Update- 10:01a I just heard that Mat Gamel is going to be starting at third base in place of McGehee today. I thought the Brewers made it clear that they were going to use him exclusively as a first baseman, but some insurance at third isn’t a bad thing, I guess.
9:12a There are a few things that I wanted to go over in last night’s post, but it would have probably gotten too lengthy, so I just thought I’d do them right now.
Saito makes strong return from DL, Dillard optioned
Reliever Takashi Saito finally finished his long road back from the disabled list last night, and had his best outing of the season (out of the three appearances he’s had). He pitched a perfect inning while striking out one. That one strikeout came against Joe Mauer, who does not strike out much. But Saito got him with a nasty slider that, needless to say, I did not know a 41-year old was capable of throwing. He is currently 1-1 with a 6.00 ERA (again, over just three appearances).
If I counted correctly, Saito injured himself three different times trying to come back from the disabled list, aside from the actual injury that put him on the disabled list. Saito had also left the team for awhile in Spring Training because of the earthquake in Japan.
In a corresponding move, to make room for Saito, struggling reliever Tim Dillard was optioned to Triple-A Nashville. During his stint with the Brewers, Dillard went 1-1 with a 5.00 ERA, giving up 10 runs over 18 innings of work. Eight of those ten runs were given up over his last eight appearances, which shows his struggles have come as of late.
Braun to sit out rubber match
Ryan Braun was supposedly injured last night, and was suddenly yanked out of the game in the 8th inning. I found out late last night that he apparently strained his calf coming out of the batter’s box during his last at-bat, which was an RBI groundout. He claimed that he is “definitely not playing on Sunday.”
Amidst slump, McGehee to get a few days off
Slumping third baseman Casey McGehee got last night off, and will probably be given a few more days before returning to the starting lineup. McGehee has not been himself all season, hitting just .221 with four home runs and 33 RBIs. He has also struggled mightily with runners in scoring position, another thing that is very uncharacteristic of him.
Last season, McGehee’s first full season with the Brewers, he hit .285 with 23 homers and a team-leading 104 RBIs. If he keeps up what he’s been doing, however, he’ll be on track for much worse numbers, possibly the worst of his career.
Greinke needs to pick up the pace…
This morning, I was reading an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that portrayed my thoughts about our prized offseason acquisition perfectly- Zack Greinke needs to start doing better for the Brewers. Despite his 7-3 record, his ERA is a whopping 5.63- the highest in the Brewers’ rotation- and typically gets a lot of run support, hence the seven wins. Greinke is coming off of a disaster start, unquestionably his worst start of the season- he gave up 7 runs in just 2 innings against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium, where he is 0-3 with an 11.31 ERA in his career.
The reason Greinke’s ERA is so high is because of three bad starts, and he has a 13.50 ERA during those starts. His ERA in all of his other starts is a much more respectable 3.88, although even that isn’t great for the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner. He went 16-8 with a 2.16 ERA that year, and those are the numbers the Brewers are looking for Greinke to repeat.
Greinke will pitch against the Twins at Target Field today. Coincidentally enough, Greinke’s numbers at Minnesota stadiums aren’t much better than his numbers at Yankee Stadium. In nine games (seven starts) at the Metrodome and Target Field, Greinke is 1-5 with a 4.79 ERA. Last year, he was 0-3 with a 6.00 ERA at the new Target Field. Hopefully Greinke can put those numbers behind him and give the Brewers a win today.