Thursday, June 30, 2011

44-38: CC fans 13 / Milwaukee is shut-out of the Big Apple

Well....Not much to say about today's game, other than CC Sabathia and his performance.  The big southpaw struck out 13 batters and threw 7 complete shut-out innings against the first place Brewers.  With today's loss, the Cardinals could replace the Brewers to close out the month of July.  In doing so, the Cardinals will have finished all 3 (full months) in first place according to my memory.  That being said, Milwaukee will have to lick it's wounds and return back to the upper Midwest for a 3-game series at Target Field. 

Ryan Braun continued to swing a hot bat by going 3 for 3 today.  Sadly enough, there were no extra-base hits today.  Prince Fielder hung a golden sombero, as did Gamel-McGehee-Weeks and Hart went 0-3. 

Pathetic offense, truly pathetic. 

Randy Wolf (6-5) gave up 4 earned runs in 7 innings of work (7 hits, 3 walks). Just like with last night's game when Marcum gave up 4 runs, Milwaukee's offense should have picked up the slack.  But no, that wasn't the case. 

The time has come for Casey McGehee to get sent down to Nashville and Taylor Green brought up in his place.  It's July 1 tomorrow and Casey has been given plenty of time, yet all he has muster is a horrible .224 batting average.  Something has to change and Ron finally acted when he dropped him to the 7th spot...but it's evident that he needs a wake-up call.

As all of you recall, I'm sure, my prediction that the Milwaukee Brewers would escape June's treacherous schedule with a 42-40 record.  Well, they did better than that, so for that--I'm thankful.  Milwaukee closes out the month with 6 games above .500 in June.  Not too shabby if you ask me. 

The Brewers could save face before they return to the Badger state if they win the series in Mineapolis, which is new easy feat.  Considering that they haven't faired well there--they lost their series there last summer 2 games to 1. 

The All Star voting is now completed and the race it too close to call for Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks.  Both had leads but one never knows until everything is tallied.  This would be Fielder's 4th time and Weeks' 1st in making the All Star team.  My feeling is that both of them will be named starters along with Braun (3 total). 

44-37: Bats go silent in the city

Umm....Hey Corey Hart--do you mind hitting the ball sometime this roadtrip?  My god.  Nothing like leaving 7 RISP.  Milwaukee was on the cusp of opening up last night's game with a 4 run lead.  It could've happened, but Corey Hart and Prince Fielder both came up empty with runners on 3B & 2B.  Awesome.  Say what you want, but Marcum giving up 4 runs to the Yankees was not the end of the world.  Milwaukee could've came back, but the offense lacked power and contact.  Despite the fact that McGehee was dropped to 7th in the batting order, that didn't matter.  You know why?  Because Casey McGehee sucks this season.  There I said it.  I was always supportive of him while he battles through this slump.  Yes, he collected a base hit; but this horrific offense & defense is too much. 

Milwaukee sucks on the road, plain and simple.

The bullpen held it together, aside from Dillard giving up the HR.  They threw 3 innings giving up the one run. 

Sergio Mitre, despite having a solid couple of months with Milwaukee, has been traded back to NY Yankees for cash considerations. 

CC Sabathia still thinks highly of his stint in Milwaukee when he single-handily put the team on his shoulders and carries us in to the playoffs.  It's insane to think that a player who plays every 5th (or 4th in CC's case) game while he was on the cusp of collecting a huge, record breaking pay-day during the free agency.  I will always be a fan of CC, just not today though.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

44-36: Milwaukee out of it's league

It's pretty much a gimmie that the Milwaukee Brewers would get ripped up and spit out if they were still playing in the AL East.  Makes you wonder how the Baltimore's and Toronto's would do in other divisions? 
Milwaukee lost 12-2 last night to far more inferior team.  It's hard to stomach many more inter-league games like this one (or the Boston beatin').  Regardless, Milwaukee will hope to claw back to evening the series when Shaun Marcum takes to the mound tonight.

Zack Greinke was rocked early and often, exiting the game in the 2nd inning after giving up 7 runs.   I'm starting to think that even IF (and I stress 'IF') the Brewers make it to the World Series (or even the post season--which they should make), you have to wonder if Zack Greinke's anxiety won't take control?  Was it nerves/anxiety that Zack felt last night?  No one knows but him, but it sure looked like he was out of his element out there at Yankee Stadium.  Considering that he has pitched at Yankee Stadium (new & old) probably close to once a season in his career.  Look, I feel for anyone who has to struggle with anxiety; it's a crappy thing to go through.  I go through it everytime I fly, but you look at Greinke and you see that he battles that on and off through out the year--especially during the season--you feel for the guy.  Granted, Greinke isn't the most fan-friendly player.  He keeps to himself and doesn't like to play with the media.   With that being said, he puts a lot of pressure on him to rise to the occasion; which he needs to do.  There's a whole 2nd half of baseball to be played and he has to bounce back big time.  Not to say that he hasn't had moments of brilliance over the past 2 months.  A couple of 10 strike-out games that last into the 7th or 8th inning is huge, considering what the team had to deal with last season.  So, there in lies my biggest concern/question....could Greinke rise to the occassion and play in MLB's post season?  I'm not that sure.

