Homers from Carter, Nieu back Guerra’s 11 K’s

May 20, 2016

RECAP

> The Brewers needed a win like this after last night’s 13-inning disaster. They came back and took down the Cubs 5-3 on Thursday afternoon thanks to another great pitching performance and some timely hitting. Junior Guerra (3-0, 3.96 ERA) continued to prove that he has earned a rotation spot and won’t be going anywhere when Matt Garza returns; Guerra threw seven innings while giving up three runs on five hits. He walked three and struck out a career-high 11 while holding down one of the league’s best offenses.

The Cubs got on the board immediately when Dexter Fowler hit a home run to lead off the game. Miguel Montero hit an RBI single in the second inning to give the Cubs an early 2-0 cushion. Milwaukee got one of those back in the bottom of the second when Kirk Nieuwenhuis scored on a wild pitch by Chicago starter Jason Hammel (5-1, 2.31 ERA).

Chris Carter tied it at 2-2 in the fourth, breaking out of his slump with his twelfth home run of the season. The Brewers took the lead for good on Nieuwenhuis’s two-run shot in the sixth inning. The Cubs got one more in the seventh when Fowler scored on a wild pitch by Guerra, but Milwaukee added an insurance run in the eighth thanks to Hernan Perez’s RBI single.

The bullpen was a little shaky, which brought back bad memories of Wednesday night, but in the end managed to finish the game. Michael Blazek worked around a walk and a hit in a scoreless eighth; he also struck out two. Tyler Thornburg issued back-to-back walks to Addison Russell and Montero to start the ninth, but rebounded and recorded the save.

> It was nice to see the Brewers beat up on Hammel a little bit, as the sinkerballer has typically had his way with the Crew in his career. Coming into today, Hammel boasted an 8-0 record against the Brewers with a 2.37 ERA, making this the first time he’s lost to them.

Not only that, but Hammel has also been especially good for the Cubs this season, bringing a 5-0 record with a 1.77 ERA into today’s start. He hadn’t allowed more than three runs in a start yet this season, but that changed today, as he allowed four on five hits in six innings. Hammel walked two and struck out seven.

NEWS

> Ryan Braun was held out of the lineup again today due to the stiff back that kept him out of the lineup last night. It’s unrelated to the wrist issue that made him miss back-to-back games this past weekend, but is a cause for concern, as Braun had back surgery this past offseason.

> Despite the struggles of bench players Ramon Flores and Colin Walsh, Craig Counsell tells Tom Haudricourt that the Brewers aren’t giving up on them anytime soon. Flores is out of options while Walsh was a Rule 5 pick this past offseason, so the Brewers likely won’t be able to hang onto either in the minors should they choose to shed them from the big league club.

Flores, a left-handed hitting outfielder, has struggled to a .197 average in 87 plate appearances in 2016. The infielder Walsh, also a left-handed hitter, has been even worse, as he carries a meager .089 average over 60 plate appearances, although he does have a .317 on-base percentage. However, Flores would have to clear waivers if the Brewers designate him for assignment and attempt to send him down, and Walsh would return to the Athletics should the Brewers opt to get rid of him.

STATS

> Today was Thornburg’s first career big league save. It was just the second in his entire professional career, with the first coming when he was in rookie ball back in 2010.

Thornburg was tasked with the ninth due to Jeremy Jeffress having been used in four straight games; that may explain Jeffress’s blown save last night.

> The Brewers lead the Majors in taking called third strikes. It’s noticeable that they’ve been more patient this year, but they definitely need to be more aggressive in some situations, and this is proof of that.

> After managing to hold a respectable batting average for a time, Carter has come crumbling back to earth. He’s down to .245, mainly because of an 0-for-23 spell that he snapped this past Sunday. He’s also striking out noticeably more often, with 23 in his last 15 games; Carter is hitting just .179 over that stretch.

> Milwaukee’s pitching staff held the Cubs– who still own the best record in baseball despite losing two of three to the Crew– to just seven runs in this three-game series.

