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.

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Dillard struggles as Brewers finish disappointing road trip

May 7, 2012

> Today was yet another disappointing game for the Brewers, which has been a common theme during this nine-game road trip. They fell to the Giants today, 4-3, in somewhat of a nail-biter. The Brewers got on the board right away in the first on an Aramis Ramirez RBI single, but Shaun Marcum gave up the lead quickly in the bottom of the inning. Conor Gillaspie hit an RBI double, and Angel Pagan followed that with an RBI fielder’s choice. Ryan Theriot tacked on another run for the Giants in the fourth, making it 3-1. Ramirez picked up another RBI in the sixth on a sacrifice fly.

The Brewers then put up a fight in the ninth inning against Giants closer Santiago Casilla (the beard is on the DL for those who don’t know). Two outs after Corey Hart reached on a fielding error, ex-Giant Travis Ishikawa stunned his former team with a game-tying RBI double.

But the Brewers couldn’t keep the momentum going, and the game went to extra innings. In the 11th, Tim Dillard came in to pitch, and you could just tell things were going to go downhill from there. He’s probably had one, but I honestly can’t recall Dillard having a scoreless outing yet this year. And that trend continued today. Dillard loaded the bases, including two walks, before giving up a walk-off single to Hector Sanchez.

> With that loss aside, here’s some other news involving the Crew…

> Marcum took his third consecutive no-decision today, and his record remains 1-1. In other words, the Brewers wasted yet another quality start from him (six innings, three runs, five hits, three strikeouts).

> Alex Gonzalez is headed to the DL with a knee injury. It shouldn’t be anything season ending, but he follows Chris Narveson, Mat Gamel, and Carlos Gomez to the DL.

> Taylor Green was called up yesterday, and made his first start today, batting seventh. He went 1-for-5 with a double that would have been a home run almost anywhere else. But it’ll be interesting to see if he starts again tomorrow.

> And that’s about it. The Brewers will go home to face the Reds tomorrow, with the pitching match-up being Yovani Gallardo (1-3, 5.79 ERA) vs. Bronson Arroyo (1-1, 3.03 ERA). Gallardo threw a 13-strikeout, six-inning gem in his last start against the Reds (September of last year), but, other than that, his numbers against them aren’t so good.

As you can see, I tried a bit of a different article format today. This was meant to make it a more brief post, simply because I’m having trouble finding time to dedicate to full-out articles. It didn’t really work out this time, but from here on out I’ll hopefully just re-cap the game, briefly talk about a few pieces of news, and preview the pitching match-up for the next day. I hopefully only have to do this for a month until school lets out, but my schedule is pretty busy until then.

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


Gold Glove Awards handed out, no Brewers win

November 2, 2011

Isn’t this a surprise. The 2011 Gold Glove Awards were handed out today, and nobody on the Brewers won.

Normally, I’d try to defend the Brewers and at least attempt to make a case that someone on the team should win (which I’ll actually do for three players later in this article). But, other than those three players, I can’t make a case for any infielder on the Brewers. If I remember my stats correctly, third baseman Casey McGehee, shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt, and first baseman Prince Fielder all led the league in errors at their respective positions. I don’t think second baseman Rickie Weeks led the league in errors at second base, but I’m pretty sure he was up there.

Not to mention the outfield. Corey Hart has a cannon arm (although it isn’t always accurate), but, other than that, he looks like a fool in right field. Platoon center fielders Carlos Gomez and Nyjer Morgan each had their share of highlight reel plays, but also made costly misplays.

Then there was that awful inning in the Brewers’ last game of the postseason- game 6 of the NLCS- where the Brewers made about five errors in two plays (but were only charged for three; the error is such a pathetic stat). That pretty much closed the book for me on the Brewers’ 2011 defense, and hopefully that’s Doug Melvin’s top priority this offseason.

