Friday, October 21, 2011

How did I do on my 2011 predictions?

As typical everyear I post my preseason predictions.  Typically, I have been pretty damn good in years past.  I called that the SF Giants would make it to the World Series, which they won. 

Well, I once again called the NLCS right.  I had picked Milwaukee to make it to the series and lose to the Phillies.  Well, I was half-right, seeing that St Louis came through big down the stretch.  Take a look at how I did.....

World Series 2011

RED SOX win it all
Boston defeats Milwaukee
Well, I'm wrong all-together. 
Milwaukee defeats Philly: NLCS
Boston defeats Minnesota: ALCS
I had one correct team in the CS, Milwaukee
Milwaukee defeats Atlanta: NLDS
Philly defeats Colorado: NLDS
Boston defeats LA: NLDS
Minnesota defeats Tampa Bay: NLDS
Despite the spelling error, I did have Tampa Bay in the ALCS
Likewise with Philly and Milwaukee; So I had 3 out of the 8 teams rightAL East
Boston Red Sox
Tampa Bay Rays *
NY Yankees
Baltimore Orioles
Toronto Blue Jays
I picked Tampa to win the Wild Card, which they did
AL Central
Minnesota Twins
Detroit Tigers
Chicago White Sox
KC Royals
Cleveland Indians

AL West
LA Angels
Texas Rangers
Oakland Athletics
Seattle Mariners

NL East
Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves *
Washington DC Nationals
Florida Marlins
NY Mets

NL Central
Milwaukee Brewers
Cincinnati Reds
St Louis Cardinals
Chicago Cubs
Pittsburgh Pirates
I picked the Central Division winner right
NL West
Colorado Rockies
San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres
LA Dodgers
Arizona DBacks
The biggest failure...picking the DBacks last when they actually won it.

Here I wrote a few paragraps about my predictions.  I will highlight the areas where I was right:::

Boston is destined to rebound big time this season with the addition of Gonzo and Carl Crawford as well as a healthy rotation. Tampa will have the 2nd best rotation in the league, but their offense will struggle as they try to form as one with out Pena & Crawford. Baltimore could be the biggest surprise and even bump NY from 3rd place.

Minnesota is the best team in a poor division. They are the first to get bounced in the playoffs, but this season should be different. They have Kirk Gibson that can step up and fill the void if Francisco Loriano doesn't pan out. Detroit is always a threat, but can't compete with the Twins.

The Rangers will prove to be a fluke, even with the addition of Beltre and Brandon Webb. I wonder how their lockeroom will be with a newly appointed GM (Nolan Ryan), letting Feliz get his way in the starting rotation, and their treatment of Michael Young fresh on their minds. Meanwhile, never count out Mike Scosia and his club. They are sleepers and should be able to take the division, although it will come down to the wire.

The Rockies have the youth and the leadership to win the NL West. I truly feel that San Fran will falter down the stretch. They have the risky Barry Zito and a young hurler who could stumble in his 2nd full season (Madison Bumgarner), while Tim Linsecum has shown that he can be sketchy at times. Having a solid bullpen will help though.

Milwaukee and Cincinnati will battle back and forth this season. But Milwaukee pitching depth (yes, you read that correctly) will surpass the Reds. Both teams will run the stat board when it comes to offense, but Prince Fielder is destined to have a career season and Ryan Braun is showing no signs of slowing down. Milwaukee's pitching will be better than Cincy's, bullpens included.

The NL East will have the a repeat of 2010 on their hands when Atlanta and Philly battle it out. Don't count the Nationals out early....they are destined to make a significant jump this season, while the Marlins and Mets drop off.

Obviously, I picked the AL CY Young winner wrong (will go to Verlander), but Halladay has a shot
Long shot, but I could also get the Prince Fielder MVP prediction right.  If he doesn't win, he'll finish 3rd or 4th.
NL ROY will go to what's-hit-nuts from the Braves (the closer) while the AL ROY is unknown.Far-fetched individual awards:
AL Cy Young: David Price
NL Cy Young: Roy Halladay
AL MVP: Miguel Cabrera
NL MVP: Prince Fielder
AL ROY: Kyle Drabek
NL ROY: Freddie Freeman

Monday, October 17, 2011

All good things must come to an end

Now that the Brewers have closed out their 2011 season it's time to look ahead.  How do they capatilize off what they accomplished this season?  How does a small market team compete next year with out their star first baseman?  How do they upgrade this offseason at the corner-left infield?  Who will man RF next season?  Will Corey Hart take over 1B?  Is Taylor Green the answer at 3B?  Can the Crew lure Jose Reyes this off-season? 

So many questions--with no easy answers.

Here's what we know, Milwaukee will probably have the same starting rotation in 2012.  The bullpen will look the same as well, except for KRod and a few other names not worth mentioning (I don't have their contract info in front of me). 

The offense may still have Carlos Gomez manning CF and possibly even Nyjer Morgan, if he can be signed at a reasonable price.  The biggest question mark is in RF, with Corey Hart being either dealt this offseason or moving over to 1B.  That of course is pending the Prince Fielder question, which is pretty much accepted that he will be moving on to waters. 

The infield will also probably have some new faces.  SS will be vacant and 3B will probably have Taylor Green manning it next season.  Green of course was a mid-season call-up and then apart of the playoff roster.  Ideally, Milwaukee will like it if they can some how move the 29 year-old Casey McGehee to a new club in return for some prospects.  Most likely, McGehee will stay-put however, as he is only 1 season removed from having 100 RBI in 2010.  But his knees aren't getting any more durable. 

Jose Reyes will be the most sought after free agent (who's names aren't Prince & Albert) this offseason.  Reyes would be a welcomed addition, when Prince bounces town.  He would be cheaper and he still has plently of ball left in him (29 years-old).  My only concern with him is his weak-ass hamstrings and the idea of him spending at least 2 stints on the 15 day DL.  He did so for the Mets this season, in the midst of earning his batting title and his career season.  Other options at SS would be Jamey Carrol (old as dirt) and Hairston Jr, who plays 3B far better. 

So barring any freak injuries or big roster moves, the Brew Crew will look the same except for the #4 spot in the line-up, as well #6. 

Will Milwaukee try to add 1 more arm to their rotation?  It's doubtfull, considering all 5 of the starters will be back in 2012.  However, if Melvin can score a CJ Wilson or CC Sabathia, you can imagine that either Marcum, Wolf, or Narveson will be dealt for a SS or 1B.  My guess is that Marcum would be moved to an American League team in return for some infield help, since he has 1 season left and is up for his final arbitration. 

Season Over, Prince heading out of town (?).

Well,  as soon as Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin heard that RR was going to start Marcum in game 6, we all pretty much knew it was going to be over....and it was.

St Louis defeated Milwaukee 12-6 in the deciding game 6 and they will be representing the National League in the World Series against the Texas Rangers.

Prince went 0-4 in the game and 1 for 14 in games 3 thru 6.  He made a couple of decent defensive plays, but otherwise, was quiet the rest of the series. 

All in all, it was disappointing to see the Brewers lose this series.  I'll type more later. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Milwaukee ties NLCS up 2-2 with St Louis

  After dropping 2 in a row to St. Louis, Milwaukee rebounded last night in a 4-2 win at Busch Stadium.  Thanks impart to some small ball, the Brewers were able to claw their way back from being down 2 runs.  The Cardinals got off to a quick start with solo jacks by Allen Craig and Matt Holliday off of the shaky Randy Wolf.  Lucky for the Crew, Randy Wolf shook it off and pieced together one of the best postseason outing in franchise history.  Albeit he has some fierce competition for that nod, but given the circumstances of the game (down 2 games to 1) I feel this is worthy of that make believe award.

