Homers give Parra plenty of support against Astros

31 05 2008

The Brewers remember all too well the drubbing they got the last time the team played the Houston Astros.  It marked the beginning of a 6-game losing streak on the road.  Manny Parra made sure it didn’t happen again.

The inconsistent lefty showed great stuff last night, regularly hitting 93-94mph on his fastball.  His four walks were a bit misleading, as his command was much sharper overall.  It’s amazing what a little confidence can do for a pitcher.

Perhaps it was Houston’s Miguel Tejada that knocked some confidence into the young pitcher.  In the first inning, Miggy hit a laser-like line drive that hit Parra in the stomach.  Milwaukee stared another injury in the face, but Manny showed resiliency and pitched another five innings of one-run ball after the first.

The offense jumped on the opposing starter, Brandon Backe, early in the game.  Mike Cameron and Ryan Braun hit back-to-back jacks in the bottom of the first inning.  That was all the support the Brewers pitching staff needed to win the game.  It was a nice change for the Brewer faithful.  The team has not won too many games that weren’t nailbiters.

Speaking of Ryan Braun, he has been playing with an inner-ear infection.  Reports say that Ryan is experiencing dizziness and a lack of hearing in his right ear.  After a 4-4 performance last night, however, I think Ryan should keep that infection around for a while longer.  Just kidding, Ryan.  Get better soon!  Just keep the bat hot…

Carlos Villanueva looked superb in the bullpen again last night, going two strong, scoreless innings and striking out two Astros.  The young right-hander may have found a niche for himself in the bullpen.  Yost will have to make certain he doesn’t get worn down in August like he did last season.  Lessons learned, Ned…lessons learned…

The big fella accounted for the other home run Milwaukee hit during the game.  Prince Fielder hit an absolute laser beam over the right field wall for a two-run homer.  It was nice to see Prince get back in the home run column, but I would especially like to see him hit an opposite field home run sometime soon.  When Prince got on his power binges last season, he consistently took the ball the opposite way.  He hasn’t done that in 2008 yet.

Records: Brewers (27-28); Astros (30-26)

Hero of the Game: Manny Parra

This award could have gone to Ryan Braun quite easily, but the offense was unneeded today, as Manny gave Ned Yost and the Brewers a very strong outing tonight.  His pitch count was extremely reasonable tonight, which was a nice change for Manny.  He only had 87 pitches through six innings.  50 of those were strikes.  Last night’s outing gives Manny something to build upon.  His consistency needs to improve if the Brewers are going to make a run for the division in the coming months.  All signs point skyward for Manny, but he showed how quickly things can turn around last weekend in Washington.

Goat of the Game: Corey Hart

Sorry Corey.  You went 0-4.  Rickie Weeks went 0-3, but got hit by a pitch, stole a base, and scored a run.  Russell Branyan at least walked once.  You took the collar.  Get ’em next time, kid.

On Tap

RHP Ben Sheets will face RHP Brian Moehler tomorrow night in Miller Park.  The Brewers look to secure a series victory against the Houston Astros.  The first pitch will go out at 6:05pm CT.

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