Brewers bash A’s, 7-1

28 02 2008

The Milwaukee Brewers started their 2008 Spring Training schedule with a bang, beating Oakland 7-1.  Oakland’s ace, Joe Blanton, had an awful day on the bump, giving up 6 earned runs in two innings of work.

Batting

The usual suspects, Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun, came out today and raked, both going 1-2 with an RBI sac fly mixed in there.  Prince had a long RBI-double to left-center.  Braun lined a monstrous 2-run home run to center that broke a “batter’s-eye” camera.  Ballpark officials estimate the bomb to measure about 450-feet.  So much for those who thought the two sluggers would start slowly this Spring.

Mike Cameron made his debut in a Brewers uniform today, and he did not disappoint after going 2-3 with an RBI.  After singling up the middle in the 1st and later being driven in by Prince, Cameron followed it up in the second with a bases-loaded single in the second.  Brewers fans hope they see much more of that.

Craig Counsell rounded out the scoring, slapping a two-out RBI single that plated young Matt LaPorta.  LaPorta went 1-1 with a single and a run.

It is also notable that Bill Hall seemed to have no ill-effects from his the finger he injured earlier this morning.  In the top of the first, Billy made a nice diving play to rob Daric Barton of extra bases and to double up Mark Ellis at second.  He then proceeded to scorch a double into center in the bottom half of the first.  So much for an injured finger.

Pitching

Claudio Vargas pitched two shutout innings, scattering three hits.  Many looked upon this outing as Claudio upping his trade value for Milwaukee.  I suppose I would not argue with that sentiment.  Claudio usually starts the season off pretty strong, though.

The six other pitchers only gave up run.  Scott Cassidy gave up a solo shot to Oakland’s Dan Johnson in the 8th.  It was nice to see Guillermo Mota pitch a scoreless inning, especially after the beating he’s been taking from Brewers fans.  I’m sticking with my inkling that he should bounce back pretty nicely this year.  He has motivation to pitch well…that is, if he wants to get paid next off-season, he does.  Luis Pena also pitched a scoreless inning.  Remember that Jim from Brewerfan.net says he’s one to lookout for the next couple seasons.

On Tap

Dave Bush and Manny Parra are scheduled to pitch two innings each tomorrow, as Milwaukee will battle Oakland again in a rematch.  The Brewers will look to have a lead going into the 9th inning, as Eric Gagne is also scheduled to pitch tomorrow.  Wouldn’t it be nice to get him in a “save opportunity” right away to see how he fares?  I for one am excited to see Manny pitch tomorrow.  I still feel as if he is a darkhorse to win a starting job if he pitches very well this spring.

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