Friday, July 29, 2011

57-49: Cubs get swept right out of town...go be a cubbie somewhere else

Milwaukee swept the Cubs right out of town.  The Cubs only mustered 3 runs in the series, which is pretty funny. 

Shaun Marcum earned his 10th win of the season and lowered his ERA to 3.33 on the season.  He lasted 6 innings and gave up 2 earned runs on 7 hits, only 1 walk, and 4 strike outs.  Both he and Gallardo are the only Milwaukee pitchers to have double digits win on the season. 

Ryan Braun launched his 21st HR of the season. 

Yuni Betancourt has been red hot during the last two months.  He hit .284 in June and .311 in July so far.  Aside from his E6 problem, he's not too shabby and its nice not to have to rely on Melvin bringing in another SS to replace him or McGehee.  Now Melvin has to only worry about finding a Rickie Weeks (temporary) replacement; which he (sort of) did when he traded for Felipe Lopez (again) for cash considerations. Lopez was in AAA for the Rays and hitting .305.  He's done nothing over the past couple of seasons--since he left Milwaukee after the 2009 season.  Lopez will be the odd man out in that platoon, as he is reporting to Nashville.  Despite Counsell's horrible 0-44 slump, he's been damn good on Defense. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

56-49: Milwaukee shuts out Chicago; Greinke Heats Up

First, the good news.  Milwaukee beat their border rival the Chicago Cubs.  Carlos Zambrano looked decent on the mound, only giving up 2 runs to the potent home team offense.  What I found funny was when Quade came out to remove him from the game and Zambrano had a mini tyrade that resulted in him exiting the mound and making fascial expressions at the Cubs' manager. 

Greinke looked his best last night, going 6 2/3 innings of shut-out work; giving up only 3 hits, 3 walks, and fanning 9.  His pitch count jumped in the 2nd or 3rd inning (can't remember which one exactly) when he threw 25 total pitches.  Had it not been for that laboring inning, I could see Greinke pithching a complete game.  But again, when you have Saito/Hawkins/Loe-KRod-Axford as your 1-2-3 punch at the end, why risk injury with your starters.  Compete games aren't necessary like they were in seasons past.  Back in the day, Milwaukee needed Ben Sheets to throw a complete game in order to cut the pen some slack.  Not any more.  Different bullpen--different results..

Rickie Weeks twisted his ankle something fierce; he will be out 2-4 weeks, just announced by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.  He'll be put on the 15 day DL (possibly the 30 day DL) and Eric Farris has already been summoned from Nashville.  Starting tonight, Milwaukee will have a platoon between Farris, Counsell, and Wilson.  My guess is that Wilson will get the majority of the time, since Counsell is in a 0-38 slump.  He popped out twice last night to shallow RF.  Farris is only hitting .256 with 36 RBI's....but he can get on base and plays semi-decent defense.  Counsell will be the starter when Ron is slanting towards a defensive approach to the game.

Milwaukee plays St Louis 8 times in August.  Rickie weeks it out 2-4 weeks, my guess is the latter.

Prince Fielder snapped out of his homerless streak....

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

55-49: Kameron Loe to the rescue?

After Milwaukee came back from a 2 run deficit in the 1st inning, they seemed to be on cruise control the rest of the game.  Chris Narveson was on his way to his 7th win of the season, which he accomplished, only after Kameron Loe saved his ass.  Narveson loaded the bases in the 6th with no outs before he exited the game--and then Loe took over.  Kameron Loe had been a weak spot in the pen as of late, even leading Doug Melvin to trading for KRod to plug in to the set-up role.  Loe worked his "magic", so to speak.  He had two hitters ground out, the first resulting in a tag-out at home and the second leading to a double play.  Both plays were a result of some brilliant defense by Casey McGehee, who also drove in a run on a timely triple.  The leftside of the infield has really turned it on over the past 2 weeks, which is a welcomed sight by the Ron Ron. 