Randall Wolfster (1-0) went 7 complete, giving up 2 earned runs on 6 hits.  He tallied 6 k's and 1 free pass.  Wolf even contributed at the plate with a line drive double. 
The bullpen did the rest.  KRod pitched the 8th and gave up a hit and struck out 1 while John Axford collected his 2nd save of the postseason; giving up 1 hit to Lance Berkman (PH). 

At the plate, Jerry Hairston Jr has been unreal!  He went 2-4 with a double and a RBI last night and made some key defensive plays. 

Jerry Hairston has been the unsung hero this offseason; heck even the month of September he has been on point.  Doug Melvin knew exactly what he was getting when he made the mid-season move to bring in Hairston Jr.   This veteran infielder can play anywhere on the field, most importantly, he was the fill-in for Rickie Weeks while he was on the mend for his twisted ankle.  Felipe Lopez was brought in from Tampa's AAA team/affiliate as soon as Rickie's news broke that he would miss 4-6 weeks.  Lopez got off to decent start with a 2 hit game in his first stint back at Miller Park, but it was obvious that Milwaukee needed somone larger than that.  Hairston has World Series experience, although not much, but he did have 6 AB's with a hit back in 2009 with the Yankees.  He also went 1 for 2 in the ALCS that year against the Angels. 

Hairston Jr. brought his cornerstone defensive play to 2B and now he's the sure shot at 3B, in place of the struggling Casey McGehee.  The 35 year-old is a leader in the club house and plays with raw emotions in the batter box.  He makes contact with the ball and has been relied on a couple of times this postseason to deliver. 
Thus far,Jerry has gone....
 6 for 16 against the DBacks in the NLDS; with 2 key doubles, 2 walks, and 3 runs batted in. Against the Cardinals, his 6 for 16 with 3 doubles and 1 RBI line has been a reliable crutch in this offense.  Especially over the past couple of games where Milwaukee's Braun & Fielder have failed to homer.

 Tonight, it's Zack Greinke vs Jamie Garcia (LHP).  Corey Hart and Carlos Gomez are starting in the outfield.  Hopefully Hart will start to come around.  He's been absolutely horrible so far.

Cordell Hart is hitting a piss poor .196 in the postseason play (2008 & 2011).  Even worse, the Kentucky redneck is down to a .83 at the plate: 1 for 12, 3 strike outs, 2 walks in the NLCS.

Meanwhile, Nyjer Morgan (who is no stranger to hitting pitches in the dirt) is racking up a stellar average this October.  Dude is hitting .310 at the plate and has driven in 3 runs.  He's the spark that ignites this team.  Nyjer is a must start in game 6 & 7.

Granted, Morgan can be way too much to handle at times (most of the times)....he's the missing piece in this Brewers puzzle of an outfield.  He's much needed.

It's fun to read some of these looks from the nation's media outlets.  Here are some that are worth reading....

New York Times looks in to the rivalry between St Louis and Milwaukee with an emphasis on beer making.

Wall Street Journal also touches on the suds series.... Did you know it costs $8 to buy a rice beer at Busch Stadium?!?! It's only 5.50 for a barley/hops brewed Miller at Miller Park.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Milwaukee's offense does the talking

What a game yesterday.  It was a game of highs and lows, having Milwaukee coming back twice in the game.  At one time they were down by 3 runs.  But with this offense and power in the middle of the order, the Milwaukee Brewers are hard to keep down.  The Crew won game 1 by a score of 9-6.  

  Both Prince & Braun smacked home runs yesterday, with the latter also hitting a 2-run double.  All together, Milwaukee collected 5 double by five different players.  Rickie Weeks, who was struggling at the plate this post season added to that mix.

  Most impressive has been the play of Yuni B.  The man has flat out been raking in the playoffs.  Yesterday Yuni went 2 for 4 with a double and a HR.  He gets my nod for player of the game (slight edge over Braun and Saito).

Zack Greinke earned the win, but was far from perfect in his 6 innings of work.  He allowed 6 earned runs on 8 hits.  But he did tally 6 SO's and walked 2.  Saito was the star of the pitching game, holding the Cards with runners on the corner.  Sait had Alberta Pujols hit in to a double play (typical Alberta fashion).

John Axford recorded the save yesterday.  In order to collect the last out of the game, he had to take a liner off his throwing arm.  But he was still able to throw the runner out and he says he's OK.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The NLCS....the no love championship series

How ironic, the last time Milwaukee won a playoff series was in 1982 when they came back from being down 2-0 and beat the California Angels.  They would later lose to the St Louis Cardinals in the World Series in a closely contested series.  Now it's time for revenge.  Revenge from those days when the '82 boys couldn't seal the deal, revenge from 2007 when Milwaukee and St Louis got in a beam ball battle in September, and this season when tensions flared from both sides.

The Cardinals fell to the Brewers hard in the early season series' but then came storming back in August and September to even it up, 9-9.  Both sides have similar ERA, batting averages, and other statistical areas.  Granted, they're not as close of a team as the Diamondbacks were.  But this will be a series that will be played and won with some small ball, some power, and most importantly--its pitchig.

Jamie Garcia takes to the mound against Zack Greinke in todays Game 1 at 3:00pm. 

Let the trash talking BEGIN.
It's obvious both sides respect each other's game, but they hate each other personally.  From Carp's distasteful tactics of yelling at batters and mad dogging them, to Tony Plushs' habit of cocking of pitchers with his (I hate using this word) swagger. 
Tony Larussa hates the Brewers, that's a no-brainer really.  I think he fuels a lot of this,dating back to 2007.  When Zack Greinke told the press Friday night that the Crew doesn't like Carp, we all knew that.  I mean, Milwaukee doesn't like Carp.  So when Greinke said that, what's the big deal?  Well, Tony Laruss didn't seem to care for it.  

Nice summary of the upcoming series by NY Times.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Marcum flops / D-backs take Brewers to game 4

Arizona 8, Milwaukee 1
For whatever reason, Shaun Marcum has been horse shit over the past 5 starts.  Thinking that Roenicke was on to something, he pitched Greinke on short rest and took his chances on sending Marcum to the mound on the road.  Since Marcum has been better than damn good on the road this season, it all made sense.  However, in Randy Wolf-type fashion....there was a communication break down between Marcum and Lucroy that resulted in Paul Goldschmidt hitting a grand slam HR with 2 outs in the 5th.  Only this whole incident happened after Ron Roenicke decided to intentionally walk Miguel Monterro (clean-up hitter) in order to try their luck on Goldshit (.387 average with bases loaded).  Wrong choice.  But hey, Roenicke hasn't made too many blatent mistakes this season.  Granted, you don't want to see him start now in the NLDS. 

Josh Collmentor was lights out, stifling the Crew over 7 complete innings, giving up 1 earned run (a mistake to Corey Hart ended up as HR).  He struck out 6 while only issuing 2 free passes.  That makes 20 total innings in 2011 (14 scoreless innings in the reg season), and dude only gives up 1 run.  His over-the-top approach would have hopefully been figured out by the 3rd inning, hell, even Sampson or his sidekick (TBS analyst) said Josh was tipping his pitches.  But that clearly didn't help.  It's like he's Braveheart throwing a gosh damn battle hatchet.

So, on to game 4 we go.  Randy Wolf takes to the mound in a couple of hours and George Kottarus will hopefully provide that usual spark from the plate. 

It's decision time!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Brewers aiming for NLCS; D-Back's face possible elimination

What a time to be sick....right when the Brewers are on the cusp of earning their first ever trip to the National League Championship Series!  I have been out of commission for almost a week due to the cold.  But am ready to stay awake to watch game 3 tonight.

Milwaukee is on all cylinders right now and taking their show on the road to Arizona where they will try to sweep the D-backs right out of the playoffs. 

Here is a look at the storylines leading in to tonight's game:

Shaun Marcum is at ease as he will take to the mound tonight.  Having come over from the AL East, Marcum feels ready and willing to do work in Arizona.  His NL best road era of 2.21 will go up against Josh Collmenter (10-10, 3.38).  Collmenter blanked the Crew earlier in the season, but that was when the Crew was resting Ryan Braun, Nyjer Morgan was on the DL and Jerry Hairston Jr was still playing in DC. 

