Patterson on board with Minors deal

January 31, 2012

> Earlier today, while I was at school, a random thought came to my mind- what happened to Corey Patterson? I don’t know why this came to me; it just struck me that he was one of the few Cardinals from their 2011 World Series team that wouldn’t have a place there next year.

So, sure enough, a few hours after I get home, I notice that the Brewers had signed him to a Minor League deal. Apparently assistant GM Gord Ash hinted that the deal was in the works at the On Deck event yesterday; guess I missed that piece of information.

Patterson isĀ  a somewhat speedy veteran (he’s 32). He owns a career .252 average with 118 home runs and 218 stolen bases in 1,230 games in the Majors. He’s played for the Cubs, Orioles, Reds, Nationals, Blue Jays, and Cards. He’s actually already spent time with the Brewers- a brief stint of 11 games back in 2009.

I’m not a huge fan of Patterson. It’s not that I have anything against him, but, having watched some of his defense over the past few years, I kind of hope he doesn’t break camp with the Brewers. He’s pretty far past his prime. And, the odds of him breaking camp with the Brewers are very slim, as they already have five capable Major League outfielders in place- Ryan Braun, Corey Hart, Nyjer Morgan, Carlos Gomez, and Norichika Aoki.

> The Pirates appear headed to an arbitration case with ex-Brewer third baseman Casey McGehee, who will probably play first base for the Bucs next year.

The Brewers traded McGehee to the Pirates in exchange for Jose Veras after signing Aramis Ramirez. McGehee had a down year in 2011, hitting just .223. But, he hit .301 in 2009 and .285 in 2010, so he could easily bounce back.

> And that’s about it. Slow news day… But I’ll probably post on Reviewing the Brew tomorrow (if I’ve thought up a topic by then). Anyway, thanks for reading, and feel free to leave your thoughts.

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Brewers offense breaks out, hits five HRs to back Wolf

September 17, 2011

After eight games of absolutely no 0ffense, I think I can finally stop complaining about what the Brewers have been lacking lately. Well, at least for today.

The Brewers offense broke out today and defeated the Reds, 6-3. They belted five home runs off Reds pitching, but four of them were off Bronson Arroyo. Arroyo’s home runs allowed count ballooned to 44 tonight, and he’s got a legit chance to break the National League record for home runs given up, which currently stands at 48. But back to the Brewers. The home runs were hit by Prince Fielder, Mark Kotsay, George Kottaras, and Ryan Braun hit two. (Braun hitting two actually has some significance, which I’ll explain later).

Randy Wolf was cruising against the Reds until the seventh inning, when he allowed three consecutive singles to start the inning. He was then removed, and his final line was 7+ innings with three runs given up on seven hits. He struck out seven and walked none. Wolf had actually only given up one run before he was removed, but an “irritated” Francisco Rodriguez allowed two inherited runners to score before inducing an inning-ending double play. Sometimes, I honestly wonder that when players are mad at their team, no matter what sport they play, that they do bad on purpose (kind of like what Randy Moss did to the Vikings last year). I guess it was hard to tell with K-Rod today. But, I did notice that he didn’t look as intense as he usually does on the mound.

Anyway, congratulations to Braun on becoming the second 30/30 player in Brewers’ history! He entered play today with 28 home runs, and his two home runs rose his season total to 30. Braun is now the second player in Brewers’ history, as I mentioned earlier, to become a 30/30 player. Tommy Harper did it in 1970 for the Brewers, their first season in Milwaukee. Braun is also the second player in the Majors to do it this year, joining Matt Kemp of the Dodgers as the only two 30/30 players this year.

Unfortunately, the Cardinals also won today in 12 innings against the Phillies. The Cardinals had the lead going into the ninth inning, but Jason Motte blew the save, courtesy of some awful defense by right fielder Corey Patterson. But, the Cardinals came back in the 11th, scoring two runs and winning 4-2. The Brewers magic number moves to seven after today.

The Brewers will play the second game of this three-game series against the Reds tomorrow at 6:10 PM CT (on WMLW). Yovani Gallardo (16-10, 3.66 ERA) will go for the Brewers, and he’s coming off a stellar start against the Phillies in which he went seven innings while striking out 12. He’s 2-3 with a 5.76 ERA in his career against the Reds, however.

The Reds will counter with Edinson Volquez (5-5, 5.80 ERA), who, as you can see by his mile-high ERA, is having a very inconsistent season. He’s been up and down between the Majors and Triple-A, which you don’t see very often from an Opening Day starter. Anyway, Volquez is 3-1 with a 5.80 ERA in his career against the Brewers.