Ryan Braun went 3 for 4, one of which was his 24th double of the season that drove in his 69th of the season.  Corey Hart also doubled and Prince Fielder added a hit.  The latter seeing his batting average drop to .287 on the season.  He's still homer-less since before the All Star break and his MVP campaign is staring to take a hit

John Axford made franchise history last night by notching his 25th consecutive save, beating out Doug Jones.  What's funny about this is Jones' streak lasted May to September when he did it.  Since taking over closer duties from Trevor Hoffman last season, he has collected 52 saves out of 57 attempts.  Impressive, yet he's basically unknown around the league still.  Hopefully the league will start to take note, now that KRod is in Milwaukee and unable to over-take the closing role.  Looking at last night's save, he was on fire.  His fastball hit 97 and he was throwing 3-4 different types of pitches.  Only once did he get in to trouble when a pinch hitter (forgot his name, does it matter?  Cubs are filled with no-namers) hit a liner right to Rickie Weeks, but he fumbled it and was given an error on the play.

KROD had an impressive hold in the 8th when he struck out 2 batters.

Carloz Zambrano & Zack Greinke take to the mound tonight.

- The trade deadline is coming up Sunday, yet there hasn't been a major move (other than KRod coming to Milwaukee).  Doug Melvin is looking to add another major piece, and they're still toying around with the Carlos Beltran sweepstakes. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

54-49: Crew ends 11 game road trip with 5-6 record

The Brewers could've beat the San Fransisco Giants, but their offense was too weak.  Prince Fielder has been horrible at the plate (aside from yesterday's 2 for 4 showing).  Ryan Braun has been the only glimmer of hope in that line up as of late. 



Friday, July 22, 2011

53-47: Crew gets shut out....AGAIN

Unreal.  Ian freaking Kennedy man handeled the Milwaukee Brewers last night.  Prince Fielder is in a 0-19 slump and his batting average dropped to under .290 on the season.  Luckily, Zack Grenike looked some what decent, although earning a loss.  He struck out 7 and walked none.  Greinke's command was good but I felt he was throwing too much off-speed garb in the 60's. 

Caterpillar Global Mininig is giving away free tickets for the Cubs series this week at miller park.  It's their way of saying, sorry for gutting Bucryous from Milwaukee.  It starts at 9:00am...or actually, right now!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

53-46: Milwaukee beat the DBacks in 10 / Gomez out for season

Milwaukee took the early lead last night in Phoenix after Ryan Braun hit a solo home run, his second in as many nights.  But the DBacks and the equally as effective offense came storming back to tie it up in the 8th inning thanks to a blown save by KRod.  Lucky for Milwaukee, Carlos Gomez was playing CF last night and he pretty much won the game for Milwaukee with his diving catch in the 5th.  Only it was that catch that broke his collar bone.  Right when he went down and made the summersault catch, I knew he landed on it worng; not to mention the way he was holding his arm.  I broke my collar bone in 6th grade playing football (as a running back) and I can still remember the pain, the look on my face, and the way I held my arm---Go Go did the same thing. Likewise with Charles Woodson when he broke his CB in the Super Bowl. 

Takashi Saito ended up earning the win last night and John Axford closed it out for his 26th save of the season.  Despite KRod's fumble, Milwaukee is starting to show that they have the best 1-2-3 punch in the NL.  Throw in Hawkins if Saito or KRod are on short rest, and you still have a solid back end of the pull pen.

Nyjer Morgan drove in the go-ahead run in the 10th (3-2) while Braun added two runs driven in and Lucroy 1.  Ryan Braun had a HR call recalled, which was a damn close call.

Milwaukee is now 4-3 on their west coast road trip and they play the 4th game of their Arizona series tonight.  Zack Greinke (8-3, 5.04 era) against Ian Kennedy (10-3, 3.39 era), the latter slowly becoming the surprise SP of the NL West.  Both Kennedy and Ryan Vogelsong  of the Giants (7-1, 2.02) are proving to be impact players in their respective teams' rotations.  Speaking of Vogelsong, the Brewers will face him on Saturday and likely pit Yovani Gallardo against him.  Tomorrow night's game is at 9:15pm CT, so it's going to be a bender of a night when Marcum (8-3, 3-39 era) takes on Matt Cain (8-5, 2.99 era).  Sunday's game is Baumgarner against Randy Wolf.