Speaking of Hairston, he's probably one of the biggest acquisition during the 2011 season--which was all but under the radar.

Nice story on Saito by the Phily Daily News.  This 41 year-old reliever had to go through a lot this season; from the earthquake that rocked his home country to the many injuries that had set him back through out the first half of the season. He's a big piece to the bull pen though! 

Prince is ready for the Chase Field boo's.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

96-66: The 2011 Brewers beat out the 1982 Brewers

96 WINS 96 wins
96 wins
96 wins

Last night the Milwaukee Brewers notched their 96th win of the season, thus beating out the storied team from 1982 for the best franchise record.  What a season Milwaukee, thank you!

Zack Greinke allowed earned his 16th win of the season, this after missing the first 5 of the regular season, after going 6 complete and giving up 2 earned runs on 5 hits.  He looked damn good and brought some nasty stuff.

Offensively, Lucroy & Hart went yard in the same innings while GO GO GOmez followed suit an inning later. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

95-66: Prince blasts 3 HR's in route

Brewers beat the Pirates last night 6-4 behind a career night by Prince Fielder.  He hit his 36, 37, and 38th home run of the season while Rickie Weeks blasted the longest home run by a right handed batter in Miller Park history. 

It was another tough day on the mound however, as Randy Wolf looked sloopy and out of sync with George Kottaras.  He gave up 4 earned runs on 9 hits in only 5.2 innings of work (the 5.2 innings is normal for pre-playoffs).  Regardless, Randy Wolf's era will finish at a surprising 3.69 for the season.

Speaking of, how about our starting rotation?!?!

Yovani Gallardo (17-10) 3.52 era / 207 SO / 207.1 innings -- that's a strike out per inning!
Shaun Marcum (13-7) 3.54 era / 158 SO / 200.2 innings -- similar as 2010, more walks though
*Zack Greinke (15-6) 3.86 era / 197 SO / 165.2 innings -- 197 K's and he missed a month!
Randy Wolf (13-10) 3.69 era / 134 SO / 212.1 innings -- most innings pitched in the rotation
Chris Narveson (11-8) 4.45 era / 126 SO / 161.2 innings -- biggest surprise of the rotation, excellent #5
     *pitching tonight

Chris Narveson (15 day DL) and Zack Greinke (first 6 weeks of season) were the only pitchers to go on the DL in 2011.  That's a huge difference compared to the years past. 

You want to see something funny?  Watch THIS video clip of Ryan Roberts grand slam home run last night, called by Darron Sutton.  Noticed the lack of fans in the stands.  Miller Park had over 40,000+ fans jammed in the park.  It looks like there are maybe 5k (if they're lucky). 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Monday, September 26, 2011

94-65: Crew cruises past Fish in series sweep.

Milwaukee, not showing any signs of coasting through the final days of the season, cruised to a victory yesterday afternoon against the Fish. I will admit, I didn't even tune it because I watching the Packers play. Granted, I should've because we're only days away from October baseball starting, but I have been on baseball overload as of late. Friday & Saturday's games drained me. How cool was that? My gully.

The Brewers set a Miller Park record with their 55th win of the season, by beating Florida 9-5 behind Chris Narveson's (11-8) nice outing.  He went 6.1 innings allowing 4 earned runs on 5 hits, 5 K's and 5 walks. 
It was the bullpen, the unheralded bullpen that has been the reason behind Milwaukee's pennant, that closed it down. K Loe went 1.1 innings and gave up an earned run, while Hawkins & Estrada finished it off. 

Ryan Braun hit his 33rd HR of the season.  If he doesn't win the gully.

Enough with the about the NLDS....

Who will start at 3B?  It's looking more and more like Casey McGehee will be the odd man out.  Jerry Hairston, Taylor Green, and Counsell will probably all take starts, with Hairston probably getting 2 starts in the NLDS.   Casey is 4 for 52 and his BA has dropped to .224 on the season.  Not exactly what you want to see at the corner.  He also has 20 errors, which is good for 3rd worse in MLB.   

Don't forget that Milwaukee is hosting a playoff rally on Thursday down at the Summerfest grounds. 

My name was NOT selected in the ticket lottery.  This made me sad.  I suppose I should've entered a few more times.


Sunday, September 25, 2011


What a game--what a game.  Milwaukee was on all cylinders Friday night, especially Ryan Braun.  It was his 3-run blast in the 8th inning that sealed the deal for the Suds City.  Just like in 2008 when Braun hit a grand slam in the 8th that capped their first playoff appearence since '82.  Pictures and videos can only begin to do this event any justice.....Milwaukee won 4-1 and the Cubbies (beloved for one night) beat the Cardinals.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Magic Number at 2 heading in to the weekend...

The time has come for the Milwaukee Brewers to seal the deal and to bring home a pennant.  With the Pirates coming to town and the Cardinals dropping last night's game 6-8 (against the Mets), the stars have finally aligned over Miller Park.  The Central Division could get wrapped up tonight with a little help from the Cubs, who play the Cards starting at 7:15pm tonight.  My guess is that Milwaukee will win tonight and they'll have to wait around for 10-15 minutes to celebrate, because I have a feeling the Cubbies are going to come through.  They hate the Cardinals more than they hate us; not that it matters.  It's not like they're saying, "Man...let's whoop ass on them Red Birds to help out our dogs that live an hour up the road from us.  Regardless, Chicago is 5-5 over the past 10 games and if they play tonight like they played Milwaukee this past series....there could be a party in Milwaukee tonight.  I am willing to guaranty that Chicago will win at least 1 game of this series.  So all Milwaukee has to do sweep this series.  By the way, Pittsburgh is 3-7 in the same time span.

Tonight, Milwaukee's true ACE of the team Yovani Gallardo (17-10) will take to the mound againts RHP Chris Volstad (5-12, 5.13).

The Brewers' Minor League coaching changes have been named and Don Money will no longer be the manager of the Sounds.  He has been named to the role of Special Instructor/Player Development.  In his place will be the Huntsville Stars old manager, Sandy Guerrero.  In Sandy's place will be Minor League Hitting Coordinator, Darnell Coles. 

Damn it, I wish I had ESPN Insider subscription, because THIS STORY was on to something.  Granted, if you don't have a membership you can only read a few paragraphs....but they hit it on the head.  Once Prince leaves in December-Feb this offseason, Milwaukee will then have some cash freed up to make an off-season move of their own.  Possibly a couple of moves.  Could they go out and reel in an even better 5th starter in their rotation?  Narveson has certainly delivered this season, I should say over-delivered (10-8, 4.40 era).  But pitching wins championships.  That's a long shot of course, but they will need a new set-up man and a 1B.  Better yet, they'll need a new SS and possibly even a 3B if Taylor Green isn't "the one". 

This of course leads to an even more pressing question....who's the answer at 3B this postseason?  Platoon the likes of McGehee & Green, possibly even Josh Wilson?  My feeling is that you stick with Casey and let give him the NLDS to prove himself.  If he hasn't had a spark in his offense by the end of the 2 game homestand (against the Braves, in this scenario), then you scratch him for Green/Wilson platoon.   My question, in hind sight, is why didn't Milwaukee just leave Mat Gamel at 3B?  They had to have known that he would not be the answer at 1B next season when Prince Fielder leaves for SF or whereever he'll go.  They should've kept Gamel where he is comfortable....if there is such a thing.  I just don't think he'll be a contibutor at the big league level, especially if he's not at 3B. 

