Lopez to report to Triple-A Nashville

August 30, 2011

This is yesterday’s news, but, since there’s nothing else to post about right now and I forgot to post it yesterday, what better time than now?

It was reported yesterday that Brewers infielder Felipe Lopez accepted his assignment to the Brewers’ Triple-A affiliate, the Nashville Sounds, and started playing for them today. The Brewers designated him for assignment on Wednesday after he was very unimpressive at the Major League level.

The Brewers acquired Lopez from the Rays before the Trade Deadline because they were in need of an extra infielder due to the injury to Rickie Weeks. They were also interested in his versatility, as Lopez can play pretty much any infield position. But, that versatility couldn’t make up for his lack of offense- he hit for just a .182 average during his time with the Brewers this year.

And, on top of that, the Brewers found that they had tons of options to fill in at second base during Weeks’ absence, such as Jerry Hairston Jr., Craig Counsell, and Josh Wilson. All of the names I just mentioned are above average defensively (except maybe Hairston), while Lopez is just plain lazy on the field. None of them are huge hitters, either, but are all hitting over .182 (except Counsell, but that’s courtesy of a 0-for-46 slump).

Anyway, I just finished watching Randy Wells of the Cubs toss a two-hit shutout against the worst offensive team in baseball. Who is that? None other than the reigning World Champions. There’s a reason that the Giants are now 4.5 games behind the Diamondbacks in the NL West. That reason? Getting shut out by pitchers with ERAs a mile over 5.00.

So, yeah, the reason I wrote this is because the Brewers had an off-day today. I know off-days are great for players, but they are the exact opposite for die-hard fans. Anyway, I’ll see you guys tomorrow for a Shaun Marcum vs. Edwin Jackson matchup in Milwaukee (a game that I’ll actually be at).

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Morgan, Brewers find way to win against Pirates

August 14, 2011

4:38p At this point, the Pirates might as well stop trying when they’re at Miller Park.

Pirates-Brewers Wrap-Up

The Brewers, despite being shut out for the first seven innings of the game, found yet another way to take out the Pirates, with the final score being 2-1. The final blow was Nyjer Morgan’s sacrifice fly in the 10th inning, which kept the Brewers undefeated (8-0) against the Pirates this season.

The Pirates actually got on the scoreboard first, as the jumped on Brewers starter Shaun Marcum early. He was hanging a few pitches early on, and Garrett Jones and Andrew McCutchen took advantage of that by hitting back-back doubles in the first inning.

After that, however, Marcum was lights out. He ended up going 7 2/3 innings, his second longest outing of the season, while giving up one run on five hits. He walked two and struck out five. Unfortunately, the Brewers offense didn’t arrive in time, and Marcum had to settle for his third consecutive no-decision. But, he kept the Brewers in the game, and that would prove big, because of the Pirates starter on the other side.

Pirates starter Charlie Morton pretty much knocked out the Brewers for the first seven innings. He ended up going 7 1/3 innings while giving up a run on four hits. He walked two and struck out five. But, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle made a decision that pretty much cost him the game in the eighth inning. With a runner on second, Hurdle pulled Morton for reliever Jose Veras. Veras came in and got the second out of the eighth, but then Hurdle made another change to bring in his All-Star closer, Joel Hanrahan. Hanrahan came in and did his job: he struck out Nyjer Morgan to end the inning. Or, that’s what should have happened.

Hanrahan’s pitch to Morgan was a slider in the dirt, and Morgan swung over it. But, catcher Michael McKenry couldn’t handle it, and bounced away from him. Morgan ended up reaching first, and Jonathan Lucroy, who was on second, advanced to third. That set the stage for Ryan Braun.

Braun tied the game with a RBI single back up the middle, and, from there, the Pirates knew that it was happening all over again.

Hanrahan got out of that inning, then pitched a scoreless ninth. He handed the ball over to Chris Resop for the 10th inning, and he would be the victim of the Brewers walk-off.

George Kottaras hit a one-out single in the 10th, and Casey McGehee followed with a double to put runners on second and third. That set the stage for Morgan’s walk-off sacrifice fly.