USA Today feature on the Brew Crew

Cool little write-up on yesterdays "This day in history", when Hank Aaron hit his 755th HR.

Ryan Braun- Scoring runs is what cures him!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

52-46: Milwaukee moves up to 2nd behind Bucs

Milwaukee had a run-rest last night in Phoenix that resulted in a 11-3 whooping over the DBacks.  Right from the start the Brewers bats were on the prawl when Corey Hart blasted a lead-off HR.  Following that was Ryan Braun's return to the line-up (albeit a short one/4.5 innings) that witnessed a 2-run homer.  Yuni Betancourt woke up for one game and launched 2 HR's, a single and drove in 4 runs. That's a far cry from his 2010 campaign where he hit 16 homers.  It was Yuni's first career multi-HR game of his career.  All together, Milwaukee tallied 5 HR's and topped their previous season record of 4--which occurred in four seperate games. 

Yo struggled out of the gate too, giving up a run in the 1st innings and bringing the DBacks within 2 runs.  I will hand it to him though, he did have to bat in the top of the 1st inning and this sometimes has an effect on the pitcher.  That being said, Yovani Gallardo collected his 11th win of the season.  At this rate, he could win 17-18 games this season (fingers crossed).  I don't see him winning 20+, it's not going to happen.   Yo gave up 1 earned in 6 innings of work. 

Marco Estrada was impressive; he struck out 4 batters in 2 innings of work (no hits).  Kameron Loe gave up a hit in one inning of work.  Loe has gone from a pretty reliable set-up man while Hawkins and Saito was possibly being optioned down to Nashville because of a set bullpen.  On paper, he's the odd man out in my opinion.  If anything, Ron Roenicke will eventually bring up a southpaw once the season hits mid-August. 

UPDATES: Things are progressing slowly in trying to sign Milwaukee's top 2 picks in Taylor Jungmann (U of Texas) and Jed Bradley (Georgia Tech), as expected.  August 15th is the deadline.  Of course, Brewers fans still have the memory of Dylan Covey in their heads.  Milwaukee failed to sign him after he opted to attend school in San Diego and treat his newly diagnosed diabetes.
Also...Ryan Braun is going to be eased in to the line-up.  What you saw last night (4.5 innings) is what to expect the rest of the week.  Braun will start the game but Morgan will eventually shift to LF and Gomez will play CF.  --  Craig Councell is in a career slump at the age of 40.  He's hitless in 33 at-bats. My guess is that he'll retire once we hit late August.  Milwaukee can't afford to go down the stretch with a dud for a pinch hitter.  It will be a bitter sweet ending too.

More chatter on Wilson Betimit (KC) being targetted by the Brewers.  He's hitting .281 compared to Yuni (.241) and McGehee, who's below the Mendoza Line.

Trade ideas being discussed on 1250AM (Milwaukee): Carlos Beltran for Corey Hart...would you do it?  My answer is yes. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

51-46: Arizona rookie blanks Milwaukee....AGAIN

Unreal.  Milwaukee got blanked by Josh Collmenter and DBacks yet again.  The rookie RHP has now tossed 14 scoreless innings against the Brewers and gave up only 6 hits.  Last night he retired 12 consecutive batters before I gave up watching and went to bed.  Meanwhile, Randy Wolf gave up 3 runs (2 earned) and got in trouble just about every inning.  Even still, giving up 3 runs to the potent Arizona offense is an accomplishment that should be matched with SOME run support.  Casey McGehee sucks...that's pretty much how you sum up the offense.

Arizona has now beaten the Brewers all 4 games this season.

Up and down and up and down...this makes me stressed out.

