Bush struggles as Brewers are snake bitten

30 06 2008

Brewers fans enjoyed the Dave Bush affectionately known as “Cy Bush” the past couple starts.  His fine performances did not carry over to Monday night, however.

Dave Bush returned to form, giving up multiple runs in the first and fifth innings.  That is vintage Dave Bush if I ever saw it.

He gave up a double and a triple in the first, which ended up costing the Crew two runs.  It sacrificed all of the momentum gained in the top of the first.  J.J. Hardy looked very comfortable at the plate again tonight.  He plated Rickie Weeks with a double to start the game, and later scored on a Prince Fielder single to right.  All seemed right in the world in the top of the first.

The Brewers right-hander must have decided that Milwaukee’s 2-0 lead was just too good to be true.  After giving back those 2 runs, things calmed down until the fifth.  Both Bush and Doug Davis appeared to have found a groove.

That groove ended for Milwaukee in the fifth, however.  Dave Bush strikes again.  He gives up three more runs to the slumping D’Backs order, and Milwaukee was never able to recover.  Doug Davis consistently kept the Brewers hitters off-balance after the first inning, and Milwaukee struck out a lot against the Diamondback relievers.

The offense could not bail out Dave Bush, but I cannot help but think the Crew could have pulled out the win had Dave been able to quiet the D’Backs in the first inning.  Should have, would have, could have, though.  That doesn’t put any tallies in the win column.  I do wish, however, that Dave Bush could do that more consistently.

Records: Brewers (44-38 ); Diamondbacks (42-41)

Hero of the Game: J.J. Hardy

J.J. started off the game right with a double that scored Rickie Weeks.  The Brewers shortstop has looked much more comfortable at the plate in the past week or so, and he showed that tonight.  He followed up that first inning double with a 3-5 night, adding another double to his stat line.  If J.J. can heat up in the second spot with Rickie getting on base ahead of him, this Brewers offense would be downright scary.

Goat of the Game: Dave Bush

You need to figure out those first inning woes.  That’s all that needs to be said.  Figure it out, or you’ll be on the outside looking in after the trade deadline.

The second Goat of the Game goes to Ryan Braun.  He has looked downright awful at the plate the past couple games, and it continued tonight.  Striking out twice and grounding into a double play, Ryan seemed to kill any momentum the offense tried to get going.

On Tap

Jeff Suppan has scuffled a bit in his past couple outings.  He will look to turn that around Tuesday night against the future hall-of-famer, Randy Johnson.  Randy shut down the Crew pretty easily until the late innings in his last start in Milwaukee.  The game starts at 8:40pm CT.  This is a big game for Milwaukee.  The squad needs a big win.

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7 responses

1 07 2008
Aaron

I don’t understand why people get so angry with Rickie Weeks but have no qualms with Ryan Braun. Weeks’ OBP is actually better than his. Can we just meld the two together and get a real superstar? 56 RBIs is production, but that’s a team stat, not an individual one. Braun needs to figure out the strike zone before I give him his due respect as the future of this league. Then he will be a real producer.

1 07 2008
Bernie Carbo

Braun’s strikeout and walk totals are a definite cause of concern. Realistically, I don’t think we should expect a major improvement this year or the next 5 years for that matter. Being a free swinger or being more disciplined at the plate seems to be a characteristic not so easily taught or developed.

Off the top of my head, I thought of Vladimer Guerrero who is well known as someone that swings the bat more often than not. He himself I think admitted that Dominicans do not walk off the island. Vladimer, in his career has walked more times than he has K’d four times…2002, 03, 05, 07….so he played for five seasons before getting a better grip of the strike zone and making the necessary adjustments to a pitchers approach.

Vlady is an extra base hit machine…so is Braun…but Braun is strikeing out a ridicilous rate with absolutely no walks to show for it. And Braun is already 25 years old I think with time spent playing University ball. Vlady, on the other hand, broke in when he was 20 years old with no University background and the stigma of never walking…

Regardless of the rhetoric and all star hype surrounding Braun, he shows no plate discipline. I agree with you Aaron and unfortunately, I don’t see this changeing too much.

Which is why I go back to my old soap box and preach the running game for the Brewers. Take last night for example. Two runs in already in teh first inning and Hart on first with 2 outs. Yes, Bill Hall was batting making a hit and run or straight steal a bit of a risk because Hall sometimes struggles to hit even grapefruits…but Davis is a lefty and Hart is a Greyhound….and there he sits for the entire Hall at bat…and there Doug Davis can concentrate on the batter and not be distracted by the runner…Drives me nuts. And then the bats go ice cold..

Waiting for hits ain’t gonna cut it with this team…and as Aaron has pointed out for many weeks, walks are blue moons to the Brewers…so we have to shake it up more on the basepaths.

Off the subject…Mark Grace made a nice comparrison of Dale Murphy to Corey Hart last night.

1 07 2008
Aaron

It’s kind of hard to run on Doug Davis. He doesn’t bring his foot past the rubber and he stalls a considerable amount of time with his leg kick before going through the motion. I’m not sure how many guys have SBs on him, but I can’t imagine it’s many.