> Ex-Brewer Khris Davis, now playing for Oakland, had a three-dinger game the other night, including a walk-off grand slam off Rangers closer Shawn Tolleson.

I’m happy Davis is catching on with the A’s. As much as I would have liked for the Brewers to keep him, he simply isn’t a National League player, as he might have the weakest outfield arm in the Majors. The Athletics appear to have caught onto that; after a few outfield starts early in the season, they’re using him primarily at designated hitter, which is where Davis belongs.

> White Sox starter Chris Sale made Major League history today, becoming the first pitcher to start a season 9-0 while maintaining a sub-2.00 ERA; with a complete-game win over the Astros today, the lefty’s ERA fell to a minuscule 1.58. Sale has been known as one of the game’s most dominant pitchers ever since his first full season as a starter in 2012, but he seems to have taken it to yet another level in 2016.

The best part about this is, despite the fact Sale is considered to be the Sox’s ace, he doesn’t even have the lowest ERA in Chicago’s rotation. Left-hander Jose Quintana– undoubtedly one of the, if not the, most underrated pitchers in baseball over the past few years– is the White Sox’s ERA leader at 1.54

> The Brewers start a three-gamer at Citi Field tomorrow night at 6:10 p.m. CT. Wily Peralta (2-4, 7.30 ERA), possibly the worst pitcher in baseball at the moment, will go for the Brewers, while the Mets counter with left-hander Steven Matz (5-1, 2.86 ERA). The good news is Peralta is 3-1 with a 2.88 ERA in his career against the Mets, but the bad news is those stats probably don’t matter with the funk Peralta is in. Matz has never faced the Brewers.

More bad news: the Brewers will have to face the core of New York’s rotation in Matz, Jacob deGrom (3-1, 2.50 ERA), and Noah Syndergaard (4-2, 2.19 ERA).

 

 

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Brewers lose heartbreaker in 13 after Nelson’s stellar start

May 19, 2016

RECAP

> If this season turns out as bad as everyone thinks it’s going to, this game will be remembered as one of its defining moments.

The Brewers fell to the Cubs 2-1 in 13 innings on Wednesday night. They wasted another stellar start from Jimmy Nelson (4-3, 3.07 ERA), just as they did in his last start against the Padres. But what made this game most painful was all of the opportunities the Brewers had to end it in extra innings, and the way they served up the go-ahead run: Carlos Torres walked Travis Wood– a reliever— with the bases loaded.

The game started as a pitchers’ duel between Nelson and John Lackey (4-2, 3.31 ERA), who pretty much matched each other pitch for pitch. Lackey was the first to crack when Alex Presley drove in the first run of the game with a fielder’s choice in the fifth inning. It appeared that was all Nelson was going to need, as he weaved in and out of trouble all throughout his 7 1/3 innings of shutout ball. Nelson gave up five hits, walked four, and struck out five, but was lifted in the eighth after Jorge Soler singled and Dexter Fowler drew a walk, putting runners on first and third with one out. Tyler Thornburg put out the fire, however, inducing a Jason Heyward pop-up and striking out Kris Bryant with a curveball in the dirt.

Things looked good heading into the top of the ninth, as Jeremy Jeffress, 11-for-11 in save chances entering play Wednesday, came in to close it out. However, it was not Jeffress’s night, as he drilled Anthony Rizzo to start the inning and then gave up a single to Ben Zobrist. Tommy La Stella followed by grounding out to put runners on second and third with one out. Then, for whatever reason, Craig Counsell moved his infield back, eliminating any chance of an out at home on a ground ball. And sure enough, the next batter, Addison Russell, hit a grounder to second baseman Scooter Gennett that would have been a potential out at home had the infield been in, but instead tied the game at 1-1.

That sent the game spiraling into extra innings. The Brewers had their chances, but didn’t capitalize, so I guess the fate they received was deserved. In the top of the thirteenth, the Cubs had runners on first and second with one out against Torres. He rallied to strike out Russell, and then intentionally walked Miguel Montero to get to the pitcher Wood, as Chicago had no bench players left. After getting ahead 0-1, Torres threw four consecutive balls to Wood, walking in the go-ahead run. Milwaukee has had some embarrassing moments over the years, but this was a new level of bad.

