As season winds down, Brewers make multitude of roster moves

October 26, 2011

It’s that time of year again. There’s only a maximum of two games left in the baseball season- possibly one, if the Rangers can finish off the Cardinals for the crown tomorrow.

But, every other team is looking onwards to next year- and that includes the Brewers. They made several roster moves earlier today to set the stage for this offseason, and the 2012 season.

First and foremost, pitcher Chris Narveson has undergone left-hip surgery, the Brewers announced earlier today. The odd thing is that we- the fans- were never told of a hip injury with Narveson. He was on the DL in late August and early September, but that was due to a freak accident in which he cut open his left hand.

Narveson went 11-8 with a 4.45 ERA in the regular season before being used out of the bullpen in the postseason. He struggled in the postseason, putting up an 11.05 ERA and giving up five home runs in just 7 1/3 innings, but Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash claims that the hip had nothing to do with that performance. Ash also said that the hip injury has been a chronic thing that Narveson has been dealing with for a few years now.

Anyway, onto the next moves. Infielder Josh Wilson and right-handed reliever Mark DiFelice have both been outrighted to Triple-A Nashville. Wilson served as a utility infielder for the Brewers after being acquired off waivers from the Diamondbacks early in the season. He played all four infield positions, and also made a few appearances in left field. At the plate, he hit .224 with two home runs and five RBI.

DiFelice was with the Brewers for a week in late June before being optioned back to Triple-A, and he put up a 12.00 ERA in just three innings of work. After being sent back down, he was plagued with shoulder problems that ruined any chance of him returning in 2011.

Brandon Kintzler has also been reinstated from the DL, and will attend the Arizona Fall League. Kintzler went on the DL on May 13, and had surgery in late July on a stress fracture in his right forearm. In 14 2/3 innings for the Brewers this year, he went 1-1 with a 3.68 ERA before going on the DL.

Lastly, Manny Parra and Mitch Stetter- two left-handers for the Brewers- have come off the DL as well. Parra didn’t pitch at all in 2011 because of several setbacks with his elbow and back, but will hopefully be ready for Spring Training 2012. And, I hate to say this, but if he has any more setbacks, I can’t see the Brewers being this patient with him anymore, and he’ll probably be let go. Hopefully he doesn’t have to endure anymore setbacks, though.

As for Stetter, he pitched seven innings for the Brewers this year before going on the DL, and put up a 5.14 ERA.

Oh, and the Brewers re-signed Minor League infielder Edwin Maysonet to a Minor League deal. He spent all year in the minors in 2011, and hit .290 while there. I don’t know much about this guy, but I’m going to guess he’s probably an Erick Almonte-type player- pretty much just a utility guy.

And I still haven’t heard anything about Zach Braddock, a lefty who was sent up and down and had multiple stints on the DL this year.

Anyway, last night I said I was going to write an article about Chris Carpenter today, bu, instead, I’m just going to give a brief explanation right here. I was going to call him out for using even more profanity last night after getting an out against the Rangers- yeah, the Brewers aren’t the only ones. I’m sorry, but he’s about as un-classy as it gets. After inducing a Mike Napoli fly-out to get out of a runners on first and third jam, he turned around to Napoli and cussed him out. I know some people are making a case that he was yelling to himself, but, after watching a replay this morning, you can clearly see he’s yelling at Napoli- he turned around and started screaming “F*** you!” with spit flying everywhere. But hey- that’s typical Chris Carpenter. I’m just saying you don’t see other aces- most of whom are class acts- such as Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, or Justin Verlander, making reactions like that to getting outs.

Now, I don’t have an issue with a fist pump or maybe a “Hell yeah!” to yourself after getting a key out, but there’s absolutely no reason to turn to the player you just got out and start screaming profanity at him. There’s just no place in baseball for that.

And I know there are going to people comparing Carpenter yelling to the Brewers’ “Beast Mode” to attempt to counter this article- please, don’t even try. There’s a difference between yelling swears at your opponent, as opposed to just having fun.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got. Feel free to leave your thoughts below, and thanks much for reading.


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Brewers’ roster for NLDS set

October 1, 2011

The Brewers’ roster for the NLDS was unveiled earlier today. I guess it came earlier than everyone thought (or at least me), because it didn’t need to be done until tomorrow morning, but we have it, nonetheless.

