Sheets exits early in Brewers victory

18 04 2008

The Brewers were having enough trouble with their starting pitching staff before Friday night.  Sure, the Brewers won the game, but an air of uncertainty and anxiety hangs over the victory.

Why so somber, you ask?  Ben Sheets left the game after the fifth inning due to tightness in his triceps muscle.  He only threw 60 pitches and was pitching a lights-out game, but Ned Yost took him out for precautionary reasons.  No need to take any chances in April.

If that were the case, all would be okay.  We could be cautiously optimistic about Sheets’ next start.  Then the team revealed more bad news.  Sheets actually has had soreness in his triceps muscle since his start against the New York Mets.  He’s been receiving treatment for it every day.  I have a headache…

The rest of the game did happen, however, and the Brewers bullpen got a little scare late in the game.  Newly promoted Mitch Stetter loaded the bases in the eighth inning, but struck out the next two batters.  David Riske finished off the inning to preserve the 5-0 lead.  Riske then gave up a bunt single to Ken Griffey Jr. and a single to Brandon Phillips and Adam Dunn.

Enter Eric GagneEdwin Encarnacion got a ridiculous bloop single to fall in shallow right, and all looked down for the Crew.  Gagne proceeded to strike out the next two Reds to finish out the game.  It was a heart-racer though.

Bill Hall seems to have benefited from the switch to sixth in the batting order.  Yes, I’m preemptively calling that after one game.  He absolutely smashed a two-run home run off of Bronson Arroyo.  Billy may not be hitting for average, but he certainly has his power stroke going.

Records: Brewers (10-6); Reds (7-10)

Hero of the Game: Eric Gagne

Eric came into the game and successfully halted the Cincinnati rally.  He gave up a bloop single to Edwin Encarnacion, but he struck out the next two to finish the game.  His change-up was absolutely electric today, and he had a nice fastball today.  93-94mph is exactly where he needs to be.  A tip of the cap goes to Eric today for saving the game.

Goat of the Game: David Riske

He did come in during the eighth inning and keep the Reds scoreless.  He also came in during the ninth inning and lost his control.  He fell behind 3-1 to Adam Dunn.  Riske is seriously lucky that Dunn did not take that belt-high fastball right out of the park.  The control has been a little sketchy for Riske lately, and that needs to improve.  On a lighter note, however, Riske is known as a slow starter.  If he can only improve throughout the season, I’m excited to see it.  He could use a little lighter workload though.

On Tap

Jeff Suppan will take on the phenom, Johnny Cueto at 12:10pm CT.  Let’s be 2-0 against the kid.

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