> The Brewers had multiple opportunities to end this game, but failed every time. In the bottom of the tenth, they had runners on first and third with two outs, but pinch-hitter Ramon Flores struck out looking to end the threat.

The worst came in the bottom of the twelfth, when Milwaukee had Hector Rondon, usually the Cubs’ closer, on the ropes. Chris Carter reached on an error by the third baseman La Stella to start the inning, and then Rondon and Wood, who came on in relief, issued back-to-back walks to Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Domingo Santana. Wood induced a Hernan Perez fly out to center field that was deep enough to score Carter from third for the first out, and then got back-to-back pop-ups from Aaron Hill and Martin Maldonado to escape. After that mess, they did not deserve to win; you can’t give a team like the Cubs extra chances.

Milwaukee did get one more chance to come back in the bottom of the thirteenth, as Jonathan Villar led off the inning with a double. However, Joe Maddon used three different relievers– Wood, Neil Ramirez, and Clayton Richard– to record one out each and put the Brewers away.

NEWS

> Ryan Braun had the night off to rest a “stiff back.”

> Left-handed reliever Sean Nolin appears set to undergo Tommy John surgery. The Brewers had claimed Nolin off waivers from Oakland in February.

> The Brewers will look to take the series from the Cubs today in a day game. Junior Guerra (2-0, 4.00 ERA) will go for the Crew against Jason Hammel (5-0, 1.77 ERA).


Anderson regains form vs. Cubs

May 18, 2016

RECAP

> After a series of subpar performances, it looks like the Chase Anderson we saw in his first two starts of the season is back. The righty dominated the best team in baseball, as the Brewers took down the Cubs, 4-2. Anderson (2-5, 5.32 ERA) took a perfect game into the sixth inning, a no-hitter into the eighth, and looked primed for a one-hit shutout before Chicago’s bats started to heat up in the ninth. He went 8 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on three hits while walking one and striking out six.

Anderson and Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks (2-3, 3.51 ERA) exchanged goose eggs through the first three innings before Jonathan Lucroy broke the silence in the fourth with a solo home run. The Brewers struck again in the sixth on Ryan Braun’s RBI single and a two-run double from Chris Carter.

That was more than enough for Anderson, who posted undoubtedly the best start from a Brewers pitcher this season. In his last start against the Marlins, he threw three perfect innings to start the game, and he took that to the next level today with seven perfect innings. Ben Zobrist led off the eighth with a double to break up the bid, but Anderson would retire the next three in order to escape unscathed.

Anderson induced a Tommy La Stella flyout and a groundout from Dexter Fowler to start the ninth inning. He then had Jason Heyward down 0-2, and all that stood between Anderson and his first career complete game was one strike. Heyward had other plans, however, as he deposited an 0-2 fastball on the inner part of the plate into the visiting bullpen. Craig Counsell decided to stick with Anderson to see if he could finish it off, but the next batter, Kris Bryant, went back-to-back with Heyward. It was disappointing to see Anderson depart after he’d been literally a strike away from a one-hitter, although the curveball that Jeremy Jeffress finished Anthony Rizzo with during his one-out save eased the pain a bit.

> The Brewers improved to 17-22 tonight while the Cubs fell to 27-10, but Chicago is still comfortably the best team in the game. This came following a series split against the Padres, which saw some solid pitching from the Brewers for the most part. After they failed to support Jimmy Nelson in the first game, Milwaukee scored just one run– a Carter sacrifice fly– in the second game, but that was enough for Junior Guerra (6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K), who had the best start of his young career. Christian Friedrich (6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 6 BB, 4 K) took the tough luck loss for the Padres.

