Davies can’t contain Franco, Phils

April 23, 2016

> A day after getting embarrassed by Ricky Nolasco and the Twins, the Brewers dropped their second straight game, losing to the Phillies 5-2. Zach Davies (0-2, 9.72 ERA) improved upon his atrocious season debut against the Pirates earlier this week, but it wasn’t enough as Philadelphia’s lineup teed off against him the second through the order.

The Brewers got on the board right away in the first inning on Chris Carter’s RBI single. That appeared to be all Davies would need, as he cruised through the the first three innings without any trouble. However, in the fourth, Cameron Rupp hit a one-out double, and then Darin Ruf tied the game with an RBI single two batters later. The Phils continued to pour it on in the fifth inning: Odubel Herrera started the rally with a one-out single, and he was promptly driven in on a Freddy Galvis triple. Maikel Franco then put the nail in the coffin with a two-run shot to left field, extending the Phillies’ lead to 4-1. They would tack on another in the seventh inning when Franco hit his second bomb of the game, this one coming off reliever Chris Capuano.

After their first inning run, the Brewers couldn’t get anything going against Phillies starter Aaron Nola. He allowed just that run on four hits over seven innings. Nola walked two and struck out seven. Milwaukee did get one more run in the ninth inning thanks to Aaron Hill’s RBI double off reliever Jeanmar Gomez but couldn’t sustain the rally.

Davies wasn’t terrible on this night; his performance was better than the average Taylor Jungmann or Wily Peralta start so far this season. However, the Phillies evidently caught onto him the second time around. Davies went six innings while giving up four runs on nine hits. He walked one and struck out five in his second loss of the season.

> A lot has happened since I last wrote in July of 2013 (which was, ironically, the day Ryan Braun received his 65-game suspension). There’s far too much between then and now for me to detail, but here’s a quick recap of the major events that have taken place.

> The Brewers finished 2013 a dismal 74-88. That was to be expected as Braun was banished from the field for a better part of the second half of the season, and beyond him there wasn’t much offense. However, it was during 2013 that Carlos Gomez and Jonathan Lucroy began their respective rises to stardom; Jean Segura also had his lone All-Star appearance in a Brewers uniform.

> Towards the end of the 2013-14 offseason, the Brewers hadn’t done much of anything, and appeared to be headed for another down year. However, shortly before the 2014 season, they stunned the baseball world and signed Matt Garza to a four-year, $52 million deal, the largest free agent signing in franchise history. All of a sudden, Milwaukee didn’t look half bad on paper, and that translated to the field, at least for most of the season. The expected 3-4 combo of Braun and Aramis Ramirez actually didn’t contribute as much as expected, but Gomez and Lucroy led the way and helped the Brewers remain in first place in the National League Central for a majority of the year. Peralta also had a career year, going 17-11 with a 3.53 ERA and establishing himself as the new ace of the rotation. However, what appeared to be a sure playoff berth descended into one of the most disappointing finishes in recent history. What could have been a decent season for Garza got cut short with an injury, the rest of the rotation struggled to find consistency, the bats went cold, and the bullpen– which had been spectacular for most of the year thanks to finds such as lefties Zach Duke and Will Smith– fell off a cliff in the season’s final months. All of this led to a 3-16 stretch between Aug. 20 and Sept. 9 that completely killed the team’s chances at making the postseason. A resurgent Mike Fiers, who returned to his dominant form from mid-2012, was the only bright spot the team had down the stretch. The Brewers finished 82-80– even worse than in 2012 when they went 83-79 despite one of the worst bullpens they’ve had in recent history– good for third place behind the Cardinals and Pirates.

> The promise heading into 2015 was that the Brewers had put their awful finish in 2014 behind them and were ready to contend again. They couldn’t have been more wrong. Milwaukee started 2-10, tying their worst start in franchise history. Things didn’t get much better, and when they were 7-18, Doug Melvin finally pulled the plug on manager Ron Roenicke, a move that felt long overdue. He brought in former fan favorite Craig Counsell, who had been working in the Brewers’ front office since his retirement after 2011, as the interim manager.