Miller Park continues to be house of horrors for Pirates

If I were the Pirates, I would never want to come to Milwaukee. Since the beginning of 2007, the Pirates are 3-36 against the Brewers at Miller Park, which includes an 0-6 mark this year. Obviously, it’s a mental thing for them at this point, but that’s their problem if they can’t get over it.

Up next for the Crew…

The Brewers start a three-game set at home against the Dodgers tomorrow. Randy Wolf (9-8, 3.48 ERA) will go for the Brewers, and is coming off a great outing in St. Louis his last time out. He gave up one run in eight innings against the Cardinals. Wolf, the former Dodger, is 3-4 with a 3.66 ERA against his former team. He has already taken a loss against the Dodgers earlier this year.

The Dodgers will counter with the former Cub, Ted Lilly (7-12, 4.71 ERA). Lilly is having somewhat of a down season, as his record and ERA show, but he’s doing well in August. Lilly is 5-2 with a 3.54 ERA against the Brewers in his career, most of those numbers from his days with the Cubs.

Box Score

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Pittsburgh Pirates 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 1
Milwaukee Brewers 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 2 7 2

Milwaukee Brewers

Player AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Felipe Lopez, 3B 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 .210
b-Casey McGehee, PH-3B 2 0 1 0 0 0 1 .239
Nyjer Morgan, CF 3 0 0 1 1 2 0 .317
Ryan Braun, LF 3 0 2 1 1 1 0 .326
Prince Fielder, 1B 4 0 0 0 0 0 5 .305
Mark Kotsay, RF 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 .258
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS 4 0 1 0 0 1 1 .270
Craig Counsell, 2B 3 0 0 0 0 3 0 .151
Jonathan Lucroy, C 3 0 1 0 0 0 2 .285
1-Jerry Hairston, PR 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 .255
c-Corey Hart, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .272
Shaun Marcum, P 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 .156
a-Josh Wilson, PH 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .266
George Kottaras, C 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 .232
Total 33 2 7 2 2 8 9

a-Hit a sacrifice bunt for Hawkins in the 8th.

b-Flied out for Lopez in the 8th.

c-Flied out for Saito in the 10th.

1-Ran for Lucroy in the 8th.

BATTING

2B: McGehee (19).

RBI: Braun (77), Morgan (28).

Team RISP: 1-for-6.

Team LOB: 7.

BASERUNNING

CS: Betancourt (4).

FIELDING

E: Fielder (12), McGehee (16).

Milwaukee Brewers

Player IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Shaun Marcum 7.2 5 1 1 2 5 0 3.50
LaTroy Hawkins 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.67
John Axford 1.0 1 0 0 0 3 0 2.40
Takashi Saito (W, 3-1) 1.0 0 0 0 2 1 0 2.35

Pitches-strikes: Marcum 116-76, Hawkins 1-1, Axford 22-14, Saito 23-11.

Groundouts-flyouts: Marcum 7-8, Hawkins 1-0, Axford 1-0, Saito 3-0.

Batters faced: Marcum 30, Hawkins 1, Axford 5, Saito 6.

Inherited runners-scored: Hawkins 2-0.


Despite lack of offense, Estrada, bullpen shut down Bucs

August 14, 2011

6:24p This game pretty much proved that it just isn’t possible for the Pirates to beat the Brewers, especially in Milwaukee.

Pirates-Brewers Wrap-Up

A second inning home run by Yuniesky Betancourt was all the Brewers pitching staff needed in a 1-0 win over the Pirates. Starter Marco Estrada held down the Bucs for five innings, in which he gave up no runs and one hit. He didn’t walk anyone and struck out five. Oddly enough, manager Ron Roenicke pulled him in the bottom of the fifth inning for a pinch-hitter, but that pinch-hitter was Zack Greinke, and all he did was a lay down a sacrifice bunt. But, Roenicke’s decision played out, I assume, how he expected it to even before the game started, because the bullpen shut out the Pirates for the remaining four innings.

Pirates starter Kevin Correia was actually pretty good, considering how many baserunners he allowed. He went 6 2/3 innings while giving up a run on seven hits. He walked three and struck out three. Correia could have been hit much harder, but the Brewers uncharacteristically struggled with runners in scoring position at home today. They left 10 guys on against Correia, which spared his already high ERA. But, coming into today, Correia was 10-2 on the road. He is now 10-3 with two of the three losses coming at Miller Park.