It's time to put the women and children to bed and go looking for dinner.....Bring it home Milwaukee!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

91-64: Brewers magic number dwindles down to 3

Please please please St. Louis, don't lose tonight.  Milwaukee takes on Chicago for a day game (1:20pm) while the Cardinals play the Mets at home later tonight.  If the Brewers and Cardinals both win, the Crew will be celebrating their first pennant since 1982 at home in bed or at a bar, apart.  They need this celebration in order to build off it heading in to the last 2 series of the season and then on to the post season.  Isn't it nice?  I'm sitting here bitching about the Brewers clinching too soon. 

Shaun Marcum was lights out last night, make no mistake about it. He went 8 complete innings and gave up 1 earned run on 5 hits, 7 strike outs, and no walks.  This is what Milwaukee fans want to see during the final days of the regular season.  Frankie Rodriguez had 3 k's and gave up 1 hit, looking equally impressive. 

Marcum & Hart each doubled, the only extra base hits for the Crew. 

Ryan Braun went 1 for 5 and his batting average dropped to .332 on the season; Jose Reyes is at .331.  So they are neck and neck in the batting king race. 

My guess is that Ryan Braun will win MVP this season and Prince Fielder will finish 3rd.  Jose Reyes or Kemp will finish 2nd. 

If Milwaukee wants to make a big off-season splash, they'll target corner infielders.  No better place to look than Aramis Ramirez.   The 3B pool this off-season for free agents is small.  Milwaukee has to ask themselves if they should bet on McGehee (0-4 last night) & Green to platoon 3B next season or go on a for-sure thing like Ramirez.  I think you could sign Ramirez and work out a trade that could send Taylor Green (and another prospect) to a team for a SS.  Time will tell in October on what Milwaukee will do the leftside of that infield, but I have a feeling that it's not going to improve much. 

Mike Fiers (RHP) may get his first big league start of his career against Pittsburgh

Milwaukee's rotation, as I see it, will be:
The Brewers will clinch the 2nd best record in baseball, thus giving them homefield advantage in the NLDS.  They will face either Atlanta or St Louis in Milwaukee.
1. Yovani Gallardo
2. Zack Grinke
3. Randy Wolf
4. Shaun Marcum

You know damn well that Greink will pitch at home, as his record is spotless at Miller Park.  So he's a shoe-in for the 2nd spot in the rotation; that way he doesn't have to pitch on the road.  Gallardo has always been the team's ace and should be #1 guy.  That's a long term investment type thing Milwaukee's coaching staff will give him, since he's going to be around a while.  Zack & Marcum (and Wolf too, I think) could all be gone after the 2012 season. 

long relief: Narveson
7th Hawkins
8th KRod
9th Axford

I don't see Saito staying healthy in October, as he is already experience some calf stifness and was unavailable for last night's game.  He's brittle, but damn good when healthy.
Loe will probably be used here and there, depending on the rest for the others. Estrada will be the odd man out all together, unless our SP's blow it in back-to-back games.

90-64: Milwaukee's Narveson flops hard

Monday, September 19, 2011

90-63: Back to the basics for Milwaukee

It was Jonathon Lucroy who last week told AM 1250 that Milwaukee destined to have a break out series coming up.  Well....he was right.  Milwaukee swept the Reds out of Great American Ball Park and they are now on their way to Chicago, where they'll hopefully clinch the pennant.  Which sucks if you think about how small that club house is at Wrigley.  It's going to look like a bunch of grown men smashed in to a janitors closet. 

The Brew Crew took game one with a score of 6-3. 
The Brew Crew took game two with a score of 10-1.
The Brew Crew took game three with a score of 8-1.
Do the math at home now, and that gives you 24 runs by Milwaukee. 

Milwaukee can now breath a sigh of relief.  With their magic number down to 4 games and only 3 more series left to play, the Brewers will probably keep their rotation the way it is and shoot for the #2 spot in the playoffs (home field advantage). 

More speculation on where Prince will end up next season.  I'm seeing Albert Pujols staying put in St Louis and Prince going to Washington DC.  In return, Milwaukee will either land James Looney from the Dodgers or be a long shot at getting Lance Berkman to fill in at 1B.



Thursday, September 15, 2011

87-63: Brewers turn Miller Park in to a flop house

What a piss poor game to watch.  I will tell you right now, between that game last night and the comments made by KRod and Prince Fielder over the past's starting to make me feel like this team is trying to shoot themselves in the foot. 

With the magic number at 8 games and the Cardinals now within 5.5 games of capturing the pennant, Milwaukee would rather play the "look at me" card and have two of their star players put the spot light on themselves.

KRod...well, we all know that he's a prick.  I'm not that pissed that he opened his yapper.  He's a closer that has been filling in as our set-up man and he's been doing an excellent job.  Who really cares if he's unhappy, he's gone after this season anyways.  If anything, he's hurting his own new contract cause because he's now opened his fat mouth with the last 3 clubs that he has played with.  One of which was in NYC where he beat the shit out of his pops-in-law.  Look, he's a stud of a closer, but who in their right mind is going to give him some shots when Axford has been doing the job?   Unhappy, who the hell cares.

Prince Fielder told TBS that he was done in Milwaukee.  A bit pre-mature to say don't you think Prince.  Look, I'm not an idiot, I'm not blind, you're on your way out.  But you're here now, so why say stupid things like that?  Aren't you trying to win a pennant?

Drew Olson from & wrote THIS about the situation.
Dan Patrick, while on his AM radio show, echoed Drew's words

I truly feel that Milwaukee will win the NL Central, but the way things have been going...they could make an early exit if they don't get home field advantage and start pulling their heads out of their asses.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

87-62: Ryan Braun Walks Brewers Off

Ryan Braun hit his first walk-off homerun since 2009 last night, during a low scoring duel against the Rockies.  Milwaukee came behind after Prince Fielder crushed his 32nd HR of the season and also contributed a double (.294 BA) while Casey McGahee hit a line drive double that almost scored Rickie Weeks.  Thanks to a couple of errors and some laboring by Zack Greinke, he only lasted 5 innings.  He exited after his 116th pitch.  But Milwaukee's relievers stepped up, especially Kameron Loe.  He was able to get out of a jam with 2 men on.  John Axford earned the win after going 2 strong innings in the 9th & 10th innings. 

Milwaukee's 2011 schedule was released today.  The NL Central is matched up with the AL Central; they'll be playing KC, Minnesota (of course, twice), White Sox and at home against the Blue Jays (AL Central).  The city of Milwaukee will also host a "true" Opening Day game versus the Cardinals at 3:00pm on April 6th.  So that will be a gem of a game for me to see in-person!

I'm looking at doing a trip with my wife out West when Milwaukee travels to San Diego and San Fran during the first week of May.  That should be a fun trip. 

The All Star game for 2012 will be in KC.

LaTroy Hawkins is a nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award for 2011.

KRod is the designated closer for tonight's game against the Rox, since Ax went 2 innings last night.

Very cool cause that Kilar Family is doing to honor their 6 year-old son who passed away (killed by a drunk driver).  They are looking to raise funds to build a field of dreams for youth baseball.  It would resemble the field in Dyersville, IA as seen on "Field of Dreams", from what I heard, with the corn as the outfield fence.

Monday, September 12, 2011

86-62: Milwaukee snaps 5 game losing streak

I'm calling it a blessing in disguise.  This recent beating the Brewers received from the Phillies could be a blessing because things were going too perfect for too long prior to last weeks series with St Louis. 

Milwaukee was able to scrape off a win during the 4 game series with MLB's best team.  If you think about it, all of the game were close and could have gone either way, but they didn't.  Put things in to prospective, Narveson wouldn't have pitched Thursday night if we were in the playoffs. 




