Yesterdays game started off with a bang. Despite the shakey start for Yovani Gallardo (5 innings/7 hits/4 earned/4 walks/2 k's), it was the bullpen that came in and saved the day. Furthermore, it was Casey McGahee that delivered Milwaukee it's second straight series win. His line-drive, PINCH HIT, 2 run homer in the bottom of the 8th all but locked it up for John Axford to come in to collect the save (3). Casey was riding the pine yesterday with a 3-21 slump.
Prince Fielder also came up big for the Brewers with 3 hits. He, Braun, and Casey all homered for the Crew.
Probably one of the smartest moves for the Brewers during the off-season was the late addition of Sergio Mitre. So far this man has been awesome. Middle relievers play a huge role in the bullpen and often times get brought in to the game during horrible situations (runners on the corners-1 out). Yes, it's still early in the season and he has only tossed 4 innings. But he has yet to give up a run and he's only allowed 2 hits and ZERO walks. That is huge right there. That right there is the one of the main reasons why the pen has rebounded since the debacle in the Queen City. Furthermore, Mitre is someone that can (and probably will) fill in the starting rotation. Remember, it was between Estrada and Mitre for the start against Atlanta.
It's looking more and more like Zack Greinke will be back in the next couple of weeks. Gord Ash was quoted as saying the first week of May, while others seems to think that they'll push him to come back the Houston series (April 29-May 1). I am of the thought that they should not rush his return. Yes, we all want to see Greinke make his debut, but let's be smart about this. Rib injuries, let alone a cracked rib are nothing to laugh at for a pitcher who typically goes deep in to the games.
His Saturday bullpen session went off with out a hitch, which is assuring to Ron Roenicke & Doug Melvin in deciding when/where Zack will come off the DL...which he has been on basically since mid March. Greinke felt that he would only need a 3 inning start in the minors (Nashville), but the club may have plans for 6, typical start for a starting pitcher.
Additionally, other players will be coming off the DL soon and Roenicke will be faced with some tough roster moves. What do you do with Marco Estrada once Manny Parra & LaTroy Hawkins comes back? My guess is that Estrada will be optioned down to Nashville and Sean Green (4.2 innings, 2 earned runs, 4 hits) will follow suit, despite both of their success in the recent days. Corey Hart & Jonathon Lucroy will come back, thus resulting in Will Nieves getting bounced down along with Jeremy Reed? Kotsay isn't going anywhere, but Almonte could.
Carlos Gomez broke an unwritten rule in Saturday's game when he stole 2 bases while the Brewers were up 6 runs and it was a shut-out. Both managers acknowledged it too. But Roenicke was thinking that 5 runs could easily be made up in an inning. Which we all know is a long shot. Regardless, this is probably the one rule that pisses off opposing teams quite a bit; Mike Quade seemed irked, but didn't get too vocal on it.. It's not like he bunted during a no-hitter, or walked over the pitchers mound, or stole signs. But it's showmanship. I agree that it was wrong, but I'm also of the thought that if you don't like it...win?
Saito is set to pitch Tuesday, if the opportunity presents itself.