The Brewers were nowhere near contention come summer, and with a few impending free agents, moves had to be made. Melvin started the fire sale by trading Ramirez to Pittsburgh– the team that originally signed him as an amateur free agent back in 1994– in exchange for Double-A reliever Yhonathan Barrios. A shortstop-turned-pitcher, Barrios can reach triple digits, and he impressed the Brewers when rosters expanded last September. He likely would have made the team out of spring training this year, but an injury has derailed him for the time being.

The next trade was no doubt the biggest and showed fans that the Brewers are truly trying to turn over their minor league system. Melvin sent Gomez and Fiers to the Astros for a package of four prospects: outfielders Brett Phillips and Domingo Santana, left-handed starter Josh Hader, and right-hander Adrian Houser. Phillips, Santana, and Hader were all in MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospects at the time; Phillips and Hader still are, while Santana is proving a mainstay at the major league level in 2016.

The Brewers also scammed the Orioles out of one of their top prospects. In dire need of an outfielder, Baltimore sent the Brewers their #3 prospect, the right-handed starter Davies, in exchange for Gerardo Parra. Don’t get me wrong: Parra was hitting around .330 at the time and appeared to be a good acquisition on paper for the Orioles. However, the ended up only getting him for half a season, as he signed a free agent deal with the Rockies this past offseason. Basically, the O’s traded Davies– one of their best prospects– for a short-term outfielder who didn’t even help them make the postseason.

Milwaukee made another small trade before the deadline last season, trading Jonathan Broxton to the Cardinals in exchange for outfielder Malik Collymore, who is still in Rookie ball. But the fact that the Brewers got anything of value in return for Broxton is a success in my book.

Fast-forward to the end of 2016: the Brewers finished 68-94, their worst record since 2004, when they went 67-94. However, they at least got what they could have out of a terrible season on the field by completely re-stocking their minor league system, which had been considered among the worst in baseball since they went all in back in 2011. Melvin also announced near the end of the season that he would be stepping down as general manager; this allowed the Brewers to hire the young David Stearns, formerly the assistant GM for Houston.

Stearns completely turned over the Brewers’ roster prior to the 2016 season. He brought in players he was familiar with, such as first baseman Carter and shortstop Jonathan Villar, from his days with the Astros. He also made a blockbuster deal with the Diamondbacks, sending Segura and top pitching prospect Tyler Wagner to the desert in exchange for right-handed starter Chase Anderson, second baseman Hill, and minor league shortstop Isan Diaz.

At just 30 years of age, Stearns is very young to be a general manager, but he’s already served as assistant GM for both the Indians and Astros, so he has experience. He’s also had the opportunity to watch the Astros go from nothing to a contender in just a few years by efficiently building up their farm system through the draft and trades, and he seems to be using the same process with the Brewers. Who knows what 2016 will bring, but, whether it be good or bad, I feel much more comfortable with Stearns at the helm than I ever did with Melvin.

> I guess this turned into a pretty long-winded article after all, which I hoped to avoid in my first post returning, but I might as well finish it. I thought I was deserting BWI for good after I could no longer find time to write it; my last post on here would have been the summer before my junior year of high school, and now I’m finishing up my freshman year of college. To be honest, though, I’ve had the itch to bring it back ever since I quit: in 2014, I started writing an article about how the second Wild Card was ruining baseball and making non-contenders think that they were contenders; I used the Royals as my prime example (the irony is still killing me). However, I never finished that article, which was probably for the best. Then, around the Trade Deadline in 2015, I started writing one about the speculation of why the original Gomez trade, in which the Brewers would have acquired Zack Wheeler and Wilmer Flores from the Mets, never happened. Both of those articles are still sitting in the drafts of this website, and I’ll probably never publish them, but they’re proof that I’ve wanted to come back all this time.

