Monday, June 27, 2011

44-35: Milwaukee destroys old cross border rival, Twins

It's nice to see the Milwaukee Brewers beat teams that they're supposed to.  You know, like the Twins.  It's sad to see them lose to the Mets and the Cubs.  With that being said, Milwaukee rolled out the small ball this weekend and swept the Twinkies right out of Wisconsin.  All 3 games were come-from-behind wins, so it wasn't like they were boring matches to watch.

Friday's game saw Miller Park getting the wind knocked out of them when Danny Velencia hit a 3-run homer to put the Twins up in the 6th inning.  But then Prince Fielder cracked a double in to right field, driving in 2 runs.  Randy Wolf picked up the win (6-4) and he continues to the be the anchor in that rotation.  Near and by far, he has been the most stable, reliable pitcher in the rotation during the first half of play.  On Saturday it was Yovanni Gallardo's turn to lead the Crew, and lead the Crew is exactly what he did both on the mound and at the plate.  Gallardo (9-4) came within 1 win of the always-appreciated 10 wins prior to the All Star break.  He also improved his ERA to 3.94 on the year by going 7 complete and giving up 6 hits, 1 earned run, and striking out 6.  The only blemish was his 2 walks in the 1st inning.  Milwaukee was led by the 4 home runs by Prince (21), Carlos Gomez, Corey Hart, and the inside-the-parker by Yuni Betancourt.  The latter was a result of a mis-played fly ball that should've been caught by Delmon Young out in Left Field, but ended with his left foot getting bent up between the ground and the outfield wall.  Lucky for his it was only a strain, however, this strain could almost be worse than a break/fracture.  Finally on Sunday, the Crew put the icing on the cake when Chris Narveson (5-5) whooped the Twins.  He went 6.2 innings, giving up 2 earned on 5 hits. Ryan Braun hit his 16th of the season and Lucroy continued to rake when he collected a triple and a double.  Hell, Narveson even doubled and drove in two runs (as did Braun). 

The Star-Tribue of the Twin Cities had the best headline that pretty much sums it up for their pitiful team; "Winless in Wisconsin".

Now that Young is probably out for at least 4-6 weeks, Justin Morneau also had neck surgery and he will be out until the earliest.  Joe Mauer also missed a game in the series.  Their team is in dissaray, and I can say that it was bound to happen.  They had their run, now it's time for the Crew. The star-tribune also ran a poll to see if Mauer should voluntarily play another position (1B?).  It's apparent that he can't continue to catch as many games as he has in the past.  So that's a lot of (deferred) money that is locked up in Mauer, who's health is suspect.

The Brewers are making their first trip to NY to play the Yankees since 1997.  However, the Yankees are hot and they just wrapped up winning their 4th straight IL series.  The Yankees own the all-time series record 208-182-1.  People often forget that the Brewers and the Yankees were arch rivals back in the days when Milwaukee played in the AL East.  The Yankees were always better, but the two sides had heated games.  Probably matchups on the mound give the edge to Milwaukee:
Freddy Garcia (6-6, 3.30 era) vs Zack Greinke (7-2, 4.77 era)
AJ Burnett (7-6, 4.15 era) vs Shaun Marcum (7-2, 2.95 era)
CC Sabathia (10-4, 3.25 era) vs Randy Wolf (6-4, 3.20 era)

I can honestly see Milwaukee taking the series 2 games to 1, with the loan loss coming to CC--the brutal southpaw who I remain a fan of since he played in Milwaukee in 2008.  

Excellent story by the NY Times on the Milwaukee Brewers and Ryan Braun.   
Oh, and Prince Fielder will not be in Milwaukee next get over it..
“This is definitely the best team we’ve had so far,” Fielder said. “I’m hoping for a return, but it is a business and you never know.” -Fielder, NY Times / June 26, 2011

Milwaukee will probably bring up Mat Gamel today so that they can add an extra bat to the line-up.  In didn't make sense to bring him up for the last roadtrip because they had to also play an NL team in the Cubs.  He will be welcomed addition, considering that he's batting .319 and will fill in nicely at the DL spot.  I could also see him playing one game at 1B and having Prince bat in the DH spot.  Perhaps that will rub him the wrong way? 

Jemile Weeks, the younger brother of Rickie, is tearing it up for the Athletics right now.  You may remember him when the Crew drafted the high schooler in the 2005 draft, but he had a full ride to Miami.  So the A's drafted him in the first round and he's already been named the starting second baseman.  Makes you wonder if he could've eventually replaced Rickie at 2B?  Jemile is a switch hitter and considered to be faster than Rickie....oh....and he talks much clearer than Rickie. 

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