Crew falls victim to Sabathia hangover

7 07 2008

It was something I had seen coming all day.

The opening game for the Milwaukee Brewers against the Colorado Rockies was a trap game.  It fell between the exhilarating news that CC Sabathia is coming to Milwaukee and tomorrow evening’s game when Sabathia makes his debut.  All the media outlets, the fans, and probably the players looked past this game.  It was dangerous right from the get-go.

Seth McClung and the Crew didn’t make it seem that way in the first, however.  The big right-hander cruised through the first and looked to have his A-stuff.  The first two Rockies batters struck out, and Seth had tallied four Ks through three innings.

After the first three innings, however, McClung completely lost his command.  The next inning and two-thirds were a downright struggle for the big guy.  He walked five people and forced Ned Yost to pull him before even reaching 90 pitches.  Amazingly enough, the damage wasn’t too bad.  For how poorly Seth threw the ball in the fourth and fifth innings, he only allowed two runs.  The Brewers still had a chance to pull out a win.

Ubaldo Jimenez and the Brewers offense had different thoughts about that, however.  Jimenez hadn’t pitched effectively on the road this entire season until tonight.  The free-swinging Brewers seem to fall victim to those types of pitchers though, don’t they?  Hard throwing right-handers that struggle to find the strike zone tend to fair well against the Crew, as Milwaukee’s young hitters do not enjoy working the count.

They did try early in the game.  Craig Counsell took a lead-off walk, and J.J. Hardy continued his hot hitting with a single up the middle.  Two on and no out in the bottom of the first.  All looked well for the Crew, especially after Seth mowed down the top of Colorado’s order.  That changed quickly after Ryan Braun grounded into a double play.  I know I talk about momentum a lot in these games, but that is a momentum killer.  It allowed Jimenez to get out of the inning without giving up a run when he struck out Corey Hart to end the frame.  The Crew struggled with runners in scoring position early in the game, and struggled to get runners in scoring position late in the game.

Milwaukee showed signs of life in the eighth, however.  Gabe Kapler reached on a fielding error, and Craig Counsell somehow got a pop-up to the catcher to fall for a hit.  J.J. Hardy takes a walk.  The bases are loaded, and the Brewers are down 0-4.  Rally time!

Nope, nevermind.  Ryan Braun steps into the box and smokes a grounder up the middle.  It ricochets of the mound and into the glove of Colorado shortstop Clint Barmes, who turns the double play.  All the wind is knocked out of Brewers fans sails.  That is, until Prince Fielder hit a towering shot to center field to pull within one.  The Crew never got closer.  4-3 Rockies.

On a side note, did anyone else find it annoying how Jimenez successfully picked off the Brewers twice early in the game?  It erased two big base runners and simply frustrated me beyond belief.  The guy made two or three moves towards Braun and Hart at first, yet they both got picked off relatively easily.  I admit Jimenez does have a very quick move, but he is a right-handed pitcher.  It’s not that quick.  Pay attention on the basepaths.

Records: Brewers (49-40); Rockies (38-52)

Hero of the Game: Prince Fielder

It was nice to see Prince get a hold of one in the eighth inning.  It was pretty much the only highlight of the game for the Crew.  Someone does need to talk to Prince about his back foot though.  It slips out on every swing.  That cannot be good for his power.  I do not remember it being that bad last season.  Perhaps that is the reason for his inconsistency in 2008?

Goat of the Game: Ryan Braun

Ryan grounded into two crucial double plays and got picked off of first.  It was a game to forget for Ryan.  Shake it off and have a big day tomorrow, young man.  That is why there is more than one game in a series.

On Tap

CC Sabathia makes his Milwaukee debut tomorrow evening against left-hander Mark Redman.  I will be at the game tomorrow evening, so a game wrap is unlikely.  I’m extremely excited to see the big guy pitch.  I wouldn’t be surprised if CC struggles with his command tomorrow, as he will be amped up.  Hopefully that doesn’t happen though.

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3 responses

8 07 2008
Bernie Carbo

Possible other goat of game…The Muscle….the backhanded goundball pick up attempt that rolled into short leftfield and allowed Ubaldo to score what turned out to be a significant run…And the muscle flew out with the tying run on base. I think it was after Fielder’s homerun…and after Hart’s bloop single.

Either way, Braun’s second DP grounder was more of a line drive slowed down by the pitchers mound…That thing was headed into center field for a 2 rbi single…..Nice to see Braun question home plate umpire’s strike zone and nice to see him throw his helmet….especially after way too much celebrating about the CC trade….Sometimes I got the feeling the Brewers…not the players..but the TV guys and higher management were a little too punch drunk over all this and a lttle obsessed about selling tickets…

8 07 2008
Aaron

We walked five times, which I loved, but the defense and baserunning strikes again. I’m pretty in favor of hiring Davey Nelson back as a baserunning coach. At least then we wouldn’t make a million outs on the bases. This is just getting ridiculous.

hurray hyperbole.

8 07 2008
Dan Wiersema

Confused as to why Parra pitched last night. Is it b/c Tuesday was supposed to be his spot in the rotation or is Yost yanking him? Bush or McClung (or Suppan for that matter) have all been much more inconsistent than Parra… just wondering if anyone knows that answer.

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