Brewers shut down Astros in opener

July 7, 2012

> So, despite the huge rant I went on last night that I was going to take a break, the break only lasted a day. Looking back on last night, I made a bigger deal about the whole thing than I should have. Regardless of the season the Brewers are having, let’s get on to covering them.

> After a very disappointing split with the Marlins, the Brewers took one to open their three-game set with the Astros, 7-1. It was your ideal game- good starting pitching, good relief pitching, and good offense- a game the Brewers have struggled to put up lately.

It started with a solid start by Yovani Gallardo, who, after the second inning, basically dominated a young Astros lineup. He toughed out six innings that he needed 108 pitches to get through, but he gave up just one run on four hits. He also walked three and struck out six for his seventh win of the year. He brought his ERA down to 3.74, the lowest it’s been since a a two inning, eight run disaster against the Cardinals in May. Even though Gallardo hasn’t been getting many wins lately, his numbers are beginning to return to where they should be.

The offense had a good night against Astros starter J.A. Happ, who the Brewers traditionally hammer. Happ did have a 1-0 record with a 3.27 ERA in two starts against the Crew so far this year coming into tonight, but he would not have the same luck. The Brewers hopped all over him early with a pair of first inning solo home runs by Norichika Aoki and Ryan Braun. The Astros answered with a solo blast by Scott Moore in the bottom of the inning, but after that Gallardo and the bullpen held the ‘Stros scoreless.

The Brewers didn’t score again until the sixth inning on Rickie Weeks’ seventh home run of the season, a two-run shot to make the score 4-1. The Brewers would tack on three more in the seventh with an RBI triple by Carlos Gomez, and RBI single by Aoki, and an Aramis Ramirez RBI double.

Lastly, the bullpen finally had a much-needed shut down game. After Kameron Loe’s ERA ballooned from 3.34 to 4.21 during the bullpen disaster against the Marlins on Tuesday, he came out and threw a perfect inning today. Then, Livan Hernandez threw two scoreless innings to finish off the Astros and seal the win.

> I doubt I’m the only one who feels this way, but I’m now far more than skeptical about our bullpen, even after their performance today. I didn’t post during the Marlins series, but the bullpen was flat-out terrible during the last three games of that series. Francisco Rodriguez is all over the place, John Axford is blowing saves like never before, Jose Veras is back to being Jose Veras, and the list goes on.

> On the bright side, though, it was reported yesterday morning that the Mets are interested in re-acquiring K-Rod. Keep in mind that, for a contending team, they have a terrible bullpen as well.

So you can have K-Rod back for free, Sandy Alderson. Just don’t blame us when your team misses the playoffs because of your bullpen- again.

> I was browsing Twitter this morning, when I found some ESPN analyst’s picks for the first half awards (i.e. MVP, LVP, ROY). I usually don’t waste my time with ESPN baseball reporters, since they don’t know anything about the sport half the time, but I thought I’d take a gander at it.

So I looked at the guy’s LVPs (LVP stands for Least Valuable Player, if you didn’t know). And guess who he had for the National League?

Rickie Weeks.

ESPN continues to prove to me that they know absolutely nothing about baseball, nor does it appear they even pay attention to it on a daily basis. A few weeks ago, I would have agreed with this analyst’s pick of Weeks, but he’s actually hitting over .300 for his 15 games or so, so I’ve let him off the hook.

If I recall correctly, Gaby Sanchez of the Marlins was one of his honorable mentions for the NL LVP. Sanchez, who was an All-Star last year, has been optioned to Triple-A TWICE this year. That’s the first time since 1995 that an All-Star has been sent down the following season, and probably even longer that the player was sent down twice. So how the analyst didn’t give it to Sanchez is beyond me.

But at least I was reminded why I don’t waste my time with ESPN.

> On a different note, Ron Roenicke mayhave finally grown a pair today.

