Recap of the last two games…

July 21, 2011

7:46p Sorry for not getting up any recap posts for the last two Brewers-Diamondbacks games. The day before yesterday, I was hanging out with a friend I don’t get to see too often, so I had to make the most of that while I could, and that didn’t give me time to post. Then, last night, I just decided not to post because I was too tired after the game, and it was already nearly midnight. I guess that’s the only negative of these west coast games, because I hate trying to write a full-out blog post at midnight.

Anyway, I’ll just do a quick recap of the last two games right now. The Brewers lost the first one and won the second, so the four game series currently stands at 1-1.

The first game was nothing special, at least for the Brewers- they were shut out by the D-backs. Josh Collmenter tossed a gem, going eight scoreless innings while striking out seven and allowing just three hits. David Hernandez got the save, and both Hernandez and Collmenter continued their domination of the Brewers. Collmenter is now 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in his career against the Brewers, and has a streak of 14 consecutive scoreless innings against them. Hernandez, meanwhile, has recorded 1-2-3 saves in all of his opportunities against the Brewers, as far as I know. Randy Wolf had a decent start, going 7 1/3 while giving up three runs. He, along with the rest of the Brewers, made some extremely embarrassing errors that night. Wolf was trying to field a bunt and threw to second, but the throw instead nearly took off the second base ump’s head. Also, from my point of view, it nearly hit the guy running from first to second on the back.

Anyway, I figured out that the Brewers have been shut out in 31% of Wolf’s start. That explains why Wolf has a sub-.500 record, despite a decent 3.58 ERA, which is good enough for the second best in the Brewers’ rotation.

The second game was the complete opposite of the first for the Crew- the blew out the D-backs, 11-3, riding five homers. They crushed starter Barry Enright in the first inning, scoring five runs, including three homers by Corey Hart, Ryan Braun, and Rickie Weeks (all of them were moonshots that appeared to nearly hit the roof of Chase Field). Yuniesky Betancourt also added a homer off Enright in the third inning. Enright, who was making his first start since being recalled from the minors, was tagged with six runs, including four homers. All this offense covered up a solid start by Yovani Gallardo, who got his 11th win of the season.

Betancourt added another home run in the ninth inning, giving him the first multi-homer game of his career.

Anyway, that’s about it. The Brewer game tonight is starting soon, and I’m watching the Cardinals-Mets game right now. They’re currently tied, 4-4. And, the Pirates already lost today, meaning that if the Brewers can pull off a win tonight, we’ll be in first place all alone in the Central, no matter what the Cardinals do. So tonight is a must-win for the Brewers.

Advertisements

Wolf struggles early as Brewers fall again

July 6, 2011

9:57p Diamondbacks-Brewers Wrap-Up

Not too many things are going the Brewers’ way right now.

Starter Randy Wolf struggled early and would end up giving up seven runs to the Diamondbacks as the Brewers lost, 7-3. It was their seventh loss over their past eight games, that only win being the comeback in Minnesota last week.

The Diamondbacks jumped on Wolf early,  getting four quick runs in the first inning. Miguel Montero hit a two-run single, and Xavier Nady and Gerardo Parra both had RBI singles. On Parra’s single, he tried to go for second base, assuming center fielder Carlos Gomez’s throw was going to the plate. Wolf, however, cut it off and threw him out at second. Who knows how much more bleeding would have happened in that inning had Wolf not cut off the throw. The Brewers answered immediately in their half of the inning, as Prince Fielder hit an infield single off of Diamondbacks starter Zach Duke to drive in Rickie Weeks from third. It was Fielder’s league-leading 70th RBI of the year. He would tack on another RBI later in the sixth inning, with his 22nd homer of the year.

The Diamondbacks got to Wolf again in the third, as Justin Upton and Parra both hit home runs. Parra’s was a two-run shot while Upton’s was a solo, and the Diamondbacks took a 7-1 lead.

In the eighth inning, Corey Hart hit his 10th homer of the year, making it a 7-3 game. It wouldn’t matter much, however, as David Hernandez put the game away by getting the last out in ninth after Alberto Castillo gave up a hit and a walk.

Duke finally gets it going against Crew

Duke, a former Pirate, got his first career win against the Brewers at Miller Park. Duke, and the rest of the Pirates, struggled a lot at Miller Park. He was 0-6 in his career at the home of the Crew coming into today. He pitched a decent game today, going seven innings and giving up just two runs on five hits. He walked two and struck out one.

