they are just so damn good. They blew a 17 point lead in the second half, and you decide to show that garbage rather than the Crew?!?!

That being said, Mike Cameron decided to rip the face of the baseball last night and do his part in snapping a 4 game losing streak for the Brewers. Cam blasted 2 homeruns and let the offensive ass-whooping party that consisted of 5 doubles and 3 homeruns (Rickie Weeks added one). The best thing about the game, Milwaukee only stranded 4 base runners. Yes, you read that correctly, 4!

Braden 'Loop' Looper tossed another good game in his second start for the Brewers. He pitched 6 innings, allowing only 3 runs on 6 hits. Again, he has been the loan bright spot on this rotation in the first 2 weeks.

The bullpen was equally effective, pitching 3 innings and giving up no walks. Between DeFilice, Coffey, and McClung they only allowed one hit. That's what I'm talking about!

Bill Hal claims this game to be their break-out!
"This was our breakout game," said Hall, who helped the Brewers go 3 for 8 with runners in scoring position. "I think we've all been waiting for this kind of game since the season started. We haven't really swung the bats the way we're capable of, so hopefully this was an indication of what's to come.
"A lot of confidence comes from this game."

Let's all hope that they can carry this small feat to the next level when they open a 9 game road trip to the NL East. They open Friday in NY @ Citi Field.
Former Milwaukee Brewer announcer Merle Harmon passed away at the age of 82.
Ryan Braun's timing off? He looked impressive last night going 1-3 with a double. He is blaming his stance. I am blaming his participation in the World Baseball Classic. It threw off his prepation and traning, like everyone thought it would.
Willis Randolph returns to New York to face his old team, which fired him last season. So far, you have to admire the work that he and Sveum have done in training Rickie Weeks. It's paid off to date.
Doug Melvin made a visit up to the Appleton to check out a TimberRattlers game. He was looking for my friend Art.
In football news....John Madden retired!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Brewers falter again

2-6
Brewers 1-Reds 6

Last night was gut wrenching. The lack of offense and pitching made me want to rip my F****** hair out.

Manny Parra (0-2, 6.97) threw a pretty decent game allowing only 3 hits in 6 1-3 innings. However, one of those hits was a two-run homer that broke a 1-1 tie.

Bronson Arroyo also pitched 6 1-3 innings, but looked like a damn all-star. Brewers mustered 4 hits and one run on the wanna-be Mexican rightie.

JJ Hardy continued his strong home stand, hitting his second homerun of the season

Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder had plenty of opportunities to drive in runs with runner on first, second, and a few times on third. Prince popped up a couple of times and Braun just couldn't get the timely hits.

One major concern (other than pitching) is the lack of timely hitting...yet again. Milwaukee is a homerun-type team who relies too heavily on it. I mean FSWisconsin's Brian Anderson couldn't shut up about it, nor could ESPN's crew last Sunday. I do agree with to a degree. But wait until the big 5 get hot at the same time, which will happen when they start to find their grove. Cam, Hardy, Fielder, Hart, and Braun will ignite by late May.

Ryan Braun is 2-18 on the home stand

I must say, I didn't agree with Macha pinch hitting Rickie Weeks instead of Brad Nelson. Especially since Weeks historically sucks against Arroyo (wanna-be Mexican).

In no way am I agreeing with this thought....but I will throw it out there.....
How long of a leash will Ken Macha have this season? With Dale Sveum and Willie Randolph waiting patiently for another shot at managing, do you suppose that Melvin and Antanasio will be a little too quick to pull the trigger on him? I realize that even mentioning the words "fire" in week two are far fetched. But also knowing that ticket sales WILL slump if the Brewers don't start performing by late May is a reality that the ownership doesn't want to deal with. If you look at last years team, they didn't get fired up until their series in Boston (where they were swept).

Milwaukee was 14-12 last April, 13-15 in May, and 5-3 in their first 8 games of the 2008 season. We're behind the 8-ball here, yes, but it's minimal people...don't freak out.

Tom Haudricourt asks if Ryan Braun is healthy?

Everyone in the MLB will donn the #42 jersey today to honor Jackie Robinson.