As for the walks thing, I did you see the Brewers had three walks and an HBP in one inning!? I was going off and thought for sure Rickie was going to pull through. Hall deserves a goat too. Isn’t he supposed to kill lefties?

And as for plate discipline, I just wonder because the Cardinals always seem to get guys who aren’t awesome, but turn into disciplined hitters. Something’s got to give because Skip Schumaker and Ryan Ludwick aren’t that good, yet their isopatience numbers are phenomenal. Steal that guy for a week and let him divulge the secret.

1 07 2008
Bernie Carbo

Aaron…right you are….The most stolen bases Doug Davis has allowed while pitching since 2002 is 15…and last year he allowed only 6.

I guess like alot of lefties his motion is deceptive….but we will never develop better baserunners without in game attempts and with all of our strikeouts and lost innings, I see no reason to not force the issue a bit on the basepaths.

What exactly is isopatience? Schumaker and Ludwick have never posted off the charts walk totals, so I’m thinking isopatence has to do with swinging at strikes as opposed to swinging at balls…The two Cardinals you mentioned probably put the ball in play alot which inevitabley increases their batting average and OB%……Actually, Ludwick does strike out alot…Schumaker doesn’t . So maybe we could borrow Schumaker and skip Ludwick because we already have Fielder and Braun who both seem to swing at too many pitches outside the zone.

As far as Weeks, I think he is what he is. We shouldn’t expect more. How he produced the highest BA in University Baseball ALL TIME is sort of a mystery to me because with the exception of a few spurts, he really doesn’t drive the ball to the opposite field…But hey, he does take pitches-work counts and hit the ball in the gaps and run like fire.

1 07 2008
Aaron

IsoP is OBP – BA. It’s a way to show how often a batter gets on even if he didn’t get a hit. The higher the split, the more you would like him at the top of the lineup because he can set the table, but doesn’t drive in the runs as well… unless he has a superbly high average and slugging. This is why Adam Dunn should lead off, but I digress. Ludwick has an iso of 77 and Schumaker 64. Ryan Braun 35, Rickie Weeks 110.

The fact that these guys go to St. Louis and take 40 isoPs and turn them in to 60-70 give them incredible advantages. They see more pitches and have more opportunities to get hit their pitches. The Cardinals strikeout a lot, but a lot of those are looking and my friend and I are not convinced that this is just random, but rather a factor of their hitting coach.

A guy that I banter with at ArmchairGM.com suggests that the players really respect Hal McCrae, their hitting instructor in St. Louis and will concede to his will at all costs, while guys like Skaalen gets respect, but won’t be given the benefit of the doubt. I don’t want Skip Schumaker or Ryan Ludwick. I want Hal McCrae.

1 07 2008
Bernie Carbo

Thanks Aaron for the link to ArmchairGM.com…very interesting. Your digression about Adam Dunn batting lead-off would probably be a reality if Dunn played in Oakland. And Weeks ISO of 110 speaks volumes.

Nice to know that Hal McRae can be remembered for alot more than his Best Damn Sports Show #1 outburst of all time. “Boy oh Boy..My Goodness”…Bill Shroeder is so high on Jim Skaalen. He is obsessed by Skaalens cool nerves and poker face. Aaron, you raise a crux of the biscuit point about getting at the roots of the brewers hitting approach. I think Skaalen has inherited batters who are not disciplined, but then again, didn’t he work with many of the current Brewers in their minor leage development?

I never stopped to dwell on Hal McRae and St. Louis’s excellent hitting approach….I am always stuck on Texas and Rudy Jaramillo….Arlington Stadium is a dungeon to pitchers. But back to St. Louis, do you think their hittin approach is an organizational theme running all the way down to rookie ball? Does it effect their scouts decisions on who to draft?

There is ample hype about Brewers scouting director Jack Zdurniek(Spelling ?) I think he won Baseball America’s award for scouting last year. Does he and the Brewers staff overlook ISO? Do they assume walks and getting on base is a quality that can be learned? Are they making a mistake? How do Gamel and LaPorta compare in terms of ISO to current Brewers Hart, Braun, and Fielder?

1 07 2008
Aaron

Gamel’s IsoP isn’t that good (69), but LaPorta’s is phenomenal (100). In the minors, Braun’s IsoP was a mere 62, which isn’t that good for a minor leaguer, but he did bat .313. Fielder’s current career IsoP is currently 89 and was 91 in the minors. Hart’s is only 52 with a 57 in the minors. It’s pretty clear the guys coming up have a considerable amount of skill with regard to recognizing the strike zone.

As for the scouting thing, it’s no mystery that the Brewers have guys who can hit the ball and walks still aren’t as highly tauted by analysts because it’s not considered producing unless you’re a lead off hitter. Melvin and Jack constantly talked about getting high on-base guys in the off season. They thought they had a couple in Kendall and Cameron. Kendall has been serviceable and is clearly better than Estrada, who walked like four times last year. Cameron has simply underperformed and needs to get his ass in gear.

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