Brewers’ BBWAA awards handed out

October 17, 2012

> The Milwaukee chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America handed out their annual awards to Brewers players on Monday. Most of the awards went to the guys you’d expect to receive awards, but there were a few surprises.

Ryan Braun received the MVP award- I want to say unanimously because he received all eight first-place votes, but there were other players to whom the award would have been worthy. Braun backed up an MVP season in 2011 with a 2012 that was just as good: 41 home runs (a career-high for him), 112 RBIs, and a .319 batting average. Braun also stole 30 bases for his second straight 30-30 season. He led the National League in home runs, total bases (356), runs (108), and OPS (.987). He also tied for the league lead in extra-base hits with 80.

Yovani Gallardo took home the best pitcher award, and we can safely say that was unanimous (he also received all eight first-place votes). He put up close to identical numbers to his 2011 season in 2012, going 16-9 with a 3.66 ERA. Those 16 wins led the Brewers by a landslide, and tied him for sixth in the NL. Gallardo also had his fourth straight 200+ strikeout season (204 this year).

Aramis Ramirez won Top Newcomer, taking seven of the eight first-place votes. He hit 27 home runs and had 105 RBIs in his first season with the Brewers. Ramirez also reached the .300 mark on the last day of the season. He led the NL in doubles, was tied with Braun for the most extra-base hits, and was just three shy of Lyle Overbay’s franchise record for doubles. Ramirez was also the best defensive third baseman in the league, as he had the fewest errors and a .977 fielding percentage. Norichika Aoki took the other first-place vote after his sensational rookie season.

Somewhat surprisingly- but deservingly- Marco Estrada won the Unsung Hero award. He went just 5-7, but had a very respectable 3.64 ERA, and was a reliable option after being thrown in the rotation full-time. Carlos Gomez, Martin Maldonado, and Mike Fiers also received first-place votes for the Unsung Hero.

Lastly, John Axford received the Good Guy Award. I’m in agreement with this one since Axford managed to keep a positive attitude through his struggle of a season in 2012. Corey Hart, Nyjer Morgan, Gomez, and Estrada also received first-place votes for this award.

POSTSEASON COVERAGE

> There are games in progress right now, but here’s the coverage from the last two days.

> The Giants defeated the Cardinals, 7-1, on Monday. The Giants got their first start of more than six innings, as Ryan Vogelsong threw seven strong. Meanwhile, the Giants’ offense took advantage of some shoddy Cards defense to knock around Chris Carpenter. Angel Pagan hit a lead-off home run, and Marco Scutaro and Ryan Theriot had two RBIs apiece.

> The Yankees’ offense remained dormant, as they lost to the Tigers, 2-1, last night. The fact that Justin Verlander was pitching (8 1/3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 K) might serve as an excuse, but now the Yanks are a game from elimination. The Tigers, meanwhile, can reach the World Series for the first time since 2006.

THE NEWS

> Livan Hernandez and Yorvit Torrealba each elected free agency after rejecting their outright assignments.

> The Brewers added Jesus Sanchez, a righty reliever, to the 40-man roster. He had a 1.62 ERA in 71 2/3 innings combined at Double-A Huntsville and Triple-A Nashville.

If only Jesus could have saved our bullpen this year.

> Buster Olney suggested that the Brewers are players for Josh Hamilton, who will more than likely be one of the most highly-touted free agents on the market. The Brewers probably don’t have the money, but might be able to sway him since Johnny Narron is one of their coaches. Narron and Hamilton are very close.

> MLB Trade Rumors looked at the offseason situation for the Brewers.

> The minor moves over the past few days:

Cubs: Acquired Marcelo Carreno from the Tigers to complete the August Jeff Baker trade.
Mets: Removed Justin Hampson and Rob Johnson from their 40-man roster, making them both free agents.
Dodgers: Outrighted Blake Hawksworth, who elected free agency.
Blue Jays: Claimed Scott Cousins off waivers from the Marlins; claimed Cory Wade off waivers from the Yankees; designated Juan Abreu for assignment.
Red Sox: Claimed Sandy Rosario off waivers from the Marlins; designated Che-Hsuan Lin for assignment.
Nationals: Outrighted Carlos Maldonado and ex-Brewer Brett Carroll, both of whom elected free agency.
Orioles: Outrighted Ronny Paulino and Dana Eveland, both of whom elected free agency.
Yankees: Outrighted Justin Thomas, who elected free agency.
Marlins: Outrighted Nick Green, Donnie Murphy, and Gil Velazquez to Triple-A.