Alright, that’s a bit harsh. But he finally stood up for one of his players. In the top of the ninth today, Braun was drilled in the small of the back by a Rhiner Cruz fastball. As usual, no warnings were issued, despite the fact the Brewers far and away lead the Majors in HBPs.

But, in the bottom of the ninth, I was blown away: the Brewers retaliated. With two outs in the ninth, Livan hit Jason Castro in the back with a fastball. I didn’t catch the speed of the pitch, but it was probably your typical 80 MPH Livan-ball, so it’s not the end of the world for the Astros. But I was very happy to see the Brewers retaliate for once, whether or not it was Roenicke’s decision, or Livan just did it on his own.

> And that’s about it. As I said at the beginning, forget about the break. My writing will iron itself out eventually, and I’ve realized that quitting writing isn’t going to help with that. The solution is to keep writing, which is what I’m going to do from here on out.

But, the Breaking Wisconsin site itself will be undergoing renovations. I’ve began to notice that my choice for blog design is boring, so I’ll definitely change that at least.

> Anyway, I leave you with tomorrow’s pitching matchup:

Zack Greinke (9-2, 3.08 ERA) vs. Wandy Rodriguez (6-6, 3.54 ERA)

Greinke is an All-Star snub, in my opinion, and deserved one of the last pitching spots over Lance Lynn. But I’m not going to argue about it; this is going to be one of the worst ASGs in a LONG time. David Wright and Carlos Ruiz, the NL’s leading hitters, aren’t even starting. Shows you how smart fans are becoming (at least San Francisco fans).

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Astros rotation should flop again

January 19, 2012

Note- This is the first of a new series I’m doing where I’ll be reviewing all of the rotations in the NL Central for 2012. If you’re looking for news, then scroll down- it’ll posted afterwards.

> We all know that the Astros just plain sucked in 2011. They were an MLB-worst 56-106, and finished a whopping 40 games out of first place to the Brewers in the NL Central.

While it didn’t help that they traded away their only position players who were worth something- Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn- at the All-Star Break, their pitching was one of the primary causes for their awful season. The starting rotation was nothing special, but their bullpen was worse. Every time their starter had tossed a solid outing and Brad Mills handed it off to the bullpen, you just knew they were going to blow it some way or another.

Anyway, I’m going to review their starting rotation now, and put them in order of how I think the rotation should go in 2012, along with their 2011 stats.

#1 starter- Bud Norris- 6-11, 3.77 ERA

Norris, in my opinion, is an elite pitcher just waiting to break out. He goes unnoticed because he’s on the Astros, but this kid has one of the nastiest sliders in the MLB. Since he’s a right-handed pitcher, that slider is near impossible for righties to hit, but it makes Norris vulnerable against lefties.

I consider him a strikeout pitcher. In 2011, he struck out 176 batters in 186 innings, with an 8.7 K/9 ratio. That was slightly down from his 9.3 K/9 in 2010, but his overall numbers were much better than 2010. But, he can’t let that strikeout rate drop anymore.

Anyway, Norris now has two full MLB seasons under his belt, which should set him up for nice year next year. But, his win-loss record might not show it, because I have a feeling he’s not going to get any run support.

#2 starter- Wandy Rodriguez- 11-11, 3.49 ERA

In 2011, Rodriguez was probably the Astros’ most consistent starter. Again, his record doesn’t show it (but no Astros’ starter record shows anything other than lack of run support), though. But, he’s already 33, and it’s rumored that the Astros might be shopping him to get rid of his large contract, so he may not be around too much longer.

I guess I haven’t seen Rodriguez pitch enough to determine what kind of pitcher he is, but, judging by the amount of home runs he gives up (25 in 2011), I’d assume he’s a fly-ball pitcher. But, he’s K/9 rate isn’t bad, as it was 7.8 in 2011. His K/9 rate has steadily fell over the past few years, though, which could show a possible decline.

Overall, I think Rodriguez still has a few good years left in him. They probably won’t all be with the Astros, though.