Braden Looper takes to the mound tonight against Micah Owings, who has yet to pitch this season. Milwaukee WILL WIN this game. Money on it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Suppan Pushed Back In Rotation

JSonline.com reported this evening that Ken Macha and Jeff Suppan met this afternoon. When all was said and done Soup has been pushed back a day in the rotation, courtesy of Ken Macha. I'm glad Macha didn't wait around like Ned Yost would've. Macha made a good decision and it sends a message to the rest of the pitchers that if they can't throw strikes or have a consecutive bad outtings...there will be hell to pay.

On paper, this does effect the match ups of course with Milwaukee traveling to NY to take on the Mets at the new CitiField this Friday. Yovanni Gallardo will probably now take to the mound against Johann Santana...or Seth McClung could make a spot-start so that the rest of the order does get messed up. Or I'm way off mark and I'm reading too much in to this.

-Milwaukee will have 5 picks in the top 74 draft picks. I had forgotten that they got shafted on losing CC to the Yankees. They now have another second round pick. No date given for the draft, but I believe it's usually in early June (first week).

Another home loss


2-5

Reds 7 - Brewers 6


Yovanni Gallardo didn't look himself last night at Miller Park. It could be the fact that the stupid-ass Bucks were on FSWisconsin and the Crew was on WMLW. Since moving to the northwoods of Wisconsin, I have had to miss all the games broadcasted on that station. You can't get it up here. So I watched the game on some bootleg internet website. It was "choppy" and a little distorted, but it served it's purpose.

Although Milwaukee had the lead most of the first couple of innings in a teeter-tot type ball game, it wasn't until the 3rd inning when Yovanni Gallardo (1-1) gave up 6 runs. The ugliest part of the game? Edwin Encarnacion's grand salami blast off a weak fast ball that was hung across the middle of the plate.

Yo went 5 innings giving up only 3 hits in his outting, but also gave out 3 free passes and beamed a player (with bases loaded). He ended the evening giving up 7 runs.

Rickie Weeks was beamed in the face by Edison Volquez while attempting a bunt. It looked pretty bad, but Weeks was able to bounce up and take first.

Oddly enough the Brewers had 10 hits, compared to the Reds' 6. Corey Hart (3) and JJ Hardy (1) both went yard for the crew. Jay Bruce (1) and Encarnacion(1) went the distance for the Reds.

Even more grotesque is the fact that Milwaukee leads the National League in walks (35).
Jason Kendal snapped an embarrassing streak by hitting a single last night. He was 0 for 30+ at bats, dating back to last season. He then hit in to a double play in the later part of the game. Lovely. It may be time to give Rivera more starts, dude can hit.

The Milwaukee-Chicago game on Sunday Night Baseball drew a 11.8 audience, which was tops. Hopefully the major networks pick up the Cardinal-Brewer series' too.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Cubs win this time around....Take series

Saturdays game was a great game, despite being beat in the final inning by Soriano's blast. Bush wasn't too bad on the mound, but could've last longer.
Sadly enough, my ticket that I purchased through Leff's Lucky Town party was the very top row....I mean way at the top....last row. It was nice because you have more room up there and there's a huge ledge for you to put your beers; after you buy 3 of 4 in the 7th inning (last call...).

Even still, the Brewers could have won that one.
Carlos Villanueva blew his first save.
The Cubs out-slugged the Brewers in the HR department, 3-1
Zambrano gave up 7 hits
Bushy gave up 6 hits, both pitchers gave up 3 runs.
Prince had a nice homerun that put the Crew up.

Now for the game that was hard to watch and literally gave me heartburn....

Jeff Suppan single-handily lost the game for Milwaukee last night. He walked in 3 cubbies, back to back to back. He walked four and even fricken beamed another...ugh... Meanwhile, Ken Macha sat there in disbelief. Should he or should he not pull him? It was only the fourth inning and Soup wasn't pitching all that bad, besides giving up a homer to Soriano on the very first pitch.
Jorge Julio took to the mound and decided to follow suite, giving up a bases-loaded walk. That one you can't really blame on the sizable pitcher. He walked in to it, no pun intended.