Mat Gamel proved that he belongs in the Bigs.  He went 2-4 with a RBI and played some good defense.

Can't decide who has a more severe case of ADHD; Carlos Gomez or Nyjer Morgan.  Regardless, it fuels them to be damn good players.  Albeit, it can also cause some offensive woes. 

Rickie Weeks leap-frogged Brandon Phillips for the starting 2B spot in the All Star game.

JJ Hardy back to Milwaukee?  Finally someone besides me is starting to think this is a GREAT idea.  He's having a career year in Baltimore.  Get over the idea of Reyes coming here.  The Crew doesn't have the prospects to give up.

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. 



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

41-35: Rays take series

 The Rays came in to Milwaukee with the best road record in the AL and they left town with that record still entact.  Marcum exited the game after throwing 3 complete innings (giving up 2 runs) in a shortened start; Roenicke was either being overly cautious with him or he re-aggrivated the hip strain.  My guess is that it's the latter.  Tim Dillard gave up a 3-run HR in the 7th inning that put the Rays up 6-2.  They never really looked back.  No one seems to know why LaTroy Hawkins wasn't used instead of Dillard, considering the day off tomorrow and all.  *Saito was sent down to Nashville to continue his rehab.

Milwaukee did have a chance in the bottom of the 9th with the bases loaded and the score was 6-3.  But Kotsay must have been thinking too much about his other job offer coaching college baseball for his alma matter Cal State Fullerton--and he grounded out to end the game.  Sadly enough, Kotsay (.234 average season, .214 in june) pinched hit for Jonathon Lucroy for some unknown reason.  Yes, Lucroy is only hitting .200 for the month of June...but cmon man, look at yesterday's number. 

Estrada dropped his season record to 1-5.  Marcum's ERA is now at 2.95 on the season.

The defensive guru that is Carlos Gomez, is horrible at the plate.  He went 0-3 and his average is now at .210. Yuni is hitting .233 and McGehee (who is starting to come around) is batting .229 this season. 

Milwaukee will now get to face the Minnesota Twins who (as of press time, ha) is on a 8 game win streak.  Keep in mind, Milwaukee handled them great last season and took the season series. 

41-34: Greinke finally steps up to be the ACE

Right when the Brewers needed a bonified ace to step to the plate and deliver a key win, Greinke took front and center to deliver last night.  Man did he look good.  He went 7 complete innings and gave up 1 run on 4 hits and he struck out 10. Most importantly, the ace has only given up 9 walks this season.  That's insane, considering the debacles that Milwaukee fans have had to endure during the past 5 years (even more!).  Remember last year at the start of the season?  When Suppan almost walked in the entire Cubs offense?  Or Dave Bush giving up a bunch of walks in the the opening game of last year's Minnesota series in Minneapolis?  Pathetic garbage is what we're used to, but now we have Greinke & Marcum.  Oh, and Wold & Gallardo aren't too shabby either. The verdict is still out on Narv Dog.

The Brew Crew jumped out to an early lead and never looked back.  Yuni Bentancourt homered (finally) for his 4th of the season. The rest of the line-up struggled, but Jonathon Lucroy tallied 3 key hits.  Weeks, Hart, Morgan, and McGehee all threw up the golden sombero while pinch hitters Wilson & Gomez blanked as well....not good! 

Shauwn Marcum will start today's rubber match game.  I must say that this suprises me greatly.  I figured he would sit at least one start and Estrada would make a spot start or flipflop the rotation with Wolf. 

MLB's Mike Baumann feels that the Brewers are inconsistent, but he puts it as politely as possible.  When they're good, they're exceptional--when they're bad, they are just below average.  Hopefully by late July they'll be firing on all cylinders; right now they're still getting used to each other. 

This blog discusses the question of what mid-season call-ups are there in Milwaukee's farm system?  Personally, I can only see 1 or 2 being called up.  Gamel should be one of them, but there's  no way in hell that Roenicke & Melvin are going to bring him up just so he ride the pine.  My guess is that Heckathorn (for a RP spot) and Amaury Rivas (RP as well).  Of course, it all depends on how Parra & Saito are doing by late july. 

Taylor Jungmann, NCAA's POY award winner, and the Brewers are going to start negotiations since the Longhorns were outsted from the World Series.  They need to get him signed right away so that he can hopefully come out of the pen in October. 

