Two more for Braun in Brewers win

12 05 2008

Ryan Braun told anyone who would listen in Houston that he was on the verge of getting on a major hot streak.  He sounded like a player who hoped to get on a hot streak more than anything.

It turns out that Ryan did not lie.  Braun hit two more solo home runs today off of Cardinals starter, Adam Wainwright.  Both were shots to left field, and he set the pace for a balanced Brewers offensive attack.  How often have I gotten to type that this season?  Not very…

The Crew got its third straight quality start, as right-hander Dave Bush went six strong innings.  The struggling Bush got his first win of the season, only giving up one run and striking out one.  In the first inning, it was clear that Bushie had his good stuff.  Normally hitting 87-88mph on the gun, Dave came out firing fastballs in the 90-92mph range.  He gave up a home run to Rick Ankiel on a hanging curveball in the top of the first inning, but Bush shut the Cards down after that.

I was slightly surprised to see Dave pulled after only six innings.  His pitch count was at a manageable 92 pitches.  Ned Yost must have wanted Bush to feel good about his outing, so he pulled him before anything bad could have happened.  That, and Ned saw a prime opportunity to get Eric Gagne some work in a pressure-free situation.

Eric did get in two innings of work, but it did not go as well as planned.  His command still alluded him with his fastball and change-up…basically all his pitches.  He induced a double play to get out of the seventh unscathed, but he gave up a run in the eighth after Skip Schumaker laced a single to right that scored Cesar Izturis.  Eric may need a little more work than previously thought before regaining the closer role.

Mitch Stetter entered the game in the ninth inning and made it interesting.  Mitch walked four out of the six batters he faced, and he left the contest with the bases loaded.  Ned Yost then called upon Guillermo Mota to finish off the game.  It worked out, as Guillermo struck out Ankiel to end the game.

The Brewers broke it open in the third inning.  Corey Hart delivered a two-RBI single with two outs, and two more scored when Bill Hall reached on an error.  Billy later homered off Wainwright for his eighth long ball of the season.

Records: Brewers (19-19); Cardinals (23-17)

Hero of the Game: Ryan Braun

What can you say about a player that had back-to-back multiple home run games?  He’s obviously found a comfort zone at the plate.  Ryan even took a walk in the game.  That is only his seventh free pass of the season.  All Brewers fans would like to see that number climb, especially in front of Prince Fielder.  Ryan finished the day two for three, even though he looked to be safe on his final at-bat.  His batting average is now .288.  Last year’s Rookie of the Year has finally found his stroke at the plate.  It is fun to watch him hit the ball when he’s on a tear like this.

Goat of the Game: Prince Fielder

You will not see this name here very often this year.  Prince had a game to forget this evening.  He struck out with the bases loaded in the third inning.  That could have potentially killed the Crew, but Corey Hart picked up his teammate with that two-out single to score two runs.  Prince looks utterly lost at the plate right now.  He’s trying to hit a home run on every pitch, and he’s trying to pull every ball he sees.  The big guy needs to slow down a bit at the plate and take a couple pitches the other way.  Home runs will come in bunches for Prince.  The Brewers simply need a few base hits from him now.

On Tap

Carlos Villanueva and the Milwaukee Brewers will welcome the Los Angeles Dodgers to Miller Park tomorrow.  Villy will look to give the Crew its fourth straight quality start.  He will take on the hard-throwing Brad Penny in Game 1 at 7:05pm CT.

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