This is going to be a season-long thing with Soup. Last year he did indeed deliver the Crew a solid month in August when other pitchers (besides CC) could give us a win. He won 5 straight, which was much needed. He got rocked the first game of this season and now last nights game. When do you or CAN you pull the plug on this pitcher who has a huge salary (12.5MM in 2008)? With Bush, the Crew sent him down to Nashville for a couple of weeks last season. That did wonders for him and he came back and delivered a darn good last couple of months and our only post-season win in 26 years. Why not do the same for Soup? In his place, McClung can step up and do better than what we've seen the past two outings. Give him one last shot against the Mets.(Friday).

Milwaukee out hit Chicago 8 to 5.
Milwaukee handed out 10 free passes. That is the worse part about the game....the free passes.
Rickie Weeks and Corey Hart both went yard. Soriano was the lone Cub to go the distance.

Carlos Marmol was impressive on the mound. Kevin Gregg on other hand, almost blew another save.
Every Milwaukee pitcher gave up at least a run. Soup gave up the most.
Reid Johnson robbed Prince Fielder of his first career grand slam. It was a pretty slick catch.

The good news out of all of this is Rickie Weeks and Corey Hart. Both have started the season pretty damn strong. Weeks especially. His defense has been tops (aside from one play in SF) and his base running has been darn good. Thus far, this second baseman would get player of the week.
He batted .280, going 7 for 25. He's had timely hits too. Although his stats to show it (yet) his performance has been a 180 shift from last season....and the seasons before.

Michael Hunt reminds us that Soup has had three horrific outings in a row, dating back to last years ass-kicking by the Phillies in game 3 of the NLDS. He was horrific then as well. This is getting bad. How long did the Giants take before they pulled the plug on Barry Zito last year? I recall he got shipped to the pen after 6 games, starting off 0-5.
In the end of Hunt's story, he says that Milwaukee should make a run for Jake Peavy. All I have to say is duh. Why not?

The Chicago Tribune poses the same question. Milwaukee needs another arm in the rotation.

Mike Cameron has been checking in with injured Giants pitcher Joe Martinez.

Now the Brewers have to face the speedy team, the Reds. Edison Volquez (0-1) takes to the mound against Yovanni Gallardo (1-0).
Here is pitching match-ups (probable).

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Rickie Weeks Wins The Game?!?!?!


2-2
Brewers 4 - Cubs 3

Indeed, the headline you just read is true. Rickie Weeks actually won a game for the Brewers yesterday in dramatic fashion. Thanks impart to a sloppy Chicago bullpen (Marmol & Gregg) and a well-placed grounder hit by Braunie, Milwaukee was able to notch their first home win. Weeks was able to drive home Billy Hall (who walked) with a timely double. Weeks than earned kudos for his attentive base running as well. When Braun hit a grounder to Ryan Theriot, the funny looking shortstop had a decision to make: either go for the double play (which would've been tough) or prevent the game-winning run to score in Rickie Weeks (who was on third). He picked the latter and made a pretty good throw. However, the backup catcher Koyie Hill bobbled the ball and Weeks executed a perfect head-first slide.

Meanwhile, the Milwaukee bullpen should also get some of the credit. Despite Seth McClung giving up a two-run homer to the back-up catcher, the relievers were spot on. Especially Todd Coffey and Carlos Villanueva.

Lou Piniella agreed with home plate umpire Jim Reynolds call.

Rich Hardin pitched a hell of a game, fanning 10 and giving up only 3 runs and 2 runs (96 pitches).
Braden Looper also pitched a solid game going 5 innings and giving up only 1 run. He did cough up 5 hits.
*Chicago out hit Milwaukee 9-4. Milwaukee batters also struck out 11 times.
*Rickie Weeks also had a game saving web gem in the 9th. He was able to catch a liner that would have easily score a run.

Miller Park is a pretty challenging park to play a 3 o'clock game.

Story on the clubs late (early morning) arrival back to Mitchell Airport and the insane fans that lined up 2 hours before the parking lot gates even opened.

The Brewers are the fifth most affordable ball club. For a family of four to go to the park, it would cost $147.00, compared to $197.00 (league average). Thank you Yankee pricks for driving up that average.