That crap hole down Wrigley Field is falling apart, literally...

It was nice to see the Cardinals implode last night against the Phillies. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

40-34: Brewers blow against inter-league rivals

Milwaukee is off to a piss poor start when it comes to playing the AL East.  The Crew dropped the series opener to the Rays 8-4 and Chris Narveson fell to 4-5 on the season.  This despite haveing a solid first 6 innings of play. Milwaukee is now in 2nd place and a 1/2 game behind the Cards.

Braun was scratched right before the start of the game due to upper respitory illness.  He should be good to go today. 

Nyjer Morgan continue to prove his keep at CF; he hit a double and looked good out on defense too.
Jonathon Lucroy hit his 7th HR of the season.

Rumors are starting to spread around that the Brewers are making George Kottaras available.  One would have to think that the Giants would be the best match; considering that Buster Posey and their back-up catcher is out.  Hell, they were even thinking about putting Pablo Sandoval behind the plate.  After all, he was drafted as a catcher and played it in the minors for the G men.  Now if San Fran was willing to deal Miguel Tejada for his straight up, that would be a deal too good to pass.  Kottaras can bring some power to plate; he recently homered back in Boston against his old team last weekend and tallied 9 total last season.  Tejada would be an upgrade at SS, despite batting below the mendoza line at .220 on the season.  He plays damn good defense, or, at least did in Houston and elsewhere.  He's been traded around quite a bit too, so one would think he's moveable.  If Milwaukee doesn't work something out for Tejada, my guess is that they are going wait it out for JJ Hardy. 

Monday, June 20, 2011


Alberto Pujols was put on the 15 day DL due to a fracture in his wrist.  Yesterday's collision with a KC base runner proved to be worse than a strain, which was the initial thought.  Lance Berkman will be the everyday 1B, which is probably the luckies off-season acquisition that the Cardinals ever made.  First off, Berkman was thought to be a waste of money when the Cards signed him for 8MM.  Not only has he crushed the ball as their outfielder, but now he will be a nice fill in for Alberto while he recovers.  They're saying that he will be out for 4-6 weeks, but my guess is that it will be always is.  The 4-6 weeks is to quell the fears of the Cardinal fan base; my bet is that he'll be out 8-9 weeks.  Berkman however is no clutch of a permanent fill in, as he too is battling some bumps and bruises.  Albeit, it's only basic rare and tare. 

 The 3 x All Star will be missed, even though he was having a "down" year that has seen him shifted to 3B for a couple of games.  If the Cardinals can remain in 1st place by the end of June, that will prove to me that they are almost a lock to take the Central; they are with out their ACE and now their stud 1B and Holliday, who missed a good chunk of  25 games while on the DL.

This only helps Prince Fielder's quest for a big pay day this winter.  Yesterday's news of Pujols' injury only sheds more light on the possibility of Albert being on his downside of his career.  Teams like the Cubs, Rangers, Giants, and Nationals are only going to shift their focus that much more on Prince.   This injury news assures me even more that Prince will be out of Milwaukee this off-season.

Shaun Marcum has been cleared to pitch Wednesday (correction from my early post of Tuesday).  Although he is still day-to-day, Marcum will most likely pitch OR be bumped a game because of the off-day this Thursday before they fly out to NYC to take on the Yankees.  This would mean Estrada get's a spot start or Wolf gets moved up a day early, with his last start being on Saturday's win.  My guess is the latter; although that would really screw up the rotation with the southpaw. 

JJ Hardy, although Baltimore is looking at extending him, may be the (one of the) hottest trade piece on the market next month.  Granted, Reyes is the key player--but JJ is raking right now and he won't take a huge cost in return.  It would be great if the Mets would fall out of contention so that Reyes would become more likely to be traded next month...however, they're still hanging around (barely) and NY could hold on to him.  They could avoid the bad press that would come if they dump both Beltran & Reyes.  So, Milwaukee should pursue Hardy aggressively come mid-July or sooner.  My guess is that it would take a couple of low level prospects or a Heckathorn?  I have no idea really, but I can't imagine it taking too much.  It would help if Hard cooled a bit with in the next 4 weeks.

Milwaukee could also use another arm in the bullpen, with Saito having numerous set-backs.  Yet again, he experienced tightness in his back when he threw in Appleton this weekend.  Parra doesn't look like he's returning any time soon.

40-33: Milwaukee escapes Boston with one win

Yes, Milwaukee got their asses kicked 2 out of the 3 games in Boston.  But all things considered, I'm happy that they were able to get 1 win, since I was expecting a sweep.  The Red Sox are just too good at home and they were on cloud nine all weekend with the Bruins' celebration bringing hoards of sports fans to downtown Boston.  This team already has the best home team advantage in all of baseball, throw in the energy of the Stanley Cup and you'll have a one jacked up team. 