Brewers return the favor in extra innings in St. Louis

August 10, 2011

11:13p The Cardinals won a game similar to this one last week in Milwaukee. They got lucky on a bloop RBI single by Lance Berkman to end an extremely dramatic extra inning game that was a crushing loss for the Brewers. Tonight wasn’t as dramatic, but gave the Cards a taste of their own medicine.

Brewers-Cardinals Wrap-Up

The Brewers took down the Cardinals tonight, 5-3, in a 10 inning game. Both the Brewers and Cardinals had a lot of chances that they didn’t take advantage of early on. That included a fifth inning in which the Brewers had the bases loaded and no outs against Cardinals starter Edwin Jackson, but allowed him to get out of it with no damage done in just four pitches.

The Brewers got to Jackson in the third inning, when Corey Hart hit a two-run homer off him. From there, Brewers starter Shaun Marcum pretty much cruised through the first four innings, until that pivotal fifth inning happened.

Marcum led off the fifth with a single. Jackson then walked Hart to put runners on first and second. After that, Nyjer Morgan tried to lay down a sacrifice bunt, but wound up reaching first because of a wide throw by Cardinals catcher Gerald Laird, who struggled behind the plate all night due to Yadier Molina’s suspension. Anyway, this loaded the bases with no outs.

Then, the Brewers did what they seem to do so well on the road. They got Jackson out of the inning on four pitches.

Some of it was just bad luck. Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder got themselves out on back-to-back pitches with line drives directly at infielders. Then, with Casey McGehee batting, Laird let a pitch get away from him, so Marcum, who was at third, started to come home. Sadly, Laird recovered quickly, and Marcum had already gone too far down the line, getting him caught in a rundown. Marcum was trying to fake out Laird and third baseman David Freese by rapidly moving back and forth, but, while doing that, rolled over his ankle and collapsed. Freese tagged him out, and that was that- inning over.

Marcum came back out for the fifth and sixth innings, but had to labor through both, and allowed the Cards to tie the game. In the fifth inning, Corey Patterson got the Cardinals on the board with an RBI single. In the sixth, Jonathan Lucroy gave the Brewers an insurance run with an RBI single, but that wouldn’t matter, since Laird and Freese both hit RBI singles in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at 3-3.

Then, until the 10th inning, it was a battle of the bullpens. Takashi Saito and Francisco Rodriguez combined for two scoreless innings, then LaTroy Hawkins got Albert Pujols to fly out in the ninth inning to get out of a jam and send the game to extras.

The Cardinals put in reliever Octavio Dotel to pitch the 10th. Dotel had been lights out for the Cards since being acquired from the Blue Jays before the Trade Deadline. That is, until today.

Morgan led off the 10th with a single. Braun followed up with a strikeout to finish his disappointing night, but then Fielder beat the shift with a single, which advanced Morgan to third. McGehee then got the game-winning RBI with a double that scored Morgan. Yuniesky Betancourt added an insurance run with a sacrifice fly to set the stage for John Axford in the bottom of the inning. Axford would come in and record is 33rd save of the year to seal the Brewers 5-3 win.

Breaking: Narveson gets stitches, to be out for awhile

Alright, I just heard this on Brewers Live as I was writing this article, and wanted to get it out as soon as I could. Brewers No. 5 starter Chris Narveson apparently sliced his pitching hand (his left hand) open and had to get eight stitches. Ron Roenicke said that Narveson would definitely be out for awhile, and that he would speak to GM Doug Melvin about what to do for a fifth starter until Narvy can return.

Narveson wasn’t having an extremely spectacular year- he’s 8-6 with a 4.49 ERA- but, in my opinion, was putting up decent numbers, especially for a No. 5 starter. The Brewers have a few options for a replacement, and I’ll put out a few of my ideas in a post later. Anyway, I’ll continue with this one now.

Up next for the Crew…

The Brewers play the second game of this three-game set in St. Louis tomorrow night. Randy Wolf (8-8, 3.61 ERA) will go for the Brewers and will try to rebound from his last start, which was also against the Cardinals. He gave up five runs in six innings at Miller Park, but still got the win. He had one start earlier this year against the Cards at Busch Stadium, where he got shelled for six runs. Wolf is 6-7 with a 4.01 ERA against the Cardinals in his career.

The Cardinals will counter with Jake Westbrook (9-5, 4.83 ERA), whose record is somewhat deceptive to the way he’s pitched this year. In most of his starts, he’s been great through the first five innings, but can’t get out of the sixth inning. This happened in Westbrook’s only start against the Brewers this year, which was at Miller Park. Westbrook is 0-1 with a 2.84 ERA against the Brewers in his career.