#3 starter- Brett Myers- 7-14, 4.46 ERA

After I did my best to praise the first two starters, I might not be able to do so with the next two. Myers had a great year in 2010, going 14-8 with a 3.14 ERA, and earning him the #1 spot in the rotation. But, he followed it up with an awful 2011, as seen by the basic numbers. He also became nearly a complete off-speed pitcher, with more than 50% of his pitches being change ups and curveballs, rather than fastballs.

Myers gives up enough home runs, as he gave up 31 in 2011. He’s pretty much a fly-ball pitcher, and his K/9 is just 6.7. He also gives up a lot of hits, giving up 9.4 per nine innings.

So I don’t think Myers has much left in him. But he’s on the trade block as well, so he may not be on the Astros for much longer either.

#4 starter- J.A. Happ- 6-15, 5.35 ERA

Happ just had a flat-out bad season. I used to think he had talent, but, after last year, I don’t know anymore. There was a stretch of eight starts in which he gave up at least four runs in each of them, which explains his high ERA. And, even when he did have solid starts, guess what he didn’t get? That’s right- run support.

Happ’s  K/9 in 2011 was 7.7, and he gave up 21 home runs. I guess I don’t really know what kind of pitcher he is, but, whatever kind he is, he needs to get better at it.

I think Happ will bounce back in 2012, but not by much.

#5 starter- Jordan Lyles- 2-8, 5.36 ERA

Lyles was called up during the year to give him a taste of the big leagues, and I think he has potential. He has an extremely relaxed pitching motion, which usually means good things for a pitcher. I still haven’t seen enough of him, but I’m guessing he’ll break the rotation next year.

And that’s my review of all of them. There are a few more Astros starters who could break the rotation, like Kyle Weiland, but I think these are the five who have the best shot.

Overall, I think the Astros rotation will, like the rest of the team, once again flop in 2012. Aside from Norris, I don’t see much coming from them next season.

Anyway, come back tomorrow for another review- I’m thinking I’ll do the Cubs.

> Today, I heard that earlier this week Tony La Russa said at some lunch circuit thing that he did tell Jason Motte to intentionally hit Ryan Braun in the wild game in August.

That’s so typical of him, though. He lied and flipped out at the reporters after that game. So, after he retires, he comes out and tells the truth when he’s untouchable.

Needless to say I’m happy that prick retired. I’ve had it with his crap; I don’t care if he’s a HOF manager- he certainly doesn’t have the personality of one.

> And that’s about it. Sorry for calling TLR a “prick,” I don’t usually use language like that on BW. But trust me, I could have called him something much worse…

Anyway, thanks for reading, and feel free to leave your thoughts.


Brewers offense backs Gallardo’s great start

August 6, 2011

10:04p It wasn’t until this year that I realized how much Yovani Gallardo had dominated the Astros over his career. Tonight, he reminded me once again that he absolutely demolishes them.

Brewers-Astros Wrap-Up

The Brewers pretty much blew out the Astros today, 8-1, and got their road trip started on a good note. Gallardo, as I mentioned earlier, had a stellar performance to notch his 13th win of the season, and the Brewers offense helped him out a bit.

In the first inning, the Brewers, like so many other teams, took advantage of the awful season that J.A. Happ is having. Ryan Braun hit an RBI double off him in the first, followed by a Casey McGehee two-run single.

Gallardo, who breezed through the first inning, ran into trouble in the second. Humberto Quintero hit an RBI single with the bases loaded, but Gallardo got out of it after that. That would be the only run he allowed all night.

But the Brewers, unlike the Astros, actually scored a few more runs. In the third inning, Yuniesky Betancourt and Jonathan Lucroy both had RBI singles, and Felipe Lopez hit a sacrifice fly to give the Brewers a 6-1 lead.

