Brewers squeak past Rockies to avoid sweep

8 06 2008

The Milwaukee Brewers never make it look easy on the road, do they?

The pitching staff wiggled off hooks left and right, but managed to pull out a 3-2 victory over the Rockies at Coors Field.  Jeff Suppan struggled mightily with his command early in the contest, but he settled down a bit in the third through fifth innings.  The veteran was not sharp.  He did keep the Brewers in the game today, and that’s all you can ask for from the pitching staff.

In the sixth inning, Ned Yost called on Carlos Villanueva to get the final two outs after Soup scuffled to start the frame.  The former starter did it on one pitch, getting Ian Stewart to ground into a double play.

The Brewers got in trouble again in the seventh inning.  Joe Dillon, who had a great day at the plate, bobbled the ball and committed a costly error on a relatively easy double play ball.  The inning should have been over right there.  Carlos gutted out the rest of the inning without giving up a run.  He struck out Todd Helton on a questionable called third strike and got Garrett Atkins to ground out to short.  After Friday’s game, I think Ned Yost rethought about taking out Villanueva in a pinch.  Yost stuck with the young right-hander, and Carlos showed Brewers fans why he’s so valuable in the ‘pen.

The day didn’t get any easier in the eight, however.  Left-handed specialist Brian Shouse gave up a base hit to Brad Hawpe, who got to second on a careless error by Gabe Kapler.  Ned Yost then called on Salomon Torres to get the final 5 outs of the game.  The veteran closer happily obliged, and the Crew avoided the sweep.

Joe Dillon got the start for the injured Rickie Weeks today.  He responded well, getting on base four times – three walks and a hustle double.  Bill Hall still looks lost against right-handed pitching, and Prince Fielder swung out of his shoes all day.  The offense had very little plate discipline after the first couple innings, and their offense struggled because of it.

The Crew had 13 runners left on base today.  That cannot happen on the road.  The only reason the Brewers won today’s game is because the Rockies were worse with runners in scoring position.  Colorado left 20 runners on base.  It was an ugly game all around.

After losing Friday and Saturday to the Rockies, the series unbeaten streak ends at five.  It should still be going after Friday night’s game, but you can argue that Milwaukee should not have won tonight  The Brewers will take what they can get and travel to Houston to take on the Astros on Tuesday.

Records: Brewers (33-30); Rockies (24-39)

Hero of the Game: Carlos Villanueva

The young-right hander was thrown into the fire in the sixth inning, but he responded by getting two outs with one pitch.  Things looked good in the seventh until Joe Dillon botched the easy double-play ball with one out.  The inning should have been over right there.  Carlos beared down and got the Brewers out of the inning without surrendering a run.  If Salomon Torres was not pitching so well in the closer’s role, I think I would begin to support the idea of giving Carlos a shot.  Villanueva is a very, very valuable part of the bullpen.  Ned Yost should think about keeping the young man there all season.

Goat of the Game: Bill Hall

I know Bill got the job done in the field and got a base hit in the first inning to score a run, but he was a big reason the Brewers couldn’t tack on any runs in the late innings.  He continues to take defensive swings against right-handed pitching, and I’m beginning to think that Russell Branyan should have pinch hit for Billy in the seventh inning.  Bill left four runners on base in the last three innings.  Others did too, but Bill looked terrible doing it.

On Tap

The Brewers have a day off tomorrow.  They will travel to Houston to take on the Astros.  Right-hander Seth McClung will face the Astros’ ace, RHP Roy Oswalt.  The Brewers will attempt to not get swept in Houston for the second time this season.



3 responses

8 06 2008

The Brewers need to pick up Sidney Ponson who just got DFA’d by the Rangers.

8 06 2008
Jim Breen

That is an interesting thought. If he wasn’t such a clubhouse cancer, I would definitely think about it.

If the Brewers make a pitching change in the next week or so, it will be calling up Jeff Weaver. I don’t think they want to lose him to his opt-out clause. That’s only if he keeps pitching well though.

9 06 2008

Clubhouse cancer probably, but good stuff, definitely, and at a low price. Weaver is a band aid that will come off in the shower. He’s never had a consistent year and there’s a big difference between AAA and the bigs. It only took him 8 starts to figure it out.

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