Brewers’ BBWAA awards handed out

October 17, 2012

> The Milwaukee chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America handed out their annual awards to Brewers players on Monday. Most of the awards went to the guys you’d expect to receive awards, but there were a few surprises.

Ryan Braun received the MVP award- I want to say unanimously because he received all eight first-place votes, but there were other players to whom the award would have been worthy. Braun backed up an MVP season in 2011 with a 2012 that was just as good: 41 home runs (a career-high for him), 112 RBIs, and a .319 batting average. Braun also stole 30 bases for his second straight 30-30 season. He led the National League in home runs, total bases (356), runs (108), and OPS (.987). He also tied for the league lead in extra-base hits with 80.

Yovani Gallardo took home the best pitcher award, and we can safely say that was unanimous (he also received all eight first-place votes). He put up close to identical numbers to his 2011 season in 2012, going 16-9 with a 3.66 ERA. Those 16 wins led the Brewers by a landslide, and tied him for sixth in the NL. Gallardo also had his fourth straight 200+ strikeout season (204 this year).

Aramis Ramirez won Top Newcomer, taking seven of the eight first-place votes. He hit 27 home runs and had 105 RBIs in his first season with the Brewers. Ramirez also reached the .300 mark on the last day of the season. He led the NL in doubles, was tied with Braun for the most extra-base hits, and was just three shy of Lyle Overbay’s franchise record for doubles. Ramirez was also the best defensive third baseman in the league, as he had the fewest errors and a .977 fielding percentage. Norichika Aoki took the other first-place vote after his sensational rookie season.

Somewhat surprisingly- but deservingly- Marco Estrada won the Unsung Hero award. He went just 5-7, but had a very respectable 3.64 ERA, and was a reliable option after being thrown in the rotation full-time. Carlos Gomez, Martin Maldonado, and Mike Fiers also received first-place votes for the Unsung Hero.

Lastly, John Axford received the Good Guy Award. I’m in agreement with this one since Axford managed to keep a positive attitude through his struggle of a season in 2012. Corey Hart, Nyjer Morgan, Gomez, and Estrada also received first-place votes for this award.

POSTSEASON COVERAGE

> There are games in progress right now, but here’s the coverage from the last two days.

> The Giants defeated the Cardinals, 7-1, on Monday. The Giants got their first start of more than six innings, as Ryan Vogelsong threw seven strong. Meanwhile, the Giants’ offense took advantage of some shoddy Cards defense to knock around Chris Carpenter. Angel Pagan hit a lead-off home run, and Marco Scutaro and Ryan Theriot had two RBIs apiece.

> The Yankees’ offense remained dormant, as they lost to the Tigers, 2-1, last night. The fact that Justin Verlander was pitching (8 1/3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 K) might serve as an excuse, but now the Yanks are a game from elimination. The Tigers, meanwhile, can reach the World Series for the first time since 2006.

THE NEWS

> Livan Hernandez and Yorvit Torrealba each elected free agency after rejecting their outright assignments.

> The Brewers added Jesus Sanchez, a righty reliever, to the 40-man roster. He had a 1.62 ERA in 71 2/3 innings combined at Double-A Huntsville and Triple-A Nashville.

If only Jesus could have saved our bullpen this year.

> Buster Olney suggested that the Brewers are players for Josh Hamilton, who will more than likely be one of the most highly-touted free agents on the market. The Brewers probably don’t have the money, but might be able to sway him since Johnny Narron is one of their coaches. Narron and Hamilton are very close.

> MLB Trade Rumors looked at the offseason situation for the Brewers.

> The minor moves over the past few days:

Cubs: Acquired Marcelo Carreno from the Tigers to complete the August Jeff Baker trade.
Mets: Removed Justin Hampson and Rob Johnson from their 40-man roster, making them both free agents.
Dodgers: Outrighted Blake Hawksworth, who elected free agency.
Blue Jays: Claimed Scott Cousins off waivers from the Marlins; claimed Cory Wade off waivers from the Yankees; designated Juan Abreu for assignment.
Red Sox: Claimed Sandy Rosario off waivers from the Marlins; designated Che-Hsuan Lin for assignment.
Nationals: Outrighted Carlos Maldonado and ex-Brewer Brett Carroll, both of whom elected free agency.
Orioles: Outrighted Ronny Paulino and Dana Eveland, both of whom elected free agency.
Yankees: Outrighted Justin Thomas, who elected free agency.
Marlins: Outrighted Nick Green, Donnie Murphy, and Gil Velazquez to Triple-A.

