Results of the major awards

November 17, 2012

> Now that the week of debating over awards is over, the boring part of the offseason starts: waiting for all of the big name players to sign. But first, let’s look at the complete placing for each award (via Baseball Reference).

NL MVP:

1. Buster Posey
2. Ryan Braun
3. Andrew McCutchen
4. Yadier Molina
5. Chase Headley
6. Adam LaRoche
6. David Wright
8. Craig Kimbrel
9. Aramis Ramirez
10. Jay Bruce
11. Matt Holliday
12. Aroldis Chapman
13. Brandon Phillips
14. R.A. Dickey
14. Joey Votto
16. Ian Desmond
16. Clayton Kershaw
18. Michael Bourn
19. Allen Craig
20. Gio Gonzalez
20. Kris Medlen
20. Martin Prado
20. Alfonso Soriano
24. Giancarlo Stanton
24. Ryan Zimmerman
26. Carlos Beltran
26. Aaron Hill
28. Jason Heyward
28. Carlos Ruiz
30. Johnny Cueto
30. Bryce Harper
32. Chipper Jones
32. Miguel Montero
32. Angel Pagan
32. Hunter Pence

AL MVP: 

1. Miguel Cabrera
2. Mike Trout
3. Adrian Beltre
4. Robinson Cano
5. Josh Hamilton
6. Adam Jones
7. Derek Jeter
8. Justin Verlander
9. Prince Fielder
10. Yoenis Cespedes
11. Edwin Encarnacion
12. David Price
13. Fernando Rodney
14. Jim Johnson
15. Alex Rios
16. Josh Reddick
17. Albert Pujols
18. Ben Zobrist
19. Joe Mauer
20. Rafael Soriano
21. Matt Wieters
22. Felix Hernandez
22. Jered Weaver
24. Raul Ibanez

NL Cy Young Award: 

1. R.A. Dickey
2. Clayton Kershaw
3. Gio Gonzalez
4. Johnny Cueto
5. Craig Kimbrel
6. Matt Cain
7. Kyle Lohse
8. Aroldis Chapman
8. Cole Hamels

AL Cy Young Award: 

1. David Price
2. Justin Verlander
3. Jered Weaver
4. Felix Hernandez
5. Fernando Rodney
6. Chris Sale
7. Jim Johnson
8. Matt Harrison
9. Yu Darvish

NL Rookie of the Year: 

1. Bryce Harper
2. Wade Miley
3. Todd Frazier
4. Wilin Rosario
5. Norichika Aoki
6. Yonder Alonso
6. Matt Carpenter
6. Jordan Pacheco

AL Rookie of the Year: 

1. Mike Trout
2. Yoenis Cespedes
3. Yu Darvish
4. Wei-Yin Chen
5. Jarrod Parker

NL Manager of the Year: 

1. Davey Johnson
2. Dusty Baker
3. Bruce Bochy
4. Fredi Gonzalez
5. Bud Black
5. Mike Matheny

AL Manager of the Year: 

1. Bob Melvin
2. Buck Showalter
3. Robin Ventura
4. Joe Maddon
5. Joe Girardi
6. Jim Leyland
6. Ron Washington

> I forgot to mention the other day that Ramirez placed ninth in the NL MVP voting. It seems like a lot of non-Brewers fans are overlooking that he actually turned in a great year.

> The Brewers signed Eulogio De La Cruz and Zach Kroenke- both pitchers- to minor league deals.

Kroenke is a lefty, so he gives the Brewers some much-needed depth in that department. And, if you don’t recognize the name “Eulogio” De La Cruz, trust me- you do.

Does “Frankie” De La Cruz ring a bell? Yep, he’s back, and n0w I can continue vomiting over how horrible his mechanics are.

> Jack Zduriencik- a former Brewers scout, and currently the general manager of the Mariners- said they aren’t actively pursuing Josh Hamilton. That could be good for the Brewers, though Doug Melvin has been saying basically the same thing as Zduriencik.