Thursday, September 8, 2011

85-59: Fugly loss in St Louis

The Crew ended the season with a .500 record against the Cardinals (9-9).  It was a disappointed way to end the season series with them, getting shut out by Carpenter (complete game) and the clowns 2-0.  Seeing Nyjer act like a hot head and then both benches clearing in the 9th. Don't get me wrong, I love this rivalry and I wish they would've come to blows....back in August.  But this is September and there's only 18 games left to play with an 8.5 game lead over the Cardinals.  Don't give them reason to try any harder than they have to in order to catch up.  Tony LaRussa, Carp, and Pujols all handled it well and with well spoken words in their interviews.  All three of them said that Nyjer is a good player, but that sometimes his unorthodox way of celebrating or talking trash takes the focus away from him being a good player.  Pujols hit it on the head, why is Nyjer Morgan on 3 different ball clubs in 3.5 years?  That's easy to answer, because  he had no guidance and he was playing for Minor League teams (DC & Pittsburgh) in Major League Baseball.  Look, I hate the Red Birds more than the Cubs even....but Nyjer was out of line with his antics.  But that'll happen, that's the type of player he is.  He'll also be the first player out there defending his teammates.  He's the reason why Milwaukee is going to win the Central!

Casey McGehee started the festivities last night when he got ejected in the 4th inning on a questionable strike 3 call.  Morgan of course followed in the 9th with his own invite out.   

The Brewers have the Central all but wrapped up, yet they still have to play the Phillies in a 4 game series at home and then the remainder of the games are against teams under .500 on the season.  Milwaukee could go up a 1/2 game on the Cards if they win tonight, due to the Cardinals having the night off before they take on the Braves at home. 

Rickie Weeks will be back tonight!  He'll get eased back in and probably not start at 2B until next week, is my guess.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

85-57: Milwaukee's win streak hits 4 / Stifles Red Birds

Milwaukee is back on a roll after sweeping Houston and taking the first game of their series in St Louis. 

The Crew is now 10.5 games ahead of the Cardinals and 4 games ahead of Arizona.  The DiamondBacks are trying to catch up on the Crew in order to get home field advantage.  As it stands, Milwaukee would take on Atlanta in the NLDS.  The DBacks are now 9-1 over their last 10 games and the hottest team in baseball thanks to Ian Kennedy's NL best 18 wins (Verlander has 21 wins in AL). 

This picture (above) was taken before the Brewers were leaving Houston on Sunday.  Nyjer Morgan thought of this idea and even presented a new alter-ego in "Tony Tombstone" (see below).  If I was a fan of any other team in baseball, I would be pretty annoyed by Nyjer.  But it can't be overlooked what he has added to this clubhouse.  Since coming on board in April (Cutter Dykstra trade), Morgan has added some energy and identity to the Crew.  Let it be known that the only personality that wasn't bland in that locker room was Carlos Gomez, and he can barely speak any English.  Let's face it, if I wanted to hang out with a team and drink some beers--the Brewers would not be that team.  Prince would sit there quietly, Braun would be admiring himself in the mirror, McGehee would pet his beard, and only one would be fun....John Axford. 

Although i agree that some of Axford's facebook statuses have been odd and almost nerdy, he's a unique guy that likes to have fun.  Likewise with Nyjer Morgan; both players provide a spark and lighten up the mood when there's a 5 game losing streak or someone is in a funk.  LaTroy Hawkins seems to feed off this energy and often times tweets about it.  He's been quoted numerous times as saying Nyjer only needed some veteran oversight in order to perform at his level in 2011.  Prior to, he was constricted and frowned upon by the young locker rooms in DC & Pittsburgh.  Here in Milwaukee, he's embraced by the state and the team's management.  

With a .308 batting average and season-long resume that includes a number of clutch hits, he's been the best addition to the team this season.  Throw in Jerry Hairston Jr, and you have the GM of the year in Doug Melvin as well as a Manager of the Year in Ron Roenicke.  Sure, the GM of the Diamond Backs could arguably be the pick, while Jerry Manuel for the M of the Y.  But I'm biased...and Milwaukee has a longer history of sucking balls. 

George Kottarus hit for the cycle over the weekend and he's the only one to do so in Major League Baseball this season.  He's been outstanding in the back-up role and he could be used as trade bait in the off-season. 

Mat Gamel: Why didn't he get called-up for expanded rosters?

Neat story by the Post-Dispatch on the Crew.  Apparently Randy Wolf has a brother that umps for MLB; whenever the rotation matches up for him to cover the Crew, they shuffle the older brother out of town to cover a different game.  Apparently he's so popular, he can't visit his favorite restaurants in Milwaukee because of his connection to Randy.  My guess is that the two probably resemble each other (See below, left). 

Milwaukee is looking at (possibly) having a batting king and a league MVP if things work out. Ryan Braun is looking at being crowned the Batting King for the NL. He remains ahead of Jose Reyes by a handfull of points. Prince Fielder and Braun are up for the NL MVP and both could win it (split? could happen). The only other player that's a threat is Matt Kemp, who's hitting .320 with 32 HR's. But the Dodgers are going no where this season and winning does matter in the ballot box. So I would expect to see Braun as the MVP if he takes the batting crown. If he doesn't, Prince Fielder will take the MVP. Of course, this is all barring any injury or prolonged slump.

Q&A w/ Mr. Baseball, def worth a read.
Pujols crying about the shadows at Busch Stadium yesterday.  To his credit, he does have a valid point.  Even the Brewers were apparently griping and even comparing it to Miller Park as being worse.  Both teams should shut the hell up and suck it up.  The stadiums are gems, both of them.

84-57: Crew Sweeps Houston



Friday, September 2, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011

College Football Predictions 2011

It's that time of the year where I educate you all on making predictions in College Football.

Here they are:

Top 10 (season ending)
1. Alabama (tops Oregon in title game)
      'Bama rolls tide all over the SEC with their lethal combination of QB's and Heismann winner in Trent Richardson.
2. Oregon
3. Oklahoma (tops TCU in Fiesta Bowl)
4. Nebraska (tops Stanford in Rose Bowl)
5. Stanford
6. Florida State (tops South Carolina in Sugar Bowl)
7. TCU
8. WVU (beats Houston in Orange bowl)
9. Florida
10. Oklahoma State
*Surprise teams: Oklahoma State & BYU (wins the Pac-12 South but loses to Oregon in the conference title game)
**Flop teams:  MSU, Texas A&M, Notre Dame, Texas, and Boise State

Big Ten
1. Nebraska (beats UW in Indy)
2. Iowa
3. Northwestern
4. MSU
5. Michigan
6. Minnesota

1. Wisconsin
2. OSU
3. PSU
4. Illinois
5. Indiana
6. Purdue

81-56: Cardinals Destroy Brewers

It was ugly from the very start.  St Louis' Furcal blaseted a solo shot to get the 1st inning off to a start.  And then the ultimate douche bag, Albert Pujols blasted a solo shot.  I love it how he gets a free pass to stand there watching his home run leave the park and then his a-typical pointing to the sky when he arrives home.  What nimrod.  The embarassing shot for Randy Wolf was when his rival Jake Westbrook blasted a grand slam HR in the 4th inning, his first career dinger. 

Not much good came out of this game.  Casey McGehee continued to struggle at the plate by hanging a golden sombrero up.  His average has now dipped down to his normal 2011 range of the .230's.  He's still a .287 career hitter, so there's hope and he's certainly shown that this season.  But it's obvious that Taylor Green is nipping at his heels.  Speaking of, Green made his first appearence at the plate and he made it count.  Green spanked a liner to RF to collect his first hit, which was a single.  He's going to be a hell of a player. 

Brandon Dixon of the Cardinals will get his first start of his career today against Yovani Gallardo.  Don't expect big things by the Crew today, they butt against new pitchers, they butt bad.  Expect to see Taylor Green starting today because he faced Dixon with in the past week down in the Pacific League.