Wolf, meanwhile, couldn’t find his rhythm, and had one of his worst starts of the year. He was forced to go six innings because of a taxed bullpen, giving up seven runs on 10 hits, while walking four and striking out four. He likely would have been taken out earlier, but Brewers starters haven’t been going very deep into games lately, leaving the bullpen with a lot of work.

Braun sits for third straight game

This is not a good sign.

Ryan Braun sat out for the third time in as many games, still appearing to be nursing his strained calf. Utility man Josh Wilson started in left field instead, making his first career start in the outfield. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke claimed that he did not want to use Mark Kotsay for the fourth straight game, considering Kotsay has had health issues in his career. Roenicke also wanted a right-hander in the lineup against the lefty Duke, as he’s usually pretty tough on lefties, which is why Roenicke opted not to use the lefty outfielder Nyjer Morgan.

Braun was actually going to pinch-hit in the ninth inning with two men on base, but Hart grounded out for the last out of the game.

Brewers can’t continue home dominance

Coming into today, the Brewers were the only team in the Majors to not have lost consecutive home games. That changed after back-to-back losses to the Diamondbacks at Miller Park. To be honest, I was eager to see if the Brewers could go the entire season without losing back-to-back home games, which would have been quite the feat. Sadly, that won’t happen now.

Fielder announces Home Run Derby picks

Fielder, named the captain of the National League Home Run Derby team, finalized his picks today. These will be the sluggers joining him in the first ever team derby this year:

Prince Fielder (captain), Brewers- 22 home runs

Rickie Weeks, Brewers- 15 home runs

Matt Holliday, Cardinals- 10 home runs

Matt Kemp, Dodgers- 22 home runs

Kemp was obviously a must-have for the team, being tied with Fielder for the league lead in homers at 22. Weeks kind of surprised me, but I’ve heard he kills the ball during batting practice (which is pretty much what the derby is, competitive batting practice). Holliday surprised me the most. He’s had a few stints on the DL this year and has just 10 homers, but he was in the derby last year and should be a help to the NL team.

And, as long as we’re on the topic, I’ll list the American League team, led by Boston’s David Ortiz:

David Ortiz (captain), Red Sox- 17 home runs

Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox- 16 home runs

Jose Bautista, Blue Jays- 27 home runs

Robinson Cano, Yankees- 14 home runs

I’m actually kind of surprised Gonzalez accepted the invitation to the derby, since he isn’t exactly what you’d call an extreme home run hitter, and you’d think that trying to hit homers on purpose would mess with his swing. Cano was the main surprise of the AL team for me, since he has only 14 homers. If it were me, I would have chosen Mark Teixeira over Cano, but I’m not the derby captain. Lastly, I don’t think I need to say anything about Bautista- those 27 home runs speak for themselves.

Haha, I guess I got pretty off topic with that whole derby thing. So let’s get back to the Brewers now.

Up next for the Crew…

The Brewers will attempt to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Diamondbacks tomorrow, and will send Yovani Gallardo (9-5, 3.92 ERA) to the mound, in hopes he can bounce back from a rough outing against Minnesota. He gave up five runs (three earned) against the Twins his last time out. In his career against the Diamondbacks, he is 3-0 with a 1.06 ERA.

The Diamondbacks, meanwhile, will counter with Josh Collmenter (4-5, 3.17 ERA), who will hope to get back on track. In six starts after being moved out of the bullpen to the starting rotation, he compiled a stellar 1.05 ERA. However, in four starts since, he is 0-4 with a 7.54 ERA. Hopefully the Brewers will jump on him while he’s still struggling, because he can be hard to pick up when he’s on his game.

Elswhere around the division…

  • The Cubs lost to the Nationals again, 3-2. They are 12 games back.
  • The Pirates defeated the Astros, 5-1, and overtook the Brewers in the Central. Hopefully this doesn’t last long, but I guess the Pirates are finally proving their worth. I doubt this will change the fact that the Brewers destroy the Pirates, however.
  • The Cardinals defeated the Reds, 8-1. They are in first in the division and four games back, respectively.

Quick blog update…

Earlier today, I added a new page to BreakingWI. It was list of all of the Brewers currently on the 25 man roster, and I thought it would be handy to have a page for it on BreakingWI. I might add a page for the 40 man roster later as well.


Brewers’ bullpen melts down again in loss to D-backs

July 5, 2011

6:32p Diamondbacks-Brewers Wrap-Up

Well, before I have to get negative, let me wish everyone a happy 4th of July.

Now for the negative.