> The Blue Jays signed Melky Cabrera to a two-year deal worth $16 million. Interpret that how you want.

> Minor moves: 

Mets: Signed Brian Bixler to a minor league deal.
Padres: Acquired Tyson Ross and A.J. Kirby-Jones from the Athletics.
Athletics: Acquired Andrew Werner and Andy Parrino from the Padres.
Royals: Signed Brandon Wood, Atahualpa Severino, Brian Sanches, and Anthony Ortega to minor league deals.


Loe, Morgan, Veras, and Ishikawa likely gone

November 2, 2012

> Schoolwork- endless schoolwork. That’s basically my excuse for getting articles up the past few days. The past three days have been the worst of the year for me. I’m hoping the next few weeks will be at least a bit lighter, otherwise my time to write on BWI will get mercilessly crunched. Anyhow, I’m not going to write a big article today, but all the news I’ve missed should cover that up.

THE NEWS

> So far, the offseason is going as planned- the Brewers are getting rid of the useless players, so to speak, in order to create roster space. The first batch of players to go is Kameron Loe, Nyjer Morgan, Jose Veras, and Travis Ishikawa.

Morgan’s outright to Triple-A (and eventual election of free agency) probably gathered the most national news, especially because of the role he played on the postseason team in 2011. He was responsible for getting the Brewers to the NLCS on that unforgettable walk-off hit against the Diamondbacks in the NLDS, and he ingrained himself into the minds of Brewers fans (and into the minds of other fans, but in a negative way) with all of his aliases. But it just wasn’t Nyjer’s season in 2012. He hit a measly .239, and lost practically all of his playing time so that Carlos Gomez could prepare for a possible starting role in 2013. The emergence of Norichika Aoki didn’t help his cause either. And, with the left-handed Logan Schafer proving that he could possibly play the role of the fourth outfielder in 2013, there just wasn’t a spot for Morgan. So I thank Morgan for all of his contributions in 2011, but his antics and things weren’t fitting this year.

Loe and Veras also elected free agency following outright assignments. Loe was one of the Brewers’ best relievers in 2010, posting a 2.78 ERA. He had a second-half surge after getting off two a rough start in 2011, but it was the opposite this year. He had an ERA below 4.00 for most of the season, but it faded all the way to 4.61 in September. Statistically, Veras was one of the Brewers’ best relievers this year (though it’s not good when a guy with a 3.90 ERA is your best reliever). But he quietly had innings just about as frustrating as some of Francisco Rodriguez’s innings, so I’m relatively glad that he’s gone.

Lastly, Ishikawa was outrighted to Triple-A today, and is expected to elect free agency after he clears waivers. Ishikawa had his moments with the Brewers, but overall was the poster-boy of an extremely weak Brewers bench.

After their 2012 performances, I don’t think any of these players will be missed. However, Morgan will always be remembered: he’s written his legacy into Milwaukee history.

> The Brewers claimed reliever Arcenio Leon off waivers from the Astros.

> K-Rod was charged with domestic abuse for that incident in Wales that popped up two months ago.

Just stay away from Wisconsin, K-Rod.

> Speaking of K-Rod, the Brewers did not give “qualifying offers” to him or Shaun Marcum.

This “qualifying offer” thing is something brought about by the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, and basically replaced the Type A/Type B free agent system, which usually determined whether or not a team would receive draft picks as compensation for losing key free agents. Qualifying offers now play that role, and they are determined by the average salary of the top 125 player salaries from the previous season. That salary this season was $13.3 million.

As if K-Rod or Marcum are going to get $13.3 million on the market anyway. This was a no-doubter for the Brewers.

Only nine players received qualifying offers from their respective teams: Michael Bourn, Josh Hamilton, Rafael Soriano, Nick Swisher, Hiroki Kuroda, Adam LaRoche, David Ortiz, B.J. Upton, and Kyle Lohse.