If I want to keep it up, I’ll have to balance it with schoolwork and my job, among other things, but I think I can do that. I go to a small liberal arts school in southern Wisconsin, where I’m majoring in Business Economics with a minor in Journalism. I chose the school primarily because it gave me the best scholarship, but also because of an interesting job opportunity in the area with a minor league baseball team. I’ve been doing stat-stringing– essentially relaying the play-by-play as it happens to Minor League Baseball, which allows them to post it to their website– as well as writing game recaps and other articles for the team (so it isn’t like I haven’t written a sports article in three years).

I intend to keep using this blog as a means of practice for (hopeful) future jobs in journalism, but developing a fan base/network using BWI would be cool as well. I’ve done that with this site in the past, though my Twitter account definitely helped out with that. However, ever since I left Reviewing the Brew, I haven’t used my Twitter account much at all, and at this point I’d say I’m probably never going to actively use it again. In any case, if you happen to be scrolling through, feel free to drop a comment or something. I’m looking forward to getting back to this.

 

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Brewers inactive on Day 1 of Meetings

December 4, 2012

> The Brewers didn’t make any significant moves on the first day of this year’s Winter Meetings. Doug Melvin was questioned about a few topics, such as a possible pursuit of Ryan Dempster, but, as always, he said very little.

When asked about Dempster, Melvin gave a relatively indirect response, and made no indication as to whether the Brewers were after him:

“While he’s here, we might as well [meet]. We like the starters that we have, though. You’ve got [Yovani] Gallardo, you’ve got [Marco] Estrada and [Mike] Fiers, [Wily] Peralta, Mark Rogers, [Chris] Narveson. Is it time to give our young guys a chance and find out about them?” 

Whether or not the Brewers end up signing a veteran such as Dempster, the young guys are still going to get a look. In my opinion, the only locks for the rotation at this point are Gallardo and Estrada. The rest of the guys- Fiers, Peralta, Rogers, Narveson- are all viable options as well, however, and I don’t think the rotation is as big of a problem as some are making it out to be.

Personally, I’m in favor of signing Dempster. I don’t think he’ll turn out to be a Jeff Suppan or Randy Wolf-like signing (despite the fact that Dempster is older than both), but you never know. As I’ve been saying, Dempster isn’t a necessity: I’m perfectly fine with a rotation consisting of Gallardo, Estrada, Peralta, Narveson, and Fiers (I’m beginning to see Rogers as a potential reliever). I can see where someone not too familiar with the Brewers would have concerns about that rotation, but go back and look at the numbers. That’s by no means among the best rotations in baseball, but it’s capable of winning games, especially with the offense the Brewers already have. (By the way, Melvin also mentioned prospects Tyler Thornburg and Hiram Burgos as options, but they’re probably still both a year- maybe less- away.)

Melvin did speak about the bullpen situation, however, and said he’d made contact with the agents of two of the best possible fits for the Brewers: Sean Burnett and Jason Grilli. Burnett, in my opinion, is the best lefty on the market, so if the Brewers were to nab him, I’d be happy. But that’s what we all thought about David Riske in 2007, and look what happened after the Brewers signed him to a three-year pact.

Grilli is already 36, but the Brewers had success with LaTroy Hawkins (38 at the time) and Takashi Saito (41) in 2011, so I’m not too worried about the age factor. Anyway, he’s one of the better right-handed relievers on the market, and can still get it up their in the mid-to-upper 90’s, something the Brewers are looking for.

Anyway, those were the main points for the interview with Melvin today. Adam McCalvy reported a few other “tidbits” from the chat as well:

> Melvin clarified that the Brewers see Estrada and Narveson as starting pitchers “at this time.” Estrada, who basically played the role of swing-man in 2011 and early 2012, has proven that he is much more successful pitching in the rotation, and now he’s getting his shot at the full-time job. Narveson, on the other hand, missed all of 2012 after just two starts because of a rotator cuff injury. If the Brewers sign a veteran starter, Narveson would be my first choice to move to the bullpen, but I’m fine with him in either role.

