McClung is McSolid in D.C.

24 05 2008

The hard-throwing Seth McClung certainly knows how to make a good first impression.

After fans (including myself) have been lamenting over his inability to throw strikes as a starter, Seth comes out this evening and pounded the strike zone for five very strong innings…with zero walks.  So much for my theory about his BB:K ratio.  Seth was taken out after the fifth and only 68 pitches (46 of which were strikes), presumably because Ned is still stretching Seth’s arm out.  No use in putting too much pressure on his arm this early in the season.

Offensively speaking, Corey Hart continued on his homer binge, socking his fifth home run of the season off John Lannan.  It was a very balanced attack tonight.  Every Brewer position player collected a hit, except for Ryan Braun.  The left fielder took the hat trick, striking out three times. 

Mike Cameron also had a strong game, going deep in the 8th inning.  He finished the game with 2 hits and scoring twice.  That is the player the Brewers paid for during the off-season.  I’ve said it many times before, but when Rickie Weeks and Cam are getting on base with regularity, Milwaukee’s offense is infinitely better.  Funny how that works out.

As Ned Yost promised, the closing duties tonight went to Salomon Torres.  It was interesting that Salomon threw almost exclusively fastballs tonight.  My guess is that he did not wish to make a mistake with a hanging off-speed pitch with a three-run cushion.  Even though Bill Hall forced Torres to get five outs instead of three, the former Pirate was able to retire the side yielding no damage.

Records:  Brewers (23-26); Nationals (21-29)

Hero of the Game:  Seth McClung

No, Seth didn’t pitch a complete game.  No, he didn’t pitch a scoreless five innings even.  What Seth did bring to the rotation was hope.  Brewers fans around the country are now hopeful that Seth McClung and his mysterious “mechanical adjustment” are the answers to the fifth spot in the rotation.  The big right-hander pounded the strike zone, which is a refreshing sign.  With his velocity and his nasty curveball, Seth does not need to work the corners so much.  He simply needs to throw strikes.  McClung’s solid outing this evening has caused me to get my hopes up for him this season.  Do not disappoint me, Seth.

Goat of the Game:  Bill Hall

Sure, Ryan Braun took the collar and struck out three times.  Billy had two errors in the ninth inning, however, and almost made the game too close for comfort.  I told you the Brewers cannot even win comfortably.  They need to make everything nerve-racking.  Even though Bill has shown the capability to make highlight plays at the hot corner, he is also showing the propensity to be incredibly error-prone.  His play is making Russell Branyan infinitely more appealing.

On Tap

Left-hander Manny Parra will battle Washington’s Tim Redding tomorrow afternoon to decide the series.  The game will start at 12:35pm CT.  

Bill Hall will be sitting out the game, so I don’t have to be mad at him so much tomorrow.  Seriously, two errors in the ninth?

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