The third game was a roller coaster, but the Brewers eventually fell 8-7 in 12 innings. Thanks to another ugly start from Wily Peralta (4 2/3 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 K), the Brewers found themselves down 6-2 headed into the seventh. They scored a pair of runs in both the seventh and eighth innings to tie the game, but back-to-back homers from Derek Norris and Melvin Upton Jr. off Chris Capuano in the top of the twelfth sealed the deal for San Diego. The Brewers did have some nice offensive performances on the day, as Jonathan Villar went 3-for-5, Lucroy 2-for-6, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis 3-for-7 with three RBIs.

The series finale was a pitchers’ duel between Zach Davies (6 1/3, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K) and Cesar Vargas (5.0 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K), but it ended in favor of the Brewers thanks to Carter’s go-ahead RBI double in the seventh. Despite the fact Davies gave up a game-tying homer to Brett Wallace in the top of the seventh, it was nice to see him flash the dominant form he showed last September.

NEWS

> Peralta’s rotation spot may not be safe for much longer. Counsell declined to go into detail, but implied that he can’t continue to pitch the way he has. The Brewers’ opening day starter this year, Peralta currently owns the worst WHIP (1.99) and second-worst ERA (7.30) among qualifying Major League starters.

That’s right: he was our opening day starter this season. I don’t blame you if you forgot. The Brewers’ starting rotation has struggled mightily as a unit this season, but Peralta has been the poster boy of those struggles. I thought the same thing during his first full season in the Majors in 2013, but I’ve never been able to understood how a guy blessed with as good of stuff as Peralta can be so bad. He has a fastball with tail that consistently touches the upper-90s, a wipeout slider (though it hasn’t exactly been “wipeout” in 2016, I suppose) in the mid-to-upper 80s, and a decent change-up as well.

I might delve deeper into why he’s continued to regress this season in another article, but what it basically comes down to is his control. His strikeout percentage is down in 2016 while his walk percentage has skyrocketed. Another factor could be spin rate: in 2015, Peralta had the lowest spin rate (1,741 rpm) on his two-seam fastball in the Majors. Spin rate is a different measure of a pitch than velocity; when you hear a pitcher has “late life” on his fastball, that means the fastball has a high spin rate. It’s definitely something to look into a bit more, but that might start to answer why Peralta’s potential isn’t translating into better numbers, or at least decent numbers like he posted in 2014.

Matt Garza will come off the disabled list at some point, and someone’s going to have to move to the bullpen or head to the minors when that time comes. Unfortunately for Peralta, everyone else in the rotation seems to be headed in the right direction: Nelson is the undisputed ace, Guerra has outperformed most of the rotation while filling in for Taylor Jungmann, and both Anderson and Davies have had a few solid starts in a row. Peralta is facing a similar situation that fell upon Kyle Lohse in 2015: Lohse, the opening day starter in 2015, was moved to the bullpen midway through the season due to ineffectiveness.

> The Brewers will look to take the series from the Cubs tomorrow at 7:10 p.m. CT. Nelson (4-3, 3.51 ERA) will get the ball for the Crew while John Lackey (4-2, 3.54 ERA) will go for the Cubs. Despite a 3.35 ERA in his career against the Cubs, Nelson is 0-4 against them, including a start earlier this year when he gave up a run over 5 1/3 innings. Meanwhile, Lackey has dominated the Brewers in his career, going 5-1 with a 3.11 ERA in eight starts against them.


Bats heat up too late in loss to Cubs

April 27, 2016

RECAP

> It looked promising early on, but Tuesday night’s 4-3 loss to the Cubs turned out to be another typical Jimmy Nelson start: he breezed along through the first few innings before running into trouble in the middle innings. His final line was three runs (one earned) on just two hits over 5 1/3 innings. He walked four– which ultimately led to his ill fate– and struck out six.