Recap of the past few days…

July 29, 2011

3:29p Sorry for not posting for the past few days. I was out of town again and wasn’t able to post. I usually put up some kind of notice before I go, but I forgot to this time, so my apologies for that. But, a lot has happened in the past few days for the Brewers, and they’re starting to stir as the Trade Deadline approaches.

Weeks to 15-day DL

The biggest piece of news is the worst: Rickie Weeks, the Brewers’ starting second baseman, was placed on the 15-day DL yesterday morning. He sustained a severe ankle sprain in the game against the Cubs the day before yesterday, and it was not fun to watch. He was trying to leg out an infield single, and he was safe. But, on his last stride towards first base, he stepped on the wrong part of the bag, and his ankle completely twisted the wrong way. He went flying off the bag in pain and laid on the ground for a while. Weeks was eventually escorted off the field by Ron Roenicke and the medical trainer, but he couldn’t walk by himself and couldn’t put weight on the ankle.

Now, this is NOT the time of year that we need key guys getting hurt. First it was Carlos Gomez, our right-handed center fielder, and now Weeks. We can’t keep losing guys when we’re in the middle of a pennant race.

Anyway, the Brewers have a few options to replace Weeks at second base for the time being. Eric Farris was called up and sent back down to Triple-A within a day, but he remains a candidate to fill in for part of the time. The Brewers also acquired Felipe Lopez, who played for the Brewers in 2009, from the Rays in exchange for cash considerations, and his contract was purchased from Triple-A earlier today, so he’s also an option. Then, there’s versatile infielders Craig Counsell and Josh Wilson, who are both capable of playing second, but their offense is a question mark, especially since Counsell is mired in an 0-for-41 slump.

Brewers sweep Cubs, gain lead in Central

Despite Weeks’ absence for the last game of the series, the Brewers swept the struggling Cubs out of town yesterday, and gained some breathing room in the NL Central. They now lead the Pirates and Cardinals, who are in a tie for second right now, by 1.5 games. The Reds, meanwhile, are quickly falling out of contention. They were just swept in four games by the Mets and are now 6.5 games back. Sadly, we can’t count out the Reds yet, since they have the easiest schedule for the rest of the year out of any of the contending teams in the Central.

Brewers FINALLY get rid of Nieves…

It was music to my ears when I heard this. The Brewers traded, or sold, whichever you prefer, catcher Wil Nieves to the Braves. They supposedly did it to give Nieves a better chance to return to the Majors this year, and to clear a spot in Triple-A Nashville for catching prospect Martin Maldonado.

The Brewers signed Nieves this offseason to have a backup catcher in case something happened to Jonathan Lucroy or George Kottaras. And, sure enough, Lucroy got injured in Spring Training, so Nieves became the Opening Day catcher. Then, when Lucroy got back, the Brewers optioned Kottaras because they thought Nieves was a better defensive catcher than him. Turns out he was awful offensively and defensively. The Brewers finally outrighted him to Nashville after he hit .109 at the Major League level. He also flopped in Nashville, batting .170 until the Brewers traded him.

Anyway, here’s the funny part about this trade: GM Doug Melvin received $1 from the Braves in return for Nieves. That’s right- one dollar, about what you’d pay for a snack from a vending machine. That’s because the Braves have to pay for the remaining $775,000 of Nieves’ salary. But still, one dollar?

I think I’ve covered all of the important things I didn’t post about while I was away (that is, if you consider getting one dollar in exchange for a catcher important). But, there are a few more things I’d like to say before I end the post.

First off, the Brewers are starting a three-game series with the Astros tonight. (We must be blessed to get the Cubs and Astros consecutively at this point in the season.) Randy Wolf (6-8, 3.62 ERA) will go for the Brewers and is seeking his first win since June, and tonight is the perfect time to get it. Wolf, a former Astro, has done well against his former team in his career, going 7-5 with a 3.15 ERA against them.

The Astros will counter with rookie starter Jordan Lyles (0-5, 4.55 ERA). His record is somewhat deceiving, as he’s actually had a few decent starts this year, but hasn’t gotten any run support. This will be his first career start against the Brewers.

Anyway, one more thing before I go- the Cardinals made somewhat of a big trade yesterday, acquiring pitchers Edwin Jackson, Marc Rzepczynski, Octavio Dotel, and outfielder Corey Patterson from the Blue Jays. But, they had to give up a key piece of their outfield- Colby Rasmus. They also parted with relievers P.J. Walters, Brian Tallet, and Trever Miller. Anyway, that doesn’t really have anything to do with the Brewers, I just thought I’d throw it out there.