Sheets a beautiful “Cy”-ght

6 04 2008

People always question Ben Sheets.  I have been criticized in a few emails and on other sites for predicting Sheets to win the NL Cy Young this season.  After today’s absolute gem, Sheets is in prime form.

Ben completed his first complete game shutout since his rookie season today.  The San Francisco Giants managed only five hits, only one single after the fourth inning, against Sheeter today.  His curveball was absolutely electric today.  He was able to get ahead of the count with that curveball and a well-located fastball, and his pitch count was manageable all day.

It is clear that Sheets and Jason Kendall work very well together.  Sheets likes to work fast, getting the ball back and firing it right back to the catcher.  When he has someone like Kendall that he does not have to shake off very often, Sheets can relax and get into the game much faster.  Kendall looks to have made a big impact on the starting rotation to start the season.  Every pitcher has pitched into the sixth inning so far this season.  That is huge in preserving the bullpen until later in the season.  Not to mention he went 1-3 with an RBI and scored two runs.  He has four doubles thus far in ’08.  I wonder what Cubs fans think of that.

Ryan Braun looks to have found his stroke a little bit today.  He hit his second home run in as many days, to go along with a double and a single.  Braun finished 3-5 with three RBI.  I watched the interview with him after the game, and it is nice to hear him admit that his plate discipline has not been good.  He knows what he needs to improve.  Until then, Brewers fans will take a 3-5 night from Ryan Braun.

Every batter got a base hit today for the Crew (except Ben Sheets).  This balanced attack will help the Crew avoid those cold streaks as a team.  These Milwaukee Brewers look markedly different from last year’s team.  I think Jason Kendall and a healthy Rickie Weeks are a big reason for that.  Did you see the defensive play Weeks made in from behind second base?  I think Rich Aurilia was actually safe on that play, but the sheer impressiveness of the play probably bought Weeks the call there.

The other player that has made an obvious difference has been Gabe Kapler.  Are you sure he didn’t play baseball last season?  Gabe jacked his second homer in the past two days today, and he is a high energy player that makes the whole team better.  He’s patient at the plate, and even can swipe a bag once in a while.  Doug Melvin and Ned Yost are going to have quite the difficult decision to make once Mike Cameron comes back.  That’s a great problem to have.

Records: Brewers (5-1); Giants (1-5)

Hero of the Game: Ben Sheets

Sheets is obviously the Hero of the Game.  In 15+ innings of work, he has yet to give up a run in 2008.  His curveball has looked fantastic thus far this season, and he is putting away batters early in the count.  He is certainly managing his pitch count much better in the last couple games.

The most impressive aspect of Ben’s game today was the fact that he did not walk a single batter while striking out eight.  That’s quite the walk:strikeout ratio right there.  There is nothing else I can say about Benny.  He was absolutely electric today.  When Benny is on, he is one of the most fun pitchers to watch in the Major Leagues.

Goat of the Game: J.J. Hardy

I do not mean to pick on J.J.  I know he had an RBI double early in the game.  The problem is that I do not have anyone else to pick.  The Brewers played almost a perfect game today.  J.J. made one of the only bad plays today because he tried to stretch that double into a triple.  That’s all I have.  I wouldn’t call J.J. the Goat of the Game at all, but I promised I wouldn’t pick anyone from the opposing team anymore.

On Tap

The Brewers have a day off tomorrow.

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7 responses

6 04 2008
Nate

First, Kapler should keep hitting home runs, it makes Braun hit them too.
And I really don’t want to rip on your Cy Young pick because 15 shutout innings is more than impressive. But it always seems to me like Sheets gets injured when he’s at his best. The good thing about this though is that it is pretty tough to get better than he is so he can only get “worse” therefore won’t get injured(?)

6 04 2008
gobrewers

espn ripped on sheets a little by saying that he only got a shutout because it was the giants. his stuff today was amazing. he would have shutout anyone today.

if sheets can stay healthy, sheets for cy young all the way!

7 04 2008
Rick

Why does there have to be a goat every game?

7 04 2008
Nate

Might I suggest to ESPN that if the only reason why he got a shutout is because it was the Giants, why have the Giants actually scored runs then? If it is so “easy” to pitch a shutout, why hasn’t everyone?

7 04 2008
brewersnation

Rick,

It’s just the framework I’m using to discuss the games. Sometimes it sucks to have to pick someone, but I want to discuss both sides of the game…players that have good games and players that have bad games. Yesterday, no one had a bad game, but how often will that happen? That is why I qualified it saying that no one deserved it. Yet, I thought that J.J. had the weakest day out of everyone. That’s not saying he played poorly, just that everyone played that well. You do make a valid point though, RIck.

7 04 2008
Kristin

I just want to say about JJ, that I’m pretty sure he tried to stretch that hit into a triple to distract the Giant’s catcher (or the cut-off man) from the runner trying to score. I’ve seen that happen, not necessarily with the Brewers, but in other games. But obviously I have no idea if that was the actual reason he did that, or if it was just a baserunning error.

7 04 2008
brewersnation

I know the play didn’t matter, and I shouldn’t be considering J.J. the Goat of the Game…but I had to pick one…

The problem I had with the play was that if J.J. stays at second base, the pitcher is up with 1 out, instead of 2. That would have put Kendall (one of the hottest hitters on the team) up with a man in scoring position. Now it didn’t matter because Benny was on fire and we got more runs later, but it could have mattered. You cannot give up an opportunity to score a run. You could be right though Kristin, I had not thought of that.

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