Fact: Manny Parra has proven to be the most reliable arm in the starting rotation (aside from Yovanni Gallardo) over the past month. This kid seems to have his poise back and his confidence is sky high. This of course was what held him back and eventually resulted in him being sent down to the minors last year.
Well....Manny version 2.0 is stronger than ever. He led the Crew to 5-3 win over the Twins last night, therefore Milwaukee won the series. If they win this afternoon they will have taken the season series....when was the last time that happened? Even still, a loss would result in a tie.
Don't let Manny's 2-5 record fool you, he has a 3.83 ERA right now. The man has been spot-on in his starts by not allowing more than 3 runs in a single game (which he did twice). Despite last night's unfortunate club record of throwing 4 wild pitches (ouch), the southpaw connected for 6 K's and only 2 walks. The neat thing about Manny is that he seems hungry (cliche, I know) this season. He was steaming mad when Macha took him out of the game in the 6th with Morneau up to bat. It proved to be a wise move because Braddock was able to finish him off to end the inning.
Now on to the bullpen. Aside from the melt-down that took place in Denver over the weekend, the pen has been pretty damn good. Most of the credit can be given to the young John Axford, who has recorded 2 saves in consecutive games. Most impressive was Monday's save thanks to him going 2 complete innings. John Axford now has 6 saves on the season.
On a side note, I was actually hoping that Macha would turn to Trevor Hoffman last night. This can probably be blamed on the fact that I have him on my fantasy baseball team. I now have to drop him because it's looking like Axford is now the full time closer; disregard Macha's words that say otherwise. He would be foolish if he messed up this momentum. Now, if there was a save situation in today's game one can look forward to seeing Hoffman out there.
Rickie Weeks has been on a bit of a hot streak as of late, going 8 for 22 (.275 average). Granted, this stat isn't ground breaking or anything...or is it? Rickie Weeks' average has been horrible this season (.260) and his OPB is at a horrific .360.
Corey Hart's value continues to rise! The man is on fire with 55 RBI's, 18 HR's, and his average has lifted to .272. Most critics coined him as a one-dimensional hitter (power), but Hart has been lighting-up all statistical categories.
Just the opposite of Hart is Prince Fielder.....
He showed signs of heating up earlier in the month, but he's hovered back to 17 for 74 and his average is at .257 on the season.
This being said, it makes sense to deal Hart rather than Fielder next month. But keep in mind, who will replace Hart in RF? Edmounds sure as hell can't, and Gerut is still on the DL...plus he butts. They should almost hang on to him, unless a team like San Diego can fork over a pitcher.