THE EXTRAS

> Rumors have been circling ever since Monday’s extra-innings Tigers-Yankees game that Alex Rodriguez was caught flirting with fans while he was in the on-deck circle. Well today it was confirmed, and now there are pictures to go with the story. Turns out one of the blondes he was talking to is a model.

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A few trade rumors…

July 26, 2011

4:42p Well, since the Brewers have an off-day today, there isn’t much for me to write about in a post today. But, the idea came to me earlier today that I should put up a few possible trade rumors surrounding the Brewers. Some of these are surprising, but some actually make sense.

Hiroki Kuroda, Dodgers

This is one that somewhat surprises me. The Brewers supposedly have a mild interest in Hiroki Kuroda, a starting pitcher for the Dodgers, who is currently there on a one-year deal.

Now, there are many teams who are reportedly interested in Kuroda, and most of them are more interested than the Brewers. A few teams drawing interest towards Kuroda are the Tigers, Yankees, Red Sox, Indians, Rangers, and Cardinals. All of those teams could use a starter to fill in a hole in the back-end of their rotation.

But, Kuroda has a full no-trade clause, meaning he can decline any trade offers. The Dodgers claim he can persuaded to waive that clause, however. In fact, Kuroda recently said that he would consider waiving the clause if he were to be traded to the Yankees or Red Sox (big surprise there).

Anyway, the three hottest teams pursuing Kuroda are the Tigers, Indians, and Rangers. So I’m guessing the Brewers aren’t really trying too hard to get him, and I can see why. We already have five established starters in Zack Greinke, Yovani Gallardo, Shaun Marcum, Randy Wolf, and Chris Narveson. Not to mention a few guys in Triple-A who can be called up to help the rotation, if needed. That’s why I was surprised to even see the Brewers on the list of teams pursuing Kuroda.

Kuroda is 6-12 with a 3.19 ERA this season. His ERA is actually lower than every member of our starting rotation, yet all of our guys have more wins than him. That’s why I’m surprised Kuroda isn’t more eager to get traded so he can actually get some run support.

Carlos Beltran, Mets

Carlos Beltran is obviously rumored to go to a lot of different teams, with the Giants and Phillies among the top suitors for him. But, the Brewers and Reds, both of the NL Central, have slight interest in him, and could make a surprise move to acquire him.

But, there are a few things that don’t make sense to me about the Brewers going after him. We have Corey Hart under control for the next few years as our right fielder, and Beltran said that he doesn’t want to move back to center field, his former position. Beltran is more of a consistent hitter than Hart, obviously, but, if the Brewers traded for him, it would be a half-season rental, because Beltran automatically becomes a free agent at season’s end. This, like the Kuroda rumor, doesn’t make much sense for the Brewers.

Center field depth

This isn’t exactly a rumor, but something the Brewers may be looking for before the trade deadline.

Carlos Gomez recently went down with an injury that may have very well ended his season last week in Arizona. Ron Roenicke claimed that he would be back on the field before season’s end, but, until then, the Brewers need a decent right-handed center fielder to platoon with the left-handed Nyjer Morgan. Brett Carroll has taken over for Gomez for the time being, but I don’t know how long he’s going to last with us, considering his career .205 average.

Search for a versatile infielder

The Brewers are reportedly looking for a versatile veteran infielder. They had been going after Jeff Keppinger and Wilson Betemit, but the Astros dealt Keppinger to the Giants, and the Royals dealt Betemit to the Tigers. And, even before talks with those two began, the Brewers were talking to the Dodgers about Jamey Carroll. But, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said that talks didn’t really advance further than the Brewers just expressing interest in Carroll. So the Brewers could still be on the search for an infielder.

Possible search for another reliever

The Brewers could also search for another reliever, which I wouldn’t mind at all. They obviously have already acquired Francisco Rodriguez from the Mets, but they may go for a left-handed reliever, as the Brewers’ bullpen is currently dominated by all right-handers. Zack Braddock, Mitch Stetter, and Manny Parra, all of the Brewers left handers with Major League experience, have endured serious setbacks. Braddock was optioned once again to the Minors because he was extremely ineffective this season. He is apparently being bothered by something that the Brewers refuse to say publicly. At the beginning of the year, it was a sleeping issue (based off a disorder similar to that of Zack Greinke), but it appears to be something different this time. Stetter is trying to fight his way back from a hip injury, but you can imagine that a hip injury is tough to overcome due to the way he throws. Lastly, Parra keeps having setback after setback during his rehab appearances and probably won’t even throw again this season.

Anyway, that’s the situation for the Brewers, as far as lefties out of the ‘pen go. I don’t know who they’ll try to acquire to fix the situation, or if they even will at all.