Then, in the sixth inning, Corey Hart hit yet another mammoth home run for his 16th blast of the year. The Brewers tacked on one more in the ninth when Astros reliever Enerio Del Rosario, who had absolutely no control and was painful to watch, walked Lucroy with the bases loaded to give the Brewers an 8-1 lead, which would end being the final score.

Counsell breaks out of his slump!

We’ve all been waiting for a long time to hear this. Craig Counsell, who had an 0-for-45 slump going into today, was called upon to pinch-hit for Betancourt in the ninth. I, and probably all other Brewers fans, was watching his at-bat nervously. Why? If he recorded one more at-bat in which he was retired, he would have tied the Major League record for the longest slump in history, which is 0-for-46. But Counsell did all Brewers fans a favor and got his first hit in about two months. So he didn’t break or tie the MLB record, but, unfortunately, he currently holds the longest slump in Brewers history. He passed Doug Davis, who previously held it at 0-for-42.

Dillard was actually used in a game?

Yes. For the first time since June 18th, Ron Roenicke decided to bring in his long-neglected reliever, Tim Dillard. The Brewers have had a few blowouts since the 18th, so I have no idea why Roenicke waited so long to bring Dillard into a game. But, Dillard showed no signs of rust and tossed a 1-2-3 ninth inning to give Gallardo his 13th win of the season. By the way, I didn’t mention this earlier, but Gallardo went eight innings while giving up one run on four hits. He struck out six and walked one. His Astros counterpart, Happ, continued his disappointing season. He went just four innings while giving up six runs on seven hits. He walked three and struck out two.

Up next for the Crew…

The Brewers play the second game of this three-game series in Houston tomorrow night. The Brewers will send Chris Narveson (7-6, 4.39 ERA) to the mound. He faced the Astros in his last start and went 6 2/3 innings and gave up three runs, but had to settle for a no-decision. Narvy is 0-2 with a 4.01 ERA against the Astros in his career.

The Astros will counter with Brett Myers (3-11, 4.65 ERA), who also faced the Brewers his last time out, but took a no-decision as well. Myers is 5-4 with a 3.76 ERA against the Crew in his career.

Elsewhere around the division…

  • The Cardinals beat the Marlins, 3-2, even though the Marlins had the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth. Not even Mike Stanton could come through… Anyway, the Cards remain three games back. But I wonder what Tony La Russa had to complain about tonight?
  • The Cubs defeated the Reds, 4-3. They are 15 games and 8.t games back, respectively. Also, the Cubs are choosing the right time to go on a winning streak, as they’re helping the Brewers by keeping the Reds back in the standings.
  • The Pirates were murdered by the worst offense in the National League (that’s the Padres, if you don’t know). They fall to eight games back, and are on an eight game losing streak. It’s amazing how quickly things fell apart for them.

Box Score

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

Milwaukee Brewers

Player AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Corey Hart, RF 4 2 1 1 1 1 3 .277
Jerry Hairston, CF 5 1 1 0 0 0 1 .265
Ryan Braun, LF 4 2 3 1 1 0 0 .329
Prince Fielder, 1B 5 1 1 0 0 1 4 .294
Casey McGehee, 3B-1B 4 2 1 2 1 1 2 .240
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS 4 0 1 1 0 0 1 .257
a-Craig Counsell, PH-SS 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 .153
Felipe Lopez, 2B 3 0 1 1 1 0 1 .227
Jonathan Lucroy, C 3 0 1 2 2 0 3 .284
Yovani Gallardo, P 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 .235
b-Mark Kotsay, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 .242
Total 36 8 11 8 6 4 19

a-Singled for Betancourt in the 9th.

b-Grounded out for Gallardo in the 9th.

BATTING

2B: Braun (28), Fielder (26).

HR: Hart (16).

RBI: Braun (74), McGehee 2 (50), Betancourt (44), Lopez (9), Lucroy 2 (46), Hart (39).

Team RISP: 4-for-12.

Team LOB: 10.

BASERUNNING

SB: Braun (20), Betancourt (4).