Jeff Skiles, deservedly threw out the first pitch for the home opener. He was the co-pilot (who gets little credit) who landed the plane in the hudson river. Hero.

2008 NL ROY is doubtful for this weekend series. Good news for Milwaukee's pitchers. Geovany Soto is a stud.

Yea (sarcasim ensues), the new Brewer fan shop is open. You can buy designer made handbags with Brewer logos on it. Because the only ones who would actually buy this item is some obnoxious 23 year old "woman" who probably will pass out in her seat by the 4th inning....or just pass out in the parking lot at her car.

Lastly, I was at Target on Miller Park Way last night with my wife Kelly. We were checking out and I looked who was behind us in line....it was none other than Carlos Villanueva. He was dressed in trendy Ed Hardy garb and he was buying a blanket, pillow, and some other items. He probably was going to shack up with a teammate or friend for the weekend or just rented a condo. I said, "Great game tonight" and he nodded. I then carried on my way as he did too.


"You can't ask for anything more than Rickie gives," McClung said. "He gets here early and works so hard. Nobody deserves it more.

"I just know it's going to come together for him. It might be happening right now." -jsonline.com


Friday, April 10, 2009

Riske Move Leads To Loss

1-2
Brewers 1 - Giants 7

I worked hard on that headline.
Wow. Last nights game was ugly. It seemed like the Brewers were just wanted the game to finish so that they could board their plane and make the long trek back to home. Manny Parra had a rough start to his season as did David Riske. The latter looked horrid. Nonetheless, it was ultimately the offense that really dropped the ball and didn't provide any sort of run support. They made Matt Cain look like the 2009 Cy Young winner. Albeit, he looked pretty good.

I think it was Bob Uecker that put it best, Manny Parra was over-throwing. He was trying far too hard. He looked solid for 3 full innings until his untimely collapse in the 4th. I hope this isn't starting to become a trend for the Southpaw. Last season he was fine through 4 innings, but would then fall apart in the 5th inning.

Matt Cain went 7 innings, giving up a lonely run and 4 hits

The core of the order went 1 for 12 (Prince, JJ, Braun)

Again, Mike Cameron reminded Brewer fans why he's still a stud....and why we didn't trade him away to NY for some scrubs. He had two hits, one being a double. He has had a hell of a road trip. It ended on a bad note though last night, to his dismay.

David Riske is proving to be a risk, the Brewers should have cut him when it made sense...instead of Lamb. He threw 25 pitches and gave up 4 hits and 2 runs. He looked pathetic. I realize this is the third game, but he has been nothing but a shlub since coming here from KC.

Mark DeFilice looked the most impressive, going 1 2/3 innings and giving up only 1 hit and a walk.

Now for the good news.....OPENING WEEKEND!

Today is the home opener for the Brewers, thus ensuring Wisconsinites that Spring is here and Summer is just around the corner.

The Journal Sentinel had a special feature on Opening Day in todays paper. Check it out!

-Micahel Hunt tries to explain a real Cubs fan....I don't buy it. They are all pathetic losers.
-For those who forgot the lay-out of Miller Park, you can check out a map of it HERE.
-I will be attending Saturday's game with my wife, sister-in-law, brother, and my wife's two cousins. We are attending the Leff's Lucky Town ( a sweet bar in Wauwatosa) party. They do it every year. Check out their website HERE. It was 75.00 per person for a ticket, pre-game food/beer/music and a shirt I believe. For those who are going to Leff's partay...here's a map (see below).
-HERE is another write-up on Opening Day!
The game starts at 3:07pm.
Rich Harden (RHP) vs Braden Looper (RHP)
Probable pitchers for the series
-More on Trevor Hoffman trying to get back to the bullpen.
Lastly....it was a sad day to be a baseball fan. Nich Adenhart's untimely death is just another example of how messed up this world can by.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Yovanni & Bullpen Deliver



1-1

Milwaukee 4 - San Fransisco 2

Although Milwaukee's new ace (soon to be) has only pitched one outing since last April, Yovanni Gallardo looked excellent in last night's win. Not only did the kid throw the ball hard, he also blasted a 3-run hommer that eventually led to Milwaukee first win of the season. Both he and Mike Cameron went the distance.