I think Ron Roenicke made his first major mistake as Manager.  Ryan Braun could've easily been put on the DL on Sunday, July 3rd and have plenty of time to rest his calf; thus resulting in Milwaukee being able to bring up a much needed bat.  Instead, Ron Ron has been dinking around with Braun and keeping him out of the lineup in order to be extra careful.  Now it's his hamstring.  My guess is that it's still his calf that's acting up.  So now they're still trying to decide if he should be sent to the DL or not.  You can never be too carefull with Braun.  He's had some nagging injuries this season that also includes his shoulder (taken out of the Dodgers series out in LA.

Paul Molitor is in Wisconsin Rapids, WI as a guest for the Northwoods League all-star game.  He spent time playing for the Beloit Brewers (minor league) and played at Wisconsin Rapids, which was a Twins affiliate. 
Why doesn't Molly have a statue out front of Miller Park?

Miller Park is celebrating it's 10th Anniversary this season.  Now they want you to do a writing assignment about it.

Pittsburgh is back in 1st place of the NL Central, Milwaukee is in 3rd.  WTF. Additionally, the Pirates are beat the Reds last night to get to first. Is this team really for real?  I still don't think so. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

51-45: Milwaukee splits in Denver; Next Stop is Phoenix...

  Odd...Milwaukee was in 3rd place after Friday's loss in Colorado.  Pittsburgh was in 1st.  That being said...

  What started off as a debacle ended in a some promise.  Milwaukee dropped the first 2 games of the 4 game series in Denver, only to narrowly beat the Rox the final 2 games.  Yovanni Gallardo allowed a season-high 11 hits and Milwaukee as a whole gave up 20 in their 12-3 loss.  Chris Narveson didn't fare much better on Friday night when the Colorado shut-out the Crew 4-0.  Despite Corey Harts late-inning HR on Thursday night on Thursday, Milwaukee had failed to score in 15 out of their last 16 innings.  To cap things off, Ryan Braun saw his hit streak come to an end at 23.  He's now 3rd on the club's hit streak list, 1 shy of 2nd place. 

And then Ron Roenicke decided that change FINALLY needed to he switched up the batting order by putting Rickie Weeks in the 5th hole.  To those outside the state of Wisconsin, this news is no big deal.  But to Wisconsin and was a change that should've been made at least 2 seasons ago.  Rickie Weeks was brought up through the farm system as the lead-off hitter.  In fact, he has never started in any other slot than lead-off.  He's batted 5th before after a substituting, but for the past 5+ years Rickie Weeks has been the lead-off hitter for Milwaukee in order to protect Prince Fielder.  Simple enough concept, but for some reason Ned Yost, Ken Macha, and Ron Ron (the latter is partially to blame) failed to realize that this should've been done years ago.  Coming at even a bigger surprise was Josh Wilson replacing Yuni Betancourt's struggling ass.  More on that later...Corey Hart, who was hitting 5th, was bumped up to lead-off.  He hasn't been in that spot since 2009. 

I would say this: As a result of Roenicke's batting order change, Milwaukee's offense saw a "jolt" in their offense.  The Crew was finally able to match Colorado's offensive punch by beating them 8-7 on Saturday and 4-3 in Sunday's game.  The Rockies kept coming back on Saturday's game and despite having a 3-0 lead.  But it was Rickie Weeks (in the 5th spot) that hit a 2-run home run off of their closer Houston Street.  Milwaukee then saw their newest addition in Franky Rodriguez do work on the Rox in a 1-2-3 8th inning before Axford earned his  24th save and 25th on Sunday. 

Speaking of Sunday, Shaun Marcum had to exit early after the 5 complete innings due to a neck soreness, after he made a web gem of a play throwing out a runner at 1B.  Apparently it's not an issue, just tightness, but Milwaukee has to be worried.  Their top hurler in the first half of the season has now struggled or exited early in his starts since mid June while in Boston.  Even more worrisome is the fact that he hadn't earned a win since June 13th in Chicago?  I didn't have time to fact check that, but I want to say that's true--and I heard Provis say something about that.  Marcum however, is not expected to miss a start.