Milwaukee Brewers

Player IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Yovani Gallardo (W, 13-7) 8.0 4 1 1 1 6 0 3.56
Tim Dillard 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 4.58

Pitches-strikes: Gallardo 105-74, Dillard 9-6.

Groundouts-flyouts: Gallardo 7-10, Dillard 0-1.

Batters faced: Gallardo 29, Dillard 3.


McGehee, Brewers offense stick it to La Russa, Cards in finale

August 3, 2011

4:15p The game today made me feel much better about the game last night.

Cardinals-Brewers Wrap-Up

The Brewers took down the Cardinals today, 10-5, and answered to all the crap Tony La Russa and the Cardinals pulled last night. Casey McGehee was the star of the offense today, putting his season-long slump behind him to crank out three home runs, all off Cardinals starter Edwin Jackson.

The Cardinals got on the board first against Randy Wolf in the first inning on a David Freese RBI single. The Brewers immediately answered in the bottom half, however, on a solo shot by Corey Hart and a two-run homer by McGehee (the first of his three).

Unfortunately, the Cardinals struck again immediately in the second inning when Rafael Furcal hit a go-ahead three-run shot off Wolf to give the Cards a 4-3 lead.

The Brewers took the lead again in the third inning on McGehee’s second homer of the day, 5-4. The Brewers also got a few runs in the fifth, courtesy of some questionable Cardinals defense. Prince Fielder hit an RBI groundout to score Nyjer Morgan, then, with Yuniesky Betancourt on third, catcher Yadier Molina let a pitch bounce right off his glove for a passed ball, so Betancourt was able to score to give the Brewers a 7-4 lead.Then, in the sixth, Hart hit a bloop RBI single to extend the Brewers lead to 8-5. In the same inning, Morgan struck out swining, but he tried to catch Hart stealing second. The throw bounced past second baseman Ryan Theriot into center field, which allowed George Kottaras, who was on third, to score.

The Brewers would get one more run on McGehee’s third home run of the game in seventh inning.

McGehee is back.

Hopefully McGehee’s three home run game today is a sign that his season-long slump is finally over. He came into today with just five home runs all season, including just three in his last 355 plate appearances. Today, he hit three in just four plate appearances. He also finally got his batting average up to .240 (it was .235 to start the day, and had been hovering around .220 all season).

So, now that we’ve got both McGehee and Betancourt going in the second half, we’re in pretty good shape to make this pennant race interesting.

Tony La Russa is the new Ned Yost

La Russa, who supposedly thought his bullpen was exhausted from an 11 inning game last night, let his starter, Edwin Jackson, get completely hammered today. Jackson labored through seven innings while giving up 10 runs (eight earned) on 14 hits. He walked one and struck out six. He also gave up four home runs (three of them to McGehee).

Anyway, this immediately reminded me of what Ned Yost used to do to Brewers’ starters, and is now doing to Royals’ starters. Yost would leave guys in far longer than they should have been in and just let their ERA get destroyed. Actually, I’ve got a great example of what Yost did to an innocent Royals pitcher earlier this year. Vin Mazarro, who was actually in for a relief appearance, gave up 14 runs in just 2 1/3 innings because Yost just refused to take him out. When I saw La Russa doing that to Jackson today, I immediately thought of that Yost incident with the Royals.https://breakingwi.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.php

Hawkins annoys the crap out of La Russa

This was probably one of the best parts of the game today. Hawkins, who was in to pitch the eighth inning, did his weird thing from the stretch where he never stops to look at the catcher and just keeps going, almost like a windup. But, he doesn’t do it for all his pitches.

Anyway, La Russa, who had probably been looking for something to complain about all day, came out and started yelling at the umpire that it was a quick pitch. The umpire said something to him, but apparently didn’t care, because he let Hawkins keep doing his quick pitch thing. In fact, Hawkins, who noticed that La Russa was ticked about it, went on to do it four times in a row after La Russa complained. So it was nice to see at least one guy on the Brewers standing up to that joke of a manager.

