Homer barrage helps Brewers halt skid

12 04 2008

This morning I said someone needed to do something to get the Brewers bats going. The Crew did not necessarily pound out the hits, but nobody expected them to against Johan Santana. While hits were semi-difficult to come by, home runs were not. Rickie Weeks, Bill Hall, and Gabe Kapler all hit big flies that carried the Milwaukee Brewers to a win over the Mets ace.

Those contact lenses seem to have helped Bill Hall see the ball a little better, as he has five home runs on the season thus far. His overall contact has been lacking, and his strikeout rate has been quite high. Overall though, the transition back to the infield has done a lot for his offense. People may call it a coincidence, but Bill has pointed out that his legs are a lot less tired when he plays in the infield. Tired legs do translate to trouble at the plate.

I can not say enough about Gabe Kapler. He has done nothing but produce, in both the field and at the plate. He has a veteran approach to the game, and he has been a rock in the lineup. No one could have predicted that before the season started.

Rickie Weeks looks good at the plate. His .209 batting average is not going to impress anyone, but his approach has been great. He’s taking many pitches and drawing walks. Off-speed pitches are still giving him trouble, but he has not gotten completely locked in yet. That 100+ points separating his batting average and his on-base percentage is why he’s a lead-off hitter. He’ll get hot.

Many Brewers fans were wondering how Ben Sheets was going to start the season after a rough spring. How about 16 straight scoreless innings to start the year? How about 18 straight batters retired after a rough first two innings? I think Benny is just fine, thank you very much.

Eric Gagne came in to close out the game today. I am not going to lie. I had my reservations. I was holding my breath the whole time. Eric looked good though. His fastball had a little life today, and he commanded it beautifully. The velocity is still not where I would like it to be, as it’s only in the 92-93mph range, but good location will beat velocity every time. He had a relatively good change-up today. His curveball was a non-factor, but it was good that he still threw it. He needs to keep the batters off-balance. Nice job today, Eric.

Records: Brewers (7-4); Mets (5-5)

Hero of the Game: Ben Sheets

Ben did not look to have his best stuff early in the game. His curveball was getting a little too high in the zone, and his fastball lacked his usual velocity. He gave up two runs in the first and struggled in the second. His pitch count neared 50 after the second inning. Then, Ben decided it was time to play. He retired every batter after the second inning until David Wright hit a solo-homer off Ben in the eight inning. Benny was just out there for a batter too long. He is an bona fide ace. The Brewers are a different team when he is on the mound. That 2-0 record and 1.17 ERA look mighty nice.

Also, hats off to Hernan Iribarren who got his first Major League hit in the top of the ninth inning. He got picked off right after, but it was a great moment for the young man. Congratulations from BrewersNation!

Goat of the Game: Ryan Braun

This is a rough pick for the youngster, but if he is going to be MVP-caliber like he is capable of, he needs to step it up. When there are runners on the corners with 1 out against Johan Santana, you cannot strike out. You simply cannot. There is no telling as to when you’re going to get another chance to score against a pitcher like that. If he is going to be such a feared hitter in the lineup, he needs to draw more walks and not strike out so much. On a different down note, he also got caught stealing. Everyone is allowed to have a bad game though. Turn it around tomorrow, Ryan!

On Tap

Jeff Suppan and the Milwaukee Brewers will take on Oliver Perez and the New York Mets in Game 3 of the series. The rubber match will at 12:10pm CT. Control is a problem for Oliver Perez, so patience and plate discipline will be a key tomorrow. Let’s get the road series victory tomorrow boys!

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