> Minor moves (and a lot of ‘em):

Tigers: Exercised 2013 options for Octavio Dotel and Jhonny Peralta; outrighted Don Kelly to Triple-A.
Rays: Exercised 2013 options for James Shields, Fernando Rodney, and Jose Molina; declined 2013 option for Luke Scott.
Braves: Exercised 2013 options for Brian McCann, Tim Hudson, and Paul Maholm; claimed Jordan Schafer off waivers from the Astros; outrighted Erik Cordier, J.C. Boscan, and Robert Fish off their 40-man roster.
Astros: Designated Matt Downs for assignment; declined 2013 option for Chris Snyder; outrighted Fernando Abad, Sergio Escalona, Edgar Gonzalez, Jose Valdez, and Kyle Weiland to Triple-A.
Athletics: Outrighted Dallas Braden and Joey Devine, both of whom elected free agency.
White Sox: Signed Jake Peavy to a two-year extension; exercised 2013 option for Gavin Floyd; declined 2013 options for Brett Myers and Kevin Youkilis.
Mets: Exercised 2013 options for R.A. Dickey and David Wright.
Rangers:
Declined 2013 options for Scott Feldman and Yoshinori Tateyama; claimed Konrad Schmidt off waivers from the D-backs.
Cubs: Outrighted Justin Germano to Triple-A, who elected free agency.
Dodgers: Re-signed Brandon League to a three-year deal.
Orioles: Declined 2013 option for Mark Reynolds.
Indians: Exercised 2013 option for Ubaldo Jimenez; declined 2013 options for Travis Hafner and Roberto Hernandez (I still call him Fausto Carmona); outrighted Kevin Slowey and Vinny Rottino to Triple-A; claimed Blake Wood off waivers from the Royals.
Royals: Declined 2013 option for Joakim Soria; acquired Ervin Santana from the Angels; claimed Guillermo Moscoso off waivers from the Rockies; claimed Brett Hayes off waivers from the Marlins; designated ex-Brewer Jeremy Jeffress and Jason Bourgeois for assignment.
Yankees: Outrighted ex-Brewer Casey McGehee to Triple-A, who elected free agency; returned Rule 5 Draft pick Brad Meyers to the Nationals.
Reds: Ryan Ludwick and Ryan Madson each declined his side of his mutual option for 2013.
Pirates: Exercised 2013 option for Pedro Alvarez; declined 2013 option for Rod Barajas; released Hisanori Takahashi.
Blue Jays: Claimed Scott Maine off waivers from the Cubs; designated Scott Cousins and David Herndon for assignment; exercised 2013 option for Darren Oliver; re-signed Rajai Davis.
Diamondbacks: Declined 2013 options for ex-Brewer Henry Blanco and Matt Lindstrom.
Rockies: Ex-Brewer Jorge De La Rosa exercised his player option.
Nationals: LaRoche and Sean Burnett each declined their player options.
Giants: Declined 2013 option for Aubrey Huff.
Twins: Claimed Josh Roenicke and Thomas Field off waivers from the Rockies.
Orioles: Claimed Alexi Casilla off waivers from the Twins.
Padres: Designated Josh Spence and Blake Tekotte for assignment.


Analyzing the veteran starters on the market

October 30, 2012

> Doug Melvin and the Brewers have made it known that they’re probably going to go after a free agent starter this offseason, preferable an experienced guy to anchor what looks to be a young rotation. Personally, I’m still debating whether or not that’s the right decision; the bullpen probably needs more tending to than the rotation. But, if the Brewers do choose to go after a free agent veteran starter, there’s actually a surprisingly decent market for that category this offseason. Here’s a list of the key possibilities for the Brewers:

Ryan Dempster
Zack Greinke
Jeremy Guthrie
Edwin Jackson
Hiroki Kuroda
Kyle Lohse
Brandon McCarthy
Anibal Sanchez*
Dan Haren*
Jake Peavy*

*Sanchez, Haren, and Peavy all have options (or other contract impediments) with their current teams, so it remains to be seen if they actually reach the free agent market.