Anyway, now that I’m done ranting about how awful the Brewers’ defense was, here are the actual 2011 Gold Glove winners:

American League

Pitcher: Mark Buehrle, White Sox

Catcher: Matt Wieters, Orioles

First Base: Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox

Second Base: Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox

Shortstop: Erick Aybar, Angels

Third Base: Adrian Beltre, Rangers

Outfield: Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox; Alex Gordon, Royals; Nick Markakis, Orioles

National League

Pitcher: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers

Catcher: Yadier Molina, Cardinals

First Base: Joey Votto, Reds

Second Base: Brandon Phillips, Reds

Shortstop: Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies

Third Base: Placido Polanco, Phillies

Outfield: Matt Kemp, Dodgers; Andre Ethier, Dodgers; Gerardo Parra, Diamondbacks

I didn’t get to see all many of these guys play very often this year to judge how good their defense actually was, but really- Gerardo Parra over Ryan Braun? And Kershaw is pretty much a lock for the NL Cy Young Award, does he really need a Gold Glove too?

From the Brewers, I think Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum at least deserved consideration for the Gold Glove Award at pitcher. Marcum was on the highlight reel all the time, while Greinke was just a good defender. But again, I can’t judge how good Kershaw’s defense really is, because I don’t watch “Dodgers Baseball!” (as Vin Scully would say) very often. But I never saw him on a highlight reel.

Anyway, that’s about all I’ve got for now. Before I go, here’s the Hot Stove news from today:

The Cardinals picked up and declined some options today. They picked up Molina’s option, which was expected, but they declined shortstop Rafael Furcal’s and Octavio Dotel’s options- something I didn’t expect. Maybe they intend to bring back Furcal for less money- either that, or they’re stuck with Ryan Theriot at short again, and we all know how that turned out. And Dotel was a great right-handed reliever, but he’s aging, which is probably why the Cards declined his option.

Brian Cashman is going back to what he’s done best over the past few years for the Yankees- spend as much money as possible and taunt the best players in the game to come to the Yanks. I’ve never really said this on this blog before, but I’m not a huge Cashman fan. Anyway, he’s back on three-year deal for them.

Lastly, the Cubs formally introduced Jed Hoyer as their new GM, and Jason McLeod as the head of scouting and player development. The only reason these guys are there is because of the Cubs’ new president- Theo Epstein. Together, these three created a World Series team in 2004 for the Red Sox.


Pujols has historical World Series Game 3

October 23, 2011

I know I said that I’m cheering for the Rangers in the 107th World Series. But that doesn’t mean I’m not impressed by something a certain Cardinals player did today.

Some guy named Albert Pujols had a three-home run, five-hit, six RBI game today in the third game of the World Series- a 17-6 blowout Cardinals win over the Rangers. This was arguably the best World Series game of all time for a single player, as those three homers, five hits, and six RBI haven’t been done since Reggie Jackson- AKA Mr. October- did in Game 6 of the 1977 World Series.

Pujols’ first homer came in the fifth inning off flamethrowing right-hander Alexi Ogando. He gave Pujols a 96 MPH fastball practically over his head, but Pujols wasn’t having any of that- he turned on it extremely quickly and pulled it into the left field seats for a three-run blast.

The second homer came off of left-handed specialist Michael Gonzalez- note that he’s a left-handed specialist– and it was to dead center field.

The third one also came off a left-handed specialist, this time veteran Darren Oliver.

If for some reason you don’t know what a left-handed specialist is, it’s a pitcher whose primary duty is to get out tough left-handed hitters. So that’s what confuses me about this. Why did Ron Washington leave in two lefty specialists- Gonzalez and Oliver- to face the best right-handed hitter in baseball? You could see both of those home runs coming before they even happened. Anyway, I have a feeling Albert will be talking to the media tonight.

But, even though I’m cheering for the Rangers, I’m slightly relieved knowing that the Brewers aren’t the only team who can’t get Pujols out. But, the Rangers apparently figured out how to get David Freese out- something the Brewers also couldn’t do.

Anyway, almost everyone in the Cards’ lineup had hits today. Rafael Furcal had one hit, Allen Craig had a home run, Pujols- actually, just read above, Matt Holliday had a hit, Lance Berkman had a pair of hits, Freese had a pair of hits and RBI, Yadier Molina had two hits and four RBI, and Ryan Theriot had a hit. The only guy who didn’t have a hit in the Cardinals’ lineup was Jon Jay- go figure. He’s having a horrible postseason. Anyway, the Cardinals also scored at least one run off of every Rangers’ pitcher.