To make matters worse, Ryan Braun strained his hamstring and had to leave Saturday's game.  He was available to pinch hit on Sunday, but I truly feel that he tweaked it and Milwaukee's being overly cautious. 

Josh Wilson, despite colliding with Casey McGahee's attempt to catch a foul ball, has been pretty damn good at SS.  He went 4 for 8 in the 2 games he's started and collected a double. Let's see if that continues in Arizona.

Rumors were flung around this weekend about the Brewers having interest in Wilson Betemit, the 3B from the Royals.  No, Ned thanks. Jamey Carroll was another name mentioned over the weekend.  Again, Milwaukee should set their sites on Taylor Green and work-in a platoon type situation.  I know that's hard to do with the Gomez-Morgan platoon going roster space, but perhaps Gomez should be optioned down in order to try it.  Morgan is MORE than capable of playing every day, especially with Kotsay playing well in the reserve. 

Recently, the Timber Rattlers (Appleton) and the Milwaukee Brewers extended their relationship.  How does a major league team NOT have a low A team near their city?  It's so much easier for rehab stints.  Milwaukee always had a local team in Beloit, but then that relationship switched a minor league team in West Virginia (the Power).  Luckily, Appleton knew they had something special to offer Milwaukee. 



Friday, July 15, 2011

49-44: Milwaukee sucks on the road...plain and simple.

      Last night's game was brutal, to say the least.  Despite the fact that the rain at Coors Field prevented the Brewers from taking BP and shagging fly-balls prior to the game--is no excuse for the horrible performance that Milwaukee turned out.  Yovanni Gallardo was god awful, horrific, disgusting, un-ACE like.  The offense was off to a smoking hot start, but it kind of takes the air out of you when you take the lead twice and give it back to them right away.  Look, you're going to get the occassional ass-kicking once every 2 weeks (even the good teams).  So take it on the chin and move on Crew....move on.

     Gallardo is horrible and Coors Field and they're horrible on the road (16-30).  So the question is; Why didn't Ron Roenicke do what other clubs did and rearrange their rotation a bit.  Have Narveson start the first game and skip Gallardo?  It's a bit far fetched, but they suck on the road and this could set the tide for the entire road trip (11 games).

    Ryan Braun extended his hitting streak to 23 games with a rip-roaring liner in his first at-bat from coming off his calf injury.  With a hit in tonight's game, he could tie for 2nd for the club record.  Paul Molitor has 39 games-which is the record, so there's a ways to go yet. 

  KRod says he "just wants to win".  Well, you picked the right club for home (Miller Park).
"It was a surprise. Definitely a surprise," Rodriguez said of the trade. "I was a little bit shocked. I knew I was in a market where eventually the Mets would find a way to trade me. But I never thought it was going to be Milwaukee."
I would be surprised too.  I mean, his ex-agent Paul Kinzer forgot to turn in KRod's no-trade list to the Mets org.  So the Mets knew they could trade him anywhere; but then KRod switched agents and signed on with Scott Boras.  Once the Mets found this out--they knew they only had a small window of opportunity to make a deal and send him packing ANYWHERE.   Milwaukee is ANYWHERE, considering that they are on most no-trade lists on star players and the city generally has to get waived or Ok'd by the player (Trevor Hoffman is one example of this, I believe).  So in a matter of 6-8 hours the NY Mets were able to make a deal with the Brewers and screw over Boras in the mean time.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Milwaukee Lands a New Set-up Man!

....and the first team to make a huge splash during the trade season is......


The Milwaukee Brewers dealt 'two players to be named' to the New York Mets for Francisco Rodriguez and $5MM dollars.  The cash will be used to offset some of the 11.5MM Krod is set to make in 2011.  What makes it more interesting is that KRod already has 34 "finishes" this season; so Milwaukee can use him 21 more times to finish games this season before the 17.5MM option automatically vests with a 3.5MM buyout option.  That 5MM that was sent to Milwaukee is to offset that buyout option, I would imagine.  What makes this interesting is that Krod is a recently signed Scott Borras client.  Scott is a little upset that KRod will be auditioning for a new contract next a set-up man!  How genious is that? 

