Complete Game Sheets Saves the Day Again

24 06 2008

I’m stunned, absolutely stunned. If you told me in April that Ben Sheets would be as dominate as he has been this season I would have laughed you out of the refrigerator box I live in. Sheets has great stuff (which is an understatement) and has proven to be durable when he’s healthy. But that’s the key phrase: “healthy.”

We’ve all come to getting used to Big Ben getting hurt. Even the local NBC affiliate began this season updating us with a new Brewers stat, DOR, or “days on roster” for Sheets. The feeling was that is was nice to have Sheets around, but an injury was inevitable.

I can’t say for certain that something won’t happen to Sheets, but so far this season he is pitching like a mid-season CY Young candidate. There have been games where he has struggled with his command at times or his single terrible outing against the Dodgers, but when its all said and done Sheets has been unbelievable.

Last night was no different. Sheets went nine innings, allowing only four hits, one run, while striking out seven. The two most impressive parts of his performance were that: 1) he didn’t register a K until the last out of the fourth inning, so all seven took place in less than five innings ; and 2) he is also a workhorse. Going into the pre-bottom of the ninth inning commercial break the Crew was in a save situation. Was Salomon Torres going to have to come out again? Nope, Sheets to the rescue. He had retired the last 13 batters in order, so wasting the last three in order was nothing new to the staff ace.

Mike Cameron was great in his return from a toe injury, putting the Brewers on the board in the second with a two run home run to left. The first runs against Jo-Jo Reyes spelled trouble for the young pitcher. By the third inning, Reyes was pulled by Braves manager Bobby Cox, after giving up two more runs and loading the bases. Unfortunately, the Braves wiggled off that hook and held Milwaukee scoreless for the rest of the game. Buddy Carlyle three 4 1/3 innings of scoreless ball allowing only two hits and stranding Brewer runners at third in three separate innings.

But, the Brewers had Sheets on the mound and as the Braves tightened their part of the game, he only got better.

Records: Brewers (42-34), Braves (38-40)

Hero of the Game: Ben Sheets

If I didn’t give the “hero” award to Sheets he’d be as mad as if Ned Yost didn’t let him finish last nights game (remember when Yost took him out with one out left a few weeks ago?). Everything about how Sheets went through last night’s game was a testament to what a great pitcher he is. All his strikeouts came in the fourth inning or later. He faced only one, ONE, three ball count during the whole game. SIXTEEN batters in a row. Seventh consecutive win. 6-0 on the road. 9-1 record. The achievements are astounding. Punch his ticket to Yankee Stadium this All-Star break.

Goat of the Game: Bill Hall

Poor guy can never catch a break. A rare start and he goes 0-for-4, with a strikeout, and leaves three on base. Everyone of his at-bats he put hard hit balls into play. If Russell Branyan wasn’t so dominate right now I’d really be feeling for this guy.

On Tap:

The Braves march Charlie Morton (1-0, 4.91 ERA) to the mound to stop the bleeding. Dave Bush (3-7, 5.26), coming off his best start of the season, will try to secure the road series win for the Crew. Game time 6:05 CT on FSN.

By: Dan Wiersema




3 responses

24 06 2008

No love for RIckie?! You can’t forget about Rickie. Every ball he has hit in the last two games has been a bullet. Can you imagine what this team is capable of if this kid finally starts catching breaks? Constant runners on base for Prince and Braun? The last 8 games have been phenomenal and I’m looking forward to seeing what these guys can pull off before the break. Arizona is going to be tough now that all of their studs are back from the DL. Just keep with the plate discipline and the quality defense. The homeruns will keep coming.

24 06 2008
Jim Breen

Hey everyone.

Just dropping in this morning from a cafe in Virginia. A couple things…

1) Rickie would be a HUGE help to the offense. Quite right, Aaron.
2) I think someone predicted before the season that Ben Sheets was going to win the Cy Young award. Hmm….my prediction doesn’t look too bad right now.

24 06 2008
Dan Wiersema

Damn! I meant to write him in as my “runner-up” hero. Aaron thanks for the back up.

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