With that being said, it is concerning to see to the likes of our 3 best pitchers have horrific outings all at once.  Right when you need them the most, they implode.  Granted, Marcum was slightly injured when he tweaked his hip flexor, but anytime a pitcher(s) throws 35+ pitches in the first inning, you know it's over before it started.  Yo & Marcum both proved that.

Marcum's next start (Tuesday) is still on hold...we'll find out today though.

Regardless, they are still in first place (for a week now) and sharing it with the Cardinals; who by the way might be with out their star player, Pujols.  He hurt his wrist early in the game yesterday against the Royals.  X-rays are being done today to determine the extent of the damage.  Imagine if he's out for a long period of time (6+ weeks), what it will do to the 'asking price' for Prince Fielder?  Pujols is going to be on the downside of his career, very soon.  Meanwhile, Prince is on the up.  Prince may have just leap-frogged Pujols as the biggest prospect this coming off season.

Next up?  Well, the lovely Rays are coming to town.  Milwaukee's 25-9 home record will go up against the Rays' 21-15 road record.  This will be Tampa's first trip to the Brew City and their second time every playing eachother; back in 2005 the Rays took 2 out of the 3 game series against Milwaukee.  Jeff Niemann will face Chris Narveson tonight.  Lucky for Milwaukee, they will only have 1/2 of the deadly duo that is Price (Wednesday) and miss Shields.



Thursday, June 16, 2011

39-31: Ugly loss in Chicago

  Not exactly what you wanted to see.  Milwaukee got the shit kicked out of them by the Cubbies this afternoon in what turned out to be an embarrassment.  Yes it's only one game.  But it was so ugly that it gave me the meat sweats.  How could our key acquisition (Zachary Greinke) completely implode and crap the bed against the horrific Cubs?  Well that's exactly what happened when Greinke gave up 8 runs (6 earned) in 5.1 innings on 8 hits and only 2 walks.  He was rocked from the very start. 

Meanwhile, Weeks-Morgan-Fielder-and of course Yuni Bentancourt all went hitless.  Corey Hart did too, but he walked 3 times.  The only good thing that came out of this game was ol' Casey Mcgehee continued to claw his way out of his slump by hitting a double and 1 RBI. 

Not exactly what Wisconsin wanted to see out of their team before they travel east to take on the Red Sox (40-27). 

Meanwhile, the red hot Reds have the day off before they travel to Toronto and the Cardinals (yet again) take on the Royals, this time at home. can expect to see the Brewers hopefully pulling off 1 win in Boston and drop to 2nd Place in the Central while the Cardinal leap frog them after they sweep the Royals.  The Reds will continue to stay back 2.0 or so games back because I don't see them faring much better in Toronto, perhaps pulling out 1 win.  Let's not write off the they are now 2 games above .500 and riding a (probably their first in over 10 years) winstreak in June, with 4 wins. 

After June is done, I would not be surprised to see the Cardinals-Reds-Brewers-Pirates all with in 1.5 game of who's ever in 1st place.  If Milwaukee can get through June with still being (at least) 2 games above .500, they will be in the drivers seat for the NL Central heading in to the All Star break. 

This next paragraph is completely far-fetched...but here goes....this is what their schedule looks like:
@Boston, Tampa, Minnesota, @ NYC
So, let's say they get swept by Boston which would then bring their record down to (39-34) on the season.  They could return home and hopefully split their homestand which would then put them at (42-37) before they fly-out east to play the Yankees.  Even if they got swept in NYC, Milwaukee would escape the horrid month of June with a 42-40 record.

39-30: Narveson gets rescued by bats

Chris Narveson (4-4), although shakey in the 5th, collected his 4th win of the season last night in a 9-5 win over the Cubs.  Milwaukee will have a chance to split the serie today down at Wrigley. 

Rickie Weeks homered (13) and notched 2 doubles while driving in a run.
Case McGehee is finally show some life at the plate; he went 1-4 and driving in two runs
Braun went 3 for 6
Yuni, Hart, and Lucroh each drove in 2 runs a piece

Some good clutch hitting last night, especially with Yuni's shot. 

I didn't stay up to watch this  game due to the 1.5 hour long rain delay.  This makes me sad.

Zach Braddock was optioned back down to AAA while Danniel Herrara was brought up.  Basically replacing one leftie in the pen for another.   It appears that Braddock has been showing up the park late.  Roenicke doesn't blame the sleep meds on it, but doesn't rule it out.  Ron Ron claims he needs to balance this sleep disorder treatment with his baseball. Makes you wonder is th sleep disorder was even the real deal in the first place?   Perhaps it's just mental issues or insuboridination?  Just speculating.  Herrara as you may recall, was claimed off of wires from the Reds a few weeks ago.

