> The bats were alive and well in the Brewers’ 9-5 win over the Cubs. The night was highlighted by Jonathan Lucroy’s two bombs and Mark Rogers finally picking up his first career win.
Rogers was shaky early, giving up runs in each of the first two innings. He left the game after the fifth (at 90 pitches) losing 3-1, but his squad backed him up with an eight-run rally to give him his first win easily. The second of Lucroy’s home runs came during that rally, as did a Carlos Gomez homer.
INNINGS LIMITS STARTING TO TAKE EFFECT
> Rumors were circling prior to the game that this could be Rogers’ final start of the season before being shut down due to an innings limit. It was revealed this past week that the Brewers had put innings limits on a few pitchers, the rookies Rogers and Mike Fiers being the most notable ones.
For a while it sounded like the Brewers were just going to switch to a six-man rotation when Shaun Marcum returned, which would, in the long run, hold down every starter’s innings. But both Ron Roenicke and Doug Melvin sounded pretty confident that this would be one of Rogers’ final starts, and he’d only get one or two more on the year.
It also sounds like they’re going to shut Rogers down completely, when it would be easier to keep his arm loose- yet still control his innings- by moving him to middle relief. I’ve never understood shutting down pitchers for the year and not letting them throw another pitch until Spring Training of the next year. (Yes, I know Jordan Zimmermann, shut down by the Nationals at the end of last year, is currently leading the Majors in ERA. But that doesn’t change my stance on this.)
While I’m not in favor of pitch counts or innings limits, however, the Brewers have said that they may give other pitchers opportunities to start in September when rosters expand. Names thrown out there to start in September were prospects Tyler Thornburg and Wily Peralta, who could take the two rotation spots of Rogers and Fiers, if they’re both shut down. Since Thornburg and Peralta could also be vying for rotation spots in ST of next year, that might not be a bad idea.
> Zack Greinke has been struggling with the Angels since the blockbuster Trade Deadline deal that sent him there, as he’s 1-2 with a 6.19 ERA in five starts with them (just one of them is a quality start). But, today, Roenicke weighed in.
“You take a guy like him, and he’s real structured in everything he does. He got real comfortable here with how things were going, and now you put him with a whole new coaching staff, a whole new team and that’s not easy to do. It’s not easy to just be yourself and go through the same routine you usually do when your surroundings are so different. I still think he’s going to have some good starts for them. I think that last month, he’s going to do well.”
If you haven’t been paying attention, the Angels have fallen to just two games over .500, and have the second-worst record in the Majors since the deadline.
> Roger Clemens could be making a comeback, after working out for a team in an independent league. The Astros, one of his former teams, reportedly had a scout there.
I know Clemens could be a roider (despite the fact he won all his court cases), but there’s always been something about him that’s made me respect him. It’d be cool to see him come all the way back.
> Norichika Aoki went 3-for-4. He’s quietly becoming a very streaky hitter.
> Rogers’ first win comes after the bullpen blew three games he had a chance to win.
> This was Lucroy’s second multi-homer game of the year.
> Tomorrow’s match-up:
Chris Rusin vs. Marco Estrada (0-5, 4.52 ERA)
Estrada is still looking for his first win of the season. Rusin, meanwhile, is making his big league debut.
> The baseball reality show “The Franchise” decided to cancel the show early this year. It debuted last year and followed the 2010 World Champions, the Giants. This year they decided to follow the Marlins, but they’re sulking in last place of the National League East, hence the reason the show has been cut short.