THE EXTRAS

> Rumors have been circling ever since Monday’s extra-innings Tigers-Yankees game that Alex Rodriguez was caught flirting with fans while he was in the on-deck circle. Well today it was confirmed, and now there are pictures to go with the story. Turns out one of the blondes he was talking to is a model.

Advertisements

Aoki’s big day lifts Crew to series win

June 8, 2012

> Normally, Japanese imports don’t bring extra power to a Major League lineup. And usually, Norichika Aoki doesn’t do that for the Brewers. But, he did today in their 4-3 win over the Cubs in 10 innings. Aoki has had a couple of nice games for the Brewers since coming overseas to the Majors, but today was by far the best one yet. He went 3-for-5 and raised his average to .303 (although it feels like it should be a lot higher than that).

First off, though, we witnessed a very rare sighting today: Randy Wolf actually had a good outing. He went 6 2/3 innings while giving up an unearned run on four hits. He walked two and struck out six. Wolf has had a very rough year up to this point, coming into today with a 6.05 ERA, but lowered it to 5.45. Arguably his two bests starts this year have come against the Cubs; he also threw six shutout innings against them back in May. Ironically, though, he hasn’t picked up a win in either of the starts.

The Brewers got in the board in the fourth on Aoki’s first hit of the day, a solo shot to make the score 1-0. Technically, Aoki did have one home run prior to this, which was an inside-the-parker against the Rockies. But this was his first legitimate, into the seats home run. Anyway, the Brewers got another run in the sixth on George Kottaras’ RBI single.

But things got bad in the late innings. Wolf started the seventh inning by walking Jeff Baker, then Joe Mather reached on an error by Cody Ransom, who was manning third base today. It looked like things wouldn’t get too out of hand after Wolf induced an Ian Stewart double play, but he then gave up an RBI double to Koyie Hill. Wolf was removed in favor of Jose Veras, who would get out of the inning and save the Brewers’ lead for the time being.

Then came the eighth inning. Francisco Rodriguez started the inning fine, retiring the first two he faced. But then he gave up a single to Alfonso Soriano, followed by a go-ahead, two-run shot by Bryan LaHair (who is slowly but surely becoming a Brewer-killer). This made the score 3-2.

But the Brewers wouldn’t go down without a fight. Aoki led off the Brewers’ eighth with a single, and, two batters later, Corey Hart tied the game with an RBI ground-rule double. But Rickie Weeks struck out with two men on to kill the rally, leaving it 3-3.

John Axford came on and threw perfect innings in the ninth and tenth. This set the stage for Aoki’s biggest moment as a Brewer, a walk-off shot on the third pitch of the tenth inning. Coming into today, Aoki hadn’t hit a ball out of a Major League park yet this year, but did it twice today.

> But K-Rod got his butt saved thanks to Aoki. Just when Rodriguez finally seemed to be settling down into the consistent setup man he was last year after being acquired by the Mets, he goes out and does this. I just don’t know about him any more. He’s like the first half Kameron Loe of last year.

> Aramis Ramirez missed his fourth consecutive start today, including the entire series against his former team. He did pinch-hit in the eighth inning, but was intentionally walked, and was pinch-run for by Zack Greinke. But hopefully him pinch-hitting a sign that he won’t be out for too much longer.

> Anyway, that’s about it. The Brewers will start a three-game set with the Padres tomorrow at 7:10 PM CT. The Brewers already lost a series to the Padres earlier this year in San Diego, which is pretty embarrassing, considering the Padres have by far the worst offense in the National League. But here’s what the pitching match-ups are looking like:

Edinson Volquez (2-5, 3.42 ERA) vs. Shaun Marcum (4-3, 3.39 ERA)

Eric Stults (1-2, 4.06 ERA) vs. Michael Fiers (1-1, 3.75 ERA)

Anthony Bass (2-5, 4.21 ERA) vs. Yovani Gallardo (4-5, 4.50 ERA)

And that’s about it. I’ll be starting up box scores again over the summer; I should have that up later. But for now, thanks for reading, and feel free to leave your thoughts.

> Box Score

AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Norichika Aoki, RF 5 3 3 2 0 0 2 .303
Nyjer Morgan, CF 3 0 0 0 0 2 0 .228
b-Carlos Gomez, PH-CF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .261
Ryan Braun, LF 4 0 1 0 0 1 1 .306
Corey Hart, 1B 4 1 2 1 0 1 1 .255
George Kottaras, C 3 0 1 1 0 1 1 .245
c-Aramis Ramirez, PH 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .249
Rickie Weeks, 2B 4 0 0 0 0 1 3 .160
Cody Ransom, 3B 3 0 0 0 1 1 0 .236
Edwin Maysonet, SS 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 .200
Randy Wolf, P 2 0 0 0 0 1 2 .100
a-Martin Maldonado, PH-C 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 .192
Totals 33 4 7 4 2 9 10

a-Struck out for Veras in the 7th.

b-Hit a sacrifice bunt for Morgan in the 8th.

c-Intentionally walked for Rodriguez in the 8th.

