Offensive outburst puts Brewers 2.5 back

September 16, 2012

POSTGAME

> After a rough loss last night, the Brewers proved that they can put bumps in the road like that in the past. They came back and won a slugfest with the Mets tonight, 9-6.

Shaun Marcum and the Brewers got off to a bad start, as the Mets tagged Marcum for four runs over just four innings, including a three-run fourth. But the Brewers finally got to Mets starter Jenrry Mejia, who had been begging for trouble through the first few innings, in the bottom of the fourth. After Logan Schafer hit a two-run triple to cut the Mets’ lead to 4-3, Rickie Weeks hit a go-ahead three-run blast.

MY TAKE

> If the Brewers end up making the playoffs, a lot of the credit could go to Weeks. He got a lot of hate during his sub-.200 first half, but has had a much better second half, including the fact that he’s found his power stroke lately. The home run was his 20th of the season, a milestone I didn’t think he had a chance at reaching after the start he got off to.

THE NEWS

> The Cardinals fell in walk-off fashion to the Dodgers, 4-3. They had a 3-2 lead going into the ninth inning, but Jason Motte managed to blow another save. Former Brewer Luis Cruz was part of the rally, as he hit the game-tying double before Juan Rivera won it with an RBI single. The Brewers are now just 2.5 games out of their Wild Card spot.

Oh, and the Phillies were shut out by the Astros, so the Brewers once again passed them up in the standings.

THE NUMBERS

> Marcum hasn’t completed six innings since returning from the disabled list.

> Zack Greinke was great for the Angels tonight, going 8 1/3 innings in a bid for his first complete game shutout since 2009. But he was pulled with an out in the ninth, only for the usually reliable Ernesto Frieri to blow his lead, and the Angels’ win.

> Johnny Cueto got rocked again tonight, giving up six runs against the Marlins. For awhile I thought he was going to win the Cy Young Award, but now I think it almost unanimously goes to R.A. Dickey.

> Tomorrow’s match-up:

Chris Young (4-7, 4.39 ERA) vs. Wily Peralta (1-0, 3.46 ERA)

THE EXTRAS

> So I was at the game tonight, and was sitting in the terrace level with my friend. Sometime around the seventh inning, I was talking to him and not looking at the field, when I heard the crowd start oddly cheering and people yelling “airplane!” I turned around and saw a paper airplane slowly gliding from a few rows behind us and towards the field.

I thought eventually it would just fall into the seats in front of us, but it just never stopped. It continuously glided until it was finally over the field, and at this point the crowd was going insane. None of the players noticed until Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy turned around and saw it coming down. Aramis Ramirez, who was batting at the time, called time when he saw it and stepped out.

But things got even more ridiculous- the plane landed inches away from second base, and received a standing ovation from the crowd. A bat-boy came out and retrieved the plane, and then Murphy made a clapping gesture towards the seats that the plane came from. Anyway, that was my take and perspective on the whole fiasco; you can watch part of it here.

However, Mets pitcher Manny Acosta wasn’t amused by the prank, and drilled Ramirez on the following pitch.

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Brewers slapped, fall further back

September 15, 2012

POSTGAME

> Tonight was certainly a bump in what could be a storybook ending for the Brewers. They got knocked around by the struggling Mets, 7-3. Mike Fiers was charged for four earnies in five innings as his inconsistencies continue. A few big hits early, including a Lucas Duda RBI double and Daniel Murhpy’s two-run blast, put the Brewers in a hole they were never able to climb out of.

THE SHUT-DOWN RUMORS RE-EMERGE

> I was hoping the Brewers being in contention would erase this, but apparently not. Brian Anderson hinted during the broadcast tonight that Ron Roenicke was still talking about the possibility of shutting down Fiers, just as they did with Mark Rogers a few weeks ago.

In my opinion, the Brewers contending for a Wild Card spot should eliminate any thought of shutting down one of the best pitchers on the team. He could just be going through a slump, or coming back to earth after he a stretch in which he was one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. But you can bet that it’s a “fatigued arm” in the eyes of our management.

And maybe it is. But a lot of guys around the league are probably starting to get fatigued and not saying anything about it; it is that time of year.

Still, the idea of “shutting down” a pitcher and not letting him throw another pitch for the rest of the year is an extremely stupid tactic to me, regardless of whether or not the guy is tiring. Some say pitchers get into “uncharted territory” when they pitch more innings than they’re used to. Then LET them pitch into that uncharted territory; they need that experience for the future.

So yes, Fiers has been inconsistent lately (although he did settle down nicely after a rough first two innings tonight). But that doesn’t mean he’s no longer a valuable asset to this team down the stretch.

THE NEWS

> Corey Hart is getting closer to his return to the lineup. Roenicke said he could come back tomorrow, but it’s unlikely he would start.

> The Phillies won, so they passed the Brewers in the WC standings. The Cardinals are also currently winning, which would mean they would be 4.5 games up on the Brewers.

THE NUMBERS

> Tonight’s loss snapped a streak of nine straight home wins.

> Jon Niese, who had a 15.43 ERA in his first two careers starts against the Brewers, now has two consecutive wins against them.

> Tomorrow’s match-up:

Jenrry Mejia (0-0, 4.50 ERA) vs. Shaun Marcum (5-4, 3.71 ERA)

Worth noting that Marcum has a 0.69 ERA in his career against the Mets.

By the way, I’ll be at tomorrow’s game, so the article might come a little later than usual.