Milwaukee made their September call-up's announcement last night after the game.  Logan Schafer (CF) who's hitting .327 and ANOTHER catcher in Martin Maldonado (C) who's hitting .328 on the season down in the Pacific League.  Emabarrassingly enough, I never heard of Maldonado.  Which is a shame, because apparently he's ripping it up in Nashville.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

81-55: Milwaukee couldn't bunt last night

Errors & Can't Bunt

That pretty much sums up last nights game against the Cardinals.  Oh, and lack of run support too.  Shaun Marcum (11-5) tossed an excellent game and worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the 5th, thanks to Yuni & Prince committing back-to-back errors.  He gave up the only 2 runs in that inning which proved to be the deciding factor in the 2-1 loss last night.  Marcum gave up only 4 hits over 7 innings and he struck out 4. 

The middle of the order put of golden sombreros
Nyjer & Hart both doubled and Morgan drove in the only run.

Newly drafted hurler Jed Bradley will begin his career in the Arizona Fall League for Peoria.  This past summer he did play some ball for the Cape Cod League.  Both Bradley and Freddie Prinz Junior looked damn good.  Bradley was in the booth with BA & Rock last night.  Seemed like a good kid with a level head, albeit he does have a silly hair do. I found in interesting that he was not allowed in Miller Park by his agent when he came to town for a physical prior to the draft.  This is done, of course, to limit the visual splendor that is seeing the (possible) baseball park that you might play in once you sign the dotted line.

Carlos Gomez is going to come off the DL on Thursday, just in time for expanded rosters. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

81-54: Milwaukee Brushes Aside the Cubs

I was on vacation since Thursday so didn't get much of a chance to make a post. 
I was able to listen to most of the Cubs @ Brewers series and it sounds like Corey Hart is heating up.  The pitching has been on-point and Zack Greinke is the most dominate home pitcher in MLB.  He's a perfect 10-0 @ Miller Park.  That's why Doug Melvin made that deal. 

Cool story from USA Today on the sabermetrics of Quality Starts.  Zack and Estrada are mentioned.

Jonathon Lucroy is hitting .413 on Tuesdays this season.  That's bad for the Cardinals.  How do I know this?  Because the morning 1250 am show out of Milwaukee was talking with Lucroy on the air just now and they brought it up.  Lucroy seemed a little annoyed because of the superstition of letting a guy know he's on fire.  It's like telling a pitcher in the 8th innning, "Hey buddy, you know you're throwing a no-hitter?".

Milwaukee will hit 3 million tickets sold this week.  That's insane for the smallest market in all of baseball.  Milwaukee ranks 9th in baseball for attendance and should leap frog the Cubs by the end of the season.
This is the 3rd time since 2008's wild card season.

Milwaukee welcomes the wacko Tony LaRussa and the Cardinals to town for a 3 game series to end the month and open September with.  Come Thursday, Milwaukee will enter their last month of play. 




Wednesday, August 24, 2011

78-53: Brewers are on their way to 30 games over .500

This is insanity....Milwaukee whooped-up on the Pirates AGAIN last night after bouncing back from a let-down game yesterday.  The Crew topped the Bucs 11-4 and were led by an unsung leader in Marco Estrada (4-8, 3-2 as a starter).  Not only did Estrada beat the Pirates for the 2nd time in 11 games from the mound, he also help at the plate with a couple of sac bunts that advanced a couple of baserunners.  Estrada went 7 complete innings and didn't walk a single batter.  He gave up 2 earned runs on 7 hits.
Latroy Hawkins fumbled a bit by giving up 2 earned during his 8th inning.
Nyjer Morgan went 4 for 6 on the night with a double and 2 runs batted in.
Prince Fielder drove in his 100th RBI of the season, first to reach that mark in all of baseballl; this despite going 1 for 11 in the series. He's due to erupt just in time for the Cubs series.  Lucroy had 3 hits and an RBI and McGehee hit his 10th HR of the season.  

Milwaukee now has a 10 game lead over St Louis.  But keep in mind, they still have to play them 6 times.  Their magic number is now 23
Milwaukee has THE biggest divisional lead in all of baseball right now.

Excellent, excellent story by Packers writer Lori Nickel on Nyjer Morgan.  I had no idea that he had a daughter at 19 (girlfriend was 17) and that he gave up the rights to her to play baseball.  At first read, I thought "why the hell did he give up being a parent to play baseball?".  But then you read it again and after the 3rd time you start to understand why.  He was broke and young.  Nyjer gave up the right to see his daugther and father her, in order to make money by playing baseball.  Is it something I would do?  No....but then again, who am I to judge.  He was in a tough spot and had to react.  Just so long as Nyjer is paying child support (and then some), I'm fine with it.

Milwaukee's Ron Ron is trying to down play the SI cover jinx.  Funny stuff seeing him on FSWisconsin last night, just laughing and wincing.  On a serious note, was that not the best cover you see in a long time?  To see 3 grown men (2 of them All-Star candidates) jumping up and down in the air in celebration?  That's what baseball is all about. 

A Breakdown by Sporting News on how the Braves, Brewers, and the NL West representative will match up with the Phillies.
Mark my words, the Brewers now have the Phillies in their sights.  They know damn well how important it will be to clinch home field advantage through out the playoffs.  I truly feel, that the Brewers can catch up to Philly and take the best record in the NL.  Instead of checking the Cardinals score, we need to be checking the Phillies!  Milwaukee has a legitimate shot of obtaining the NL's best record by the end of the season--and all of baseball!  Home-field advantage would give them a huge shot of winning the NLDS & NLCS.  Thanks to the National League beating the AL in the All-Star game--they will get home field advantage in the World Series too!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Finally.....not since Easter Sunday, 1987......

Not since Easter Sunday, 1987 did the folks over at Sports Illustrated put the Brew Crew on the front cover.  Yes, Braun was on a regional issue a few years back.  But that doesn't count.  Tomorrow's printed edition hits newstands and for once, the smallest market team in all of baseball is on the cover.  It helps that the Crew has won 23 of 26 games!  FYI....Rob Deer was the last player to be on the cover (Team Streak).  I can't wait to read the Lee Jenkins story!

77-53: Milwaukee splits double-header with the Bucs

Milwaukee played a pretty damn good 17 innings of baseball yesterday; but it was 1 inning of play that did them in during their second (night) game.  The Crew took the first game 8-1 and dropped the second game 9-2.

The first game had Chris Narveson making his first start in 3 weeks, having just been activated from the DL list after cutting his thumb while knitting.  He tossed a stellar 5.1 innings of play before exiting with a "nail issue".  He allowed only 5 hits and no runs, walked 1 and fanned 3 (85 pitches, 35 strikes).  What a surprise this hurler has been in 2011 and last season in 2010.  I will admit that I have been suspect of him.  But what I need to realize is that he's the 5th pitcher in that rotation.  You hope that he gets a winning .500 record when he's on the mound.

Kam Loe (16th hold) gave up a hit and Saito (9th hold) combined to pitch an excellent 6th inning.  Tim Dillard did give up a run in 2 innings of work, but still looked pretty decent. 

Braun hit his 25th HR, which was a 2-run shot in the 9th.
Jerry Hairston continued his top notch play by going 2 for 4 with a double and he also walked.  His batting average is now at .267 on the season.  What's going to happen when Rickie returns in mid-September?  At the very least, Milwaukee doesn't have to rush his recovery.  But once he does return, my guess is that Hairston will split some time in CF/RF.  He'll probably give Rickie a day off a week. 

Last night's game was blah.  Zack Greinke was on-point most of the game until the 7th inning when he was charged with 7 earned runs.  His ERA went back in to the 4's (4.22) and his record dropped to 12-5.  Even still, he was cruising through all 6 innings, but he hit the wall fast and labored.  Franky De La Cruz gave an additiional 2 runs off of 3 hits in 1.2 innings of work. 

Corey Hart started the game off with a solo HR during the first pitch of the game.  That was his 19th of the season.  It would be nice to see him finish with 25HR's this season. 

Let's get real people, Milwaukee was due for a horrific inning.  All teams get them.  What's important is how they bounce back today. 

Our beloved Crew has now won 23 of their last 26 games.  Their magic number is 25 and they are ranked #1 in MLB's power poll!