There are a couple surprises among the roster. I’ll get to those in a second, but here is the roster:

Pitchers (11): Yovani Gallardo, Zack Greinke, Shaun Marcum, Randy Wolf, John Axford, Francisco Rodriguez, Takashi Saito, LaTroy Hawkins, Kameron Loe, Chris Narveson, Marco Estrada

Catchers (2): Jonathan Lucroy, George Kottaras

Infielders (7): Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, Yuniesky Betancourt, Casey McGehee, Jerry Hairston Jr., Craig Counsell, Taylor Green

Outfielders (5): Ryan Braun, Nyjer Morgan, Corey Hart, Carlos Gomez, Mark Kotsay

So it’s mostly what you expected. The rotation is set, with Gallardo, Greinke, and Marcum starting the first three games of the series, along with Wolf in game four, if necessary. Narveson will mainly be used out of the bullpen, either as a long reliever, or possibly a lefty specialist- he’s still the only lefty in the ‘pen.

But I guess there were some surprises. The biggest one was probably Green beating out Josh Wilson for a spot on the roster. They didn’t really need Wilson in the first place, since Counsell can pretty much play the same role that he usually does, and Green can start in place of McGehee, if needed. But, the Brewers probably had planned to put Green on the postseason roster the entire time, since they called him up in late August instead of waiting until September 1st, when rosters expand. Had Green been called up at any point in September, he wouldn’t have been eligible for the postseason roster (barring an injury to a key player).

Anyway, another “surprise” was Estrada beating out Tim Dillard for the second long reliever in the bullpen behind Narveson. I guess that’s not really a surprise, at least to me- Estrada has actually been decent for the Brewers this year, if you look beyond his numbers. Nothing against Dillard, but Estrada had just been with the team longer, and I expected him to make it.

Ron Roenicke apparently wouldn’t say who’s starting at third base tomorrow. The choices are Hairston, McGehee, and Green. If it were me, I’d throw Green in there, just because it’s Ian Kennedy- a tough right-hander- starting for the Diamondbacks. But, we all know Roenicke doesn’t really have the guts to do that. I guess I can’t blame him this time, though- you don’t want to be too experimental at this point.

That’s all I’ve got for now. I just got finished watching the Yankees-Tigers game get rained out, and now I have no baseball to watch for the rest of the night. But I did watch the Rays pound the Rangers- that Matt Moore kid is something else. So was his battery-mate, Kelly Shoppach, who went 3-for-3 with two home runs in the game today. Did I mention he hit .176 during the regular season?

That proves that the postseason is completely different than the regular season. I have a feeling McGehee will do something like that against the Diamondbacks. But that really wouldn’t surprise me, considering he’s hitting over .500 against them in his career. In fact, D-backs starter Daniel Hudson has never retired McGehee in his career- he’s 5-for-5 against Hudson. Anyway, this should be a very fun series, and I’m going to be there tomorrow. I haven’t been this excited in a long time.


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).


Kershaw, sloppy defense snap Brewers’ win streak

August 18, 2011

4:54p Well, you can’t get by with a lack of offense forever. Why? Because the pitching will eventually cave in and give up runs, and the defense will stop making plays.

Dodgers-Brewers Wrap-Up

Unfortunately, both the pitching and defense part of that quote came true today for the Brewers, who fell to the Dodgers, 5-1. It snapped a six-game winning streak that the Brewers had going, and, with they way they’d been playing before this, it looked like it would never end.

But, as I said before, the pitching and defense both caved in today, and the offense was once again a no-show.

Marco Estrada was making another spot start in place of the injured Chris Narveson today, and he didn’t do all that bad. He went five innings (which is pretty much all you can ask out of a spot starter) while giving up one run on just three hits. He walked two and struck out five, and showed once again that he’s a much better starter than he is a reliever.

That one run Estrada gave up was a solo shot to Rod Barajas in the second inning. Estrada had fallen behind Barajas 3-1, and was forced to give him something to hit in that count. Sadly, since Estrada doesn’t have that blow-you-away fastball, Barajas timed the pitch perfectly and crushed it.

But, that was all Estrada would give up. It was primarily the offense, defense, and bullpen that didn’t do their jobs today.

Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw pretty much dominated the Brewers offense for the entire game. He went eight innings while giving up no runs on five hits. He walked none and struck out six. Kershaw actually looked poised to toss a shutout, since he was only at 104 pitches after eight, but he was pinch-hit for by James Loney in the eighth inning.

The Brewers’ lone run came on a Prince Fielder sacrifice fly in the ninth inning off of Dodgers closer Javy Guerra (it was a non-save situation, obviously). That followed a one-out triple by Ryan Braun.

Brewers prepare to face Mets on the road

The Brewers didn’t finish this homestand on a particularly good note, but you have to remember that they actually went 6-1 during it, so that was a great homestand for them. But now, they’ll go on the road and face a team that’s having a somewhat similar season as the Dodgers are- the Mets.