Anyway, back to the Brewers bullpen. Takashi Saito, LaTroy Hawkins, and Francisco Rodriguez combined for three shutout innings during which they only gave up one hit (the hit given up by Rodriguez). That set the stage for John Axford, who, as usual, made the ninth somewhat interesting.

Axford gave up a triple leading off the inning to Xavier Paul, and, from there, I was thinking that Axford’s save streak was over. But, with the infield in, he induced to groundball outs and kept the runner at third. After walking Garrett Jones, he struck out Neil Walker to end the game and give the Brewers a 7-0 record against the Bucs this year.

Estrada is clearly a starter.

After seeing his performance today, I realized that Estrada is obviously better as a starter. He just wasn’t getting it done in the bullpen, and came into today having given up at least a run in three consecutive appearances out of the ‘pen. But, today, he was better than all of his appearances since the All-Star break combined.

Betancourt goes deep on 0-2 count

There’s actually a significance to this. We all know that Betancourt is a free-swinging guy, but this stat really shocked me. Betancourt’s home run today marked the first time in his career that he went deep on an 0-2 count. Yep- the first time in 257 at-bats that reached 0-2 in his career. That’s kind of a scary stat, if you think about it, no matter how free-swinging a guy is.

Injury update on Gomez

Injured center fielder Carlos Gomez has started his road back after fracturing his left clavicle in Arizona on July 20 while making a highlight reel catch. He ran sprints and threw from 90 feet for the first time since the injury and is going to start hitting sometime next week. There is still no timetable for Gomez’s return, however.

Before his injury, Gomez in a center field platoon with Nyjer Morgan. Gomez typically got starts against left-handed pitching, while Morgan usually got the starts against right handers.

Up next for the Crew…

The Brewers will go for yet another sweep of the Pirates tomorrow. They’ll send Shaun Marcum (10-3, 3.62 ERA) to the mound. He received a no-decision against the Cardinals his last time out. Marcum has one career start against the Pirates, and that was back on April 13th, when he shut them out for seven innings.

The Pirates will counter with the resurging Charlie Morton (9-6, 3.56 ERA), who currently has a 17 inning scoreless streak going, which includes eight shutout innings of the Giants his last time out. Morton is 0-4 with an 8.31 ERA against the Brewers in his career, but he is a completely changed pitcher this year. If you don’t know his story, then read below. It’s actually sort of cool.

Morton had a horrible 2010 campaign- he went 2-12 with a 7.57 ERA. So, in the offseason, he decided to completely reinvent himself as a pitcher, and changed his arm slot to more of a 3/4 delivery, rather than the overhand motion he used to use. In fact, he pretty much copied the mechanics of Phillies’ ace Roy Halladay. If you watch the two pitchers’ mechanics side by side, it’s pretty tough to find any differences in them. The results, obviously, aren’t as good as Halladay’s, but Morton is having a far better season than he did last year.

Elsewhere around the division…

  • The Cubs are currently leading the Braves, 1-0, in the bottom of the third. That probably won’t last long, though. Especially if another Cubs player decides he wants to retire in the middle of a game. Anyway, the Cubs are 17.5 games back right now.
  • The Reds are beating the Padres, 4-0, in the bottom of the third as well. They are 10.5 games back, and have passed the Pirates to take third place in the division; at least for now.
  • The Cardinals are losing to the Rockies, 3-0, in a game that’s about to go into the fourth inning. The Cards are currently 4.5 games back, and I can’t tell you how huge that would be for the Brewers if they lose today.
  • The Astros and Dodgers start later tonight at 9:10. But really… Does anybody care what the Astros do at this point? That 38-81 mark pretty much defines how their season is going to end.