The Brewers struck first on Aaron Hill’s sacrifice fly in the second inning. Nelson (3-2, 3.16 ERA) then cruised along for a while, shutting out a tough Cubs lineup through the first four innings. His control began to elude him in the fifth, however. Nelson walked Jorge Soler to lead off the inning, which was followed by an Addison Russell single. After David Ross laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners up, Nelson walked Tommy La Stella to load the bases. Nelson was lucky the only damage done in that inning would be a game-tying sacrifice fly from Dexter Fowler, but luck was not on his side in the sixth. Kris Bryant reached on an error by the third baseman Hill to lead off the inning, and then, two batters later, Ben Zobrist drew a walk. Russell then hit a go-ahead two-run triple to break it open for the Cubs. Anthony Rizzo hit an RBI double in the seventh off Blaine Boyer for what would be the game-winning run.

Milwaukee wasn’t done, but it was too little, too late for the offense. Pedro Strop walked Hill to lead off the eighth, then walked Colin Walsh two batters later. Ryan Braun, in a pinch-hit appearance, hit a two-run double to bring the Brewers within one, but that was all they would get.

> Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks (1-2, 3.52 ERA) didn’t factor into the decision, but he was stellar over five innings. He gave up a run on two hits while walking one and striking out four. I have no idea why Cubs manager Joe Maddon pulled him so early– he was at just 69 pitches– but the bullpen got it done, so I suppose it doesn’t matter.

> I don’t think there’s any denying that Nelson is the de facto ace of this staff. That’s in part because the Brewers’ other young starters, such as Taylor Jungmann and Wily Peralta, have been unable to step up, but Nelson also probably has the best stuff on the club at the moment, and he can usually harness that stuff.

However, there’s been an alarming trend in four of his five starts this season, one that was also very prominent when he first became a permanent fixture in the rotation in late 2014. Following his first start of the season against the Giants– when he allowed two runs over 7 1/3 innings, arguably his best start to this point– he has struggled to make it past the sixth inning. We first saw this in his start against the Astros, which, don’t get me wrong, was a very good start in which he struck out nine over 6+ innings. Craig Counsell put him back out for the seventh in that start, but he issued a leadoff walk, prompting Counsell to turn to the bullpen. Something similar happened in his third start, which came against the Pirates. He had fired six shutout innings and his pitch count was still low, so it was a no-brainer for Counsell to send him back out for the seventh. Nelson once again walked the leadoff batter in the seventh, but this time Counsell stuck with him because the Brewers had a five-run cushion at the time. The next batter reached on an error, but then Nelson served up a three-run blast to Matt Joyce. That was the end of Nelson’s outing that night, and was a slight cause for concern because it brought back memories of when he first came up.

And even more alarming: it happened again against the Twins in his last start. After cruising through the first five innings having allowed just one run, Nelson gave up two home runs in the sixth, allowing the Twins to tie it. Counsell actually forced him to work through it that time, and he pitched into the seventh inning before being lifted with two outs.

But it happened again tonight. This time started a little earlier than usual, in the fifth inning, but it’s still the same story. The trend has been that he seems to lose his control in the middle innings, which leads to walks, home runs, or both in those innings. This is eerily similar to what would happen to him in his starts in late 2014: he’d mow through lineups for the first six innings and then lose all control in the seventh.

This is common with pitchers who don’t have the greatest of stuff– i.e., they throw maybe in the high 80’s and rely on control and breaking stuff– and a good hitting team can catch on to that and time pitches, especially by the third time through the order; Shaun Marcum was a good example of that sort of pitcher. However, Nelson is not that kind of pitcher. His repertoire is advanced enough to where he can be an ace and should be able to pitch deep into games. It’s clear that he loses command in these innings, so maybe it’s an endurance thing, though he has pitched into and completed eight innings a few times in his career. Another thing that confuses me is that, while Nelson was definitely pretty inconsistent in 2015, the middle innings didn’t seem to be as much of a problem in particular as they were in 2014.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what he does from here on out. The good news is he’s been pretty consistent as far as damage control goes and, outside of the middle innings, doesn’t seem to be having many problems this year; the 3.16 ERA is a good indicator of that. However, if this middle innings trend continues, I’d say the Brewers should start getting concerned.