Most impressive was the fact that Randy Johnson (45 years old) intentionally walked Jason Kendall in order to get to the "inexperience pitcher". Mistake. Jonnson even gave a noticeable head-knod to catcher Benji Molina notifying him of a high fastball to see if Yo would chase. Well he did...and smacked it over the leftfield wall.
-Yovanni on Randy:
"Growing up watching him pitch, he's a great pitcher," Gallardo said of Johnson. "Not many people get the opportunity to do that. Going around the bases, I was very excited."
-Randy on Yovanni
"He's arguably theire best pitcher and he's got a great future ahead of him," said Johnson. "I wanted that pitch higher. You just tip your hat to him." -jsonline.com

Both Yovanni and Randy Johnson had pretty good outings. The grizzly veteran threw 5 innings with a couple of big mistakes. One was hanging one in on Mike Cameron that led to a solo-shot homerun, Milwaukee's first of the year. The other was going high in the strike zone on Yo. Johnson was still effective, striking out 7 batters and allowing only 4 earned runs on 4 hits. He only walked two batters.

Yovanii went 6 2/3 innings giving up 6 hits, striking out 6, 2 walks, and 2 earned run. He only slipped once when he beamed Fred Lewis with a wild pitch.

The bullpen threw 7 1/3 hitless innings and sealed the deal for Gallardo. Todd Coffey (hold) looked solid as did Carlos Villanueva (save) in his first game as a closer striking out two batters. Ken Macha pointed out that if it were allowed by the rules, there would've been two saves. Crazy-ass Macha.

The offense was held to only 5 hits that was led by Ryan Braun and Billy Hall's eaching hitting a pair of doubles.

Notes:
I was only able to watch the first 5 innings before turning it in. Since I dropped Dish and signed up with Charter, I have been learning the buttons on my remote. Apparently I screwed up in trying to record the remainder of the game. So I have yet to see the last 4 innings.
My note on that is Charter has not lived up to it's advertised value.

Ken Macha has done an about-face with his base runners. He said that they would be conservative, especially while in scoring position. Well, Braunie didn't get the message and got thrown out while trying to steal third....while PRINCE FIELDER was up to bat. That didn't impress me much (like Shania Twain).

Does anybody else cringe when they see Braunie slide while stealing or getting back to first? I do. With that strained oblique injury he had only weeks ago, one can't help but look past that. After all that's what limited him last year in September and October.

BTW...have you seen Ken Macha move his feet at all? He twists the torso to talk to his players and coach, but has cemented feet. He may also have a cemented mouth, the damn thing never moves. No fascial expression. He slightly smurked when Yo hit the homer. He reminds me of the a Catholic nun-teacher. Someone who has a ruler in hand ready to smack you in you get out of line. Which is good for this young team.

The three benchmen (Duffy, Nelson, and McGehee) are all waiting for their at-bats. Patience, your time will come.

Trevor Hoffman says he's almost ready. My only quelm about that is if Villanueva has impressive outings. Why fix something that's not broken? Was that included in TH's contract? That he had to close? Or could he set-up? Yes, it's only been one game. But TH won't be back for at least a week and if Carlos is throwing well in the closing role....

Casey McGehee donned a #52 jersey throughout spring training. When asked what number he wanted to wear in the regular season, Casey didn't care. He's just happy to be there. So the club had #14 hanging in his locker on Tuesday. Kind of nice. '

Cool story on Wisconsin Timber Rattlers' hitting coach Matt Erickson, who's an Appleton native.

Jerry Augustine looked really tired on FSWisconsin last night....really tired. He was rusty, but did have some good info. I miss Jeff Cirillo.

Antigo-native Justin Berg, who donns the #64 jersey (after hwy 64 that connects Merrill to Antigo) was sent to AAA already (Des Moines). Pretty impressive for the kid. He's already pitched at Yankee stadium!

Jordan Zimmerman will start in Syracuse (AAA) for the Nationals this season. He begins play today. He is a UWSP alumni.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Not since 2003....



o-1
Brewers 6 - Giants 11

Not since 2003 have the Milwaukee Brewers dropped their season opener. Both teams anticipated a rain-out up until an hour before the game. Thus resulting in a hurry-up effort for the two clubs to warm-up and get ready to play ball. Oh well.