Box Score

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Pittsburgh Pirates 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Milwaukee Brewers 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 X 1 8 0

Milwaukee Brewers

Player AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Corey Hart, RF 3 0 1 0 1 0 2 .273
Nyjer Morgan, CF 4 0 1 0 0 1 3 .320
Ryan Braun, LF 3 0 1 0 1 1 3 .323
Prince Fielder, 1B 3 0 1 0 1 0 2 .308
Casey McGehee, 3B 4 0 1 0 0 2 4 .238
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS 3 1 1 1 1 0 1 .270
Jerry Hairston, 2B 4 0 0 0 0 0 3 .255
Jonathan Lucroy, C 4 0 1 0 0 1 2 .284
Marco Estrada, P 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 .300
a-Zack Greinke, PH 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .194
b-Felipe Lopez, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .215
Total 30 1 8 1 4 5 20

a-Hit a sacrifice bunt for Estrada in the 5th.

b-Grounded out for Hawkins in the 7th.

BATTING

2B: Estrada (1).

HR: Betancourt (9).

RBI: Betancourt (51).

Team RISP: 1-for-10.

Team LOB: 10.

BASERUNNING

SB: Braun (22).

Milwaukee Brewers

Player IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Marco Estrada (W, 3-7) 5.0 1 0 0 0 5 0 4.46
Takashi Saito (H, 7) 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2.51
LaTroy Hawkins (H, 18) 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1.69
Francisco Rodriguez (H, 8) 1.0 1 0 0 0 2 0 2.89
John Axford (S, 34) 1.0 1 0 0 1 1 0 2.44

Pitches-strikes: Estrada 64-44, Saito 10-8, Hawkins 11-7, Rodriguez 14-12, Axford 21-13.

Groundouts-flyouts: Estrada 6-2, Saito 1-1, Hawkins 1-1, Rodriguez 0-1, Axford 2-0.

Batters faced: Estrada 16, Saito 3, Hawkins 3, Rodriguez 4, Axford 5.


Is Gallardo the ace of the Brewers’ staff?

August 12, 2011

1:43p Alright, the reason I’m posting this is because Yovani Gallardo’s start against the Cardinals last night. He gave up five runs (four earned) in just five innings in one of his shorter starts this year.

After Gallardo’s outing finished, I posted this on Twitter: “Some kind of ‘ace’ Gallardo is. #Brewers”. That was mostly me venting my frustration on the first Brewers’ loss in awhile (when you get accustomed to your team winning so often, that’s what happens when they lose). Anyway, I got some gas from a few Brewers fans saying that it wasn’t all his fault, which is true. He had some sloppy defense behind him (especially from Felipe Lopez). But still, the defense can’t do anything about Gallardo’s high number of home runs given up this year, which currently stands at 18. He only gave up 12 all of last year. Two of the 18 came in the first inning last night, when he gave two runs right back to the Cardinals after the Brewers gave him a 2-0 lead.

Anyway, some Cardinals fans, who were enjoying watching the Cardinals win for once, retweeted that message, which I wasn’t too impressed with. Glad to know I have Cardinals fans stalking me on Twitter.

But back to the point. Gallardo has been extremely vulnerable in spots this year, and last night was no exception. Despite his 13-8 record to go along with a respectable 3.67 ERA, he isn’t having that great of a year, at least in my opinion. It’s been more of an up-and-down year for him, and I’ll prove that.

In his first two starts of the year, which were against the Reds and Braves, Gallardo went 1-0 with a 1.20 ERA. The second start (against the Braves) was a complete game shutout: his only complete game of the year. But, after that complete game, he got shelled for five consecutive starts against the Cubs, Nationals, Astros, Reds, and Braves. He gave up 4-7 runs in each of those starts, but, amazingly, only took two losses during that span, which is why his W-L record is in such great shape right now. But, take note that Gallardo’s ERA escalated all the way from 1.20 to 6.10 during that span as well.

Gallardo finally appeared to return to his old self after those five disasters in a start against the Cardinals, in which he practically n0-hit them. From there, Gallardo won six consecutive decisions against the Cardinals (obviously), Pirates, Padres, Nationals, Giants, and Marlins. He had a sub-2.00 ERA during that span, and it also dropped his ERA all the way from 6.10 to 3.72. He would get shelled in his next start against the Mets, but never had another stretch like the one he had early in the season.

But, there was just one more start of his that really stuck out at me during Interleague play. He gave up eight runs (six earned) against the Red Sox in Boston. I know the Sox are a tough opponent to beat, but still, you don’t expect your ace to go out and unravel with a start like that.