Up next for the Crew…

The Brewers have an off-day tomorrow, but will start their next road trip in Houston on Friday. Yovani Gallardo (12-7, 3.89 ERA) will go for the Brewers and look for win number 13. Gallardo has dominated the Astros in his career, going 9-2 with a 3.00 ERA against them. That includes his 2-0 mark against them this year, during which Gallardo has a 2.77 ERA against the Astros.

The Astros will counter with J.A. Happ (4-13, 6.01 ERA), who, as I’ve mentioned before, is having an awful season. He is 2-1 with a 4.76 ERA against the Brewers in his career, including his last start against them, which resulted in a loss.

Elsewhere around the division…

  • The Cubs and Pirates play tonight at 6:05 PM CT. They are 16 and six games back, respectively. Also, I should mention that the Pirates will fall under .500 if they lose tonight.
  • The Reds and Astros play at 7:05 PM CT tonight. They are seven and 25 game back, respectively.

Box Score

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
St. Louis Cardinals 1 3 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 5 11 1
Milwaukee Brewers 3 0 2 0 2 2 1 0 X 10 15 1

Milwaukee Brewers

Player AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Corey Hart, RF 5 1 2 2 0 1 2 .278
Nyjer Morgan, CF 5 1 2 0 0 1 1 .328
Ryan Braun, LF 4 2 2 0 0 0 2 .324
Prince Fielder, 1B 4 1 1 1 0 0 2 .296
Casey McGehee, 3B 4 3 3 5 0 0 1 .240
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS 4 0 1 0 0 1 0 .257
Felipe Lopez, 2B 3 1 2 0 1 0 1 .224
George Kottaras, C 4 1 1 0 0 2 2 .219
Randy Wolf, P 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 .179
a-Mark Kotsay, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 .243
b-Jerry Hairston, PH 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 .267
Total 36 10 15 8 1 6 13

a-Grounded out for Wolf in the 6th.

b-Singled for Hawkins in the 8th.

BATTING

2B: Braun (27), Kottaras (3).

HR: Hart (15), McGehee 3 (8).

RBI: Hart (38), McGehee 5 (48), Fielder (79).

Team RISP: 2-for-9.

Team LOB: 4.

BASERUNNING

SB: Hart (4).

FIELDING
E: McGehee (15).

Outfield assists: Braun.

DP: 3 (Betancourt-Lopez-Fielder 2, Braun-McGehee-Lopez).

Milwaukee Brewers

Player IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Randy Wolf (W, 8-8) 6.0 9 5 5 2 2 1 3.61
Kameron Loe 1.0 1 0 0 0 1 0 4.15
LaTroy Hawkins 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1.83
John Axford 1.0 1 0 0 1 1 0 2.41

Pitches-strikes: Wolf 113-72, Loe 10-8, Hawkins 10-7, Axford 22-13.

Groundouts-flyouts: Wolf 6-5, Loe 1-0, Hawkins 1-0, Axford 1-0.

Batters faced: Wolf 28, Loe 3, Hawkins 3, Axford 5.


Brewers continue win streak behind Gallardo’s great start

July 31, 2011

9:03p The Trade Deadline is tomorrow at 3:00 CT, and all Brewer fans are excited to see if Doug Melvin will make anymore trades before then. But, we have other things to be excited about at this point, such as a five-game winning streak that the Brewers are on right now.

Astros-Brewers Wrap-Up

The Brewers defeated the Astros again today, 6-2. Early on, the offense appeared to be nearly non-existent, as it has been the past few games. But, the Brewers got to Astros starter J.A. Happ in the middle innings to hand him his 13th loss. Yovani Gallardo, meanwhile, got his 12th win of the season, and looked like the ace he’s supposed to be for the Brewers.