Donate blood and earn Brewers tickets.

Forgot to mention this before, but one time Brewers top prospect, Mark Rodgers (first round pick in 2004) was busted for using a stimulant (failed test).  It should be noted this is his second time getting busted, but it is not for HGH or steroids.
  This guy has struggled to make it in the Brewers farm system.  He's now serving a 25 game suspension starting next season, as he is already out the rest of this season due to carpal tunnel syndrom.  He's only 25 years-old and has time to turn it around.  He did show some promise last season when he was called up in September when he started in 2 games (no decisions) and gave up only 2 earned runs in 10 innings of work.


Monday, August 22, 2011

76-52: Milwaukee sweeps New York

  On to Pittsburgh for a double header today.
Milwaukee has officially turned it aroundon the road.  Yovani Gallard (14-8) earned the win yesterday while Casey McGehee blasted his 9th HR of the season in the Brewers 6-2 route in the final game of the series.  Ryan Braun went 3 for 5 with a double while Prince went 1 for 4 and walked. 

Milwaukee's magic number is 27!  When was the last time we ever said "Milwaukee" and "Magic" together in the same sentence.  (Ok, minus the Bucks vs Magics). 

With Narv Dog coming back off the DL, that makes Felipe Lopez expendable.  He was designated for assignment.  With Hairston playing lights-out and the Brewers love fascination with Craig Counsell, there is no need for a third 3B.  I would like to note that Lopez played pretty decent for as a fill in.  Considering the fact that he was in AAA for Tampa all season before being traded to Milwaukee and thrown in as the starting 2B once Weeks went down last month.

It was tough to see KROD blow a save on Saturday.  I mean, Milwaukee was up by 2 runs and he still couldn't batten down the hatches.  To his credit, if there's one team that knows how to hit him, it's the Mets (or the Phillies).  How about that fire out past RF in New York that night?  It was from a chop shop across the road.



Friday, August 19, 2011

73-52: Lack of offense results in Brewers loss

When you look at the grand scheme of things, this recent homestand that the Brewers just wrapped up could concern someone who looks at his or hers glass half empty.  Sure, Milwaukee went ape shit on their opponents and went 6-1.  But one has to dig deep in a contender to see what's wrong when other are looking at them and thinking of them as being perfect.  Milwaukee outscored Pittsburgh and LA 19-10.  When you think about, besides last Friday's game that opened the homestand against the Pirates (scored 7 runs)--Milwaukee failed to score more than 3 runs in a game.  They scored 1 run in a game twice; likewise with scoring 2 and 3 runs in a game, respectively.  Milwaukee offense has been in hibernation this homestand.  Something to worry about? Doubtful, it shows that they have faith in their pitching.  But on the road, this could turn in to trouble. Milwaukee faces a tough road opponent in the New York Mets (60-63) over the weekend and then it's on to Pittsburgh (58-64).  The latter is shooting for a .500 season and they'll be playing to win it.

Despite Marco Estrada's (3-8, 4.28) second straight excellent outing, Milwaukee was unable to muster enough run support to help their substitute pitcher. He went 5 complete, which is an inning more than what most fans expected, and he gave up only 1earned on 3 hits and he struck out 5 batters.  That's pretty damn impressive once you think about it.  Averaging a K an inning is all that you can ask for in a fill-in starter.  Kam Loe was the one that dropped the ball.  He entered the game in the 6th with only a 1 run deficit.  He went 2 complete, giving up 2 runs (1 of them earned) and struck out 2.  Dillard continued to make Milwaukee questions why the hell he is onthe team?  His era climbed to 4.98 after going 1 inning and giving up 2 earned runs on 3 hits.  Franky De La Cruz only went 1 inning and he gave up a hit.  It's obvious that once Narveson comes back off the list, Dillard should be shipped down and La Cruz should stay.  There may be another roster move, as Milwaukee plays a double-header in Pittsburgh this weekend.  Willy Peralta could get one of the starts on the DH game. 

Milwaukee is definately a home team.  They rank 4th in batting average in all of baseball with a .281 batting average, 6th in HR's, and 5th in hits. Milwaukee ranks 9th in team ERA with 3.30 and oddly enough, only 3 teams of the 8 teams ahead of them are AL teams (Oakland, Tampa, and Anaheim).  The Brewers, however, are 1st in all of baseball for games won (47) and last in losses (16, which is the best in baseball).  I'd say their only blemish is their number of wild pitches ranks 4th in baseball (29).  Some of that can be directed at the sophomore catcher, Jonathon Lucroy, who has been stellar behind the plate calling games.  As with any young catcher, it takes a while to learn the defense.  I would argue that Lucroy's ability to throw out base stealer trumps the wild pitches card.  Milwaukee ranks 19th with ony 42 SB's against them.

Milwaukee sign-calling is either completely assanine and wrong, or our players are clueless and don't understand baseball sign-language. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

73-51: Brewers spoil rookie's solid outing

Zack Greinke (12-4, 3.92 ERA) set a new mark at Miller Park by winning his 9th straight home decision.  He also out dueled Dodgers highly regarded rooked Nathan Eovaldi, who had an excellent game giving up 2 earned runs in 6 innings of work.  Meanwhile, the Brewers ace went 7 complete and gave up 1 earned run on 5 hits.  He did walk 3 batters, which was unusual for the him.

Milwaukee's offense was led by Jerry Hairston Jr's timely hitting; he had one hit and drove in the Crew's only 2 runs of the game.  Jonathon Lucroy added 2 hits (one was a double) and his batting average is now up to .289 on the season. 

Lucroy is quietly putting up a huge season at the plate.  The national media has yet to even mention him outside the whole LaRussa verbal dust up.  It's crazy how he worked out too.  All things considered, Angel Salome was Milwaukee's catcher of the future.  He was drafted in the 5th round by Milwaukee in the 2004 draft.  He even was apart of a September call up where he went 0 for 3 in 3 games.  That was then, this is now.  Salome was shuttled out of Milwaukee last season and he landed with the Seattle Mariners, Jack Z's team--the very same point man that picked  him in 2004.  Lucroy became Milwaukee's go-to catcher when Salome had some mental wariness problems in June of last year.  Lucky for Doug Melvin, he had the young (at the time) 23 year-old playing in Huntsville in Lucroy.  The 3rd round pick in the 2007 draft was slowly-but surely climbing the ranks and making waves.  Obviously, Melvin and Co. wasn't too worried when Salome fell of the wagon, because they made no moves to bring in minor league catcher.  Instead, they brought in fill ins like George Kottarus at the big league level.  Prior to George, Damien Miller and Estrada were the fossils behind homeplate. 

HERE is a good blog entry on Zack Greinke and his return to ace-hood.  In hind sight, perhaps the back injury to Zack wasn't such a bad thing after all?  I mean, think about it.  I have written about Greinke's anxiety issues in the past.  What better way to curb that all, than to have him sit out the first month of the season on the DL?  By that time, the fans are settled and they are more patient with his results.  Had Greinke started right away in March/early April, well, the fans would have been short on patience and he would've heard about it far sooner than later.  One will never know if Zack actually messed up his back playing pick-up basketball -- I have always called bullshit on that one -- but I am guy that loves a conspiracy theory here and there.  Perhaps, he was held out the first month in order to protect his confidence?  Long shot I'd say, but baseball is mental game more than anything. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

72-51: The Thrill Drill Continues

It's as if it's a drill....a routine....a practise of the fine arts.  The walk-off win was once again used last night and once again, Mark Kotsay was the one who delivered.  Much of the game was a snore-ific.  Trust me, I love pitchers the duel it out and the defense shines--just not in back to back games.  Yovanni Gallardo brought his A-Game but didn't factor in to the decision.  And again, a Milwaukee starting pitcher went deep in to the game.  Yo went 8 complete and gave up only 4 hits, 1 walk, stuck out 9 and allowed 1 earned.  His ERA is now at a respected 3.55 on the season.   Saito (4-1) notched the win and his ERA dropped to 2.20 on year.