> The Brewers will unfortunately be facing Jake Arrieta (4-0, 0.87 ERA), who is coming off a no-hitter against the Reds, tomorrow. He’s 4-3 with a 2.35 ERA against the Brewers in his career, but I’m guessing that ERA will be going down tomorrow. Milwaukee will counter with Jungmann (0-3, 8.47 ERA), who is off to a terrible start this season. In two career starts against the Cubs, he’s 0-2 with a 4.32 ERA.

 

 


Brewers edge Rockies to split series

July 17, 2011

5:58p The Brewers didn’t win this series at Coors Field, but they didn’t lose it, either.

Brewers-Rockies Wrap-Up

The Brewers defeated the Rockies today in a tight game, 4-3. They managed to split a road series at Coors Field, where they have the worst record of any visiting opponent at the Rockies’ home.

The struggling Aaron Cook was on the hill for the Rockies, and came into the day winless. The Brewers aimed to keep it that way, and they did. They got to Cook in the second inning, when Rickie Weeks led off with a double. He advanced on a George Kottaras groundout, then Casey McGehee drove him in with a sacrifice fly to give the Crew an early 1-0 lead.

The Rockies wouldn’t answer until the fourth, when Brewers starter Shaun Marcum got into a jam. After walking Dexter Fowler and Jason Giambi to lead off the inning, Marcum gave up a single to Seth Smith to drive in Fowler. Weeks nearly caught it at second, but it deflected off his glove, which allowed Fowler to score. Marcum would then strike out Ian Stewart and induce an Eliezer Alfonzo groundout to get out of the jam.

The Brewers, however, immediately answered in the fifth. Cook walked Prince Fielder with one out, then Weeks singled to put men on first and second. Kottaras then took advantage of a sinker that Cook left up in the zone and drove it to left field to score Fielder. Weeks, however, was thrown out at home trying to score a second run. McGehee then proceeded to drive in Kottaras with an RBI single. Reliever Matt Belisle, Cook’s replacement, finally ended the bleeding by inducing a Marcum flyout. Cook went just 4 2/3 innings while giving up three runs on eight hits. He walked three and struck out one. He would have given up more runs, but the Brewers left the bases loaded twice against him.

Mark Kotsay added an RBI single in the sixth to give the Brewers a 4-1 lead.

Marcum came back out for the sixth inning, but would not stay for long. He had made a highlight reel play the inning before to rob Fowler of a bunt single, but, while making the play, landed weird on his shoulder. When he came out for the sixth, he immediately gave up a mile-long homer to Giambi. Marcum was removed from the game after that to make sure he wouldn’t injure himself more, and it was later determined that he had a neck strain.

LaTroy Hawkins came in to finish the sixth, and got himself in and out of a jam.

Marcum’s line finished with 5+ innings pitched while giving up two runs on four hits. He walked three and struck out four.

Takashi Saito pitched a perfect seventh, and Francisco Rodriguez threw a scoreless eighth while working in and out of a jam.

Then, closer John Axford came in to try and keep his save streak alive. It didn’t look like he was going to at first, as he gave up an RBI double to Ty Wigginton to make it a 4-3 game. However, Axford would strike out Troy Tulowitzki to end the game.

McGehee has solid day at the plate

McGehee finally had one of his rare decent days at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs. He brought his average up to .225. (Yes, you read that correctly- he brought it UP to .225.)

I’ve noted this in a few posts now, but McGehee is still in a season long slump that hasn’t really ended. He’s been doing slightly better lately, but it’s too late in the season for him to make a complete turn around. It looks he’ll be having the worst season of his career at this point.

Coors Field has “courteous” fans

Remember in the first game of this series when Fielder had to borrow a Rockies fan’s sunglasses because he couldn’t find his own? That was an example of the usually-kind Rockies fans at Coors Field.

Today was a different story. While Saito was pitching the seventh inning, a Rockies fan was supposedly yelling something directly at him as soon as he went into his delivery. This distracted Saito, so he repeatedly attempted to ask the umpires to do something about it. Only one issue- Saito can’t speak English.

