I didn’t get to see much of today’s game. Stupid day games during school… And what makes it worse is that the Brewers never win while I’m at school.
The Brewers fell to the Cubs today, 7-1. That means the magic number will remain at three for the time being, while we wait for the outcome of the Cardinals-Mets game (the Mets are currently winning, 4-3 in the third inning). Anyway, today was the Brewers’ final road game of the season, and it did not go well. Matt Garza threw a complete game, despite some shaky defense from his team in the ninth inning. Garza became the fifth pitcher to go the distance against the Brewers this year, the others being Tim Hudson, Jaime Garcia, Cole Hamels, and Chris Carpenter.
Randy Wolf did not have a good start, going six innings while giving up six runs on 10 hits. He walked one and struck out five. Now, I’m not one to make excuses, but it was obvious Wolf’s start took a turn for the worse after he was hit in the left forearm (his pitching arm) while trying to lay down a bunt in the third inning. He was cleared to stay in the game, but Wolf said afterwards that the injury affected his cutter.
The biggest blow of the game came in the sixth inning on Marlon Byrd’s three-run homer that broke the game open for the Cubs. Coincidentally enough, the pitch Byrd hit out was a cutter from Wolf.
According to Mike Bauman of MLB.com, the NL MVP race is now a two-horse race between Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder. I was hoping that someone wouldn’t say that, because now it’ll probably jinx both Braun and Fielder, and Matt Kemp or Justin Upton will end up winning. Out of those four, Braun is my choice (not because I’m biased, simply because he’s been the most consistent out of them). Kemp will for sure get votes taken away from him because he’s on a non-contending team in the Dodgers (that’s just how the MVP race works). And I don’t know about Upton. I know he’s having a great season, but for some reason there’s just something about him that makes me think he’s not going to win the MVP.
There’s also been talk recently of Albert Pujols winning the MVP, but I just can’t see that happening this year. He’s finally over .300 (he was hitting .304 to begin the day) and he leads the league in home runs, but his RBI total is down. Before last year, I would have also said that he was injured for two weeks, but Josh Hamilton was injured for nearly a month and still won the AL MVP in 2010, so I guess I can’t use that excuse anymore. But again, I don’t see Pujols winning it this year (I don’t even think the Cards making the playoffs could help at this point).
After ANOTHER September off-day tomorrow, the Brewers will start their final homestand of the year on Friday, and probably clinch the division in front of home fans, hopefully against the Marlins in the first series. Yovani Gallardo (17-10, 3.60 ERA) will go for the Brewers, and he’s coming off a 13-strikeout performance against the Reds his last time out. He’s struck out a total of 25 batters over his last 13 innings, and is now in fifth place for strikeouts in the NL. And I thought his strikeout numbers were down this year… Anyway, Gallardo has crushed the Marlins in his career, going 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA against them.
The Marlins will counter with Chris Volstad (5-12, 5.13 ERA), who, in my opinion, really hasn’t pitched as bad as his record and ERA show. He’s been victim of low run support, especially lately. Volstad is 1-1 with a 1.86 ERA in his career against the Brewers.
UPDATE: The Cardinals ended up winning against the Mets, 6-5. The Cards were actually losing, 4-3, but Pedro Beato gave up a go-ahead homer to David Freese in the seventh inning. Anyway, the Braves are choosing the worst time of year to fall apart. They lost again today, and now the Braves lead the WC by 1.5 games. And a few weeks ago I thought all the races were over…