Also, Mike Adams has come up in rumors surrounding the Brewers. Adams, currently with the Padres, came up through the Brewers system and pitched for us from 2004-06. He is having a great year with the Padres right now and has a 1.20 ERA. He would be a great addition to our bullpen (I wouldn’t mind him replacing Kameron Loe).

Anyway, that’s about all the rumors I know of right now. The deadline is the 31st, so it’s coming up fast. The only big move they’ve made so far is the trade for Rodriguez, but Doug Melvin doesn’t screw around when it comes to making blockbuster trades, so we could expect more.


Wilson’s missed pop up haunts Brewers in loss

July 24, 2011

5:38p The Brewers still can’t win a series on the road.

Brewers-Giants Wrap-Up

The Brewers lost to the Giants today, 2-1. It handed them yet another series loss on the road, and they finished 5-6 on a tough road trip through the NL West. The Brewers have not had a series win on the road since a sweep of the Marlins at Sun Life Stadium in the beginning of June.

Yovani Gallardo had a solid start, going seven innings and giving up two runs on six hits. He walked one and struck out five. It was actually a miracle that he even made it through seven innings, considering he needed 61 pitches to make it through the third.

Madison Bumgarner was slightly better than Gallardo, however, going 7 2/3 innings and giving up one run on eight hits. He walked none and struck out eight.

The only Brewers run came on Ryan Braun’s first inning home run. Gallardo held the Giants scoreless until the third, when he gave up a double to Bumgarner, who scored on Jeff Keppinger’s single.

Then, the Brewers’ astounding defense came into play in the fourth, when Josh Wilson completely missed a pop up and allowed Aubrey Huff to reach first. He probably lost it in the sun, but it doesn’t matter, because that play would wind up costing us the game. Huff eventually got around to third, then scored on Mike Fontenot’s sacrifice fly.

And that was the only scoring in the game. Sergio Romo and Brian Wilson finished the game for the Giants to give them the win.

Carroll makes Brewers debut

Brett Carroll made his Brewers’ debut today. He almost did last night, but was yanked from the on-deck circle due to a pitching chance.

Anyway, Carroll didn’t get a hit, but he made a highlight reel catch in center to rob Nate Schierhotlz of a base hit.

Fielder declines to take day off

Manager Ron Roenicke wanted to give Prince Fielder a day off today for two reasons: one, he’s in the midst of his worst slump of the season, and two, Bumgarner, a lefty, was on the mound. But, Fielder elected to play, and went 2-for-4 at the plate. This is a sign that he’s probably just about out of his slump that started after the All-Star Break.

Up next for the Crew…

The Brewers have a scheduled off-day tomorrow, but will return to Miller Park on Tuesday to take on the Cubs. Chris Narveson (6-6, 4.45) will take the mound for the Brewers in the first game of the series. He’s coming off a no-decision against the Diamondbacks, but he went seven scoreless innings and threw just 87 pitches. He appeared set to toss a complete game, but the bullpen blew it for him after he was pulled. Anyway, Narveson has dominated the Cubs in his career, going 5-0 with a 3.38 ERA against them.

Sadly, Narveson won’t be the only pitcher in that matchup who has dominated the opposition over their career, as Ryan Dempster (7-7, 5.00 ERA) will go for the Cubs. Dempster is having a down year so far, but that doesn’t change the numbers he has against the Brewers: 15-3 with a 2.50 ERA. This should be a pretty big pitchers’ duel.

Elsewhere around the division…

  • The Reds will take on the Braves at 7:05 CT. As of right now, they are four games back.
  • The Pirates defeated the Cardinals in extra innings today, 4-3. The Brewers, Cardinals, and Pirates are now in a three-way tie for first in the Central.
  • The Cubs defeated the Astros in extra innings today, 5-4. They are 11.5 games and 20 games back, respectively.

Box Score

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Milwaukee Brewers 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 8 0
San Francisco Giants 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 X 2 7 0

Milwaukee Brewers

Player AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Corey Hart, RF 3 0 2 0 0 0 0 .262
Josh Wilson, 3B 4 0 0 0 0 1 3 .263
Ryan Braun, LF 4 1 2 1 0 1 2 .321
Prince Fielder, 1B 4 0 2 0 0 1 1 .287
Rickie Weeks, 2B 4 0 0 0 0 2 3 .273
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS 4 0 1 0 0 3 1 .252
Jonathan Lucroy, C 3 0 0 0 0 0 2 .280
Brett Carroll, CF 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000
Yovani Gallardo, P 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 .239
a-Casey McGehee, PH 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 .226
Total 32 1 8 1 0 10 12

a-Struck out for Gallardo in the 8th

BATTING

2B: Gallardo (2).

