Henderson joins the club

August 16, 2012

POSTGAME

> Coming into this road trip, I thought the Brewers were going to win six straight games against the National League’s two worst teams.

Unfortunately, I once again underestimated the ways of the Brewers’ bullpen.

The Brewers lost to the Rockies today, 7-6, and were swept by the NL’s second worst team. That comes off the heels of a series loss to the worst NL team, the Astros. The Brewers finished 1-5 on this road trip, and you can say this is the new low point of the season. That is, if you’ve already gotten over the thousand other previous low points.

The Rox jumped on Mark Rogers right away in the first inning, getting three runs on RBI hits from Ramon Hernandez and Chris Nelson. They added another in the second inning on a solo shot from the hot-hitting Eric Young Jr.

Guillermo Moscoso, spot-starting in place of Drew Pomeranz, danced around danger through the first few innings, stranding seven runners through the first four. But the Brewers finally solved him in the fifth. Moscoso walked Carlos Gomez to lead off the inning, then gave up three straight hits to Rickie Weeks, Aramis Ramirez, and Corey Hart. Moscoso’s 75-pitch limit then came into play, so Jim Tracy brought in Carlos Torres, who only continued the trouble. Torres started his outing by hitting Jonathan Lucroy to load the bases, then gave up a game-tying single to Nyjer Morgan to make the score 4-4. Jean Segura hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly, and that was all the Brewers would get.

Rogers gave up a game-tying single in the bottom of the inning to Nelson, but the Brewers answered back with another g0-ahead hit in the sixth, this one from Morgan.

Up until the ninth inning, the bullpen was doing fine. Jim Henderson came on for the ninth, and struck out the first batter he faced. But, he proceeded to give up back-to-back singles to Wilin Rosario and Young. Then, as if on cue, Tyler Colvin hit a walk-off two-run double.

Make that three closers in the ‘pen who can’t get the job done.

Oh well, nothing here we haven’t seen before. Useless to try and explain it. Again.

MELKY’S OUT

> In very surprising news today, Melky Cabrera was hit with a 50-game suspension for testing positive for testosterone. That means he’s out for the rest of the season, and potentially the National League Division Series, should the Giants somehow make it there without his presence.

Cabrera was hitting .346 while leading the Majors in hits with 159. He was on pace to have a career year and was igniting an otherwise weak Giants offense. He was also the MVP of the All-Star Game.

Now, I’m not going to come down on Cabrera here, because I know I’m going to get nothing but hate as a Brewers fan. People on Twitter were actually directly addressing Brewers fans not to get cocky during this situation, for some reason. Don’t know why you’d call out fans of a team whose MVP was exonerated before even getting on Cabrera- who admitted to taking an alleged substance-  for what he did.

Oh well. Hopefully this humbles any Giants fans who were mocking Ryan Braun earlier this season (I’m pretty sure he was booed in San Francisco).

THE NEWS

> Melky was banned for 50 games, but hopefully you already know that.

> In the midst of the slump I wrote about last night, Braun received an off-day.

> The Brewers are planning for Shaun Marcum to return sometime next week. He’ll make his second- and hopefully last- rehab start tomorrow for the Timber Rattlers.

> Felix Hernandez threw the 23rd perfect game in history today against the Rays. I watched the last three innings, and I don’t know what he looked like early in the game, but he was utterly nasty those last three innings. Rays hitters weren’t even remotely close to making solid contact, or any contact at all, for that matter: King Felix struck out 12.

THE NUMBERS

> The Brewers haven’t won a series at Coors Field since 2005. It all makes sense now.

> This was Henderson’s first career blown save, so maybe it’s not worth throwing him in the trash yet. I still trust him more than John Axford or Francisco Rodriguez.

> The probables for the upcoming series against the Phillies (at home, thankfully):

Cliff Lee (2-7, 3.85 ERA) vs. Marco Estrada (0-5, 4.36 ERA)

??? vs. ???

??? vs. ???

 

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After Greinke’s great start, Brewers get shaky win

August 28, 2011

This win certainly didn’t come easy, but, as you’d expect, the Brewers found a way to pull this one out.

The Brewers defeated the Cubs today, 3-2, and completed a three-game sweep of them at Miller Park. It appeared that the Cubs were going to go easily from the start, as Zack Greinke didn’t even give up his first hit until the fifth inning. But, it turned out that the Brewers would have to get around some late drama to win this one.

But, before I get into any of that, let me say that Greinke had a great start, and definitely rebounded from his awful start in Pittsburgh his last time out. Greinke went 7 2/3 innings while giving up a run on four hits. He walked two and struck out seven. The 7 2/3 innings also tied Greinke’s longest start of the year.

Ryan Braun hit a RBI double in the first inning to get the Brewers on the board first (how many times have I said that over the past week?), which followed a Corey Hart single. That would be it until the fifth inning, when Hart stayed hot and hit a two-run home run to give the Brewers a 3-0 lead.

But, things got interesting in the eighth inning. Greinke gave up a one-out double to Blake DeWitt, and after retiring one more batter, Ron Roenicke pulled him in favor of Francisco Rodriguez. K-Rod came in and promptly gave up a RBI double to Darwin Barney to cut the Cubs’ deficit to 3-1, but he retired Aramis Ramirez to get out of the inning.

John Axford came on to close it out in the ninth, but made it a shaky save. Carlos Pena nearly hit a homer leading off the inning, but it lost carry at the warning track. Then, Tyler Colvin didn’t miss his homer and took Axford deep to cut the deficit to 3-2. Axford then lost his command for a batter and walked Marlon Byrd, and the next batter, Alfonso Soriano, practically hit a go-ahead two-run homer that, like Pena’s, died down at the warning track.

But it didn’t stop there. With two outs and Byrd still on first, Casey McGehee made an error at third base that I thought for sure was going to blow the Brewers the game. But, Geovany Soto grounded out to end the game. (McGehee actually bobbled that ball too, but still made the out.)

Anyway, now that I’m done talking about how shaky Axford’s save was, let me give some positives about- it was his 40th save of the year. He now becomes the second closer in Brewers history to notch 40 saves, the first being Francisco Cordero (44 saves in 2007). It was also Axford’s 37th consecutive save, which continues to add on to a franchise record.

McGehee’s defense in the ninth inning today was just awful, as I mentioned earlier. To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Taylor Green get his first Major League start the day after tomorrow just because of McGehee’s performance in the ninth. I don’t know if Green is as good defensively as he is offensively, but I don’t think anyone could be as bad as McGehee was in the ninth today.

The Brewers have an off-day tomorrow, but, after that, they’ll face the Cardinals, who they currently have a 10.5 over in the NL Central. So, with a few wins in this series, the Brewers can pretty much knock them out. Here are the probables for the series:

Edwin Jackson (10-9, 3.95 ERA) vs. Shaun Marcum (11-4, 3.38 ERA)

??? vs. Randy Wolf (11-8, 3.37 ERA)

??? vs. Yovani Gallardo (15-8, 3.37 ERA)

MLB has yet to announced the starters for the last two games of the series, but I do know that the Brewers won’t have to face Jaime Garcia or Chris Carpenter, the best pitchers in the Cardinals’ rotation. So I guess that means that we’ll be facing Kyle Lohse and Jake Westbrook, but I don’t know in which order.