Jeff Suppan (0-1) got off to a rocky start and didn't show much promise as being (on paper) Milwaukee's #1 in the rotation. He only lasted 4 innings and 64 pitches, but in that short amount of time the Giants did work on him. With only one strike out to his name, he certainly didn't bring his "A" game to the park. Giving up 6 hits and 6 earned runs this can hopefully be written off as Soup having the first-game jitters. On a bright note, the man hit a double that scored a run and only had one walk.

"It's a loss," Suppan said. "We play 161 more games."
"The reason why it is a big build-up is because you've been getting ready for it, this year, for two months. So, of course, there's excitement and anticipation, and it's definitely a big day. But I don't think how you play on opening day dictates how the season plays out." -Jsonline.com

Keep in mind Soup, look how many games Milwaukee lost year...that they should've won. Didn't that dictate the drama filled-last two weeks of the season? You win games you're supposed to. Last year the Crew swept the Giants for the season (along with the Pirates). Those are the games they are expected to win. If you can't win those, you're in trouble. Indeed, it's the first game....but the "who gives a sh*t" about the loss is for the birds.

Should we be concern? Not yet. Despite Soup's pretty piss-poor season last year, his control was not all that bad....considering the tight strike zone that the homplate umpire was calling.

Soup's counter-part wasn't much better. Tim Lincecum (1-0) lasted only 3 innings and giving up 3 earned runs and handing out 3 free passes and only 4 hits. He did however manage to strike out 5 Brewer batters. Most importantly, he got himself out of a first inning jam that could have tilted the way the game unfolded.

Offensively, there were plenty of bright spots in the Brewers lineup. Most noteably Ryan Braun and Rickie Weeks. Despite by distaste for Weeks, he certainly showed up to play yesterday, reaching first base 3 times. He went 2 for 3 with a double and an rbi.

Prince Fielder and Billy Hall also hit for extra bases.

Ryan Braun went 2-4, striking out twice
Three different Giants' hit homeruns (Rowand, Molina, Winn)

Billy Hall, to me, looked like he just received a new set of eye balls and he was getting use to them. During a couple of grounders he seemed off balanced and late. Perhaps it's just me being pissed off that he hit in to a double-play with runners at the corners early on in the game.

The offense looked pretty sharp, as did the defense. The pitching was the biggest concern, as expected. McClung hung in there for two innings and Soup certainly flashed some positive signs with his control. Dave Bush giving up a homerun in his first appearence will probably have a negative effect on his self-confidence. Every season he seems to get off to a shakey start. Nonetheless, I do believe that he is due for a break out season.

-Prince Fielder made the cover of "Bigs", video game. This is the only game I ever played when I had x-box 360. I then sold my console because I'm 30 and I have kids to raise.



-I stated up late to watch the ending of the Cubs - Astros game. The 'stros looked pretty damn good. It was nice to see Kevin Gregg lose the game for Chicago. His counterpart, Jose Valverde meanwhile pitched a scoreless 9th inning. After 10 innings, Astros won 3-2. I am still waiting for Milton Bradley to strain his thumb or pull a hamey.
-Ex Milwaukee Panter manager, Jerry Augustine joined the FSWisconsin team. That's pretty sweet considering he's a native.

-Lastly, I kept on getting faked out by the scorebox on FSWISCONSIN. It seems like the score keeper was constantly messing up the score and the count. Also, since when is FSN North now called "FS Wisconsin"? I like it.








Monday, April 6, 2009

Tidbits

Brewers begin their long journey that is the 2009 season tomorrow against the Giants.

-So there is a reason why they aren't playing today, along with all the other teams.

-Here is the predicted match-ups this week. Man this feels good to say that again.

-Vincent Rottino voluntarily dropped himself to AA ball in Huntsville in order to play everyday. This kid is a trooper and more ball players in the bigs could learn a thing or two from this student of the game.