HR: Braun (20).

RBI: Braun (68).

Team RISP: 0-for-2.

Team LOB: 5.

FIELDING

DP: (Wilson-Weeks-Fielder).

Milwaukee Brewers

Player IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Yovani Gallardo (L, 11-7) 7.0 6 2 2 1 5 0 3.89
Takashi Saito 1.0 1 0 0 2 0 0 3.00

WP: Gallardo.

Pitches-strikes: Gallardo 121-81, Saito 21-8.

Groundouts-flyouts: Gallardo 4-6, Saito 1-0.

Batters faced: Gallardo 27, Saito 5.


Close plays, missed chances cost Brewers in loss to Giants

July 24, 2011

Update 10:42a A little more clarification on the ejections and umpires. Bochy wasn’t actually ejected; it was the Giants’ bench coach, Ron Wotus, who was ejected for arguing balls and strikes. And I figured out that the home plate umpire was not West, but Sam Holbrook. I guess that means Holbrook was the one making the bad calls. But that doesn’t change anything I said about West later in this post. Anyway, sorry for any confusion, and hopefully it’s cleared up now.

11:14p There are a few things that have made me angry during the Brewers’ time in San Francisco. That includes their loss today, but it’s more than that, and I’ll get to that later.

Brewers-Giants Wrap-Up

The Brewers lost a close game with the Giants today, 4-2. Randy Wolf was on the mound, and had another solid start, but the Brewers’ bats seem to always shut down whenever he pitches.

The Brewers struck first in the fourth inning, when Ryan Braun hit a solo homer off of Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong. Rickie Weeks followed up with a double, then Casey McGehee hit a hard single to left field. Weeks tried to score, and he did, but not according to home plate umpire Joe West. Left fielder Cody Ross’ throw was on the money, but catcher Chris Stewart completely missed the tag, and yet Weeks was called out. But West was making questionable calls all night, which was another thing that I wasn’t too impressed about, but I’ll get to more on that later as well.

The Giants immediately answered in the bottom of the fourth, as Nate Schierholtz, who would be a nightmare for the Brewers the rest of the game, hit a two-run double off of Wolf to make it 2-1, Giants.

The Brewers tied the game in the fifth, however, on Nyjer Morgan’s RBI double. But, in the bottom of the inning, the Giants regained the lead on Aubrey Huff’s sacrifice fly.

The Giants added another run on Andres Torres’ RBI single in the eighth inning. Brian Wilson and his shoe polish beard came into finish the game for the Giants, who sealed the 4-2 victory over the Brewers.

Morgan “flips off” fans in center

He didn’t, actually. That’s what put me over the top about this.

While Morgan was playing center yesterday, he made a great catch to rob whoever was batting of extra bases. Morgan then put up two fingers to signify that there were two outs in the inning, but the fans in the center field crowd, who must have been blind, took it the wrong way. They all assumed that Morgan had flipped them off. Morgan, who is an emotional player and likes to have fun on the field, played along and continued to taunt the fans (which the deserved for being that stupid). Ever since then, Morgan has been booed whenever he makes a play or comes up to bat in a game in this series.

Anyway, Giants beat reporter Henry Shculman made the whole situation worse by tweeting and blogging that Morgan flipped off the center field crowd, which probably got him some extra boos today. Shculman also said that Morgan would probably be suspended for a game or two. I noticed Shculman’s tweet earlier today, and said that he was only signifying that there were two outs (and many others did as well). His reply? “That debate was so yesterday.” I guess Giants fans and affiliates have a little less class than I thought.

By the way,  I don’t normally do things like this on my blog (meaning referring to tweets and things on other blogs). But this was just flat-out stupid and I had to say something.

Anyway… I could go on about past experiences where the Giants didn’t have too much class, such as an incident between Prince Fielder and Barry Zito, and some offensive comments by Giants GM Brian Sabean regarding Buster Posey’s season ending injury. But that would get me WAY off topic…

West is the greatest home plate umpire ever.

Not.

West, who was umpiring home plate for today’s game, was making extremely questionable calls early on in the game, and continued throughout. He actually screwed over Vogelsong on a lot of pitches, which led to him having to throw 103 pitches just to get through the fifth inning. In fact, Giants manager Bruce Bochy (or another coach in their dugout, I couldn’t really tell due to the camera angles) was ejected from the game for arguing balls and strikes, which isn’t allowed.