Prior to last night's game Milwaukee also sent down Randy Wolf's catcher, Will Nieves, to Nashville for last years back-up George Kottarus.  Nieves struggled at the plate offensively, but was a solid catcher defensively.  He called good games for Wolf while up in Milwaukee. But you can't forfeit pinch hitting production of the bench for that.

First time I read/saw anything about the idea of Prince possibly getting a bigger pay day that Albert Pujols.  One main reason is the age, with Prince being much younger than Alberto.

Yuni Betancourt: make or break time for the SS.  He has to turn it on, otherwise Milwaukee has a take a serious look at Reyes (long shot) or even JJ Hardy.  Hardy would fit in well here and he's been playing good in Baltimore since coming off the DL.  The time is drawing near, perhaps 2 weeks, when Milwaukee will have to deal with this weakness in their line-up.  Both Yuni and McGahee provide a huge weakness gap in the leftside infield. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

38-30: Estrada blows 4 run lead

It is what it is.  Last night was a horrible loss that was a result of Marco Estrada blowing a 4 run lead in the 8th inning.  It was quick and devastating; it also showed us that the Cubs (although filled with a bunch of nobody's) is still lethal.  In 1/3 inning Estrada faced 4 batters and gave up 3 runs, all earned.  That's all it took for Fukudome to blast a double in to the ivy and then Aramis Ramirez to sending a 2-run shot over the leftfield wall.  That prove to be the crushing blow to the Milwaukee Brewers.  Not to mention that Milwaukee didn't do themselves any favors by leaving 8 RISP with 2 outs.

Rickie went 3 for 6 with a double and a RBI
Prince & Braun both collected a hit and drove in a run.

- Prince earned NL Player of the Week honors
- David Einhorn, the interested buyer of the NY Mets had considered buying the Milwaukee Brewers in 2004...but Antanasio (as we all know) beat him to it.  Interesting story about that.
- Interesting story about the 2008 surge in splintered/fragmented bats that tormented the league.  The use of Maple of bats as compared to Ash.
- San Fransisco Gate (newspaper) story on their new 2B Billy Hall and his involvement with the human grenade in 2009 celebration. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

38-29: Dempster does it again...the Brewer Slayer

Ryan Dempster is now 6-0 against the Milwaukee Brewers with a 1.83 ERA in the last 8 starts. 
more on this later...busy working!

Monday, June 13, 2011

38-28: Milwaukee grabs control of the 1 1/2 game

   The hottest team in baseball since mid May and the holder of the 3rd best record in all of baseball...the Milwaukee Brewers?  Yep.  The Crew finally climbed their way to the top with the weekends sweep of the St Louis Cardinals.  It was done in grand fashion too, having to come from behind (yet again) in the 2nd and 3rd games.  It certainly helped that Chris Narveson had probably his best start of his career on Friday when he tossed 8 complete shut-out innings in which he only allowed 7 base-runners and fanned 6.  I thought that Milwaukee would take 2 of 3 in the series simply because of the pitching match-ups.  With Narveson facing one of the NL bests hurlers (this season, so far) in Kyle Lohse, I figured that one would be tipped to the Cards.  But Narveson was lights out, which is huge because of his rough outings he's had in his last couple of starts.

Zack Greinke (6-1) was also on point for Saturday's 5-3 win; he went 7 complete giving up 3 earned runs and striking out 9 batters.  He also contributed a hit as well. 

And then there was Shaun Marcum's (7-2) turn to lead the Brewers charge.  He too lasted 7 innings and struck out 8 batters while giving up 3 earned. 

Mark Kotsay came up big with a key double that brought the Brewers to within one run.
Prince Fielder belted his 19th home run of the season, it was the go-ahead shot.  John Axford collected his 18th save of the season. 

Milwaukee's starters went 22 innings over the weekend.  When was the last time that happened.  Remember last year when Para and Bush would last 5 1/2 innings each? 

Mat Gamel will be called-up on Friday for the inter-league play when Milwaukee travels to Boston.  He will hit in the DH spot but will not be playing any defense, despite the fact that Casey McGehee is struggling at 3B.  Adam McCalvy was on 1250 morning show just now saying that he'll be sticking to 1B...just like I always though.

Saito had YET ANOTHER set-back in Appleton yesterday.  He experienced shoulder tightness so he decided to sit out.  So....what started with his hamstring and then spread to his back and now to his shoulder. 

Is it likely that David Lucroy will some day pitch to his big brother Jonathon in a big league game?  Probably not, but this story talks about the idea of it.  That would be pretty cool, but who's to say that David even signs with Milwaukee.  My guess is that he'll go to Eastern Carolina to play under his scholarship. 