Anyway, that’s how Gallardo’s season has gone thus far. He’s shown flashes of being in ace, and flashes of being… Well, something much worse than an ace. I know his numbers look good, but, ever since his injury at the All-Star break last year, he just hasn’t been the same.

The Brewers have a few potential aces in Gallardo, Shaun Marcum, and Randy Wolf, all of whom have sub-4.00 ERAs. If Zack Greinke has a good start today, he has a chance to bring his ERA below 4.00.

Anyway, my whole point here is to say that Gallardo needs to become more consistent. Wolf and Marcum have both been more consistent than him, in my opinion, which is why I think they could up him as being the Brewers’ ace. But I guess we’ll just have to wait until the end of the year to see who has the best numbers.


Crew can’t get anything going against Carpenter in loss to Cards

August 12, 2011

10:41p The good news is the Brewers are still in first by four games. The bad news is we could have been in first by six games with a win tonight, which didn’t happen.

Brewers-Cardinals Wrap-Up

The Brewers lost to the Cardinals today, 5-2, which snapped a seven-game winning streak that the Brewers had going. Yovani Gallardo got roughed up by the Cards, going just five innings while giving up five runs (four earned) on seven hits. He walked one and struck out three. And he wasn’t helped by the defense, which committed two costly errors, and an offense that couldn’t do anything to Chris Carpenter beyond the first inning. An RBI double by Mark Kotsay and an RBI single by Prince Fielder in the first were all the Brewers could muster for the entire game.

After Gallardo was given that early lead, he immediately gave it right back in the bottom of the first when he gave up solo homers to Rafael Furcal and Albert Pujols.

The unearned run came in the third when Lance Berkman hit an RBI single, following an error by second baseman Felipe Lopez. Gallardo allowed his last two runs in the fifth on a Pujols RBI single. Pujols eventually got around to third, and scored on a wild pitch by Gallardo. From there, nothing else really happened offensively.

Pujols gets it going against Crew

Coming into today, Brewers pitching had done a good job of containing Pujols all year, as he was hitting just .119 against the Brewers. Apparently Gallardo didn’t get the memo, however, as he allowed Pujols to get three hits off of him. And they weren’t cheap hits- they were all line drives that were hammered.

Pujols also tacked on another later to give him a pefect 4-for-4 night. He is now hitting .196 against the Crew this year. Obviously, that’s still an awful average, but he’s improving. Hopefully that doesn’t become a trend for the rest of the year.

De La Cruz makes Brewers debut

Frankie De La Cruz, who was called up to replace injured starter Chris Narveson on the roster, made his Brewers debut today in the seventh inning. In my opinion, he looked pretty good. His fastball velocity reached 95 MPH, and his slider had some pretty nasty break.

But, he won’t be starting tomorrow. Or at all, at least in the near future. Zack Greinke was bumped up in the rotation to start tomorrow and will be starting on normal day’s rest due to an off-day before this series. Ron Roenicke said that Marco Estrada will be starting Saturday, but I don’t know how much I like the sound of that. Estrada was decent earlier this year while filling in for Greinke, but he’s been awful as of late. He has a 4.80 ERA as a starter and in the ‘pen.

Gallardo’s struggles against Cards continue

Gallardo hadn’t had a very good time against the Cardinals in his career coming into today, as he had a 1-4 record with a 4.66 ERA. That one win was his no-hit bid earlier this year against them in St. Louis, but, his start today proved that it was a fluke.

I’d also like to point out that those two homers Gallardo gave up in the first inning were his 17th and 18th of the year. He gave up just 12 all year last year. I don’t know what’s up with him this year as far as giving up home runs, but he’s just never really found a groove with his breaking stuff this year and hangs a lot of pitches.

Up next for the Crew…

The Brewers will return to Miller Park to face the Pirates tomorrow. Yes, the Pirates. The Brewers are 5-0 against them this season, and, since the beginning of 2007, they are 33-3 against the Pirates at Miller Park.

As I mentioned earlier, Greinke (10-4, 4.21 ERA) got bumped up in the rotation and will make a start tomorrow. He is 2-0 with a 5.56 ERA against the Pirates in his career. He made one start against them earlier this year, during which he gave up five runs in five innings. It was one of his more odd starts, however, because he was no-hitting the Pirates through the first four innings, then imploded after with a five-run fifth inning, in which he had to throw 50 pitches.