-Closer Trevor Hoffman needs more time on the DL to rest his ailment. This sucks. Carlos Villanueva will take his place. TH hasn't pitched since March 13th. So one can expect him to have some rehab starts in Nashville. I wouldn't anticipate him appearing in Appleton, considering the temperature/climate.

-Did you know that Milwaukee has won more games than the Cubs the past 4 seasons? Well Mr. Melvin pointed that out in this story. Pretty sweet. It also mentions a number of other statistical feats.

-The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers have set their roster. This only makes me more determine to make the drive over to the Fox Valley and watch them play.
Brett Lawire, Cutter Dykstra, Evan Fredrickson, Cody Adams, Trey Watten, and Erik Komatsu are just a few of the prospects that will be donning a Maroon and White jersey this season.

-Tom Haudricourt wrote a neat story on the state of Panther Baseball at UW-Milwaukee. Wisconsin's only D-1 program in the state is making a name for itself. Despite playing on a run-down field that is in desperate need of an upgrade. Scratch that, the Panthers should be building a new stadium on near campus. Why the school hasn't committed to enhancing the program is on beyond me. By far, the playing field they play on now (Hank Aaron field) is the worst in the Horizon. Why haven't they discussed a partnership with Miller Park?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Opening Night

Thank goodness baseball has arrived. Although the Crew doesn't kick-off their season until Tuesday, the Phillies and Braves meet tonight on Sunday Night Baseball.

Nothing like watching HD on ESPN. Their channel, in my eyes, comes in the best and offers the best quality. Right behind them is WGN. However, I don't watch that station too often. But when I do watch the Cubs at times, I do notice that the colors are pretty clear.

The final roster has been turned in today and there doesn't seem to be any surprises. Gwynn is down in Nashville, Lamb is out, and Riske is in. There will be a couple of new names we'll get to know in Casey McGehee and Chris Duffy as well.

A number of preseason predictions came out the past couple of days. Most have Chicago taking the Central, with a few rebel "experts" picking the Cards. That's fine with me. Fly in under the radar. One thing is for sure, all critics believe that this will be a down year for the Central and that there aren't any teams that can compete with the Cubs. One thing I do agree on with some of the writers, is that the Reds will be quite competitive this season with Voto, Phillips, Bruce, and a decent rotation. We'll see.

Matt Vasgersian, one-time Brewer Radio commentator, feels that Milwaukee will compete for a playoff spot. It will be nice to see him on MLB network this season.

Jason Kendall wants to retire a Brewer (6 more seasons). Let him stay. He would make a great mentor for Salome when he comes up. Meanwhile Rivera is cursing his profile pic in the team-program.

Milwaukee looks to an explosive offense to offset their woefull pitching.

My feeling is that the current rotation has to survive the first half of the season in order for the Brewers to have a shot at the playoffs. Come June or July, Milwaukee should be able to pull in an ace via trade. Perhaps even sooner. The economic strain that some teams are going through will result in trade triggers being pulled faster/sooner in to the season. Melvin is patiently awaiting chatter.

Milwaukee beat the Dodgers yesterday in their Spring finale. Brad Nelson jacked a three-run homer to lift the Crew to a 7-4 win.

Mark Rogers is pitching pain-free and may start to make fans forget that he was a bust, when picked 5th overall in 2004. This is a nice piece done by his local paper in Maine. It would be nice to have both Rogers and Jeffress coming up through the system and actually cracking the rotation. Jeffress had his own problems when he tested positive for pot a couple of years back.
Melvin is thinking that Milwaukee will have a number of strong arms to chose from in the next couple of seasons. Additionally, Mike Jones (RHP) is also expected to contribute in the near future.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Last Call for Spring Training!

Milwaukee is about to begin their season next Tuesday in San Fransisco. Can't wait.

Until then, I like to talk about things that probably don't mean much once the season gets going.

- Milwaukee won a close one last night against Arizona, 8-7.
Corey Hart continued his solid spring performance by blasting a homerun (see next story link), along with Chris Duffy. Dave Bush got roughed up.

An innocent beach bimbo (misplaced) had her life spared when a fan caught a rogue homer hit by Corey Hart in yesterday's game.

-Finally, Tony Gwynn Jr. may be on the move. Either through waivers or via trade.

