Round ’em Up: Monday

7 04 2008

The MIlwaukee Brewers have a much deserved day off today.  They will take on the Cincinnati Reds and ESPN’s new love-child, Johnny Cueto.  Until then, Brewers fans have nothing to hold them over until tomorrow.  Wait, yes they do.  How about a Round ’em Up?!  I’ll do what I can do fill the void:

  • Anthony Witrado from the Milwaukee JS writes a story on Ben Sheets and his absolute gem yesterday.  Sheets has always had considerable success against the San Francisco Giants, but he stepped up his game yesterday.  I agree with what one of the readers of BN, Nate, said yesterday: if the Giants were so bad, why hasn’t every pitcher thrown a complete game shutout against them this season?  Obviously Sheets had special stuff yesterday.
  • Speaking of gems, JR Radcliffe from brewers.com suggests that Mike Rivera is a big reason for the success of Manny Parra on Saturday.  Rivera caught for Parra when he threw his perfect game last season in Triple-A.  Mike said that Parra had his no-hit stuff on Saturday, it was just too early in the season.  Parra obviously got tired in the sixth inning.  Ned Yost is not a fan of “personal catchers” or anything of that sort, but it will be interesting to see if Rivera is behind the plate the next time Manny takes the mound.
  • Between the Green Pillars (a Sports Bubbler blog) has their NL Central preview posted.  I liked that he admitted a pro-Brewers bias early in his article.  When I wrote my preview, I felt obligated to do the same thing.  It is obvious that the grass is a little greener north of Chicago, since we both are Brewers fans.  Still, the Crew has a real chance to beat out the Cubs for an NL Central crown this season.
  • (Hat tip to KL Snow on this one) A Chicago Cubs blog has their first 2008 Power Rankings posted on their site.  I know each person is entitled to their own thoughts, but the Milwaukee Brewers are #12 in this ranking.  As expected, the Cubs are ahead of the Brewers at #9.  But…the St. Louis Cardinals are #7.  SEVEN.  I understand their first week went much, much better than expected, but does anyone honestly believe that Kyle Lohse can continue his shutout-caliber pitching?  There is no way that Kyle Lohse is even in the same ballpark as Ben Sheets.  I must admit, however, Rick Ankiel has done much better than I predicted he would.  It’s early though.
  • David Pinto points out that right-handed hitters have been 3 for 27 against Ben Sheets this season.  Expect teams to trot out as many left-handed hitters as possible in the next couple games against the Crew.
  • KL Snow from Brew Crew Ball has set up a nice little weekly poll to get a feel of how Brewers fans are feeling about different aspects of the Milwaukee Brewers.  You should certainly check it out and voice your opinion!
  • The Sports Bubbler discusses Jason Kendall and his potential impact on the Brewers offense.  I feel like there is so much more that could have been discussed in this article, but it is a good starting point.  I do not think that any Brewers fans expect Jason to continue on the pace he is on currently, but his hard-nosed style and his high energy is a welcome sight behind the plate after dealing with Johnny Estrada for an entire year.  Even if Kendall’s offensive numbers decline, he has shown to be a very good game caller.  Ben Sheets credited Jason for his shutout yesterday.  All the Brewers faithful have been impressed with Jason Kendall thus far in ’08.
  • Here’s a podcast with Ben Sheets after yesterday’s game.
  • Two days ago, Jake Peavy threw a two-hit shutout for the San Diego Padres.  Yesterday, pictures surfaced on the internet that shows some dark substance on Peavy’s right hand.  Naturally, people have begun to question Peavy’s performance and some have even accused him of cheating (a la Kenny Rogers).  I personally believe Bud Black and Peavy’s explanations that dirt got on his hand after using a lot of rosin.  Peavy’s stuff is so nasty that he does not need to cheat.  Now if someone like Claudio Vargas threw a two-hit shutout, I would be calling for someone to check his hands.

    I know that is a simplistic defense, but Jake Peavy has never shown the tendency to cheat before.  It seems unrealistic that he would pick one day and no others to cheat.  There was nothing special about the game.  Either he’s always had stuff on his hands that has given him an unfair advantage and no one has ever caught it, or he simply had dirt on his hands.  There is no good reason why Peavy would have picked Saturday’s game and no other game to cheat.  I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on this one.

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2 responses

7 04 2008
Brent

You know…I’m starting to like Jason Kendall. He played so badly last season, that I never thought I would say that. He’s just a big leaguer. He plays hard and the right way. I also cannot deny that the starting rotation has looked a lot better since he’s been behind the plate. I know he wont keep up his offensive numbers, but I hope he can keep it up behind the plate!

7 04 2008
Nate

I would love to see Yost try to manage Wakefield, especially with Varitek behind the plate and see if he then believes in finding a “personal” catcher that might catch a knuckler!

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