Doug Melvin saw a window of opportunity and took it. He was able to keep a closer out of the Cardinals hands and he was also able to utilize KRod as a set-up man and not have it work against his remaining 21 games.  Will KRod be happy in Milwaukee?  Possibly, but he has no choice after the shit show he pulled last season.  He can't afford to make waves and voice his displeasure.  Melvin has him by the to speak.  How smart of a move is that?

Meanwhile, the Mets were able to unload some salary in time for the off-season push to keep Jose Reyes.  With Carlos Beltran, David Wright, and Jason Bay on the books--that's 57MM of their 141MM payroll.

According to Doug Melvin, just now on AM1250 (Milwaukee), KRod is "happy" to come on board...but other than that, Melvin didn't elaborate how his talk went with KRod.  

When Melvin was asked "if he was done" this trade season--he hesitated and then went in to the old go-around of "the trade ideas you hear about are the ones that don't happen".  So my guess is that Melvin will work under the radar, just like with KRod, and land another deal.

My guess as to who the "two players to be named" are going to be Khris Davis and Taylor Green.  Those two are the pieces that NY could use, with David Wright probably departing soon.

Apparently the deal went down fast, possibly a 1/2 day.

Milwaukee was not on KRod's "no trade" list.

- Oh yea, forgot to mention that Prince Fielder was named the ALL STAR MVP for his 3-run homer to put the National League ahead and eventually win the game.  The Brewers will now have home field advantage in the World Series (smiley face).

Monday, July 11, 2011

49-43: Milwaukee takes series with Reds/First place tie with Cards

Milwaukee won a nail-biter yesterday afternoon in front of a sell out crowd at Miller Park.  Thanks to clutch veteran hitting off the bench by Counsell and Kotsay.  Kotsay ripped a single and drove in the tieing run in the 9th inning and then Counsell hit a walk-off sac fly to left field which drove in the winning run.

With Ryan Braun out of the All Star game, he will have plenty of time to recoop before Thursday's game in Denver. 

Who is the set-up man  for Milwaukee?  Loe or Saito, Hawkins or Braddock?  Well, apparently Ron Ron is going to use the match-up approach and keep both of them on their toes.  Makes sense and it's certainly doesn't suck that Milwaukee has 4 options.

According to THIS study by On Numbers, the Brewers are a hard team to root for...but there are 8 other teams that are tougher. 

Prior to Sunday's game minor leaguer Cody Scarpetta got a surprise call-up to Milwaukee.  Although he wasn't used, the experience was probably exhilerating to say the least.

2B Eric Farris might be a trade target at the deadline?  No where to go for him with Rickie Weeks healthy season.

The Brewers are testing a new "demand ticket pricing" system.  


Friday, July 8, 2011

47-42: Back on track?

We'll see tonight when the Brewers take on the Reds in game 2 of the 4 game series.  Milwaukee has to take advantage of these head-to-head match ups with the Reds, Cards, and even the Pirates.  Last night they certainly did.  Chris Narveson bounced back from his god awful outing in Minneapolis last weekend to throw 6 complete innings; giving up 2 earned runs on 7 hits, 5 strike outs, and 2 walks.  The bullpen was again shakey with the usually sturdy LaTroy Hawkins giving up an earned run.  From the very start his velocity was missing, having only maxed out at 91 mph with a fastball.  All other pitches were in the mid-to-high 80's.  Saito was on point as he threw a scoreless/hitless frame.  Axford (23) notched another save, but had to earn it the hard way.  He gave up -- yet another -- homerun to Ramon Hernandez, the very-same Red that launched a HR in the season opener that lost the game for the Crew. 

Rickie Weeks hit a line-drive HR in the 5th inning and he drove in 3.  Yuni Betancourt also had a big game with a double, a RBI, and he now leads the National League in sac flies. Kotsay has hit safely in his last 8 games; he also drove in a run and made an excellent play out in LF to stop an extra base hit. 