> After the Burke Badenhop deal the other day, Melvin said the Brewers aren’t involved in any trade talks at the moment.

> Melvin hasn’t talked to Corey Hart about a possible extension yet. But now there’s speculation that his price has driven up following the mega-deals that went to B.J. Upton and Angel Pagan.

> As I’ve speculated over the past few weeks, teams have asked the Brewers about Jonathan Lucroy and Martin Maldonado, possibly the best young catching tandem in the Majors. But Melvin said he’d need to be blown away by a deal for either of them.

> And that’s about all the Brewers news for today. Check back tomorrow for coverage of Day 2.

> Minor moves: 

Red Sox: Signed Mike Napoli to a three-year deal; signed Mitch Maier, Terry Doyle, Drew Sutton, Oscar Villarreal, and Jose De La Torre to minor league deals.
Giants: Re-signed Pagan to a four-year deal.
Rangers: Signed Joakim Soria to a two-year deal; re-signed Geovany Soto to a one-year deal.
Rays: Signed James Loney to a one-year deal.
Padres: Re-signed Jason Marquis to a one-year deal.
Blue Jays: Claimed Eli Whiteside off waivers from the Yankees.
Nationals: Re-signed Zach Duke to a one-year deal; signed Bill Bray to a minor league deal.
Braves: Re-signed Paul Janish to a one-year deal.
Diamondbacks: Signed Rommie Lewis, Eddie Bonine, Kila Ka’aihue, Humberto Cota, Jeremy Reed, and Brad Snyder to minor league deals.


Looking back at the first week of 2011’s offseason

November 7, 2011

> The first week of the 2011 MLB offseason was rather quiet, with none of the top free agents reaching agreements with new teams (or the ones they were already with). But I guess that wasn’t expected. Anyway, despite this, there were a lot of minor moves, with some more significant than others, and later in this article I’ll try to go through every move made. But, before that, there is one Brewers-related piece of news that I should probably share.

> Dale Sveum is going to be interviewed for the Cubs’ managerial vacancy tomorrow. Ugh.

Over the past few days, Sveum has been considered the front-runner to become the new Red Sox manager, but nothing has been confirmed. And now he’s going to have a chance to become the Cubs’ manager, a team he has seen up close and personally for quite a few years now as the Brewers’ hitting coach.

So the reason I said “ugh” earlier is because, no matter who it is, I find it painful to see someone from a team I like leave for a team I hate. For instance, I was crushed a few years back when Brett Favre left the Packers for the Jets, and eventually the Vikings- a team I despise. (That is, until I figured out what a loser Favre was under the surface, but you still get the point.) Anyway, I’d be happy for Sveum no matter where he goes (if he does end up managing), but let me say I’d be much happier if he went to the Red Sox instead of the Cubs.

> But, with that aside, let’s get to all the moves that occurred during this first week of the Hot Stove. I guess I didn’t realize how much I didn’t cover on BreakingWI, but here’s my chance to redeem myself.

> Frank McCourt agreed with MLB to sell the Dodgers, and hopefully put this divorce-bankruptcy crap behind him and the franchise. The Dodgers suffered that for far too long, and hopefully whoever ends up being the team can right that ship.

> The long expected CC Sabathia opt-out never actually happened, as the Yankees managed to retain him by adding an extra year, worth $25 million, to his already-remaining for years on the seven-year deal he signed back in 2008 (after he left the Brewers). So much for that… I was looking forward to him sticking it up the Yankees’… Er, maybe I shouldn’t go there.

> The Indians acquired 15-year veteran starting pitcher Derek Lowe from the Braves. Lowe has definitely been on a decline in recent years, but the Indians hope his veteran presence can anchor their very young rotation.