Minor League Ball blog discusses the Milwaukee Brewers draft picks from last week.  Hard to believe they picked 7 pitchers out of their first 10 picks.  Speaking of draft picks, Milwaukee's first overall pick Taylor Jungmann was the SP for the Texas Longhorns on Friday night.  ESPN televised the game, which I was unable to watch.  Texas lost and Jungmann fell to 13-2 on the season, but he still had a good outing.



Friday, June 10, 2011

Jungman on ESPN tonight

Brewers first pick Taylor Jungman pitching for the Texas Long Horns tonight at 6:00 or 6:30pm, ESPN. this kid is going to be the real deal! Melvin claims he COULD be used in the playoffs come October, pending they make it.

35-28: Milwaukee loses a home series

Ron Roenicke put is plain and simple...Milwaukee was out played this series.  My guess is that they the Crew was looking forward to playing the Cardinals and hopefully trying to pull ahead of them.  However, the Cards won last night and Milwaukee lost.  Now the Brewers are back to 2.5 games behind.  All of the 4 top teams in the Central (aside from Cubs & 'Stors) have a record of 6-4 over the past 10 game stretch.  Milwaukee wins--St. Louis wins....ugh.

Yovani Gallardo definetely didn't bring his A game to the park last night.  It was a struggle for him all 4 innings that he threw. Not even the Aaron Rodgers gracing his presence at the park would be enough for the Crew to get their bats going either.  Yo (8-3) gave up 4 earned runs on 10 hits and 4 walks.  Pretty pathetic showing for someone who's trying to keep up with the 8 game winners in the league.  He would've been the first to become a 9 game winner.  That doesn't matter though, what matters is that the offense was unwilling to provide any sort of run support this entire series, aside from the 8th inning in Wednesday's game (4 runs).  That's discouraging because Milwaukee's bats are usually on fire at home. 

Prince Fielder continued his hot streak by going 2-3 with a pair of doubles. 
Casey McGehee continued to suck by going 0-4 and failing to drive home a run with RISP. 

I felt bad for Casey up until last night; it sounded like the fans at Miller Park feel back my the boo-birds started to come out when Casey failed.  It's time to make a move and it's needed now.  Regardless of Milwaukee's plans to convert Mat Gamel to 1B for next season once Prince leaves, I think they should switch him back to 3B and call him up.  If the Crew is trying to go all-in this season, then they should put the pieces in place to do so.  Plus, what does this tell Prince Fielder?  That the team has no plans to make a significant run at re-signing him?  I mean, isn't that the message they are sending by keeping Gamel down in Nashville (where he is tearing it up, btw)?  Bring him up and let him learn both corner infield positions.  Or, do something with Josh Wilson as a last alternative.  Counsell is even (barely) starting to hit, so there's another option.  On a Casey McGehee ending-note, that liner he missed was a tough one to grab and blame should not fall on him.

With the Cardinals coming to town this weekend, Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin will finally get to see what these Brewers are made of.  Chris Narveson (2-4, 4.85) will take to the mound against Kyle Lohse (7-2, 2.41).  My guess is that St. Louis will take tonight's game, especially with Albert Puhols playing so hot.  But the next two weekend games could easily go to Milwaukee with Zack Greinke & Shaun Marcum pitching.

Saturday: Greinke (5-1, 4.83) vs Chris Carpetner (1-5, 4.25)
Keep in mind that the Cardinals have faced Greinke probably twice a season while he played in KC.  So they certainly know what he's made up of.

Sunday: Marcum (6-2, 2.58) vs Jake Westbrook (5-3)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

35-27: The Come Back Kids do it again!

During the first month and half of the season no fan would think that the Brewers could come back from a 1 run deficit.  If they were down going in to the 6th inning, you pretty much knew it was over.  Well, as of last week that has all changed.  Milwaukee now has 4 come-from-behind wins in their last 8 games, dating back to last week's loan win in Cincinnati. 
Fans at Miller Park were treated to the "good" Randy Wolf last night who pitched 6.2 innings where he struck out 6 batters, gave up 4 hits, and 1 earned run.  His only mistake was his first balk he committed in a VERY long time.  MLB's Quick Pitch had some crazy fact on the show about the last time he balked. 
Kameron Loe didn't fare as well....he has been looking shakey at best over the past couple of weeks.  He opened the flood gates to the Mets in the 7th inning when he gave up 5 earned runs while trying to close out the last 2 outs of the 7th.  It was miserable.  He looked angry as hell and defeated  The tower of a pitcher isn't that bad...not at all, but lately there is no such thing as a safe lead for the Crew when he comes in relief. Will that change?  I'd say sooner rather later.
Prince Fielder crushed his 16th & 17th HR's of the season, each were 2-run shots respectively.  The latter came in the 8th inning and the Brewers were down by 2 runs, only after Ryan Braun had a 2-run double.  Prince now has 54 runs batted in, which leads the MLB and he's 3rd in HR's (Toronto's Bautista has 20).
Tony Plush was Cluth last night, and he didn't even know it.  I'm calling bullshit on this one, but he claims that he thought it was the bottom of the 8th and that's why he didn't feel any pressure.  If that's the case, that's pretty messed up.  Perhaps he should spend less time monkeying around in the dugout doing the "Bolt" and more time paying attention.  But then again, I'm old and over weight...he's young and in shape and he just hit Milwaukee's 3rd walk-off game of the he wins.  