It appeared Saito was trying to act out what was going on, but to no avail. He was starting to get booed after a while, and Saito’s translator finally ran out onto the field and must have gotten the umps to do something, because Saito finally started pitching without any distractions.

But, I’m not going to lie about this- Saito looked hilarious. While he was trying to act out what was going on, it looked like he was dancing and laughing, so I don’t blame the umps for not knowing what was going on. That’s the only down-side of Japanese pitchers in America: none of them know how to speak English.

Wilson > Betancourt

Josh Wilson has gotten the start at shortstop for the past two days, and let me say I’ve been extremely impressed with his defense for the most part. He’s making plays that Yuniesky Betancourt would never make, even if he tried (but he would never try anyway). Wilson’s offense has been better than Betancourt’s as well.

Up next for the Crew…

The Brewers will open up a series with the Diamondbacks in Arizona tomorrow. Randy Wolf (6-6, 3.65 ERA) will take the hill for the Brewers. He got knocked around his last start against the D-backs, giving up seven runs in six innings. He is 10-4 with a 4.77 ERA against them in his career.

Josh Collmenter (4-5, 2.92 ERA) will go for the Diamondbacks. He shut out the Brewers for six innings in his only start against them, but was forced to settle for a n0-decision because his bullpen blew the game.

Elsewhere around the division…

  • The Reds defeated the Cardinals, 3-1. The Brewers now move ahead of the Cards in the division standings and are in first all alone.
  • The Pirates defeated the Astros, 7-5. The Pirates are just a half game back, while the Astros are an astounding 19.5 games back. Wow.
  • The Cubs lost to the Marlins, 7-5. They are 13 games back.

Box Score

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Milwaukee Brewers 0 1 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 4 11 1
Colorado Rockies 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 3 7 3

Milwaukee Brewers

Player AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Corey Hart, RF 4 1 1 0 1 0 2 .266
Nyjer Morgan, CF-LF 4 0 2 0 0 1 4 .335
Mark Kotsay, LF 4 0 1 1 0 1 3 .257
b- Carlos Gomez, PH- CF 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .223
Prince Fielder, 1B 3 1 0 0 2 0 2 .299
Rickie Weeks, 2B 4 1 2 0 1 0 3 .277
George Kottaras, C 4 1 1 1 0 0 1 .226
c- Ryan Braun, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .315
Casey McGehee, 3B 3 0 2 2 0 1 0 .225
Josh Wilson, SS 4 0 2 0 0 0 1 .294
Shaun Marcum, P 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 .114
a- Jonathan Lucroy, PH-C 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .275
Total 36 4 11 4 4 3 21

a- Grounded into a forceout for Saito in the 8th.

b- Lined out for Kotsay in the 9th.

c- Grounded out for Rodriguez in the 9th.

BATTING
2B- Weeks (24), Kottaras (2), Wilson (5).

RBI- McGehee 2 (38), Kottaras (10), Kotsay (20).

Team RISP- 3-for-11.

Team LOB- 11.

FIELDING

E- Wilson (2, fielding).

Milwaukee Brewers

Pitcher IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Shaun Marcum (W, 8-3) 5.0 4 2 2 3 4 1 3.39
LaTroy Hawkins (H, 13) 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.65
Takashi Saito (H, 3) 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3.86
Francisco Rodriguez (H, 1) 1.0 1 0 0 1 2 0 3.02
John Axford (SV, 25) 1.0 1 1 0 1 2 0 2.84

Marcum pitched to 1 batter in the 6th.

Pitches-strikes: Marcum 82-48, Hawkins 18-12, Saito 15-9, Rodriguez 20-12, Axford 24-17.

Groundouts-flyouts: Marcum 4-4, Hawkins 2-1, Saito 0-1, Rodriguez 1-0, Axford 2-0.

Batters faced- Marcum 22, Hawkins 4, Saito 3, Rodriguez 5, Axford 6.