> The Phillies successfully signed designated hitter Jim Thome to a one-year deal worth $1.225 million. Oh, wait, they’re a National League team… Apparently they expect him to play a little first base and be a power lefty off the bench, but I can’t see this deal working out very well.

> Cards manager Tony La Russa decided to retire after 33 seasons as a Major League manager. He definitely went out on top, that’s for sure…

> Davey Johnson is going to be the Nationals’ manager in 2012 as well, after picking up where Jim Riggleman left off midway through the 2011 season.

> The Giants exercised their option on lefty reliever Jeremy Affeldt, and also signed fellow lefty reliever Javier Lopez to a two-year deal.

> The Dodgers re-signed Juan Rivera to a one-year deal worth $4.5 million after acquiring him from the Blue Jays halfway through the 2011 season.

> The Cubs exercised their half of the option on third baseman Aramis Ramirez, but Ramirez declined his half, thus becoming a free agent.

> The Nationals re-signed starter Chien-Ming Wang to a one-year deal, following three seasons full of injuries- two of which he didn’t even pitch at all. But, before that, he was a dominant starting pitcher for the Yankees.

> The Diamondbacks made a few signings on and off the field, as they locked up shortstop John McDonald with a two-year, $3 million deal, along with a one-year deal worth $1.2 million for catcher Henry Blanco. They also extended GM Kevin Towers and manager Kirk Gibson, both of whom completely turned around what looked to be another disappointing season coming in.

> The Brewers declined their $17.5 million option on Francisco Rodriguez, which was inherited from the Mets. They also declined a $6 million option on shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt (HOORAY!).

> The Mets pretty much came out and said that they’re not going to be able to retain shortstop Jose Reyes. Not that I’m surprised, but it’s sort of odd that they’d come out and say it like that.

> The Braves have announced that they would trade starter Jair Jurrjens and outfielder/second baseman Martin Prado, if given a good enough deal. Right now, the Royals look like the best destination, at least for Jurrjens.

> The Giants are willing to trade starter Jonathan Sanchez. Not sure who would want that walk-machine, unless they really need starting pitching.

> The Cardinals declined their options  on shortstop Rafael Furcal and reliever Octavio Dotel. That was surprising to some (including me).

> The Red Sox picked up their $6 million option on shortstop Marco Scutaro.

> The Nationals appear to be in the running for starter Roy Oswalt, whose option was declined by the Phillies prior to the World Series.

> It sounds like the Phillies are literally dying for Michael Cuddyer, which means they’ll probably have him. But that would pretty much nullify the Thome deal, because Cuddyer could play a similar role, but is so much more versatile.

> The Diamondbacks declined options on starter Zach Duke, second baseman Aaron Hill, and shortstop Willie Bloomquist, but are probably open to re-signing Hill and Bloomquist.

> The Blue Jays picked up their option on outfielder Edwin Encarnacion, but declined their option on reliever Jon Rauch.

> The Royals picked up their $6 million option on closer Joakim Soria, who is coming off a horrible 2011. But, prior to that, he was one of the top closers in the game.

> The Reds picked up their option on second baseman Brandon Phillips, but declined the option on closer Francisco Cordero.

> The Padres declined options on starter Aaron Harang, reliever Chad Qualls, and first baseman Brad Hawpe. I thought it was interesting that they didn’t pick up Harang’s option, because he actually quietly put up a good season.

> The Rays exercised their option  on starter James Shields and closer Kyle Farnsworth, while declining both of those pitchers’ batterymate, Kelly Shoppach.

> Mariners closer David Aardsma, who did not pitch at all in 2011 due to an injury from 2010, has elected free agency. Whichever team that signs him will probably have to wait until at least June for his services in the Majors, however, as he’s still recovering from the injury.

> The White Sox picked up their option on reliever Jason Frasor, who they acquired from the Blue Jays at the Trade Deadline.