Basically, the guys I listed are possibilities that I wouldn’t mind the Brewers signing, and most of them are relatively realistic for the Brewers as well. Greinke, obviously, isn’t very likely, but you still can’t count him out.

Dempster was stellar with the Cubs in 2012, but sort of fell off a cliff with the Rangers (despite a winning record in Texas). He’s clearly better in the National League, but I’d say one of the only benefits of the Brewers signing Dempster is that they wouldn’t have to face him (he has 15 career wins against the Brewers).

Guthrie might be the worst option on the list. He was awful with the Rockies, probably because of Coors Field, but resurrected himself with the Royals during the second half, posting a 3.16 ERA. Guthrie is still one of the riskier options on the list, however, and the Brewers will probably try and go with someone else.

Jackson quietly had a decent year as the fifth starter in the Nationals’ rotation, but he’s had an inconsistent career, and the number of teams he’s played for will tell you that. I wouldn’t mind the Brewers signing him, but there’s a bit of a risk with him as well.

For me, Kuroda is the best option on the list. After years of getting no run support in Los Angeles, he blossomed on the big stage in the Bronx. He proved he can pitch in the hitter-friendly environment of Yankee Stadium, meaning he probably wouldn’t do too bad at Miller Park.

There’s no denying Lohse had an unbelievable season in 2012, but I just don’t see him fitting in with the Brewers. Plus, he’s going to draw a ton of money (at least $12 million a year), and I don’t see the Brewers spending that on a starter.

In my opinion, McCarthy is one of the more underrated pitchers in the game; he knows how to shut down a good offense. But, it’s not often that he isn’t injured, whether it be shoulder/elbow problems, or taking line drives off the head.

Those are my top options. There are also guys like Joe Blanton, Jeff Francis, and Daisuke Matsuzaka, but there’s no doubt that those guys would turn into Jeff Suppan-like signings, so I hope the Brewers stay away from them.

THE NEWS

> Now that the offseason has officially started, the Brewers made a series of roster moves today. Shaun Marcum, Francisco Rodriguez, and Alex Gonzalez all elected free agency. Marcum and K-Rod are both as good as gone, but Gonzalez has a chance of returning as the back-up shortstop (or starter, depending on Jean Segura’s status). The Brewers also reinstated Mat Gamel and Chris Narveson from the 60-day disabled list. Lastly, they re-signed shortstop Hector Gomez to a minor league deal.

The Brewers’ other free agents, Livan Hernandez and Yorvit Torrealba, are already on the market, as they elected free agency during the NLCS.

> The Gold Glove Finalists were announced today. Here’s a list of them at each position:

American League

Pitcher: Jeremy Hellickson, Peavy, C.J. Wilson
Catcher: Alex Avila, Russell Martin, A.J. Pierzynski, Matt Wieters
First base: Adrian Gonzalez, Eric Hosmer, Mark Teixera
Second base: Dustin Ackley, Robinson Cano, Dustin Pedroia
Shortstop: Elvis Andrus, J.J. Hardy, Brendan Ryan
Third base: Adrian Beltre, Brandon Inge, Mike Moustakas
Left field: Alex Gordon, Desmond Jennings, David Murphy
Center field: Austin Jackson, Adam Jones, Mike Trout
Right field: Shin-Soo Choo, Jeff Francoeur, Josh Reddick

National League

Pitcher: Bronson Arroyo, Mark Buehrle, Clayton Kershaw
Catcher: Yadier Molina, Miguel Montero, Carlos Ruiz
First base: Freddie Freeman, Adam LaRoche, Joey Votto
Second base: Darwin Barney, Aaron Hill, Brandon Phillips
Shortstop:
Zack Cozart, Ian Desmond, Jose Reyes, Jimmy Rollins
Third base: Chase Headley, Aramis Ramirez, David Wright
Left field: Ryan Braun, Carlos Gonzalez, Martin Prado
Center field: Michael Bourn, Andrew McCutchen, Drew Stubbs
Right field: Jay Bruce, Andre Eithier, Jason Heyward

That awkward moment when Gonzalez isn’t on the Red Sox anymore, yet could win the AL Gold Glove at first base.

