Hard to imagine that a 2 week long slump can still result in Milwaukee (barely) clinging to 2nd place and only a game out of 1st. Meanwhile, the biggest surprise of the NL--the Pirates--are 1.5 games out of first place. May I remind you that it's July 5th and not April or May. Pittsburgh hasn't been this far up in the standings, this late in to the season, since the early 90's I would imagine.
That being said, Milwaukee's bullpen has been horrific as of late....hell....the entire pitching staff has been god awful. They are barely chugging along down the stretch until the All Star Break. Right now is when Milwaukee should be making a push, with Albert Puhols on the DL. But no, Milwaukee has lost their May-early June fame and have settled back in to blah.
Yesterday, Milwaukee jumped out to 6-2 lead against the Diamondback--only to see it washed away. Marcum's slide continued with his 3rd straing bad outing. Despite hitting a Grand Slam homerun to put the Crew up by 4 runs, he still allowed 4 earned runs on 7 hits over 6 complete. His era has now jumped to 3.32 on the season. Hawkins allowed his first run since god knows when, his era is still at .82 (although he did miss the first 1/4 of the season). Axford really put the game out of reach when he allowed 2 earned runs on 4 hits in the 9th inning.
Hart homered and McGehee collected a double and a single (.224 BA).
Hopefully McGehee and Hart start to wake up soon, because now more than ever Milwaukee needs them to produce with Ryan Braun probably sitting out the Arizona series. It's my guess that Braun may even hit the DL and probably sit out the All Star game, thus leaving Prince & Rickie as the loan Milwaukee reps. That's okay though, they need him healthy for the 2nd half of the season.
Zack Greinke has not delivered for Milwaukee as we have hoped. Oh, and I'm not even considering his bone headed move of playing pick-up basketball and breaking gosh damn it rib. Despite haveing a 7-3 record, his era has now ballooned up to 5.66 on the season. He has been anything but clutch and one has to imagine if it's his social anxiety issue or if he has already seen his career peek in 2009 (Cy Young year). It has to be something, because it's really going to sting when Jake Odorizzi makes his big league in September or Alcides Escobar start turning it around. Although Escobar & Betancourt are playing equally as shitty, both hitting in the mid .240's with Yuni collecting 28 rbi to Escobar's 22. Regardless, Zack Greinke is supposed to be turning out an era in the 3's and his record should be as such. Fact of the matter is that he has not come through when Milwaukee needed him, like Sunday's game when Milwaukee could've won a road series...or in NYC when they played the AL Yankees. Truth is, he could still turn it around and help this club, but for now...he's only helping his own stats (strike outs have been decent, 89).
Let me digress....thus far, Milwaukee and KC probably came away tied in this trade with no one team making out ahead--as for now. Time will tell of course, by with Odorizzi's dominant performance this season in high A ball (5-4, 2.87 era) and Escobar continueing to play solid D, my guess is that KC will come out shining.
MORE on Greinke by TH of JSOnline
HERE is more on Greinke, by MLB.com
Milwaukee could hit 3 million fans this season, but they have to do THIS in order to accomplish it. Miller Park had its record 12th sell-out of the season.
I could write a lengthy story highlighting the success of our 3 all-stars, but why? Rickie Weeks is in a slump and Braunie is hurt...so sad :(