> The Indians exercised their option on starter Fausto Carmona, but declined the option on the injury-plagued center fielder Grady Sizemore.

> The Pirates declined options on catcher Ryan Doumit, shortstop Ronny Cedeno, catcher Chris Snyder, and starter Paul Maholm. I thought they should have kept Maholm at least, because he’s good- just doesn’t get run support. But they can do whatever the want to keep themselves from having their first winning season since 1992, for all I care…

> The Rockies declined their option on starter Aaron Cook. That was definitely expected, as he’s been injury-plagued and ineffective over the past two years.

> Lastly, the Rangers exercised their option on Japanese reliever Yoshinori Tateyama.

Well, that took awhile, but thanks for reading. Feel free to leave thoughts on these moves, if you have any.



Wolf struggles early as Brewers fall again

July 6, 2011

9:57p Diamondbacks-Brewers Wrap-Up

Not too many things are going the Brewers’ way right now.

Starter Randy Wolf struggled early and would end up giving up seven runs to the Diamondbacks as the Brewers lost, 7-3. It was their seventh loss over their past eight games, that only win being the comeback in Minnesota last week.

The Diamondbacks jumped on Wolf early,  getting four quick runs in the first inning. Miguel Montero hit a two-run single, and Xavier Nady and Gerardo Parra both had RBI singles. On Parra’s single, he tried to go for second base, assuming center fielder Carlos Gomez’s throw was going to the plate. Wolf, however, cut it off and threw him out at second. Who knows how much more bleeding would have happened in that inning had Wolf not cut off the throw. The Brewers answered immediately in their half of the inning, as Prince Fielder hit an infield single off of Diamondbacks starter Zach Duke to drive in Rickie Weeks from third. It was Fielder’s league-leading 70th RBI of the year. He would tack on another RBI later in the sixth inning, with his 22nd homer of the year.

The Diamondbacks got to Wolf again in the third, as Justin Upton and Parra both hit home runs. Parra’s was a two-run shot while Upton’s was a solo, and the Diamondbacks took a 7-1 lead.

In the eighth inning, Corey Hart hit his 10th homer of the year, making it a 7-3 game. It wouldn’t matter much, however, as David Hernandez put the game away by getting the last out in ninth after Alberto Castillo gave up a hit and a walk.

Duke finally gets it going against Crew

Duke, a former Pirate, got his first career win against the Brewers at Miller Park. Duke, and the rest of the Pirates, struggled a lot at Miller Park. He was 0-6 in his career at the home of the Crew coming into today. He pitched a decent game today, going seven innings and giving up just two runs on five hits. He walked two and struck out one.

Wolf, meanwhile, couldn’t find his rhythm, and had one of his worst starts of the year. He was forced to go six innings because of a taxed bullpen, giving up seven runs on 10 hits, while walking four and striking out four. He likely would have been taken out earlier, but Brewers starters haven’t been going very deep into games lately, leaving the bullpen with a lot of work.

Braun sits for third straight game

This is not a good sign.

Ryan Braun sat out for the third time in as many games, still appearing to be nursing his strained calf. Utility man Josh Wilson started in left field instead, making his first career start in the outfield. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke claimed that he did not want to use Mark Kotsay for the fourth straight game, considering Kotsay has had health issues in his career. Roenicke also wanted a right-hander in the lineup against the lefty Duke, as he’s usually pretty tough on lefties, which is why Roenicke opted not to use the lefty outfielder Nyjer Morgan.

Braun was actually going to pinch-hit in the ninth inning with two men on base, but Hart grounded out for the last out of the game.

Brewers can’t continue home dominance

Coming into today, the Brewers were the only team in the Majors to not have lost consecutive home games. That changed after back-to-back losses to the Diamondbacks at Miller Park. To be honest, I was eager to see if the Brewers could go the entire season without losing back-to-back home games, which would have been quite the feat. Sadly, that won’t happen now.