Anyway, Ramirez should win the third base GG, seeing as he had the fewest errors in the league at the position. But Braun won’t win the GG in left field, because steroids. (You can bet that’s what all of the voters are thinking.)

> Minor moves:

Yankees: Exercised 2013 options for David Aardsma, Cano, and Curtis Granderson.
Phillies: Declined 2013 options for Ty Wigginton, Jose Contreras, and Placido Polanco.
Twins: Declined 2013 option for Scott Baker; signed P.J. Walters to a minor league deal.
Orioles: Exercised 2013 option for Luis Ayala.
Athletics: Optioned 2013 option for ex-Brewer Grant Balfour; declined Stephen Drew’s option; signed Mike Ekstrom to a minor league deal.
Dodgers: Declined 2013 options for ex-Brewer Todd Coffey, Juan Rivera, and Matt Treanor.
Pirates:
Outrighted Jeff Clement, Eric Fryer, and Daniel McCutchen to Triple-A.
Indians: Signed Takuya Tsuchida.


Astros rotation should flop again

January 19, 2012

Note- This is the first of a new series I’m doing where I’ll be reviewing all of the rotations in the NL Central for 2012. If you’re looking for news, then scroll down- it’ll posted afterwards.

> We all know that the Astros just plain sucked in 2011. They were an MLB-worst 56-106, and finished a whopping 40 games out of first place to the Brewers in the NL Central.

While it didn’t help that they traded away their only position players who were worth something- Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn- at the All-Star Break, their pitching was one of the primary causes for their awful season. The starting rotation was nothing special, but their bullpen was worse. Every time their starter had tossed a solid outing and Brad Mills handed it off to the bullpen, you just knew they were going to blow it some way or another.

Anyway, I’m going to review their starting rotation now, and put them in order of how I think the rotation should go in 2012, along with their 2011 stats.

#1 starter- Bud Norris- 6-11, 3.77 ERA

Norris, in my opinion, is an elite pitcher just waiting to break out. He goes unnoticed because he’s on the Astros, but this kid has one of the nastiest sliders in the MLB. Since he’s a right-handed pitcher, that slider is near impossible for righties to hit, but it makes Norris vulnerable against lefties.

I consider him a strikeout pitcher. In 2011, he struck out 176 batters in 186 innings, with an 8.7 K/9 ratio. That was slightly down from his 9.3 K/9 in 2010, but his overall numbers were much better than 2010. But, he can’t let that strikeout rate drop anymore.

Anyway, Norris now has two full MLB seasons under his belt, which should set him up for nice year next year. But, his win-loss record might not show it, because I have a feeling he’s not going to get any run support.

#2 starter- Wandy Rodriguez- 11-11, 3.49 ERA

In 2011, Rodriguez was probably the Astros’ most consistent starter. Again, his record doesn’t show it (but no Astros’ starter record shows anything other than lack of run support), though. But, he’s already 33, and it’s rumored that the Astros might be shopping him to get rid of his large contract, so he may not be around too much longer.

I guess I haven’t seen Rodriguez pitch enough to determine what kind of pitcher he is, but, judging by the amount of home runs he gives up (25 in 2011), I’d assume he’s a fly-ball pitcher. But, he’s K/9 rate isn’t bad, as it was 7.8 in 2011. His K/9 rate has steadily fell over the past few years, though, which could show a possible decline.

Overall, I think Rodriguez still has a few good years left in him. They probably won’t all be with the Astros, though.

#3 starter- Brett Myers- 7-14, 4.46 ERA

After I did my best to praise the first two starters, I might not be able to do so with the next two. Myers had a great year in 2010, going 14-8 with a 3.14 ERA, and earning him the #1 spot in the rotation. But, he followed it up with an awful 2011, as seen by the basic numbers. He also became nearly a complete off-speed pitcher, with more than 50% of his pitches being change ups and curveballs, rather than fastballs.