-Rickie Weeks threw up the golden sombero
-Casey McGehee snapped his 0 for 27 hitless steak when he had a base hit in the later part of the game.
-John Axford had a huge inning for the Crew, his first after welcoming his baby boy (John Jr.) to the world.  Congrats Axford
-HERE is a link to Nyjer's ADHD post-game interview.  He's fun to watch and crazy wild in the dugout.  But he's having fun playing the game.  It's a complete turn-around from last season when he took on the Marlins in a bench clearing brawl.  Granted though, he has an internal switch that can flip at the drop of a dime.

As most of you know  Gallardo is on his way to becoming an All Star, yet again.  He leads to the NL w/ 8 wins, but is tied with 4 others.  Of those 5 pitchers that have 8 wins, 4 are in the NL (Correia, Halliday, Hamel). 

This site has a nice snap shot of the draft picks Milwaukee made; here are my 3 favorites:
Taylor Jungmann (1st rd/RHP) , Jed Bradley (1st rd/LHP), Andrew Gagnon (3rd rd/RHP)
Milwaukee took 9 pitchers in the draft.

Their best positional draf selection was Dustin Houle who was picked in the 8th round, 251st overall, in my personal opinion.  He's a high schooler that can play SS or Catcher (remind you of Lawrie?) who has excellent range, a powerful bat, and is fast on the basepath.  Although he's at least 4-5 years away from even coming close to making it in the bigs, it's a gimme that he's the chosen one to take over SS while Milwaukee scatters to find a suitable interim (see Betancourt)....I think he's the type of player that Doug Melvin (Canadian himself, as is Gord Ash) salivates over.  He's a young, out of high school Canadian infielder who has solid numbers offensively.  We'll hear more about Dustin when he plays for the Canadian Junior National team in the summer, just like Lawrie did in 2008; Brett was the highest Canadian (non pitcher)player ever picked in the MLB draft.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

34-27: Cappy drops the hammer on Milwaukee

Chris Capuano was able to get his revenge on the club that parted ways with him prematurely.  Granted, no one can blame Milwaukee for doing so, even Cappy himself.  But it must have been a sweet taste left in Cappy's mouth when he exited the game in the 7th after allowing only 1 run to the league's hottest team.  That being said, the Crew will get a free pass for this game since they got back from Miami at 4:00am and the roof was open with 100 degree weather.  Then again, excuses are like assholes, we all have 'em. 

Shawn Marcum put together an excellent outing by pitching 6 complete shut-out innings.  He walked 4, which is uncommon for him, and he didn't have his "A" game with him...and struck out 1 batter.

Marco Estrada, once again, struggled in relief.  He allowed the 2 earned runs and had it not been for Rickie Weeks chasing down a triple, it could have been another run.  He's now 1-3 on the season and a 4.12 era.

Casey McGehee is in a world of hurt right now and it's going to be hard for him to break out of this slump.  Not only his is offense horrific, but so is his defense. 

Lot's of catching up to here we go....

Sporting News magazine listed Braun, Fielder, and Greinke on the MLB's top 50 players list.  How does Ubaldo Jiminez get on that list at #41 and Shaun Marcum not make it?  Yes, I know Marcum didn't get a no-hitter last season and he didn't string together a huge first half of the 2010 season like Ubaldo...but that's about it man.  C'mon now.  Marcum has been spot on the past 5 seasons with an ERA in the 3's.  Ubaldo has been lights out for 1/2 season.

Finally, the Sporting News is getting credit.  By far, my favorite magazine.  They put together a piece on the upcoming free agrency market and they discuss Prince Fielder.

