Brewers place Suppan on DL

7 07 2008

The Brewers solved the problem of their crowded starting rotation with the addition of CC Sabathia.

After hyper-extending his elbow a few starts ago, Jeff Suppan has been placed on the DL.  He tried to pitch through the pain until it went away.  That never is a good idea for a pitcher.

As Tom Haudricourt says, at least we know why Soup has been so bad his past few starts.  In his last four outings, the veteran right-hander has a 10.34 ERA.  That’s just plain awful.

I find it a bit suspicious that the Crew made this move after trading for Sabathia, but I could just be reading too much into the situation.  Instead of demoting a veteran, $40M pitcher, the team simply put him on the DL with an injury nobody knew about.  Does that remind anyone else of the supposed injury Jason Isringhausen had with the Cardinals?

I’m not saying the Brewers made up this injury, but it certainly came at a convenient time.  Get better, Jeff.  The Crew needs you healthy and effective down the stretch.  It’s one thing to be tough and pitch through pain, but it’s another thing entirely to be sacrificing your team’s record because of it.  Take a couple weeks, get better, and come back throwing strikes.  BrewersNation wishes you a speedy recovery, Mr. Soup.  We will see you on the mound in a couple weeks if all goes according to plan.

In the meantime, Dave Bush and Seth McClung have been guaranteed jobs in the starting rotation until Soup recovers from his injury.  That solved the pitching problem very quickly.

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Sweep overshadowed by trade winds

6 07 2008

UPDATE 07-06-08 9:37pm – Tom Haudricourt has more information as to who is included in the deal.  Apparently, the deal included four prospects.

Matt LaPorta is still the centerpiece of the deal.  That is a big blow, but the minor league system is stacked full of guys that can hit but don’t have a position.  LaPorta is replaceable.

LHP Zach Jackson will be on his way to Cleveland.  My reaction?  You can have him Cleveland.  Perhaps a change of scenery is all he needs.  Jackson has been terrible since coming to Milwaukee in the Lyle Overbay trade.

RHP Rob Bryson is also included in the deal.  Rob is a bright young prospect who has struggled a bit this season with a 3-2 record and a 4.25 ERA in 22 outings.  Baseball America thinks that Bryson has the stuff to be a closer in a few years, but that is still years away.  This loss doesn’t hurt the system too much, especially with the tons of pitchers drafted this season.

The deal still includes a “player to be named later.”  Most believe this is still Taylor Green.  Haudricourt believes the Indians want to move him to second base and need more time to scout him.  If they deem Green unfit for second base, there will be another player involved in the deal.

Don’t worry, Brewers fans.  Doug Melvin didn’t give up too much to get last year’s AL Cy Young winner.  Mat Gamel, Alcides Escobar, Angel Salome, Michael Brantley, Brad Nelson, Zach Braddock, Chris Errecart, and Jeremy Jeffress are all safe.  It feels good to say that.

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It was not the prettiest win of the season, but the Milwaukee Brewers swept the Pirates this afternoon with offensive fireworks.

Too bad the win got lost in the news that Doug Melvin and the Brewers just agreed in principle to a deal with the Cleveland Indians that will send C.C. Sabathia to Milwaukee for Matt LaPorta and two lower level prospects.

In case you forgot what happened, let me refresh your memory.

After his 16-game hit streak ended last night on a sacrifice bunt, J.J. Hardy started a new streak in a big way this afternoon. In the bottom of the first, the Brewers shortstop snuck one just inside the right field foul poll to start off the scoring. Rickie Weeks started the game off with a walk, so Milwaukee got out to a 2-0 lead quickly.

The lead grew 4-0 after the first once Ryan Braun hit a solo shot, and Bill Hall continued his fine hitting against southpaws with an RBI single that plated Corey Hart.

All looked good for the Crew. That changed in the top of the second when Jeff Suppan gave all four of the runs right back. Soup did not look sharp tonight. The umpire was squeezing him a bit at the bottom of the zone, but that is no excuse for giving up six runs in three innings of work. When your offense spots you four runs in the first inning, you have to maintain that lead and momentum. It appeared to be a long day in the making after the third inning ended.

The bullpen has been taking a lot of heat lately, but the collective group banded together and shut the door on the Pirates for the rest of the game. Ned Yost pulled Soup after three innings and handed the ball to Mitch Stetter, who pitched two scoreless innings and got the win. The ‘pen came through in a big way today, picking up the team after Soup struggled to keep the Pirates off the scoreboard.

Guillermo Mota even looked pretty good. He mixed up his pitches well. The pitch count was quite high for only an inning on the mound, but a scoreless inning should do wonders to help his confidence.