Myers gives up enough home runs, as he gave up 31 in 2011. He’s pretty much a fly-ball pitcher, and his K/9 is just 6.7. He also gives up a lot of hits, giving up 9.4 per nine innings.

So I don’t think Myers has much left in him. But he’s on the trade block as well, so he may not be on the Astros for much longer either.

#4 starter- J.A. Happ- 6-15, 5.35 ERA

Happ just had a flat-out bad season. I used to think he had talent, but, after last year, I don’t know anymore. There was a stretch of eight starts in which he gave up at least four runs in each of them, which explains his high ERA. And, even when he did have solid starts, guess what he didn’t get? That’s right- run support.

Happ’s  K/9 in 2011 was 7.7, and he gave up 21 home runs. I guess I don’t really know what kind of pitcher he is, but, whatever kind he is, he needs to get better at it.

I think Happ will bounce back in 2012, but not by much.

#5 starter- Jordan Lyles- 2-8, 5.36 ERA

Lyles was called up during the year to give him a taste of the big leagues, and I think he has potential. He has an extremely relaxed pitching motion, which usually means good things for a pitcher. I still haven’t seen enough of him, but I’m guessing he’ll break the rotation next year.

And that’s my review of all of them. There are a few more Astros starters who could break the rotation, like Kyle Weiland, but I think these are the five who have the best shot.

Overall, I think the Astros rotation will, like the rest of the team, once again flop in 2012. Aside from Norris, I don’t see much coming from them next season.

Anyway, come back tomorrow for another review- I’m thinking I’ll do the Cubs.

> Today, I heard that earlier this week Tony La Russa said at some lunch circuit thing that he did tell Jason Motte to intentionally hit Ryan Braun in the wild game in August.

That’s so typical of him, though. He lied and flipped out at the reporters after that game. So, after he retires, he comes out and tells the truth when he’s untouchable.

Needless to say I’m happy that prick retired. I’ve had it with his crap; I don’t care if he’s a HOF manager- he certainly doesn’t have the personality of one.

> And that’s about it. Sorry for calling TLR a “prick,” I don’t usually use language like that on BW. But trust me, I could have called him something much worse…

Anyway, thanks for reading, and feel free to leave your thoughts.


Fielder helps Brewers past depleted Astros

July 31, 2011

4:06p To be honest, I’m surprised the Astros put up that much of a fight without their two star players.

Astros-Brewers Wrap-Up

The Brewers defeated the Astros today, 5-4, to complete their sweep of Houston and keep their winning streak going, which now stands at six. The Astros put up a good fight in the late innings, but they couldn’t pull it off, and having lost two of their best players didn’t help. They traded Hunter Pence to the Phillies two days ago, then traded Michael Bourn to the Braves earlier this morning.

Anyway, the Brewers got to Astros starter Brett Myers early when Yuniesky Betancourt hit an RBI double in the second inning. Then, later in the inning, Jonathan Lucroy laid down a squeeze bunt to score Betancourt from third (he had advanced on an error after his double).

But, trouble came for the Brewers in the fourth inning. Chris Narveson, who had retired the first nine batters he faced, gave up a double and a walk start the fourth inning. Then, ex-Brewers Jason Bourgeois hit a three-run shot to give the Astros a 3-2 lead. The Brewers would tie it, however, in the bottom of the inning on Jonathan Lucroy’s RBI double.

The Brewers then retook the lead in the sixth inning when Yuniesky Betancourt drove in Ryan Braun on a fielder’s choice.

But, in the eighth, the bullpen blew yet another lead. After allowing a double steal, Francisco Rodriguez threw a wild pitch by Lucroy to tie the game, 4-4. K-Rod then struck out J.D. Martinez the pitch after to end the inning.