Fielder announces Home Run Derby picks

Fielder, named the captain of the National League Home Run Derby team, finalized his picks today. These will be the sluggers joining him in the first ever team derby this year:

Prince Fielder (captain), Brewers- 22 home runs

Rickie Weeks, Brewers- 15 home runs

Matt Holliday, Cardinals- 10 home runs

Matt Kemp, Dodgers- 22 home runs

Kemp was obviously a must-have for the team, being tied with Fielder for the league lead in homers at 22. Weeks kind of surprised me, but I’ve heard he kills the ball during batting practice (which is pretty much what the derby is, competitive batting practice). Holliday surprised me the most. He’s had a few stints on the DL this year and has just 10 homers, but he was in the derby last year and should be a help to the NL team.

And, as long as we’re on the topic, I’ll list the American League team, led by Boston’s David Ortiz:

David Ortiz (captain), Red Sox- 17 home runs

Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox- 16 home runs

Jose Bautista, Blue Jays- 27 home runs

Robinson Cano, Yankees- 14 home runs

I’m actually kind of surprised Gonzalez accepted the invitation to the derby, since he isn’t exactly what you’d call an extreme home run hitter, and you’d think that trying to hit homers on purpose would mess with his swing. Cano was the main surprise of the AL team for me, since he has only 14 homers. If it were me, I would have chosen Mark Teixeira over Cano, but I’m not the derby captain. Lastly, I don’t think I need to say anything about Bautista- those 27 home runs speak for themselves.

Haha, I guess I got pretty off topic with that whole derby thing. So let’s get back to the Brewers now.

Up next for the Crew…

The Brewers will attempt to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Diamondbacks tomorrow, and will send Yovani Gallardo (9-5, 3.92 ERA) to the mound, in hopes he can bounce back from a rough outing against Minnesota. He gave up five runs (three earned) against the Twins his last time out. In his career against the Diamondbacks, he is 3-0 with a 1.06 ERA.

The Diamondbacks, meanwhile, will counter with Josh Collmenter (4-5, 3.17 ERA), who will hope to get back on track. In six starts after being moved out of the bullpen to the starting rotation, he compiled a stellar 1.05 ERA. However, in four starts since, he is 0-4 with a 7.54 ERA. Hopefully the Brewers will jump on him while he’s still struggling, because he can be hard to pick up when he’s on his game.

Elswhere around the division…

  • The Cubs lost to the Nationals again, 3-2. They are 12 games back.
  • The Pirates defeated the Astros, 5-1, and overtook the Brewers in the Central. Hopefully this doesn’t last long, but I guess the Pirates are finally proving their worth. I doubt this will change the fact that the Brewers destroy the Pirates, however.
  • The Cardinals defeated the Reds, 8-1. They are in first in the division and four games back, respectively.

Quick blog update…

Earlier today, I added a new page to BreakingWI. It was list of all of the Brewers currently on the 25 man roster, and I thought it would be handy to have a page for it on BreakingWI. I might add a page for the 40 man roster later as well.


Brewers’ bullpen melts down again in loss to D-backs

July 5, 2011

6:32p Diamondbacks-Brewers Wrap-Up

Well, before I have to get negative, let me wish everyone a happy 4th of July.

Now for the negative.

The Brewers let another 6-1 lead go in their 8-6 loss to the Diamondbacks. The bullpen melted down once again, as they let the Diamondbacks chip all the way back from a 6-1 deficit.

Things looked to be going well for the Brewers early on in the 3rd inning. After Casey McGehee’s double and Jonathan Lucroy’s single, starter Shaun Marcum bunted up the first base line. McGehee surprisingly tried to score. He would have been out, had it not been for a throwing error by first baseman Juan Miranda. The Diamondbacks immediately answered in the 4th, however, when Miguel Montero hit a solo shot off Marcum.