In other news, Ryan Braun is going to be a starter for the NL in the All-Star Game. Congrats, Ryan. You certainly deserve it. You all can also vote for Corey Hart to get the last spot on the squad. Vote, vote, vote!!!

Finally, on to C.C. Sabathia, the newest member of the Milwaukee Brewers. Man, it feels good to say that.

After thinking it over and reading online threads and whatnot, I could not be more excited about this trade for the Brewers. How often can a team get a bona fide Cy Young-caliber pitcher at the trade deadline and not sacrifice anyone completely integral to the team’s future?

Yes, I understand Matt LaPorta is a rare player, but he is blocked in Milwaukee’s system right now. Not to mention, a prospect is a prospect is a prospect. The young man has not proven a thing yet against major league pitching. He may very well be a star in the big leagues, but there are no guarantees. Best take a proven player when given the chance. That is what C.C. brings to the club. He is a proven winner.

It is unclear who the last two prospects are, but one can assume Taylor Green is one of them. The other may be someone like a John Axford or Alexandre Periard. Either way, I firmly believe Doug Melvin gave away more last season to get Scott Linebrink than he is giving away in the C.C. deal, and Milwaukee is receiving much more in return. The 1-2 punch of Ben Sheets and Sabathia is only rivaled by Dan Haren-Brandon Webb in Arizona. That is a legitimate playoff top of the rotation right there.

Finally, it is almost a foregone conclusion that Milwaukee will not be able to resign Sheets or Sabathia after the season. That could secure 5 draft picks through the first supplemental round. That is a draft where the team can restock the minor leagues. Even if Milwaukee doesn’t make the playoffs this season-which would classify the trade as a failure in my eyes-the team still will benefit from the gluttony of draft picks in the 2009 draft.

If nothing else, this trade has thrust Milwaukee into the national spotlight. It will generate massive revenue at the ticket office. I, for one, have already bought my tickets for Tuesday night’s game against the Colorado Rockies. I did not want to miss Sabathia’s debut as a Brewer. There will be more ticket sales, which will result in more money for the team. More money for the team means more money to spend on free agents or on our own players. If the team makes the playoffs, it will only augment the revenue gain.

The deal is looking better and better for the Brewers, and I am seeing the excitement everywhere I look from Brewers fans. Nice job getting the deal done, Doug Melvin. I, of course, will keep you all up-to-date on who Milwaukee is sending to Cleveland when the information becomes available.

In case you hadn’t noticed, the Brewers are tied with the Cardinals for the Wild Card lead. Big day for the Crew all around.

Records: Brewers (49-39); Pirates (40-47)

Hero of the Game: J.J. Hardy

For now, I will assume J.J. is the hero until proven otherwise. There is no human being on earth that is hotter than J.J. right now. Maybe I should get plunked in the helmet like he did in Arizona. It seems to have helped him…

Goat of the Game: Jeff Suppan

You simply cannot, cannot give back runs after your team spots you four runs in the first inning. A veteran pitcher should know that he had the opportunity to take all the wind out of Pittsburgh’s sails right there, but nope. He wanted to leave after three innings instead. If he didn’t have a big contract in his pocket, Soup may be heading to the ‘pen now that Sabathia is on the team.

On Tap

RHP Seth McClung will take on LHP Ubaldo Jimenez at 7:05pm CT at Miller Park tomorrow. The Crew will look to stretch the winning streak to four games, and Seth will try to prove he belongs in the starting rotation. It could be a mini-audition for the big man now that Sabathia is in the rotation.





Crew holds off D’Back rally

1 07 2008

It’s not often that a Brewers fan says this, but Ned Yost played his cards right today.

Milwaukee’s starting lineup did not include the likes of Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, or Mike Cameron.  Prince certainly needed a day off after his struggles this road trip.  Their replacements, however.  Did more than hold their own against Randy Johnson and the Diamondbacks.

Joe Dillon swung a good bat tonight, hitting a two-run bomb off Johnson in the second inning.  The veteran utility man hit the ball hard in every at-bat, but only had one hit to show for it.  It’s okay though, Joe.  We all know how well you handled the stick tonight.

In for Prince at first base, the seldom-used Mike Rivera played his heart out tonight.  The opposite-field, two-out double to score Corey Hart was definitely a highlight of the game.  That ball was at his eyes and off the outside part of the plate.  There is no good reason he should have gotten any wood on that ball.  No matter.  Mike Rivera continues to produce at the plate without many opportunities to get in a groove.

To round out the subs for the day, Gabe Kapler roamed center Monday night.  Gabe didn’t do anything overly impressive tonight, going 1-4.  He continues to play defense though, which makes him invaluable coming of the bench.  Let’s not forget he’s hitting over .300.  Not bad for someone who was managing a minor league team last season.