Weeks beats Rox to give K-Rod win in Crew debut

July 17, 2011

11:30p Hearing the phrase “The Brewers won on the road” isn’t very common, but hearing “The Brewers won at Coors Field” is even more uncommon.

Brewers-Rockies Wrap-Up

The Brewers pulled out a great win today against the Rockies, 8-7. It was back-and-forth all game, but in the end, some clutch hitting and bullpen work gave the Crew the win.

The Rockies got on the board first in the second inning, but in a frustrating way. After Brewers starter Zack Greinke gave up a two-out triple to Ian Stewart, catcher Jonathan Lucroy dropped a third strike, then a wild throw to first allowed Stewart to score. Chris Iannetta drove in Dexter Fowler, who reached on the dropped strike, with an RBI double. Jhoulys Chacin would follow with a RBI single to make it 3-0, Rockies. None of these runs were charged to Greinke, however. Greinke would exit after six innings. He gave up three runs (none earned) on five hits while walking two and striking out eight. This was the first time this season that Greinke did not give up an earned run during a start.

The Brewers finally got to Chacin in the fifth. After Chacin walked Greinke on four pitches, Corey Hart hit a frozen rope line drive homer to cut the deficit to 3-2.

The Brewers also got to Chacin in the seventh, when he ran into some control issues. Josh Wilson and Lucroy hit back-to-back singles to start the inning, then Craig Counsell, pinch-hitting for Greinke, advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt. Chacin’s night ended after he hit Hart with a pitch to load the bases. Chacin went 6 1/3 innings while giving up five runs on seven hits. He walked one and struck out five.

Matt Reynolds came in in relief of Chacin, but the Brewers got to him as well. Nyjer Morgan laid down a perfect drag bunt to score Wilson. Then, during the same play, first basemen Todd Helton attempted to throw the ball home with his glove, but the ball went over the catcher’s head, allowing the go-ahead run to score. Mark Kotsay followed up with a sac fly to give the Brewers a 5-3 lead.

LaTroy Hawkins came in relief of Greinke, but, after letting the first two batters reach and retiring only one batter, Ron Roenicke decided to go to his bullpen. And who does he call? Kameron Loe.

Loe let both of Hawkins’ runs score and was charged with one to himself, and blew yet another save. This gave the Rockies a 6-5 lead.

The Brewers countered in the eighth, when Yuniesky Betancourt scored on George Kottaras’ RBI groundout to tie the game at 6-6.

In the bottom of the eighth, the long awaited K-Rod debut finally happened. Francisco Rodriguez tossed a scoreless inning in his Brewers debut and worked around a Prince Fielder error. He would get the win, and you’re about to figure out why.

Huston Street was in for the Rockies to try and keep the game tied, but couldn’t do so. After walking Fielder, Rickie Weeks hammered a go-ahead homer to give the Brewers an 8-6 lead.

John Axford came in the bottom of the inning to record his 24th save of the year, despite giving up a run.

K-Rod makes Brewers debut

Rodriguez finally made his Brewers debut today, and did something that the rest of the Brewers’ bullpen has struggled to do- throw a somewhat clean inning. It wasn’t a perfect inning because the worst defensive first baseman in baseball (Fielder) made an error, but Rodriguez worked around it and was eventually rewarded the win.

Anyway, I could get used to seeing innings like this. I can tell just from that one inning today that Rodriguez is going to be our most consistent reliever for the rest of the year.

Street continues to struggle against Brewers

Street’s struggles against the Brewers against the Brewers continued today, as he gave up a go-ahead shot to Weeks in the ninth. Coming into today, Street’s career numbers against the Brewers were 0-1 with a 5.79 ERA.

Braun exits early with more injuries…

Ryan Braun exited the game early today with a calf strain AND a hamstring strain. He hasn’t been running very well all series, so I guess it was bound to happen. Hopefully this doesn’t set him back for too long.

Anyway… I might add more tomorrow. But I’m completely exhausted right now… The only reason I’m awake is because of sheer excitement from the Brewers win.