The Brewers let another 6-1 lead go in their 8-6 loss to the Diamondbacks. The bullpen melted down once again, as they let the Diamondbacks chip all the way back from a 6-1 deficit.

Things looked to be going well for the Brewers early on in the 3rd inning. After Casey McGehee’s double and Jonathan Lucroy’s single, starter Shaun Marcum bunted up the first base line. McGehee surprisingly tried to score. He would have been out, had it not been for a throwing error by first baseman Juan Miranda. The Diamondbacks immediately answered in the 4th, however, when Miguel Montero hit a solo shot off Marcum.

The bottom of the 4th was the big inning for the Brewers. Corey Hart led off with a solo homer off Diamondbacks starter Daniel Hudson, giving the Brewers a 2-1 lead. Then, after singles by Prince Fielder and McGehee and a walk by Lucroy, Marcum stepped up to the plate with two outs. Sure enough, he crushed a grand slam into the Brewers’ bullpen, giving the Brewers a 6-1 lead.

After that inning, everything went downhill for the Crew.

After Wily Mo Pena’s pinch-hit homer in the 5th, the Diamondbacks scored at least one run in every inning until the end of the game. Marcum was lifted after the 6th. He finished with six innings, while giving up seven hits, four runs, two walks, and had five strikeouts.

In the 7th, Stephen Drew singled off of reliever LaTroy Hawkins, halting his scoreless streak at 22 innings. Then, in the 8th, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke made the mistake of bringing in Kameron Loe. He gave up a run on four hits, but got lucky because of two runners thrown out at third. John Axford came in to record the final out of the inning.

In the 9th, everything fell apart for Axford, which was very uncharacteristic of him. He gave up two runs on four hits, making it an 8-6 Diamondbacks lead. Diamondbacks reliever David Hernandez came in for the bottom of the inning, and struck out the side to record the save.

Kameron Loe sucks.

I vented out on Loe yesterday in one of my posts, as well as earlier today in one of my tweets. Now, I feel the need to again.

He did not take the loss today, but he blew his sixth save of the year. (It obviously wasn’t a save, but blown hold sounds stupid.) He is now 2-7 with a 4.87 ERA. I have no idea why Roenicke is being so stubborn and continuing to use him, despite all those losses and blown saves, when LaTroy Hawkins and his 0.82 ERA are sitting in the bullpen, unused. Not to mention we have Takashi Saito back from the DL. But I guess he’ll be getting the Hawkins treatment as well.

In my opinion, we’d almost be better off cutting Loe and calling up Tim Dillard or Mike McClendon. But that’s NEVER going to happen, at least not as long as Roenicke is manager.

Marcum’s slam wasted by bullpen

I thought after Marcum hit that grand slam off Hudson that we had the game won. But, the bullpen had other ideas, apparently.

Anyway, Marcum’s slam was the first by a pitcher in Brewers history. However, Seattle Pilots pitcher Fred Talbot hit a grand slam in the Pilots’ lone season in 1969 before moving to Milwaukee and becoming the Brewers.

Braun sits again

Now I’m beginning to get a little worried. I was hoping Ryan Braun would be back in the lineup today, but he was out again with his calf injury. His absence in the lineup may be part of the reason that our offense has failed to get rallies going in late innings. Hopefully he’ll be back tomorrow.

McGehee’s slump appears over

McGehee finally appeared to be out of his slump today, as he went 2-for-4 with a double and a single off of Hudson. Sadly, I’m not sure we can consider him completely out of it, considering Hudson has failed to retire McGehee during his entire career. McGehee is 5-for-5 against Hudson in his career.

Up next for the Crew…

The Brewers will see a familiar face tomorrow in Arizona’s Zach Duke (1-3, 5.92 ERA). The Brewers saw a lot of Duke during his days with the Pirates. Duke was traded to the Diamondbacks early last offseason, and is 4-7 with a 6.14 ERA in his career against the Brewers. Randy Wolf (6-5, 3.33 ERA) will go for the Crew, looking for his 7th win of the season. He’s coming off of a solid start against the Yankees. He gave up four runs over seven innings, but received no run support. In his career, Wolf is 10-3 with a 4.47 ERA against the Diamondbacks.

Elsewhere around the division…

  • The Cardinals are currently leading the Reds 1-0 in the 8th inning. If the Cards win, they will take the division lead.
  • The Cubs lost in extra innings to the Nationals, 5-4. They are 10.5 games back.
  • Pirates defeated the Astros, 5-3. They are 1 and 16.5 games back, respectively. (I can’t remember the last time the Pirates were 1 game back. This is scary.)