The bottom of the 4th was the big inning for the Brewers. Corey Hart led off with a solo homer off Diamondbacks starter Daniel Hudson, giving the Brewers a 2-1 lead. Then, after singles by Prince Fielder and McGehee and a walk by Lucroy, Marcum stepped up to the plate with two outs. Sure enough, he crushed a grand slam into the Brewers’ bullpen, giving the Brewers a 6-1 lead.

After that inning, everything went downhill for the Crew.

After Wily Mo Pena’s pinch-hit homer in the 5th, the Diamondbacks scored at least one run in every inning until the end of the game. Marcum was lifted after the 6th. He finished with six innings, while giving up seven hits, four runs, two walks, and had five strikeouts.

In the 7th, Stephen Drew singled off of reliever LaTroy Hawkins, halting his scoreless streak at 22 innings. Then, in the 8th, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke made the mistake of bringing in Kameron Loe. He gave up a run on four hits, but got lucky because of two runners thrown out at third. John Axford came in to record the final out of the inning.

In the 9th, everything fell apart for Axford, which was very uncharacteristic of him. He gave up two runs on four hits, making it an 8-6 Diamondbacks lead. Diamondbacks reliever David Hernandez came in for the bottom of the inning, and struck out the side to record the save.

Kameron Loe sucks.

I vented out on Loe yesterday in one of my posts, as well as earlier today in one of my tweets. Now, I feel the need to again.

He did not take the loss today, but he blew his sixth save of the year. (It obviously wasn’t a save, but blown hold sounds stupid.) He is now 2-7 with a 4.87 ERA. I have no idea why Roenicke is being so stubborn and continuing to use him, despite all those losses and blown saves, when LaTroy Hawkins and his 0.82 ERA are sitting in the bullpen, unused. Not to mention we have Takashi Saito back from the DL. But I guess he’ll be getting the Hawkins treatment as well.

In my opinion, we’d almost be better off cutting Loe and calling up Tim Dillard or Mike McClendon. But that’s NEVER going to happen, at least not as long as Roenicke is manager.

Marcum’s slam wasted by bullpen

I thought after Marcum hit that grand slam off Hudson that we had the game won. But, the bullpen had other ideas, apparently.

Anyway, Marcum’s slam was the first by a pitcher in Brewers history. However, Seattle Pilots pitcher Fred Talbot hit a grand slam in the Pilots’ lone season in 1969 before moving to Milwaukee and becoming the Brewers.

Braun sits again

Now I’m beginning to get a little worried. I was hoping Ryan Braun would be back in the lineup today, but he was out again with his calf injury. His absence in the lineup may be part of the reason that our offense has failed to get rallies going in late innings. Hopefully he’ll be back tomorrow.

McGehee’s slump appears over

McGehee finally appeared to be out of his slump today, as he went 2-for-4 with a double and a single off of Hudson. Sadly, I’m not sure we can consider him completely out of it, considering Hudson has failed to retire McGehee during his entire career. McGehee is 5-for-5 against Hudson in his career.

Up next for the Crew…

The Brewers will see a familiar face tomorrow in Arizona’s Zach Duke (1-3, 5.92 ERA). The Brewers saw a lot of Duke during his days with the Pirates. Duke was traded to the Diamondbacks early last offseason, and is 4-7 with a 6.14 ERA in his career against the Brewers. Randy Wolf (6-5, 3.33 ERA) will go for the Crew, looking for his 7th win of the season. He’s coming off of a solid start against the Yankees. He gave up four runs over seven innings, but received no run support. In his career, Wolf is 10-3 with a 4.47 ERA against the Diamondbacks.

Elsewhere around the division…

  • The Cardinals are currently leading the Reds 1-0 in the 8th inning. If the Cards win, they will take the division lead.
  • The Cubs lost in extra innings to the Nationals, 5-4. They are 10.5 games back.
  • Pirates defeated the Astros, 5-3. They are 1 and 16.5 games back, respectively. (I can’t remember the last time the Pirates were 1 game back. This is scary.)