Brewers split-squad KO’s Dodgers, Royals

March 26, 2012

> The Brewers haven’t had the greatest spring thus far, coming into today with a 7-12 record. But, they got two of those wins back in one day today, with a split-squad sweep of the Dodgers and Royals. Both of these games had a few big storylines.

> The Brewers defeated the Dodgers, 7-1. It was Shaun Marcum’s first start of the spring, and it couldn’t have been much better (at least for his first start). He went three scoreless innings while giving up one hit. He struck out three and walked one.

But the biggest story was Norichika Aoki, who hit his first home run of the spring. And it came off of none other than reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw, who is supposed to be tough on lefties. But Aoki tacked on a single along with the home run against Kershaw. Aoki is now hitting .313 in his first Major League ST.

The rest of the runs came later in the game. Rickie Weeks hit an RBI double in the fifth. In the seventh, Matt Cline hit a bunt single for an RBI, and Jay Gibbons hit a two-RBI double. The last run came in the eighth on Martin Maldanado’s RBI single. You’ll notice that a few of these guys are sort of no-names (Cline and Gibbons in particular), but it’s good to see them producing.

> The Brewers-Royals game also had its share of storylines. The Brewers won, 7-3, largely in part to second baseman Scooter Gennett hitting for the cycle, which is pretty rare in an ST game. He hit his triple in the first inning, and later scored on a wild pitch. He then hit an RBIĀ  ground-rule double in the second. He struck out in the fourth inning, but hit a single in the sixth inning. Gennett finished his cycle off with a two-run home run in the eighth inning.

Now, I doubt Gennett is going to be in the Majors anytime soon, despite his top prospect status. He’s blocked at second base for the next few years by Weeks, so, unless a position change is in order, he may not be up for awhile. But it’s still good to see him do something like this, even if it’s just in an ST game.

But it is sort of sad that the Royals didn’t put up more of a fight today. The Brewers team they were playing had just two regulars in the lineup, Nyjer Morgan and Mat Gamel. Marco Estrada was the starter, and threw four scoreless innings, but other than him, the three pitchers who pitched (Josh Butler, Dan Meadows, and Victor Garate) probably won’t make the Brewers’ roster.

> Carlos Gomez and Alex Gonzalez were both out with what were called “minor ailments” today. Gomez went home sick before the Brewers’ home game, and they didn’t say what his sickness was. Gonzalez has a bruised right heel, but it must not be very serious since Ron Roenicke nearly started him anyway. And it better not be serious- I don’t want to see Cesar Izturis starting at shortstop to start the season.

> And that’s about it. I know I said I was going to a post on Reviewing the Brew today, but I wound up not having time, so sorry about that. Hopefully that will be up tomorrow, though. Anyway, thanks for reading, and feel free to leave your thoughts.

Crew wins slugfest with ChiSox

March 7, 2012

> This is what we’ve been waiting for all spring- a day the Brewers offense breaks out.

I guess saying all spring makes it seem like Spring Training has been going on for awhile, even though this is only the Brewers’ fourth game. But, with the way the Brewers offense had been those first three games (save for those lucky breaks against the Giants), it certainly felt like awhile. Anyway, enough rambling- the Brewers defeated the White Sox today, 10-6. For the most part of the game, the Brewers had been winning be a large margin (at one point it was 8-0), as the White Sox didn’t even draw within four runs until the ninth inning.

The Brewers wasted no time getting on the board, as Alex Gonzalez hit a two-RBI double in the first inning off Sox starter Jake Peavy. The Brewers tagged Peavy for one more run in the second on Norichika Aoki’s long-awaited first hit with the Crew- a RBI triple. The Brewers also added another run in the third on Taylor Green’s RBI single.

The Brewers then had a breakout inning at the plate in the fourth. Mike Rivera and Travis Ishikawa each had RBI singles, and Gonzalez continued his good day at the plate with a two-RBI triple. All four of these runs came off of pitcher Dylan Axelrod, and the Brewers led 8-0 after the fourth.

The White Sox finally got on the board in the fifth on a two-run homer by Jared Mitchell, and a RBI double by A.J. Pierzynski. But the Brewers answered back in the sixth on a two-RBI double by Edwin Maysonet, making the score 10-3. The Sox scored three more runs before the game ended- Trayce Thompson had a RBI groundout in the eighth, Hector Gimenez hit a RBI single in the ninth, and Delwyn Young hit a sacrifice fly in the ninth.

Despite the fact the pitching staff gave up six runs, it looked pretty good once again. Marco Estrada kept the starting pitchers’ scoreless streak alive with two scoreless innings to start the game. John Axford, Kameron Loe, and Juan Perez all also had scoreless innings. Mike Fiers gave up three runs, and Josh Butler gave up two runs, however. Taylor Jungmann also gave up a run in two innings of work, but it was unearned (what a theme that’s been this spring).

A lot of guys who were due to have breakout games at some point did have them today. Along with his triple, Aoki tacked on another hit later in the game and went 2-for-4. Gonzalez went 2-for-4 with four RBIs, and showed that he can be an occasional source of power. Eric Farris also went 2-for-4. Meanwhile, Nyjer Morgan finally got his first hit of the spring, and Ishikawa got another hit as he continues to make his case for the opening day roster.

> Corey Hart announced today that hethought that having his knee surgically repaired was the right decision. We all probably already knew that, but it’s good hearing it from the man himself.

> The Brewers will take on the division-rival Reds tomorrow at 2:05 PM CT, and will send Zack Greinke to the mound. He pitched two scoreless innings in the first game of spring against the Giants. The Reds will counter with Mike Leake, who has a 4.50 ERA thus far this spring.

> And that’s about it. Thanks for reading, and feel free to leave your thoughts.