But the clown car had yet another long and rough task today. Kyle Lohse had a typical Kyle Lohse (or you could insert the name of any other Cards starter here) start, as he completely unraveled in the fourth inning- just as he did against the Brewers in Game 4 of the NLCS. But, the clown car picked up him, like they’ve had to do so many times this postseason. Fernando Salas, Lance Lynn, Octavio Dotel, and Mitchell Boggs gave up a combined four runs, but the 16 runs of support were enough for them.

Here’s a funny story- the St. Louis Rams think they’re giving the Cardinals good luck. Haha, good one. You can read that story about the NFL team with no wins here, but I’m not buying it.

Anyway, one more thing about the game before I go- in the seventh inning, the left fielder for the Cards- Holliday- was attempting to read a fly ball that would eventually become a sacrifice fly for the Rangers. But, as Holliday was making the catch, some Rangers fan- at least I think he was a Rangers fan- threw a white ball onto the field. I don’t know if he was attempting to hit Holliday with it, but if he was, the only guy he was embarrassing was himself- his throw went nowhere. And, to top it all off, he was escorted out of the game. Nice job.

That’s all I’ve got for now. I might make some updates later if I have time, but, if not, come back tomorrow for highlights of Game 4.


Wolf comes through as Brewers even series at 2-2

October 14, 2011

This is exactly what the Brewers needed. Making a comeback after an early deficit, and a good start from someone not named Yovani Gallardo.

The Brewers defeated the Cardinals today, 4-2, in a crucial win for them. Had they lost today, the Cardinals would have needed only to win tomorrow to go to the World Series. But, with the win today, the NLCS is now evened up at 2-2- and it’s still there for anyone to take.

Randy Wolf came through right when the Brewers needed him. He went seven strong innings while giving up two runs on six hits. He also walked one and struck out six. If you compare this to Wolf’s last start- when his ERA finished at 22.50 after four innings in a start against the Diamondbacks during the NLDS- this was as good as it gets.

The Cardinals struck first yet again today. They’ve now scored the first run in every game this series. Today, the first run came from a Matt Holliday “home run”- if you can even call it that. Holliday got way under- and I mean way under- a pitch away from him, and it just stayed inside the foul pole, and barely made if over the wall. I swear, it was the luckiest home run I’ve ever seen (other than maybe Jake Westbrook’s grand slam earlier this year against the Brewers). Anyway, the second Cardinals run came on a home run by Allen Craig. At least he deserved his home run…

But the Brewers finally got some clutch hits, starting in the fourth inning. Jerry Hairston Jr. hit a RBI double to cut the deficit to 2-1, then Yuniesky Betancourt followed up with a RBI single to tie it up. The Brewers would then take the lead in the fifth on Ryan Braun’s RBI single. They scored their fourth and final run in the sixth inning when George Kottaras reached on a fielding error by second baseman Ryan Theriot, which allowed Rickie Weeks to score.

Anyway, the Brewers finished with scoreless innings from Francisco Rodriguez and John Axford. And Axford hit 99 MPH for the first time, at least that I’ve seen.

Here’s kind of a crazy stat about Cardinals pitching in this series- none of their pitchers have made it past the fifth inning, and their cumulative ERA is over 7.00. I can’t even believe they’re winning games with their pitchers not going deep. But the clown car- excuse me, the Cardinals’ bullpen- has had to do a lot of work. They got it done yesterday after Chris Carpenter’s five innings start, but couldn’t today after Kyle Lohse’s 4 1/3 inning start. It was actually Mitchell Boggs who allowed the go-ahead to Braun, but the runner was inherited from Lohse, so he still took the loss.

Tomorrow is a big game for the Brewers. If they win, they take the series lead and have the advantage to win, but same goes for the Cards if they win. Zack Greinke (16-6, 3.83 ERA) will go for the Brewers, and he’s coming off a rough start in Game 1. He allowed six runs in 6+ innings, but still took the win, thanks to nine runs of support. The Cardinals will counter with Jaime Garcia (13-7, 3.56 ERA), who also had a rough start in Game 1: he gave up six runs in four innings. But, Garcia has pitched much better at Busch Stadium than on the road this year- in fact, he has a complete game shutout against the Brewers at Busch this year.


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.