Speaking of days off, one player that sorely needs a day off is Ryan Braun.  The announcers keep saying he has an injured muscle in his right thumb, but he’s in the lineup day in and day out.  If he’s truly hurt, give him a day off.  Even if he’s not hurt, the young man looks awful at the plate.  Ryan is getting over-aggressive again, trying to pull everything.  We all know he doesn’t want to take a walk, either.  Take a day off tomorrow, Ryan.  Come back Thursday afternoon and start tearing the cover off the ball again.

There is one more player that seems completely lost at the plate.  Want to take a guess?  Bill Hall.  Bill Schroeder hit the nail right on the head (if you will excuse the cliche).  The Brewers third baseman is swinging at balls off the plate, and taking strikes.  He is so frustrated at the plate that I could hear him yelling obscenities after fouling a ball off at the plate this evening.  That’s never a good sign.  I’m almost inclined to say Billy could use a little time in Triple-A to get his feet back under him.  Too bad that’s not an option at this point.

As far as pitching goes, Jeff Suppan was very unimpressive against the D’Backs.  The veteran right-hander could not find the plate to save his life in the fourth and fifth innings, and when he did, it split the heart of the plate.  Soup does not have the stuff to consistently fall behind hitters and get away with it.  His performance was utterly underwhelming, as have most of his starts lately.  Milwaukee needs Jeff to pick it up and be the leader he came here to be.  It’s easier said than done, but now is the time.

I want to follow up on something I mentioned a couple games ago.  David Riske again pitched an entire inning without straying from his fastball.  It ranged from 88-90 mph according to MLB Gameday.  He pitched extremely effectively with it tonight, but I am a little concerned about Mr. Riske.  He’s not throwing his best pitch.  Milwaukee signed him over the off-season because he has two outstanding split-finger fastballs.  One acts much like a change-up and dips into the high-70s, but the other is a true split.  It comes in to hitters in the mid-80s and falls off the table when it reaches home plate.  Those two pitches are non-existent right now.  I truly hope his elbow is okay.

I realize I’m going a little more in-depth about individual players this evening, but I have a couple things to note about Guillermo Mota.  As the play-by-play announcers said tonight, Mota is catching far too much of the plate with his fastball.  That is obvious.  All four balls were smoked by the D’Backs tonight, and the Crew could have been in big trouble had Mike Rivera not made a fantastic diving play at first to double off Chris Young.  The control problem is obvious.

Another thing I noticed about Guillermo is the complete absence of his change-up.  The big guy threw exclusively fastball-slider the entire inning, until getting Miguel Montero on a change to end the inning.  The change-up is arguably Mota’s best pitch.  It complements his 95-96 mph fastball very well, and it dives away from lefties when it reaches the plate.  He has not been throwing the change with any regularity, and the result has been more hard hit balls and more runs scored.  If Guillermo uses that change-up more often, it won’t matter if his 96 mph fastball is right down the middle.  Hitters will be off-balance and unable to catch up.  Sometimes it can be that simple.  Put the third finger around the ball, choke the ball back in your grip, and let it fly, Guillermo.  It would benefit you and the Brewers greatly.

I also must admit that Salomon Torres pitched very well to get the save tonight.  He had not pitched in a week, but he mowed down Arizona hitters after hitting Augie Ojeda to start the inning.  A tip of the hat to you, Senor Torres.  You have been a hero for the Crew the entire year.

Records: Brewers (45-38 ); Diamondbacks (42-42)

Hero of the Game: J.J. Hardy and Mike Rivera

I’m not one to give out multiple Heroes of the Game, but tonight is an exception.  J.J. Hardy looks like a completely different hitter at the plate over the past couple weeks.  He has been more patient and is driving the ball all over the field.  The hitting streak is now at 13 games after he hit two home runs this evening.  Perhaps he’s going to get on a two month streak like he did to start last season.  That would be dangerous for opposing teams.

Mike Rivera has quickly become one of my favorites on the team.  He plays maybe once a week.  He never complains about a lack of playing time, yet produces more than some of the regulars – I’m talking about you, Bill Hall.  That ridiculous two-out double that was at his eyes and off the outside part of the plate not withstanding, the back-up catcher flashed some fancy glovework at first base.  He made a couple nice flips to the pitcher, fielded the bunt rather nicely, and made an absolutely sick diving stab that turned into an unassisted double play.  That may have saved the game for Milwaukee.  I cannot say enough about Mike Rivera tonight.  Well done, sir.

