Glendon Rusch? Really?

10 07 2008

The Rockies have heard all about the Milwaukee Brewers the past three days, and they must be sick of it.  They decided to put together a little fireworks show of their own tonight.  8-3 Rockies.

This wasn’t supposed to happen tonight.  Glendon Rusch took the mound for the Rox, a slow-throwing left-hander.  The Brewers trotted out ace #2 tonight, Ben Sheets.  On paper, the Brewers should have run away with this game.

Sheets did his part, fanning a season-high 11 Rockies.  He looked to have his ‘A’-stuff tonight.  The first seven outs of the game for Sheets were via the strike out.  From early on, fans thought they were going to see something special tonight from Big Ben.  Ben did pitch fantastically, but the Rockies took advantage of every mistake he made – even if they were few and far between.

In the sixth inning, Ben walked Matt Holiday after a long at-bat.  The right-hander was visibly upset with himself, talking and muttering intently on the mound.  At this point in the contest, it was 1-1.  Benny looked to get out of the inning with a ground ball, but served up a home run to Garrett Atkins.  The pitch count reached 110 pitches after the inning ended – fittingly on a strike out – and the bullpen took over.

The bullpen imploded and gave away any chance for the Crew to get back in the game.  Mitch Stetter, after my singing his praises this afternoon, struggled with his command and gave up an RBI bloop single to Scott Podsednik.  Colorado led 4-1 going into the bottom of the seventh.

Offensively, the Brewers came alive against Manuel Corpas.  The suddenly red-hot Bill Hall continued his fine swinging against a right-handed pitcher with a one-out double to jump start the Crew.  Mike Cameron followed with an RBI single, who later scored on an infield single by Russell Branyan.  Yes, Russell had a base hit that was not a home run.

In a 4-3 game, who is the last person Ned Yost should have called on at this point?  Guillermo Mota.  The veteran right-hander has struggled mightily over the past month and a half, and the Crew needed someone to come in and preserve the one-run deficit.  Instead, Guillermo gave up four runs on four hits, and the Brewers were suddenly down 8-3.  The Crew never got any closer.

Guillermo will not be seeing any meaningful playing time in the near future.  At least, he should not see any meaningful playing time.  Ned Yost is notorious for having too long of a leash, but the Brewers manager has been much better about that this season (see Derrick Turnbow and Julian Tavarez).  Do you want to know the most maddening part of his outing?  All four base hits came with two outs.  You have got to put a team away with two outs in an inning.  You simply cannot give up four straight hits, two of them being home runs, with two outs.  That will give you a lot of time on the bench to think about it.

I know I have harped on this for the past month now, but what is wrong with throwing a change-up?  Guillermo Mota threw it three times in the eighth inning.  He got Joe Koshansky – who later homered – to swing over the top of it, he got Matt Holiday to ground out weakly to the pitcher, and he got Omar Quintanilla to line out to Corey Hart.  That is three pitches and no hits.  Something tells me Mota should throw that a little more often.  What do I know though, right?

Overall, this is a devastating loss for the Brewers.  The Cardinals lost, but the Cubs won.  The Crew had a match-up that practically handed them a win.  Even after going six innings and giving up only one run, Rusch still has a 6.25 ERA.  He looked like an ace tonight.  Good grief.

Records: Brewers (50-41); Rockies (39-53)

Hero of the Game: Bill Hall

It’s nice to see Billy swinging a hot stick again.  It is even against righties and lefties this time around, which is huge for the Brewers third baseman.  In last night’s game, Billy hit a clutch two-run single against a right-hander, and he started off the mini-rally tonight in the seventh inning with a double off righty Manuel Corpas.  In the meantime, Hall is still raking against southpaws.  He provided the only offense against Glendon Rusch with his mammoth home run in the bottom of the second.

Goat of the Game: Guillermo Mota

Unfortunately, Mota’s $3.2M contract will be almost impossible to move before the trade deadline.  The big salary will almost certainly keep him on the roster.  Either Ned Yost will pitch Mota in some mop-up situations for right now and let him work out his issues, or Milwaukee will DFA the veteran right-hander and send him to the minors.  No one will pick-up Mota at this point, and he would likely accept a demotion to Nashville.  Even if he didn’t accept the move, he would forfeit his contract and become a free agent.  That sounds quite appealing, doesn’t it?

On Tap

RHP Dave Bush will look to help the Brewers split the series against LHP Jorge De la Rosa and the Colorado Rockies.  This is a huge game for the Crew, as they cannot afford to lose a 4-game series at home.  That would be devastating before the All-Star Break.  The game is not televised, but it will be on WTMJ at 1:05pm CT.




One response

10 07 2008

For me, the goat goes to the entire Brewers team for making Glendon Rusch look like he actually has a career in the big leagues. Even if Mota had held it to one run, i’m not so sure the team gets the job done. ZERO walks and five hits against Rusch means he had a WHIP of under one. That should never ever happen.

Can you tell I’m a bit frustrated?

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