Then, in the bottom half of the inning, Astros reliever Fernando Rodriguez gave up a lead-off double to Braun. The next batter was Prince Fielder, who was expected to be intentionally walked, since there was a base open. But, for some reason, Rodriguez pitched to him, and Fielder hit a go-ahead single, which gave the Brewers a 5-4 lead that the would not relinquish.

John Axford came in and recorded a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his 31st save of the year.

Narveson had a decent start, but didn’t get the win because of K-Rod’s wild pitch. He went 6 2/3 innings while giving up three runs on four hits. He walked three and struck out four.

Myers also had a solid start, but he didn’t factor in the decision either. He went six innings while giving up four runs (three earned) on eight hits. He walked none and struck out six.

Counsell extends franchise long slump

Craig Counsell was in the starting lineup today at third base to give Casey McGehee a day off. Instead of ending his career-high slump at 0-for-41, he extended it to 0-for-44, which is a new franchise record for the Brewers. The previous one was held by former Brewers pitcher Doug Davis. If you ever saw Davis attempt to swing a bat, you’d see why this is pretty embarrassing for Counsell.

Anyway, Ron Roenicke said he put Counsell in the lineup because of his defense, and that paid off. In the fifth inning, Myers attempted to lay down a sacrifice bunt, but Counsell had it played perfectly. Since there were men on first and second, Counsell threw to Betancourt covering third, who then threw to first to finish a great double play.

Up next for the Crew…

The Brewers start an extremely important series with the Cardinals tomorrow. Zack Greinke (8-4, 4.50 ERA) will go for the Brewers, and is coming off his best start of the year, when he shut out the Cubs for 6 2/3 innings. He already has a win against the Cards this year, when he threw seven innings of three-run ball. Greinke is 4-2 with a 4.10 ERA in his career against the Cardinals.

Chris Carpenter (6-7, 3.68 ERA) will go for the Cardinals. He hasn’t exactly had success against the Brewers in his career, going 4-4 with a 5.24 ERA against them.

Elsewhere around the division…

  • The Cubs and Cardinals will play at 7:05 p.m. CT tonight. They are currently two games back and 17 games back, respectively.
  • The Reds crushed the Giants, 9-0. They are still 6.5 games back.
  • The Pirates fell to the Phillies in 10 innings, 6-5. They are now 4.5 games back and keep falling in the standings.

Box Score

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Houston Astros 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 1 0 4 5 2
Milwaukee Brewers 0 2 0 1 0 1 0 1 X 5 11 0

Milwaukee Brewers

Player AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Corey Hart, RF 4 0 3 0 0 1 0 .271
Mark Kotsay, CF 4 0 0 0 0 2 2 .242
Ryan Braun, LF 4 2 2 0 0 1 1 .322
Prince Fielder, 1B 4 1 3 1 0 1 0 .296
Felipe Lopez, 2B 3 1 1 0 0 0 3 .222
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS 4 1 1 2 0 0 4 .255
Jonathan Lucroy, C 3 0 1 2 0 0 2 .285
Craig Counsell, 3B 3 0 0 0 0 1 1 .147
Chris Narveson, P 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 .154
a-Jerry Hairston, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .266
Total 32 5 11 5 0 8 13

a-Popped out for Saito in the 7th.

BATTING

2B: Betancourt (17), Lucroy (11), Braun (25).

RBI: Betancourt 2 (40), Lucroy 2 (43), Fielder (76).

Team RISP: 2-for-8.

Team LOB: 5.

BASERUNNING

CS: Hart (6).

FIELDING

DP: (Counsell-Betancourt-Fielder).

Milwaukee Brewers

Player IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Chris Narveson 6.2 4 3 3 3 4 1 4.39
Takashi Saito (H, 5) 0.1 0 0 0 1 0 0 2.53
Francisco Rodriguez (BS, 5) (W, 4-2) 1.0 1 1 1 1 1 0 3.20
John Axford (S, 31) 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2.50

WP: Rodriguez.

Pitches-strikes: Narveson 86-59, Saito 12-6, Rodriguez 20-10, Axford 9-7.