-Milwaukee picked up Jason Tyner (OF) to a minor league contract today.

-Alcides Escobar is not ready for the big time yet, this according to Macha. This most certainly dooms the rumors I heard involving JJ to San Diego for Jake Peavy (4-man deal).
Macha points out his eager defense and free swinging bat as concerns. The kid will get his call if JJ goes down with an injury, I'm sure.

-SI's Jon Heyman picks the Crew to finish 2nd in the NL CENTRAL. Mentions Brad Nelson and the seasoned veteran leadership.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I hate Dish TV


So I got home from work last night and ate some dinner that my wife prepared (thankful). After that I plopped down on the floor to play with my boys and watch some Brewer baseball on FSN-Wisconsin. Well....the game wasn't on.

Upon my initial disgust, I called up DishTv and was put in contact with some foreign element who couldn't speak a lick of English. I told him my problem, but he didn't understand because he didn't know what the Brewers do or play. Understandably, it's a "small market" team.

I finally got transferred three times to the corporate executive office in Denver. The lady was helpful and allowed me to back out of my contract (3 months remaining) because I would no longer be able to watch the Brewers on FSN-Wisc. anymore, due to a programming change.

This excites me. Dish has no MLB tv, FX in hd, FSN WISC (apparently), and local hd channels (in the 54452).
So I hooked myself up with Charter. For 157.95 (tax included) I am getting:
-two hd DVR boxes
-three tv connections
-HD Package (tnt, tbs, fx, etc..)
-PHONE & INTERNET

Compare that to the 120.00 or bucks I was paying for Dish, with no phone / Internet included...

In relevant news...

Milwaukee ended up losing that game to the Padres, 6-5.

Ryan Braun left the game in the second inning with a pretty serious thumb contusion. A Brian Giles liner was lost in the low-leveled lights and it bounced off Brauns' hand. Wisconsin held their collective breath until the X-Ray report came back negative. Regardless, Ken Macha is still worried about it.

Fielder went 2-3, with a double and scored a run.
Looper got the start and gave up 7 hits, 4 runs, 2 earned, in only 4 innings of work. Hopefully he will be ready to go by next week.

Last night Corey Hart and JJ Hardy flipped spots in the batting order. I don't care for this line-up change. Hart belongs near the top. Despite my feelings, Ken Macha is thinking about this change-up while heading in to the season.
Smartly, the Brewers' Matt Lamb was cut. Macha had a sit-down with him that probably went something like Bull Durham (when Crash was cut). The Brewers rewarded Casey Mcgehee by giving him a spot. Mark DeFilice will probably make the cut too.
Matt Lamb, on being cut:

Was the move a surprise?
"Yes and no," Lamb said. "Yes, because every indication I had from the offseason leading into Spring Training was that I was going to be on the team and see playing time at third base, depending on how Billy [Hall] did.
"Then, when I got to Spring Training, I started going into games in the seventh and eighth inning. And I went almost a week without playing third. It just wasn't adding up. I wasn't totally shocked, but I never dreamed I'd get released again. I don't think I merited that. I thought I played decent enough. My batting average wasn't that great, but I certainly don't think I was over-matched."
-Brewers.com

*Milwaukee will only have to eat 4k of the 3MM he's due. The lovely Twins will pick up the rest.

There will 95 Brewers games broadcasted in HD this season. Heaven. A total of 136 games will be televised.

Ex-Brewer Zach Jackson made the Cleveland roster (reliever). Good for him.

Milwaukee has already sold 1.75MM tickets. Impressive. Not to mention they are predicted to finish between 3rd and 5th place in the central....according to prediction specialists. (SI picked them second place). They are defying logic. Well said!

The Metavante Club may have to change it's name to the Fidelity Club. Who cares. Although I had always thought Metevante was well-run corporation with stability. The company went public only a year ago....


One more reason why I hate the Yankees...

I mentioned this in previous posts, but the new Yankee Stadium is really trying to cash-in on baseball. Their ticket prices are through the roof and only the rich will be able to enjoy watching a game there WITH OUT AN OBSTRUCTIVE VIEW.

Then you look at Milwaukee and see that they already sold 1.75 Million tickets this season.