The Brewers didn’t waste any time getting on the board first, as Corey Hart hit a lead-off opposite field homer to start the game. They also scored in the third on Nyjer Morgan’s RBI single, but wouldn’t get anything else until a breakout fifth inning. They got three in that inning, including a sacrifice fly from Casey McGehee and a two-run double from Jonathan Lucroy.

The Astros finally got on the board in the sixth on Angel Sanchez’s RBI single, but it was unearned towards Gallardo because of a Yuniesky Betancourt throwing error earlier in the inning.

The Brewers tacked on one more insurance run in the seventh inning on Prince Fielder’s monster 475-foot homer off of Astros reliever Aneury Rodriguez. The Astros also added another run from J.D. Martinez’s RBI double off a rusty Marco Estrada.

Gallardo continued his dominance of the Astros, going seven innings and giving up one run (none earned) on four hits. He walked none and struck out seven. Estrada and Kameron Loe finished off the game and gave him his 12th win of the season.

Happ continues to struggle for Astros

Happ had yet another bad start today, going just five innings and giving up five runs (two earned) on 10 hits. He walked none and struck out six. It was also his seventh consecutive start where he gave up at least five runs.

Hairston in Milwaukee, already on active roster

Jerry Hairston Jr., who was acquired in a trade with the Nationals earlier today, arrived in Milwaukee during the game with the Astros. He wasn’t available today, but is already on the active 25-man roster, so he’ll be available tomorrow.

Up next for the Crew…

The Brewers have already taken the series from the Astros, but have a chance to sweep them tomorrow. Chris Narveson (7-6, 4.41 ERA) will take the mound for the Crew and will look to give them their sixth consecutive win. Narveson has yet to get a win against the Astros, as he’s 0-2 with a 4.00 ERA in his career against them.

The Astros will counter with another starter who has really disappointed them this year in Brett Myers (3-11, 4.66 ERA). In his career, Myers is 5-4 with a 3.70 ERA against the Brewers.

Elsewhere around the division…

  • The Cardinals flat-out destroyed the Cubs, 13-5, despite the fact the Cubs got to an early 5-0 lead. They always find some way to lose, though… Anyway, the Cards are 1.5 games back, while the Cubs are 16.5 back.
  • The Pirates lost to the Phillies, 7-4. (It was Hunter Pence’s Phils debut, by the way, but he didn’t do anything). The Pirates are now 3.5 games back and continue to fall in the standings.
  • The Reds defeated the Giants, 7-2. They remain 6.5 games back.

Box Score

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Houston Astros 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 2 6 2
Milwaukee Brewers 1 0 1 0 3 0 1 0 X 6 13 1

Milwaukee Brewers

Player AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Corey Hart, RF 5 1 4 1 0 0 0 .265
Nyjer Morgan, CF 5 0 1 1 0 1 4 .323
Ryan Braun, LF 4 1 0 0 0 2 2 .320
Prince Fielder, 1B 4 2 3 1 0 0 2 .291
Felipe Lopez, 2B 4 0 0 0 0 3 6 .219
Casey McGehee, 3B 3 0 0 1 0 1 3 .230
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS 4 1 1 0 0 1 0 .255
Jonathan Lucroy, C 4 0 3 2 0 1 0 .285
Yovani Gallardo, P 3 1 1 0 0 0 1 .245
a-Mark Kotsay, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .247
Total 37 6 13 6 0 9 19

a-Grounded out for Estrada in the 8th.

BATTING

2B: Gallardo (3), Lucroy (10).

HR: Hart (14), Fielder (24).

RBI: Hart (34), Morgan (24), McGehee (43), Lucroy 2 (41), Fielder (75).

Team RISP: 4-for-11.

Team LOB: 8.

FIELDING

E: Betancourt (13, throw).

Milwaukee Brewers

Player IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Yovani Gallardo (W, 12-7) 7.0 4 1 0 0 7 0 3.69
Marco Estrada 1.0 2 1 1 0 0 0 4.57
Kameron Loe 1.0 0 0 0 1 0 0 4.32

Pitches-strikes: Gallardo 111-78, Estrada 27-16, Loe 22-13.