Look, I'm not gonna pretend I know what I'm talking about when it comes to baseball.  I especially don't like to pretend I know good talent in the draft when I see it.  Although I did call the Ryan Braun selection as the top pick 5 pick in the draft that year.   But then I also called Kentrail Davis a top sleeper pick in 2009's draft...the verdict is still out.  Last, I called the Bret Lawrie pick one of the best selections in Brewers history, even better than Braun; again, the verdict is still out.  This year, well, I don't know much of anything.  I know that both Jungmann and Bradley are huge, towering individuals that come from solid baseball schools (Georgia Tech & Texas).  Taylor Jungman is was the first pick of this years draft for the Milwaukee Brewers and they made it count by snagging him after the clubs in front of them went heavy on the middle infield.  He could have been a top 10 pick, easily.  The 6-6, 224# RHP already has a nice aresonal of pitches and was a finalist for this year's Golden Sp)ikes Award (college baseball).  He is someone that could POSSIBLY contribute to the Milwaukee bullpen this season, according to Melvin.  However, that would be a huge mistake.  Let's start planning ahead for 2013 season when either Marcum & Greinke (or both) are gone.  Hopefully he'll have enough time to get ready for that.  Because once they leave, the rotation goes back to normal.  Although there are a number of hurlers in the Milwaukee's farm system (Single A) that will be ready by then.  In 16 starts for Jungmann, he went 13-1 with a 1.39 era.  That's tough to beat.
The next pick was Jed Bradley, the 15th overall pick and 2nd LHP to be taken (after Seattle's Danny Hultzen).  Upon finishing up his junior year at Georgia Tech, the hard throwing southpaw collected a 7-3 record and a 3.49 ERA in 16 starts.  He led the team in strikeouts and he should be someone that can possibly leapfrog prospect Kyle Heckathorn, the top 2009 selection from Indiana who has struggled thus far. 

MORE on Jungmann

MORE on both Jungmann & Bradley

Jonathon Lucroy's brother was drafted by the Brewers during the second day picks.  MORE on that...
Remember when the Crew drafted Rickie Weeks' brother?  Yea, he decided to stay put in college and he ended up getting drafted by ________, crap, I can't remember who.

Braun leads all NL players in votes for the All Star game.

31-26, 32-26, 33-26, 34-26 : Milwaukee sweeps Florida (i'm on vacation--so no posts)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

30-25: Greinke-Hart Lead The Way


Milwaukee collected it's 30th victory before June

     Zack Greinke improved his record to 4-1 for the season by leading the Milwaukee Brewers to a 7-2 win over the Reds last night.  Greinke didn't even have to bring his A game and he still went 109 pitches, 6 innings which saw him give up 2 earned on 6 hits, 3 walks, and 6 strike outs.  He labored much of the outing and I was waiting for him to hit the wall; but was I wrong.  He worked his way out of  a couple of jams just fine.  Then it was up to the pen to not blow it, which they did perfectly.  Estrada, Loe, and Axford combined for 3 innings with the latter fanning 3.

Corey Hart hit his 5th HR of the season which put Milwaukee ahead for good.  He also collected a nicely placed single which drove in a run. 
Rickie Weeks is the 2nd best lead-off hitter in the NL right now, behind Jose Reyes.  He also collected a RBI on 2 hits as did Nyjer Morgan.  Prince Fielder went o'fer but did reach base on a walk.
Casey McGehee continued to struggle by putting up a golden sombero; his BA fell to .246 on the year. 

Is it time to bring up Mat Gamel yet?  I'm not even talking about McGehee's struggles, I'm talking about giving the kid a second shot (or should I say 3rd).  He is now hitting .307 on the year in Nashville while starting at 1B for the Sounds. He's leading the team in RBI (32), Runs (35), Hits (59), Doubles (15), and has 6 errors on the season.  Yes, he's getting groomed for 1B once Prince leaves next season...but he can also play 3B and therefore he should be brought up soon to share some time with McGehee until the latter gathers himself.

Speaking of call-ups, Brett Lawrie is off the charts right now in AAA-Las Vegas for the Blue Jays.  The ex-Brewers prospect (Marcum trade) is hitting .354 on the season and leads all of the Pacific Coast League in doubles with 79 and is tied for 2nd with 15 Home Runs.  It's looking like the Blue Jays are going to bite the bullet on his early arbitration and summon him up tomorrow of Friday.  Ironically enough, Lawrie probably heard the new earlier today and then found himself in the xray chair late last night when he was plucked on the wrist while taking an AB.  The xrays should that it was just bruised....but it still had to scare the hell out of Lawrie.  So will he still be brought up this week or will they wait until the following week?  Regardless, this kid is going to be a damn star.  He belongs in Toronto, his home country.  It's too bad that he seems like a douche bag when he's with his friends....

Milwaukee didn't gain any ground on the Cardinals last night, some how those annoying bastards pulled out a win against the Giants last night on ESPN.  I watched some of the game and turned it off in the 8th, right before the Cards hit back-to-back-to-back doubles and they took the lead. 

Speaking of the Red Birds....they are allegedly interested in Heath Bell...which makes perfect sense now that Ryan Franklin is a nobody.

RYAN BRAUN is leading all NL outfielders in votes so far in All Star ballots.  He could be the first Brewer ever to start 4 consecutive All Star games....insane..
Rickie Weeks is second in All Star voting for 2B with 3000 less than Brandon Phillips. 
Prince Fielder is third place for 1B votes.