The Mets took two of three in a series against the Brewers earlier this year at Miller Park, but the venue for this series will be the pitcher-friendly Citi Field.

Now, the only thing that worries me about the Brewers headed into this road trip is the offense, which has been pretty non-existent over the past week or so. I guess you could argue that the reason they were stymied today was because of Kershaw, who is a front-runner for the National League Cy Young Award at this point. But, you could also argue that the Brewers should have crushed Kershaw today, since his career ERA against the Brewers coming in was 6.23. The Brewers definitely faced some good pitching during this stretch, and their pitching kept them in the game during every game, but the offense will have to break out at some point.

The Mets don’t have the greatest pitching staff in the world. In fact, all of their starters have ERAs hovering around 4.00, the lowest ERA being that of R.A. Dickey’s, which is currently 3.77.

Here are the pitching matchups for this series:

Shaun Marcum (10-3, 3.50 ERA) vs. Mike Pelfrey (6-9, 4.58 ERA)

Randy Wolf (10-8, 3.30 ERA) vs. Chris Capuano (9-11, 4.58 ERA)

Yovani Gallardo (13-8, 3.55 ERA) vs. R.A. Dickey (5-11, 3.77 ERA)

The Marcum vs. Pelfrey matchup will take place tomorrow, so I’ll just do my usual “Up next for the Crew…” segment right here. Marcum is coming off a no-decision against the Pirates, but he went 7 2/3 innings while giving up just one run. He has one career start against the Mets, during which he threw six shutout innings against them, but had to settle for a no-decision.

Pelfrey, meanwhile, left his last start with an injury, but has been cleared to pitch tomorrow. He is 1-1 with a 3.12 ERA against the Brewers in his career.

Anyway, that’s about it, but, before I go, I’m going to explain some of the sloppy defense the Brewers played today (I probably should have done that earlier, but oh well). There were two errors: one by third baseman Casey McGehee, when he pulled the first baseman Fielder off the bag with a low throw, and the other by reliever Kameron Loe, who threw the ball away in what should have been a somewhat routine play. Shortstop Josh Wilson also missed a double play ball and let it roll into center field, but, with how loosely the error stat is used, that play wasn’t considered an error. Anyway, all of those plays cost the Brewers runs (except McGehee’s error). Hopefully the offense and defense shows up tomorrow, though, because we’re going to need it if we want to keep winning.


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.


Greinke hurls longest start of season in crazy win over Bucs

August 13, 2011

10:18p It seems like every Brewers game I go to ends well.

Pirates-Brewers Wrap-Up

The Brewers defeated the Pirates (shocker) today, 7-2, and continued their domination of their NL Central rivals. They also improved to 6-0 against the Pirates this season, and 34-3 against them at Miller Park since the start of 2007.

The Brewers continued the trend of killing Pirates pitching, starting with Paul Maholm. Josh Wilson got the Brewers on the board in the second inning with an RBI single. Then, in the third, Casey McGehee hit a rare two-RBI triple to extend the Brewers lead to 3-0. (The reason I say rare is because of McGehee’s extreme slowness.) The Brewers also tacked on another run in the fifth on Ryan Braun’s sacrifice fly.

Maholm’s night ended after just five innings, as he gave up four runs (three earned) on seven hits. He didn’t have a walk or a strikeout.

Anyway, until the ninth inning, the story of the night was Zack Greinke. He cruised through the first seven innings until running into some trouble in the eighth. He gave up RBI doubles to Michael McKenry and Andrew McCutchen to cut the Bucs’ deficit to 4-2 and was lifted after recording two outs in the eighth. But, this was Greinke’s longest outing as a Brewer at 7 2/3 innings. He gave up two runs on six hits while walking one and striking out nine. Francisco Rodriguez finished off the eighth for him to set the stage for a crazy bottom of the inning.

Joe Beimel came in to pitch the eighth for the Pirates, but his outing wouldn’t last very long. He gave up back-t0-back homers to Braun and Prince Fielder before being lifted, but the inning wouldn’t stop there. Jose Veras came in to replace Beimel, and, after recording an out, gave up a double to Yuniesky Betancourt. After Nyjer Morgan advanced him to third with a groundout, Jonathan Lucroy hit an RBI infield single to score him. Then, since Lucroy got on, Ron Roenicke did something crazy: he let Rodriguez hit.

It was K-Rod’s second Major League at-bat, since he never got to bat while with the Angels due to the DH rule, and only had one at-bat with the Mets. But, sure enough, what does K-Rod do? He took advantage of a Pirates’ defense that had no idea what they were doing and got infield hit; his first hit of his career.