Paul Maholm (6-12, 3.54 ERA) will go for the Bucs. He’s having a better year than his record shows, but he, like so many other Pirates pitchers, has had no success against the Brewers in his career. He’s 3-7 with a 4.41 ERA against them.

Box Score

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Milwaukee Brewers 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 10 2
St. Louis Cardinals 2 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 X 5 9 0

Milwaukee Brewers

Player AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Corey Hart, RF 4 1 1 0 0 1 3 .277
Nyjer Morgan, CF 4 0 1 0 0 0 2 .323
Mark Kotsay, LF 3 1 2 1 1 0 0 .258
Prince Fielder, 1B 4 0 1 1 0 1 3 .303
Casey McGehee, 3B 4 0 1 0 0 0 3 .235
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS 4 0 3 0 0 1 1 .270
Felipe Lopez, 2B 3 0 0 0 1 1 2 .216
Jonathan Lucroy, C 4 0 0 0 0 1 3 .282
Yovani Gallardo, P 1 0 0 0 1 1 2 .231
a-Craig Counsell, PH 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 .154
b-George Kottaras, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .221
Total 33 2 10 2 3 6 19

a-Singled for Loe in the 7th.

b-Popped out for Dillard in the 9th.

BATTING

2B: Kotsay (8).

RBI: Kotsay (22), Fielder (88).

Team RISP: 1-for-6.

Team LOB: 7.

FIELDING
E: Lopez (4), Hart (1).

DP: (Betancourt-Lopez-Fielder).

Milwaukee Brewers

Player IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Yovani Gallardo (L, 13-8) 5.0 7 5 4 1 3 2 3.67
Kameron Loe 1.0 0 0 0 1 2 0 3.98
Frankie De La Cruz 1.0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0.00
Tim Dillard 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 4.35

WP: Gallardo.

Pitches-strikes: Gallardo 92-56, Loe 12-7, De La Cruz 12-8, Dillard 15-10.

Groundouts-flyouts: Gallardo 6-4, Loe 0-1, De La Cruz 2-0, Dillard 3-0.

Batters faced: Gallardo 23, Loe 4, De La Cruz 4, Dillard 4.


Brewers sweep Astros, get ready for series in St. Louis

August 8, 2011

6:44p The Brewers finished a sweep today, but it certainly doesn’t get any easier from here.

Brewers-Astros Wrap-Up

The Brewers completed a sweep of the Astros today, winning 7-3. Zack Greinke got his 10th win of the year, going seven innings while giving up one run one four hits. He struck out six and walked three. His Astros counterpart, Bud Norris, didn’t look as dominant as he usually he is against the Brewers. He went five innings while giving up six runs on eight hits. He struck out two and walked one.

The Brewers once again jumped on the Astros in the first inning, when Prince Fielder hit another long home run to give the Brewers a 2-0 lead. They also got two more runs in the third inning when Felipe Lopez and Mark Kotsay both hit RBI singles. Then, in the fifth inning, Yuniesky Betancourt stayed hot and got an RBI single as well.

The Astros finally broke through against Greinke in the sixth inning, when Jose Altuve hit an RBI single to cut the deficit to 6-1. But, the Brewers immediately answered in the seventh inning, when Betancourt hit his second RBI single of the day.

The Astros scored two more runs in the seventh when Carlos Lee hit a two-run single off Marco Estrada, but that would be it for them.

Big series against St. Louis coming up next

After an off-day tomorrow, the Brewers will go to St. Louis for a crucial three-game series. Unfortunately, the Cardinals are coming off a four-game sweep of the Marlins. I was hoping the Marlins would win at least one game to give us a little more breathing room in the Central, but I guess they can’t even be counted on to do that.

Anyway, the Cardinals remain three games back in the Central, meaning if they sweep the Brewers at Busch Stadium, there’s going to be a tie atop the division again. I’m confident the Brewers won’t get swept, but you never know.