Groundouts-flyouts: Gallardo 6-5, Estrada 0-2, Loe 3-0.

Batters faced: Gallardo 25, Estrada 5, Loe 4.


Lopez, offense gives Wolf well-deserved win over Astros

July 30, 2011

9:47p Welcome back to the Brewers, Felipe Lopez.

Astros-Brewers Wrap-Up

The Brewers defeated the Astros today, 4-0. Randy Wolf got his first win since June, and the Brewers offense actually gave him some run support today. Lopez, who I mentioned earlier, was a big part of the Brewers’ charge, going 2-for-4 in his first Brewers appearance since 2009.

The Brewers couldn’t really muster anything off of Astros starter Jordan Lyles until the fifth inning, when Casey McGehee got an RBI single from a swinging bunt. George Kottaras followed that up with an RBI single of his own to give the Brewers a 2-0 nothing lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.

The Brewers tacked on a few more runs off the Astros’ bullpen when Corey Hart hit a two-run single to extend the lead to 4-0.

Wolf exited after seven innings due to a pitch count of 117, his second highest of the year, but had a stellar outing nonetheless. He gave up four hits while striking out five and walking three. The bullpen, Takashi Saito and Kameron Loe, combined for two perfect innings to finish off the game and give a break to Francisco Rodriguez and John Axford, who had both been used for three consecutive games.

Lyles, meanwhile, had a solid start, but is still searching for his first career win. He went six innings and gave up two runs on six hits while walking none and striking out three.

Lopez makes strong return to Brewers

Lopez made his first start with the Brewers since 2009 today, and he didn’t disappoint, going 2-for-4 with two singles. He also made a decent defensive play in the eighth inning to rob Jose Altuve of a bloop single.

Brewers GM Doug Melvin reacquired Lopez in a trade with the Rays in exchange for cash considerations yesterday. It was part of an emergency move because the Brewers regular starting second baseman, Rickie Weeks, went on the DL with a severely sprained ankle. Lopez appears to be the best option as the starting second baseman until Weeks’ return.

Lopez hit .320 during his time with the Brewers in 2009.

Pence traded to Phils mid-game

This was definitely one of the more awkward moments of the game. In the middle of the game, the Astros announced that right fielder Hunter Pence had been traded to the Phillies in exchange for four prospects. But, Pence was in right field at the time, so his replacement, Jason Michaels, had to go out and tell him that he’d been traded. So he shook hands and waved to everybody as he left the field for the last time on the worst team in baseball. Tomorrow, he’ll go onto the field for the first time with the best team in baseball.

SLOW curve…

I’ve been waiting for this to happen for a long time, and it finally happened today. Wolf lobbed a 58 MPH sweeping curve as a strikeout pitch to Michael Bourn, and it was the first time I’ve seen Wolf throw a curve below 60 MPH. I was waiting to see whether it would be Wolf or Zack Greinke, who both have part-eephus curveballs, to throw a curve below 60 MPH. I guess Wolf won that.

Up next for the Crew…

The Brewers will play the second game of a three-game set with the Astros tomorrow. They’ll send Yovani Gallardo (11-7, 3.89 ERA) to the mound, who will be in search of his 12th win of the season. Gallardo has completely dominated the Astros in his career, going 8-2 with a 3.32 ERA against them.

The Astros will counter J.A. Happ (4-12, 6.12 ERA), who is having the perfect definition of an awful season. He’s given up at least five runs in seven of his last eight starts, and has an 8.63 ERA over that span.

Elsewhere around the division…

  • The Pirates were hammered by the Phillies, 10-3. They now fall to 2.5 games back.
  • The Cardinals defeated the Cubs, 9-2. They are 1.5 games and 15.5 games back, respectively.
  • The Reds are locked up with the Giants in the 13th inning, 3-3. They are currently seven games back.