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
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.