Groundouts-flyouts: Narveson 9-4, Saito 0-0, Rodriguez 1-0, Axford 0-2.

Batters faced: Narveson 26, Saito 2, Rodriguez 5, Axford 3.

Inherited runners-scored: Saito 2-0.


Lopez, offense gives Wolf well-deserved win over Astros

July 30, 2011

9:47p Welcome back to the Brewers, Felipe Lopez.

Astros-Brewers Wrap-Up

The Brewers defeated the Astros today, 4-0. Randy Wolf got his first win since June, and the Brewers offense actually gave him some run support today. Lopez, who I mentioned earlier, was a big part of the Brewers’ charge, going 2-for-4 in his first Brewers appearance since 2009.

The Brewers couldn’t really muster anything off of Astros starter Jordan Lyles until the fifth inning, when Casey McGehee got an RBI single from a swinging bunt. George Kottaras followed that up with an RBI single of his own to give the Brewers a 2-0 nothing lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.

The Brewers tacked on a few more runs off the Astros’ bullpen when Corey Hart hit a two-run single to extend the lead to 4-0.

Wolf exited after seven innings due to a pitch count of 117, his second highest of the year, but had a stellar outing nonetheless. He gave up four hits while striking out five and walking three. The bullpen, Takashi Saito and Kameron Loe, combined for two perfect innings to finish off the game and give a break to Francisco Rodriguez and John Axford, who had both been used for three consecutive games.

Lyles, meanwhile, had a solid start, but is still searching for his first career win. He went six innings and gave up two runs on six hits while walking none and striking out three.

Lopez makes strong return to Brewers

Lopez made his first start with the Brewers since 2009 today, and he didn’t disappoint, going 2-for-4 with two singles. He also made a decent defensive play in the eighth inning to rob Jose Altuve of a bloop single.

Brewers GM Doug Melvin reacquired Lopez in a trade with the Rays in exchange for cash considerations yesterday. It was part of an emergency move because the Brewers regular starting second baseman, Rickie Weeks, went on the DL with a severely sprained ankle. Lopez appears to be the best option as the starting second baseman until Weeks’ return.

Lopez hit .320 during his time with the Brewers in 2009.

Pence traded to Phils mid-game

This was definitely one of the more awkward moments of the game. In the middle of the game, the Astros announced that right fielder Hunter Pence had been traded to the Phillies in exchange for four prospects. But, Pence was in right field at the time, so his replacement, Jason Michaels, had to go out and tell him that he’d been traded. So he shook hands and waved to everybody as he left the field for the last time on the worst team in baseball. Tomorrow, he’ll go onto the field for the first time with the best team in baseball.

SLOW curve…

I’ve been waiting for this to happen for a long time, and it finally happened today. Wolf lobbed a 58 MPH sweeping curve as a strikeout pitch to Michael Bourn, and it was the first time I’ve seen Wolf throw a curve below 60 MPH. I was waiting to see whether it would be Wolf or Zack Greinke, who both have part-eephus curveballs, to throw a curve below 60 MPH. I guess Wolf won that.

Up next for the Crew…

The Brewers will play the second game of a three-game set with the Astros tomorrow. They’ll send Yovani Gallardo (11-7, 3.89 ERA) to the mound, who will be in search of his 12th win of the season. Gallardo has completely dominated the Astros in his career, going 8-2 with a 3.32 ERA against them.

The Astros will counter J.A. Happ (4-12, 6.12 ERA), who is having the perfect definition of an awful season. He’s given up at least five runs in seven of his last eight starts, and has an 8.63 ERA over that span.

Elsewhere around the division…

  • The Pirates were hammered by the Phillies, 10-3. They now fall to 2.5 games back.
  • The Cardinals defeated the Cubs, 9-2. They are 1.5 games and 15.5 games back, respectively.
  • The Reds are locked up with the Giants in the 13th inning, 3-3. They are currently seven games back.

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