Unfortunately, after the inning ended, he tried to come back out to pitch the ninth. But, apparently, he left the game with a leg cramp. It’s nothing serious according to Ron Roenicke, so we probably don’t need to worry. So Kameron Loe came in and pitched a perfect ninth inning to finish off the Bucs.

Weeks, Narveson on road to recovery

Injured Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks and pitcher Chris Narveson are both doing well in coming back from the DL, according to Roenicke. Weeks is apparently ahead of schedule and said his ankle is completely healed. Narveson, on the other “hand,” said he’s going to play catch tomorrow to see how his injured left hand feels. (That was an awful pun, I know. Just thought I’d give it a shot.) As far as injured center fielder Carlos Gomez’s recovery is going, I haven’t heard anything about that yet.

Greinke turning around his season

Greinke has noticeably been a completely different pitcher during the second half of this season, and his statistics are showing it. Since the All-Star break, Greinke is 4-1 with a 1.56 ERA. Obviously, he isn’t at the level he was in 2009 when he won the American League Cy Young Award with the Royals, but he’s getting closer.

Going into the All-Star break, Greinke had was 7-3, despite a 5.45 ERA. Looks like he finally figured out that he needed to pick it up.

Up next for the Crew…

The Brewers will play the second game of this series with the Pirates tomorrow on FOX, which is a national station. Marco Estrada (2-7, 4.80 ERA) will be making a spot start for the injured Narveson. This will be his first start since May 4th, when he filled in for Greinke while he was injured.

The Pirates will counter with Kevin Correia (12-10, 4.78 ERA), who isn’t exactly the same pitcher he was at the beginning of the year. Correia is 10-2 on the road this season, but the Brewers have already beaten him twice this season- once at Miller Park, and once at PNC Park. Correia is 2-5 with a 5.71 ERA against the Brewers in his career.

Zambrano has another episode…

This doesn’t have anything to do with the Brewers, but it’s worth posting, nonetheless. Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano made yet another scene earlier today in his start against the Braves. After giving up five home runs (two of which were to Dan Uggla), Zambrano vented out his frustration on Chipper Jones, nearly hitting him with a pitch well inside. Zambrano was ejected (like we haven’t heard that one before), and, instead of blowing up like usual, just walked off the mound and into the dugout, while the rest of the benches cleared. He was also seen laughing with a camera guy next to the Cubs’ dugout, so one can only guess what he was saying to the guy.

Anyway, it didn’t stop there. Later, Cubs manager Mike Quade went into the clubhouse only to find Zambrano’s locker empty. Players were spreading rumors of Zambrano possibly retiring, and those rumors eventually reached the media, so now it’s a national thing.

It’s not often you here about a 30-year old pitcher retiring, unless there’s some kind of medical issue involved. But who knows what goes on inside Zambrano’s head, so it’s probably better just to let him retire or do what he wants than to question his decision.


Wolf stymies Cards, gives Brewers cushion in Central

August 11, 2011

9:49p Last night’s win against the Cards was big. And that’s what made this win even bigger.

Brewers-Cardinals Wrap-Up

The Brewers defeated the Cardinals again today, 5-1. Randy Wolf may have had, in my opinion, his best start of the year. After giving up five runs against the Cards in his last start, he made them look foolish all night tonight, and went eight stellar innings while giving up a run on five hits. He struck out one and walked none. Wolf also only needed 92 pitches to get through eight, but he was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the ninth because there were runners on base.

The Brewers jumped on Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook right away in the first when Prince Fielder hit a bases loaded sacrifice fly. Unfortunately, Westbrook, being the groundball pitcher that he is, got a double play to get out of that inning after Fielder’s sac fly, but that wouldn’t matter as the game went on.

The Cardinals answered in the bottom of the first on Albert Pujols’ sacrifice fly, but that was the only run they would be getting in the game.

The Brewers took the lead back in the third on Fielder’s RBI double and Yuniesky Betancourt’s RBI single, and that would be it until the ninth inning.

Westbrook ended up going eight solid innings, giving up three runs on six hits. He struck out four, but the number that stuck out at me was his five walks, since he’s typically a control pitcher.

Anyway, the Brewers tacked on two more runs in the ninth inning on Corey Hart’s two-run single. Cards manager Tony La Russa also got ejected that inning, but I’ll have more on that later in the post.

Francisco Rodriguez finished his first game as a Brewer, in relief of Wolf. He got into a bit of a jam after giving up back-to-back singles to David Freese and Skip Schumaker, but got a groundout to end the game. If Rodriguez hadn’t waived his $17.5 million option, which would have come into effect if he finished 55 games, when he came to the Brewers, we obviously wouldn’t have seen him finishing out that game today. But, I guess that’s not a burden to Rodriguez or the Brewers anymore, thank goodness.