Anyway, back to West. He’s made a pretty bad reputation for himself this year as one of the worst umpires in baseball. This wasn’t the first time he’s made a scene in a game this year. I remember earlier this year when he was umpiring a Boston game, and Red Sox manager Terry Francona got into an argument with another one of the umpires in the crew. West, of course, had to get into the argument, because, as Francona said after the game, “he’s always getting in other people’s business.”

I’ll stop my ranting after this, but I just want to say one more thing about how bad umpires have been this year. Former Brewer Bill Hall, while he was in a game for the Astros, was at bat, and the umpire was giving him some bad calls. Now, we all know that Hall takes awhile to get set before he steps back into the batter’s box after a pitch, but he took a few extra moments before getting back into his stance. While he was taking his time, the home plate umpire came up to him and said, “Get the **** back in the batter’s box.” (I censored the word because I’m not going to go as far as putting swears on my blog.) Yeah. An UMPIRE said that. Hall clearly wasn’t too happy with that, and, after the game, he made a statement that went something along the lines of “all umpires think that fans come to the games to watch them and try to attract attention to themselves.” Which is completely true. I could name a few umps who appear to think this way, such as West, Bob Davidson, Angel Hernandez… I could go on. But, when did all this craziness with umpires start? Well, I noticed it immediately after Jim Joyce blew Armando Galarraga’s perfect game. Which makes perfect sense, if you think about it.

Anyway, I’ve gotten way too far off topic with these last few topics, so I’m going to get back to the Brewers now. My apologies for all this ranting.

Up next for the Crew…

The Brewers will play a rubber match against the Giants tomorrow in the finale of their three game set. Yovani Gallardo (11-6, 3.96 ERA) will go for the Brewers, hoping to become more consistent as the ace of the staff. Gallardo has had success against the Giants in his career, going 5-2 with a 3.02 ERA against them. I should also mention that Gallardo won the first game of his career against the Giants.

The Giants will counter with Madison Bumgarner (5-9, 3.72 ERA), who has been victim of even less run support than Wolf, and his having a much better year than his record shows. Bumgarner is 1-1 with a 1.32 ERA in his career against the Brewers.

Elsewhere around the division…

  • The Cardinals knocked around the Pirates, 9-1. They are tied with us for the division lead and one game back, respectively.
  • The Cubs defeated the Astros, 5-1. They are 12.5 games back and 20 games back, respectively.
  • The Reds blew out the Braves, 11-2. They are four games back.
  • Zack Cozart and Scott Rolen of the Reds were both placed on the DL today. (By the way, I’m going to start putting news about other teams under this section of my posts, if you’re wondering what this is doing here.)

Box Score

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Milwaukee Brewers 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 7 0
San Francisco Giants 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 1 X 4 10 0

Milwaukee Brewers

Player AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Corey Hart, RF 3 1 1 0 1 1 0 .258
Nyjer Morgan, CF 3 0 1 1 0 0 1 .327
c-Brett Carroll, PH 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
d-Mark Kotsay, PH-CF 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .250
Ryan Braun, LF 3 1 1 1 1 2 0 .319
Prince Fielder, 1B 4 0 0 0 0 2 1 .285
Rickie Weeks, 2B 3 0 2 0 1 0 0 .275
Casey McGehee, 3B 4 0 1 0 0 1 3 .227
Yuniesky Betancourt, S 3 0 1 0 1 0 2 .252
George Kottaras, C 2 0 0 0 0 1 2 .207
a-Jonathan Lucroy, PH-C 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .283
Randy Wolf, P 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .194
b- Josh Wilson, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .283
Total 30 2 7 2 4 7 9

a-Lined out for Kottaras in the 7th.

b-Grounded out for Wolf in the 7th.

c-Batted for Morgan in the 8th.

d-Flied out for Carroll in 8th.

BATTING

2B: Weeks (25), Morgan (10).

3B: Hart (2).

HR: Braun (19).

RBI: Braun (67), Morgan (23).

Team RISP: 3-for-6.

Team LOB: 5.

BASERUNNING

SB: Weeks (9).

CS: McGehee (2).

Milwaukee Brewers

Player IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Randy Wolf (L, 6-8) 6.0 7 3 3 3 6 0 3.62
LaTroy Hawkins 1.0 1 0 0 0 1 0 2.15
Kameron Loe 0.1 2 1 1 1 0 0 4.60
Marco Estrada 0.2 0 0 0 0 0 0 4.50

Pitches-strikes: Wolf 101-62, Hawkins 18-12, Loe 13-7, Estrada 3-3.

Groundouts-flyouts: Wolf 4-6, Hawkins 1-0, Loe 0-1, Estrada 1-1.

Batters faced: Wolf 28, Hawkins 4, Loe 4, Estrada 2.

Inherited runners-scored: Estrada 2-0.