BATTING

2B: Hart 2 (16).

HR: Aoki 2 (3).

TB: Braun, Kottaras, Aoki 9, Hart 4.

RBI: Aoki 2 (9), Kottaras (10), Hart (26).

Team RISP: 2-for-6.

Team LOB: 6.

FIELDING

E: Ransom (3, fielding).

DP: (Wolf-Maysonet-Hart).

PITCHING

IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Randy Wolf 6.2 4 1 0 2 6 0 5.45
Jose Veras (H, 6) 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 4.28
Francisco Rodriguez (BS, 2) 1.0 3 2 2 0 1 1 4.68
John Axford (W, 1-2) 2.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3.22
Totals 10.0 7 3 2 2 8 1

WP: Rodriguez.

Pitches-strikes: Wolf 117-76, Veras 2-2, Rodriguez 27-17, Axford 23-15.

Groundouts-flyouts: Wolf 7-4, Veras 0-1, Rodriguez 1-1, Axford 2-2.

Batters faced: Wolf 27, Veras 1, Rodriguez 6, Axford 6.

Inherited runners-scored: Veras 2-0.


Braun, Wolf push Brewers past Cubs

August 27, 2011

When the Cardinals win, the Brewers win. When the Cardinals lose, the Brewers win. That’s just the way things seem to work nowadays. And it’s led to a 9.5 game lead in the NL Central for the Brewers.

Cubs-Brewers Wrap-Up

The Brewers beat the Cubs today, 5-2. The Brewers’ seemingly dormant offense finally broke through in the fourth inning after having been shut out for 12 consecutive innings (going back to them being shut out by the Pirates the day before yesterday). The Cardinals also defeated the Pirates today, so the distance between them and the Brewers remains 9.5 games.

Randy Wolf had a decent start and won his 11th game of the year. He went 6 2/3 innings while giving up two runs (one earned) on four hits. He struck out three and walked two. Wolf also lowered his ERA to 3.37, which is now the lowest out of the five starters in the Brewers’ rotation.

George Kottaras got the Brewers on the board in the fourth inning with a solo shot off Cubs starter Rodrigo Lopez. That cut the Cubs’ lead in half, who had gotten two runs off Wolf courtesy of a lead-off solo homer by Starlin Castro and a RBI double by Jeff Baker.

Ryan Braun and the Brewers broke the game open and took the lead in the fifth inning on a RBI double. Two more runs scored after that thanks to an embarrassing throwing error by second baseman Darwin Barney. The Brewers also tacked on one more run in the seventh inning on a Prince Fielder RBI single.

Anyway, here’s a pretty big roster move for the Brewers: they’ve sent reliever Tim Dillard down to Triple-A, and brought up third baseman Taylor Green. This was somewhat of a surprise move, since Green was expected to join the team when rosters expand on September 1st. But I guess the Brewers wanted him up right now.

Green was putting up monster numbers in the Minors this year- he was batting .334 with 21 home runs and 85 RBIs, so I guess he was due for callup at some point. But, I don’t know what kind of role he’s going to play for the Brewers right now. He could occasionally (or more than that) fill in for struggling third baseman Casey McGehee, who’s just been having a downright awful season from the start. Maybe that was the strategy behind this move, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see. I’m excited to see Green in action in the Majors, nonetheless.

As far as the DL for the Brewers goes, center fielder Carlos Gomez and second baseman are both making progress. Gomez said today that he’s ready for a rehab assignment, and that assignment would probably be for Class A Timber Rattlers. Weeks isn’t quite ready for a rehab assignment yet, and is pretty much just working on defense at this point, but he shouldn’t be far behind Gomez.

The Brewers will be going for a series win against the Cubs tomorrow in another night game. Yovani Gallardo (14-8, 3.51 ERA) will go for the Brewers, and he’s coming off a decent start against the Mets in which he gave up two runs in seven innings. Gallardo has dominated the Cubs in his career, going 3-1 with a 3.31 ERA against them.

The Cubs will counter with Ryan Dempster (10-9, 4.60 ERA), unfortunately. The reason I say unfortunately is because this guy is the definition of a Brewers-killer. He’s 15-4 with a 2.56 ERA against the Brewers in his career.