Melvin & Co. will have a hard decision to make when they have to decide what to do with Braun.  If he plays in the All Star game and then goes on the DL, that DL stint/date is NOT retroavtive from June 3rd when he missed his first would start from the All Star game.  Make sense?  So basically, if he's going to be put on the DL, they should do it now and then make it retroactive from July 3rd, so he can be ready for the Arizona series on July 17th in Phoenix.  Tracking?  I'm barely haning on here.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

46-42: McGehee Shows Up....Finally

*Ryan Braun's MRI came back positive, or, no sign of major injury.  He will be out tomorrow's opener with the Reds.

Casey McGehee finally decide to show up to lead Milwaukee to a 3-1 win over the DBacks.  For the second time this season he provided the late game heroics by blasting a 3-run dinger in the bottom of the 7th that provided the go-ahead runs.  As you may remember, Casey did the same thing against the Cubs back in April (2-run blast).  This is a glimmer of hope that he can still turn it around, albeit he is batting .225 on the season and 5 homers.

Yovanni Gallardo FINALLY brought his "A" game by going 7 complete and giving up one run on a single mistake (home run to K Johnson, lead-off).  He settled in after that one mistake in the first inning and gave up only 4 hits, with only one of those hits for extra bases (double to Montero).  His pitch count even hit 123, which shows how hard he had to labor to complete the 7 innings. 

Odd--Milwaukee wore their old throwbacks today, which was Yo's call (according to 1250am Milwaukee). 

45-42: Pirates jump to 2nd -- Crew drops to 3rd

What is a fan to do?  The dog days of summer can be hard on a brother all by itself, but then you throw in the Brew Crew's woos and you then find yourself with heartburn.  The current slump has been extended while playing the NL West second best team.  Yes, they're not even in first place--yet the DBacks are whipping the Brewers around while ON THE ROAD like it's nobody's business.

Such is baseball.  I mean, come on now people.  Let's look at the obvious.  Milwaukee could continue to slide against the Reds; meaning they could get swept by them and still be just fine.  The Reds don't have the pitching and the Pirates are the Pirates, they will self implode.  Both are mirages.

Randy Wolf gave up 7 runs in 3 innings last night....therefore he should be stripped of his right to have his own catcher in George Kottarus or Will Nieves (who's now out).  For some reason, Wolf has some issues with Lucroy--ever since Lucroy's first game catching last May.  Wolf was crying and bantoring like a little boy.  Get over one is better than the other.  The ONLY pitcher who picked his catcher and had every right to do it was Ben Sheets and his partner Chad Moeller.  Heck, CC didn't even have his own catcher.  Why should Wolf?  Don't get me wrong, Randy has been lights out this season and bumps in the road will happen.  But I'm sick of not seeing Lucroy in the line-up when they need him most.

Rickie Weeks in a horrible slump right now; his BA dropped to .274 and he's 5 for 37 stretching back to June 26th.  He's our 2B and slumps happen, but it's time to start thinking about flipping him down to the 2 hole.  He has the HR power, no sense in hitting solo shots.  The lead-off hitter should either be Morgan when he's starting in CF or Gomez, if the guy could learn to take a pitch.  Ok, maybe I'm on crack with the Gomez thing--but Morgan should be considered the everyday lead-off. 

Prince was named the NL Player of the month for June.  This is the second POM award, last one coming in April (...right?).

Prince selected Rickie Weeks to join him for the HR Derby.  That way Rickie can continue to hit meaningless home runs.  Ok Ok, that was low, but his HR's all come when they are out of the game. 

Yuni an ALL STAR replacement?  Well, it could happen (but it won't).  With Reyes & Tulo out, Yuni ranks 4th in ballots. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

45-41: Milwaukee drops to 2nd, Pittsburgh is right behind the Crew

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

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 sad :(

45-40: Milwaukee is embarrassed in TC

45-39: Nyjer's Big Birthday Performance

44-39: Thome KO's Brewers