We’re also going to have to deal with the antics of the whiny Tony La Russa once again. Who knows what kind of crap he’s going to come up with to make the Brewers look bad this time around. During the last Cards-Brewers series, he had Jason Motte intentionally hit Ryan Braun with a pitch after Takashi Saito accidentally hit Albert Pujols. La Russa completely flipped out at a Milwaukee reporter after the game like the psychopath he is, but I heard the reporter on the radio the next day, and he put La Russa in his place.

Anyway, one more thing before I move on: the Cardinals were also whining that the Brewers were sign-stealing during the last series. They also claimed that sign-stealing is the reason the Brewers have had so much success at home this year. But, if we were sign-stealing, we would be undefeated at home, which we aren’t. So they can go whine about something else and make themselves look like idiots for the rest of the year, while the Brewers move on and try to win the division. I guess the Cardinals are failing to understand that whining and making up excuses about losing won’t win you a division in Major League Baseball, or in any other professional sport.

Also, yet another thing: if you’re a Brewers fan, you should go look at some of those Cardinals-biased blogs. They’re actually kind of entertaining to read. There’s one I go on occasionally that absolutely hates the Brewers this year, and the writer keeps saying stuff like “Brewers fans are the new Reds fans” or “The Cardinals are better than the Brewers.” Yeah, fat chance. We’re just sick of the fact that the Cardinals win the division every year.

Anyway, now that I’m done ranting about our annoying rivals from St. Louis, let’s move on.

Up next for the Crew…

I already explained this, but here’s the pitching matchup for the day after tomorrow. The Brewers will send Shaun Marcum (10-3, 3.58 ERA) to the mound. He got knocked around his last time out against the Cards, giving up six runs in six innings, but he didn’t factor in the decision. Marcum is 1-0 with a 7.20 ERA in two career starts against the Cards.

The Cardinals will counter with a pitcher who got knocked around by the Brewers even more his last time out- Edwin Jackson (8-8, 4.11 ERA). He was tagged for ten runs in seven innings against the Crew last week. Jackson is 1-2 with a 5.68 ERA against the Brewers in his career.

Box Score

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

Milwaukee Brewers

Player AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Nyjer Morgan, CF 3 2 1 0 1 0 1 .324
Felipe Lopez, 2B 4 0 1 1 0 0 1 .220
Ryan Braun, LF 5 0 0 0 0 2 2 .326
Prince Fielder, 1B 4 4 3 2 1 0 1 .304
Mark Kotsay, RF 5 1 3 1 0 0 1 .251
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS 5 0 3 3 0 0 2 .268
Craig Counsell, 3B 3 0 0 0 1 0 4 .148
Jonathan Lucroy, C 4 0 0 0 0 2 2 .283
Zack Greinke, P 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 .214
a-Josh Wilson PH-2B 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .262
Total 36 7 11 7 3 4 15

a-Popped out for Greinke in the 8th.

BATTING

2B: Betancourt (19), Morgan (13), Kotsay (7).

HR: Fielder (26).

RBI: Fielder 2 (85), Lopez (11), Kotsay (21), Betancourt 3 (48).

Team RISP: 5-for-13.

Team LOB: 8.

FIELDING
DP: (Greinke-Betancourt-Fielder).

ilwaukee Brewers

Player IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Zack Greinke (W, 10-4) 7.0 4 1 1 3 6 0 4.21
Marco Estrada 0.2 3 2 2 0 2 0 4.80
Kameron Loe 1.1 1 0 0 0 3 0 4.05

WP: Greinke 2, Estrada, Loe.

Pitches-strikes: Greinke 101-64, Estrada 20-13, Loe 21-15.

Groundouts-flyouts: Greinke 6-2, Estrada 0-0, Loe 1-0.

Batters faced: Greinke 26, Estrada 5, Loe 5.

Inherited runners-scored: Loe 1-0.


Fielder helps Brewers seal series win against Astros

August 7, 2011

9:23p It looks like the Astros have pretty much given up hope on this season, and it’s really starting to show now. Looks like the Brewers came to Houston at the right time.

Brewers-Astros Wrap-Up

The Brewers defeated the Astros today, 7-5, in a game that became somewhat of a thriller at the end. Prince Fielder and Yuniesky Betancourt both had great games, with Fielder going 3-for-3 and Betancourt going 4-for-5.