Corey Hart & Kotsay each contributed by driving in 2 of the 3 total runs of the game. 

Cardinals Watch..... The Pittsburgh Pirates deflated the St Louis Cardinals hopes even more with their walk-off homerun that put the Pirates in front 2-0 in the series.  Keep in mind, both the Cards and Crew face a sub .500 schedule the remainder of the season.  Granted, the Cards & Crew still face each other 6 more games. 

I vaguely remember when I was a kid and the Brewers won the AL East pennant and then later went on to the win ALCS and loss to the Cardinals in game 7 of the World Series.  I do remember asking my dad questions, nothing in particular, probably all annoying questions--but he took the time to fill me in with the rules and the reasoning behind his loud clapping (a Robin Yount diving catch on one occassion).  Likewise with 2 of my 3 boys (the youngest is...well...too young).  But my oldest, Landon, and I have been bonding over the Brewers.  I was listening to the radio this morning (am1250 Milwaukee FSRadio) and they were talking about this topic.  Over the past week, my oldest boy will "sneak" downstairs and crawl on my lap to watch the Brewers play.  I would ask him what he was doing, and he would say, "Dad, I just want to watch the Brewers".  When I get home from work at 5:25pm my awesome wife has dinner waiting with the boys already sitting at the table. We eat and then I clear the table and then I take 3 of the boys (or sometimes 2 of them) and go on a bike ride to the high school ball diamond and football field.  We play sports, and explain the games to them, and we run around.  I try to relate the Brewers to them in what they do while playing.  I think it's important to show state pride in your teams and support them, even though they make millions more than us common folk to.  At times, I know my boys get annoyed when I turn their tv channel to my station at 7:05pm (most nights).  But after they stop yelling--they watch.
It's nice to bond with my kids over the game of baseball.  And this Brewers season is far different than the rest.  Sure the Crew squeeked in to the playoffs in 2008, but it hasn't been like this 2011 season.  This has been a thrilling ride to date.  My son asked me last night when the baseball season is done.....and I told him when the leaves start to fall of the trees and it gets dark out just after dinner.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

71-51: The BEST defensive game I have ever seen by the Crew

Last night was insane.  Despite the first 5 innings being a snore-fest on the offensive side, it was the defense that lit Miller Park up with a Triple Play, 3 Double Plays, and a throw-out from CF that could probably be marked down as a contender for the Play of the Year.  Yes, the triple play that involved Wilson, Betancourt, to Fielder was phenominal and only the 6th one of it's kind in Brewers history; but it was Jerry Hairston's play that surprised the hell out of me.  Miller Park's 38,000+ fans were reved up as each of the 3 double plays occurred.  When the Triple Play happened, the stadium seemed explode, at least on tv it looked that way.  The icing on the cake was the last play of the game when Prince caught a rocket liner and then stepped on 1B to get the force out on the Dodger who was already half-way to 2B. 

Randy Wolf was unstoppable and one could tell that he was ready to go from the start.  When he took to the field last night in the top of first inning, the FSWisconsin camera was focused in on him.  He and Kottarus stood there and you could see Wolfy getting amped up and ready to fire out of the dug out to begin the game.  He went 8 complete and gave up a season high 5 walks on 6 hits, 5 strike outs.  Despite the free-passes, the shut out was on point and well needed. 

Ryan Braun, Jonathon Lucroy, and Corey Hart all homered for Milwaukee.  There 3 HR's were the only difference in the game.  Fielder, Braun, and Hairston all added base hits respectively. 
Odd, there was no doubles or triples in last night's game--but there were 3 HR's.

Axford saved his 35th of the season (32 consecutively).

Every thing is clicking right now, even the defense. 

Milwaukee signed their top 2 draft picks last night, during the 11th hour of negotiations.  Taylor Jungman (2.5 MM) and Jed Bradley (2MM) finally grew a pair and signed the dotted line.  In years past, I would have been sweating bullets and wondering to myself, "Why isn't Milwaukee throwing money at these kids---get them signed!".  This year I'm thinking, screw Jungmann.  Who is he to get all high and mighty.  Sure he had a kick ass regular season, but he also went 1-3 in the post season for the Longhorns.  We needed to sighn Jed Bradley, otherwise that pick would've been gone for next season, since it was the very same pick that rolled over from last year (Covey pick).  Milwaukee was able to sign 33 of their 51 picks.  It's always good when teams can sign 2/3's of their draft picks.  What sucks is that waiting until the August 15th deadline is the new norm.  Also, players are getting paid a pretty penny more than what the MLB 'suggests'.   So in essence, MLB is following in the footsteps of the NFL in over-paying their draft picks; only the NFL made corrections on that during the new CBA.

Milwaukee added a free agent pitcher, Mark Williams of Marietta College (OH).  He's reporting to Helena Brewers.

Update on Gomez & Weeks; both of which are ahead of schedule. 

2 things on Attanasio....1) He never said he wouldn't buy the Bucks from Senator Herbert Kohl and his cabana boys.  2) The US will not go in to a double-dip recession.  Oddly enough, I believe him more than I believe our president when it comes to the economy. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

70-51: Crew bucs Pirates (ha!)

Outstanding play and confidence in their skills is what propelled the Crew to sweep the Pirates out of town. 
Yesterday's game was a key example of how the Brewers have evolved in to a World Series contender.  A come from behind win that was accomplised thanks to Nyjer Morgan striking out and flying out.  Ha!

Late to work this morning (dr appointment) so I will type more later.



Friday, August 12, 2011

67-51: Carp out duels Yo

Milwaukee's 4 game lead on top of the division is their largest,
this late in to the season since 1982!

Despite Milwaukee getting off to an excellent start in last night's game (2 runs in the 1st), Albert Pujols and company quickly put in work to prevent being swept.  Albert went 4 for 4 with a HR, 2 runs batted in, and scored twice.  The top of the order for the Cardinals offense woke up from their slumber part at Tony's house.  Meanwhile, Chris Carpenter (8-8) was far better on the mound than Yovani Gallardo (13-8).

Yuni Betancourt continued to swing the hot bat for the Crew, going 3 for 4 on the evening.  Mark Kotsay started in LF for Ryan Braun (sat the entire game/rest) and he went 2 for 4 with a double.  Fielder also addded a hit and drove in a run.

Frankie De La Cruz made his Milwaukee Brewers debut after he was summoned from Nashville to fill in for Narveson. He gave up a hit and struck out 1.  The bullpen looked solid again against the Cardinals.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the Cards haven't scored against our pen this season?

Milwaukee is back home this weekend to play the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 3 game series.  The Pirates have fallen back to 3rd place (tied with Cincy) and they're 10 games behind Milwaukee.  This team fell apart at the seams when they lost that mis-call against the Braves in extra innings 2 weeks ago.  It didn't help that they cut Lyle Overbay after they brought in Derek Lee.  Why fix something that wasn't broken? 
Tonights Match up: Paul Maholm (6-12, 3.54 era) vs Zack Greinke (10-4, 4.21)
Saturday: Kevin Correia (12-10, 4.75) vs Marco Estrada (2-7, 4.50)
Sunday: Charlie Morton (9-6, 3.56) vs Shaun Marcum (10-3, 3.52)

For now on Team Wisconsin is going to have Cardinal Watch in order to keep tabs on Milwaukee's biggest rival during this pennant race.
The Cardinals added veteran reliever Arthur Rhodes to their pen.
Excellent article on LaRussa - Roenicke "feud", if you call it that.  LaRussa probably wants there to be some feud, but Ron Ron is too smart. 
St Louis will remain home for the weekend as they play the Rockies.  Here's a preview.  I can see them taking 2 of the 3 games.  Likewise with Milwaukee.