3:52p Now this is exactly the kind of game the Brewers needed.
The Brewers finally snapped a three-game losing streak today in a win against the Diamondbacks. Three good things happened today: Casey McGehee hit a late-inning homer, Yovani Gallardo tossed a gem, and Ron Roenicke finally used LaTroy Hawkins in the setup role.
Gallardo recovered pretty well after giving up a lead-off homer to Kelly Johnson in the first inning, but received no run support through the first six innings. That was because Diamondbacks starter Josh Collmenter finally had a decent start and shut out the Brewers for six innings before handing it off to the Diamondbacks’ inconsistent bullpen.
Reliever Joe Paterson came in to pitch the seventh. After striking out Prince Fielder, Paterson gave up back-to-back singles to Mark Kotsay and Jonathan Lucroy.
Then, the slumping Casey McGehee stepped up to the plate to pinch-hit for Mat Gamel.
Reliever Sam Demel came on to replace Paterson after he recorded just one out. Then, on a 3-2 count, McGehee crushed a three-run homer to give the Brewers the lead, 3-1.
LaTroy Hawkins came in and pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and John Axford struck out the side in the ninth to record his 22nd save of the year. Gallardo finished with seven innings, giving up one run on four hits while walking one and striking out six. It was his tenth win of the year and lowered his ERA to 3.76.
McGehee finally comes through
McGehee has been in a season-long slump so far this year, but he shined today as he hit the go-ahead homer off of Demel in the seventh. McGehee was actually out of the lineup as Gamel made his second start of the season at third base.
I’ve said this a lot, but McGehee is on track to have the worst season of his career this year. He’s hitting just .225 with five home runs and 36 RBIs. Hopefully the homer today is a symbol that he’s finally beginning to break out of his slump. However, he may have just been showing his dominance against the Diamondbacks. Coming into this series, McGehee was hitting .548 against Arizona for his career. He is also 5-for-5 against Arizona starter Daniel Hudson in his career.
Hawkins finally used in the eighth inning role
Roenicke finally used Hawkins in the eighth inning today, the role he was meant for. It seems to me that Hawkins has only been used when starters can’t get out of an inning, or in a mop-up role, which is not what his role actually is. I heard that Hawkins recently talked to Roenicke about being used in a better role in the bullpen, but, up until today, that hadn’t really showed.
Roenicke, for some reason, has been using Kameron Loe for the setup role. Here are Loe’s numbers out of that role so far: 2-7, 4.72 ERA. Great numbers for a setup guy, right? Here are Hawkins’ numbers out of his role, mop-up or whatever it may be: 0-0, 0.78 ERA. As you can see, Hawkins hasn’t even factored in a decision yet, which shows how unused he is. To me, Loe’s numbers and Hawkins’ numbers are the complete opposites of what their numbers should be, given their roles.
Braun sits fourth straight, has MRI on calf
Ryan Braun sat out for the fourth straight game today, and, just to make sure there wasn’t anything extremely wrong with his calf, had an MRI. The MRI should nothing more than an inflammation in his calf. Roenicke said Braun probably won’t be in the lineup tomorrow, but could be on Friday.
Brewers avoid first sweep at home of the year
It appeared that the Brewers were going to get swept at home for the first time this season today with the way Collmenter was pitching. However, McGehee’s late inning heroics changed that, and the Brewers remain unswept (yes, I made that word up) at home this season. Yesterday and the day before marked the first time this season that the Brewers had dropped back-to-back games at home.
Up next for the Crew…
Tomorrow, the division rival Reds will come to town. The Brewers haven’t fared very well against the Reds so far this season, or for the last three seasons at that. The Brewers are 2-7 against the Reds so far.
Homer Bailey (3-3, 3.64 ERA) will go for the Reds. He’s still getting settled in after a few stints on the DL earlier this season. The Brewers will counter with Chris Narveson (5-5, 4.86 ERA), who got knocked around his last start against the Twins. He gave up a career-high 14 hits to go along with seven runs. He didn’t factor in the decision, however, because that was the day of the huge comeback against the Twins. He hasn’t been good against the Reds this season, as he is 0-2 and gave up seven runs in one start, and five in the other. He better win tomorrow, though, since I’m going to be at the game.
Elsewhere around the division…
- The Cubs are currently tied with the Nationals, 4-4. To be honest, I could care less whether or not they win, considering how far out of the race they are. It’s just fun to watch the Cubs lose.
- The Astros are leading the Pirates, 5-2. Is the Pirates lose, the Brewers will move ahead of them in the Central standings.
- The Reds are destroying the Cardinals, 6-0. If the Cards lose, the Brewers will gain a game on them.