Recap of Brewers-Pirates series

I’m back. Sorry for not getting up posts for a few days, but I was out of town. Anyway, I should probably reflect a bit on the Brewers-Pirates series in Pittsburgh that took place while I was away.

The Brewers split that four-game series. That’s alright, I guess, but when the Brewers are playing the Pirates, you’d expect an easy four wins for the Brewers. But, the law of averages had to come into play eventually, meaning the Pirates couldn’t do this horrible against the Brewers forever.

Anyway, the offense for the Brewers was on and off all series. In the first game of the double-header, they made a mockery of the Pirates’ bullpen by scoring six runs off them in an 8-1 victory. But, the Pirates countered in the night game of the double-header, tagging Zack Greinke for seven runs in a 9-2 loss for the Brewers. Seven of their nine runs came in a never-ending seventh inning off Greinke and reliever Frankie De La Cruz.

But, the Brewers had a seven run inning of their own the next day. They crushed Ross Ohlendorf, who was making his return from the DL, for seven runs in the second inning, which was part of an 11-4 blowout win.

During the final game of the series, the offense pretty much disappeared. The Pirates won, 2-0. Pirates starter Aaron Thompson was making his Major League debut, and he did alright, I guess. He lasted just 4 1/3 innings, but didn’t give up a run. He allowed a lot of baserunners, but the Brewers weren’t executing with runners in scoring position at all. That was their 11th shutout loss of the year- all of which have come on the road.

Anyway, here are a few more things that took place while I was away.

Narveson moves to bullpen for the time being

Chris Narveson will be in the bullpen for the next two series or so. He’s typically the No. 5 guy in the Brewers’ rotation, but, due to scheduled off-days during the next stretch, they won’t need a fifth starter. That means they’ll be working with a four-man rotation (Greinke, Yovani Gallardo, Shaun Marcum, and Randy Wolf). This move also gives the bullpen a lefty, something the Brewers’ bullpen has been lacking nearly all season.

But, I don’t know how much I like this move. It’s true that Narveson is only an average starter- he’s 9-6 with a 4.31 ERA- and isn’t a superstar ace, meaning they can go without him for awhile. But, during the next two series, the Brewers will be playing the Cubs and Cardinals- two teams that Narveson has had a ton of success against in his career. In my opinion, a more logical move would have been to move Wolf to the bullpen for a little while, because Wolf hasn’t had nearly the success against the Cubs and Cardinals that Narveson has. But, Narveson is the only guy in the rotation with recent bullpen experience (Greinke was in the Royals bullpen a few years back), so I guess that’s what this move was based off of.

Parra has ANOTHER setback…

Brewers pitcher Manny Parra had yet another setback yesterday. He’s going to need to undergo surgery to replace a screw in his elbow that’s been giving him some trouble recently.

Parra has been having setbacks all year, though. He probably would have made the Opening Day roster as a lefty out of the bullpen, but had back problems in Spring Training that kept him from that. Since then, he’s had simultaneous issues with both his back and elbow, and definitely won’t pitch again this year, not even in the Minors. But, if he can avoid undergoing major surgery (such as Tommy John Surgery), he could be ready to go by Spring Training in 2012.

In 2010, Parra had a disappointing season as a starter, and went 3-10 with a 5.02 ERA overall. But, he had success out of the bullpen that year, putting up a 2.93 ERA during appearances out of the ‘pen. And, since the Brewers already have five capable starters, Parra would have fit perfectly into the bullpen, being a lefty.

Parra will be arbitration eligible for the second time in his career this offseason, but, if he has yet another setback, I can’t imagine the Brewers will offer him arbitration. I’m even surprised with the patience they’re giving him at this point.

Anyway, that’s about all I have right now. The only other thing I missed was that Marco Estrada will be moving back to the bullpen after making his last start on Tuesday, and De La Cruz is probably going to be sent down, but that’s a pretty minor situation. The Brewers have an off-day today and will begin a series with the Cubs tomorrow, so, before I finish, here are the probable pitching matchups for the series:

Rodrigo Lopez (4-4, 4.97 ERA) vs. Randy Wolf (10-8, 3.45 ERA)

Ryan Dempster (10-9, 4.60 ERA) vs. Yovani Gallardo (14-8, 3.51 ERA)

Casey Coleman (2-6, 7.59 ERA) vs. Zack Greinke (12-5, 4.22 ERA)

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