La Russa gets ejected on bad call

As I said earlier, La Russa got ejected from this game in the ninth inning. He was ejected for arguing that Josh Wilson, who bunted his way on, was out, and was angry because first base umpire Greg Gibson called him safe.

Replays actually showed that Wilson was out at first and that La Russa was right, but the first baseman Pujols didn’t help out too much with that. The throw from reliever Marc Rzepcyznski was wild, so Pujols had to step off the base for a second to make sure the throw to didn’t get by him. Pujols tried to come back down and first base, which he did, but he stepped on first base repeatedly, thinking he hadn’t touched the bag. That obviously led Gibson to think he didn’t touch the bag, hence calling Wilson safe.

Anyway, whether or not Wilson was safe, it’s always awesome to see La Russa get ejected, especially after the offensive remarks he made about the Brewers and their fans.

De La Cruz called up from Triple-A

Pitcher Frankie De La Cruz was called up from Triple-A earlier today. He’s one of the candidates to replace injured starter Chris Narveson in the rotation until Narvy can return from the DL.

Apparently, De La Cruz isn’t guaranteed to start in place of Narveson yet. Ron Roenicke said he may give reliever Marco Estrada a chance for a spot start, but, with how he’s looked out of the ‘pen lately, I’m not so sure that’s a good idea.

First five game lead since ’82…

That’s right. With tonight’s win, this marks the first time the Brewers have had a five game lead in a division since 1982. But, they weren’t leading the NL Central. They were leading the American League East. That was back when there were only east and west divisions, and when the Brewers were still in the AL (they moved to the NL in 1998).

But that ’82 year was probably the best year in Brewers history. Stars like Paul Molitor, Jim Gantner, Robin Yount, Gorman Thomas… They had all-stars up and down that lineup, including Mike Caldwell in the rotation. Now, I’m not going to go into comparing our team this year to the one in ’82, but the Brewers went to the World Series that year. And who’d they lose to? The Cardinals. At least it isn’t possible for the Brewers to lose to them in the World Series anymore, considering they’re in the same league (and same division). But I’m happy to say we’ve pretty much had the Cards’ number all year so far.

Up next for the Crew…

The Brewers will go for a sweep of the Cardinals tomorrow. Yovani Gallardo (13-7, 3.56 ERA) will go for the Brewers and look for his 14th win, which would tie a career-high for him. Gallardo is 1-4 with a 4.66 ERA against the Cardinals in his career, but his first win against them came earlier this year, when he no-hit them through the first seven innings.

The Cards will counter with Chris Carpenter (7-8. 3.75 ERA). He’s having a better season than his record shows, but has struggled mightily against the Brewers in his career. He’s 4-5 with a 5.50 ERA against them. That includes in 0-2 mark against them this year, during which Carpenter’s ERA against the Brewers is 8.18.

Box Score

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

Milwaukee Brewers

Player AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Corey Hart, RF 3 1 1 2 2 0 1 .277
Nyjer Morgan, CF 5 0 1 0 0 1 3 .324
Ryan Braun, LF 4 1 1 0 1 0 1 .321
Prince Fielder, 1B 2 1 1 2 1 0 0 .304
Casey McGehee, 3B 3 0 0 0 1 1 2 .235
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS 4 0 1 1 0 1 4 .265
Jerry Hairston, 2B 4 1 1 0 0 0 1 .264
George Kottaras, C 3 0 1 0 0 1 0 .224
a-Josh Wilson, PH 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 .262
Randy Wolf, P 3 0 1 0 0 0 1 .190
b-Jonathan Lucroy, PH-C 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .286
Total 31 5 8 5 5 4 13

a-Hit a sacrifice bunt for Kottaras in the 9th.

b-Hit a sacrifice bunt for Wolf in the 9th.

BATTING

2B: Kottaras (4), Fielder (28).

RBI: Fielder 2 (87), Betancourt (50), Hart 2 (43).

Team RISP: 4-for-9.

Team LOB: 7.

BASERUNNING

SB: Braun (21).

FIELDING

DP: (McGehee-Hairston-Fielder).

Milwaukee Brewers

Player IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Randy Wolf (W, 9-8 8.0 5 1 1 0 1 0 3.48
Francisco Rodriguez 1.0 2 0 0 0 1 0 2.96

Pitches-strikes: Wolf 92-61, Rodriguez 14-10.

Groundouts-flyouts: Wolf 13-5, Rodriguez 1-1.

Batters faced: Wolf 28, Rodriguez 5.