The Brewers jumped on the Astros with three runs in the first inning for the second consecutive day on Fielder’s three-run homer off Astros starter Brett Myers, who would end up taking his 12th loss of the season.

The Astros got on the board in the second inning, when Carlos Lee hit a solo shot off Brewers starter Chris Narveson. But, the Brewers immediately answered in the third on a pair of questionable calls that led to two runs. Betancourt hit an RBI double down the left field line, but the ball appeared to land in foul territory. Third base umpire Lance Barksdale called the ball fair, however, and the Brewers took a 4-1 lead. Astros manager Brad Mills came out to argue, and it wouldn’t be the last time he had to do that. On the very next play, Felipe Lopez hit a grounder to first baseman Carlos Lee. Lee threw home and it appeared that catcher Humberto Quintero had applied the tag on Fielder, who had been at third, but home plate umpire Gary Cederstrom called him safe.

Those two runs would prove costly for the Astros, because J.D. Martinez hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the inning to make the game 5-4. But, Fielder added to the Brewers lead in the sixth inning with an RBI double. Jonathan Lucroy also hit a solo home run in the ninth inning to give the Brewers some insurance.

Anyway, Narveson exited after just 5 1/3 innings. He definitely didn’t have his best stuff, but it was good enough to get him his eighth win of the season. He gave up four runs on five hits while walking two and striking out four. The bullpen bailed him out, however, with Takashi Saito, LaTroy Hawkins, and Francisco Rodriguez combining for 2 2/3 scoreless innings before John Axford entered for the save.

It was a pretty shaky save for Axford, as he gave up a one-out solo homer to Clint Barmes. And, the last out of the game was crazy, but got it done. J.B. Shuck hit a line drive off the leg of Axford. Then, Axford tried to throw Shuck out at first, but completely botched it and the ball rolled into right field.

After that, it was Tony Plush to the rescue.

Nyjer Morgan, who was playing right field, jogged over to the ball and picked it up. Then, he noticed that Shuck was trying to get all the way to third, so he threw it all the way across the diamond to Casey McGehee. McGehee applied the tag, and that was game over for the Astros, thanks to a rookie mistake by Shuck.

I think Fielder can hit Myers.

Coming into today, Fielder was hitting .308 against Myers with three home runs and six RBI. He’s shown those numbers are no fluke twice this year. The second one was his mammoth homer earlier today, which hit the foul pole. But his huge homer against Myers came earlier this year, when Fielder hit a 486-footer off him. That home run was the longest this year until Jim Thome of the Twins hit a 490-footer to break the record.

Hart exits with bruised hand

This definitely isn’t good. Corey Hart left today’s game in the seventh inning after getting hit in the left hand by Astros reliever David Carpenter. Nyjer Morgan shifted from center field to right field to take over his position in the field, and Jerry Hairston Jr. took Morgan’s place in center field.

Hart had been on a hot streak coming into today, including a hitting streak spanning over the last eight games. If he has to miss any time, it wouldn’t be good for the Brewers, who have already lost two key players in Rickie Weeks and Carlos Gomez. This is probably the worst part of the year to be losing good players since the Brewers are in the middle of a pennant race.

Up next for the Crew…

The Brewers will go for a series sweep against the Astros tomorrow in an afternoon game. The Brewers will send Zack Greinke (9-4, 4.41 ERA) to the mound, who currently has a string of five straight quality starts going, including a win in his last time out against the Cardinals. This will be Greinke’s first start against the Astros as a Brewers. He is 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA in his career against the Astros.

The Astros will counter with Bud Norris (5-7, 3.47 ERA), who has pretty much dominated the Brewers in his career. That’s shown by his 3-0 mark and 2.32 ERA against them. He has one start against them this year, and he went 7 2/3 shutout innings with 11 strikeouts.

Elsewhere around the division…

  • The Cubs continued to be hot and blew out the Reds, 11-4. They are 15 and 9.5 games out, respectively.
  • The Pirates just continued to fall apart today, losing to the Padres 13-2. They are now nine games out, and are also riding a nine-game losing streak that started when they were tied for first place in the division.
  • The Cardinals are just refusing to lose, as the beat the Marlins again, 2-1. They remain three games back.