Goat of the Game: Ryan Braun

Ryan and Prince Fielder have both fallen into a funk at the same time.  Braun, however, is still in the lineup while Prince gets the day off.  All signs point to Braun’s injury being worse than the team is saying.  Give him a day off to clear his head and heal his thumb.  Seeing such a talented player struggle at the plate as much as he has the past week or so is difficult to watch.  He’s in an 0-18 streak now.  A day off is sorely needed.

On Tap

Seth McClung will look to bounce back after a rough outing last week against Micah Owings and the D’Backs in Game 3 of the series.  The game starts at 8:40pm CT at Chase Field.  The Crew needs a win tomorrow night, as Brandon Webb is slated to pitch the finale.  Enough said.





Sup, Offense Off in Finale Loss

25 06 2008

Following his disastrous 1 2/3 inning performance in his last outing, Brewers pitcher Jeff Suppan was hoping for a solid outing in his side’s finale against the Atlanta Braves. Suppan was actually very good through four innings allowing only two runs, but ran into trouble in the fifth, giving up two more. All in all it was the bats that failed to back up Sup in his pitching this afternoon, putting up two runs in the third. Final score: Braves 4, Brewers 2.

Suppan had never won at Atlanta and this afternoon would not be his day either. Braves starter Jorge Campillo was a Brewers killer on both sides of the game. Through seven innings he allowed only four hits and two runs alongside six strikeouts. With the bat Campillo stroked two hits and came around to score both times.

In the end, the Crew walked away from Turner Field with two of three and a solid start to their road trip. Rickie Weeks was solid again (I didn’t give him props for his 3-for-4 night earlier) going 2-for-4 in the leadoff spot. Watch out NL if Weeks continues this tear.

The bats have been a little off in Atlanta, but super pitching from Dave Bush and Ben Sheets kept the Braves at bay. Suppan was decent (not a “quality start,” but decent), but the bats couldn’t support the guy.

Records: Brewers (43-35); Braves (38-41)

Hero of the Game: Rickie Weeks

About the only guy who came to play. Since Sheet’s effort overshadowed Weeks’ 3-4 outing before I’ve got to give him credit today. When he came back off the DL I thought maybe Yost wouldn’t put him back up top (who else would go up.. I don’t know) and see if he could earn the spot back, but he has hit exactly how a leadoff guy should. Runner-up credit goes to Mike Rivera who grabbed another spot start and made it look like Jason Kendall was still behind the plate and at bat (and that’s a good thing).

Goat of the Game: Prince Fielder

After roasting the Orioles at home, Fielder was down right bad in the “ATL.” No hits, no walks, a few defensive blunders, and 2 Ks for the fat man. Here’s to hoping he puts another fly ball of the speakers in the Metrodome.

On Tap:

Travel day tomorrow, but the I-94 series continues in Minneapolis on Friday. Scott McNasty (5-3, 3.79 ERA) hits the hill against Nick Blackburn (6-4, 3.68 ERA). The Twinkies lead the season series 2-1.

By: Dan Wiersema





Lack of defense and control dooms Brewers

14 06 2008

This morning I was feeling rather calm concerning the Brewers.  After tonight’s game, however, I have been reminded about what this team lacks.

You simply cannot win games with stupid mental errors.  Ryan Braun needs to learn to hit the cut-off man.  I understand he’s trying to preserve the lead, but the margin for error is so small.  You have to play the percentages at that point.  He did show off his arm on that play, however.  Corey Hart has got to stay in front of the ball in the outfield.  The cardinal rule in the outfield is to keep the ball in front of you at all costs.  He cost the Brewers a run in the ninth inning.  Bill Hall needs to get out in the field further when Mike Cameron is up against the wall.  He cost the Brewers another run.  A lack of concentration on the defensive side of the ball cost the Brewers tonight.

What to do about it?  Bill Hall cannot play second base.  Three errors in two games at the position is not going to cut it.  With that said, Joe Dillon looked solid at second today.  I can forgive Ryan Braun for making an aggressive play.  He’s inexperienced in the field, and he let his emotions get the better of him.  The coaches will sit him down and explain the situation.  He will make the right choice the next time.  Corey Hart, on the other hand, has no excuse.  Overrunning the ball and then trying to lazily reach down to pick up the ball is inexcusable.

Jeff Suppan threw the ball quite well today.  His solid outing was overshadowed by the length of the game and the dramatics near the end, but seven innings of two-run ball is impressive.  Soup has been a rock in the rotation this season.  He’s truly earning his money thus far in 2008.

The relievers, however, struggled mightily.  Carlos Villanueva did not have his usual control on the mound, leaving the ball up in the strike zone for the Twins to slap all over the field.  He just hasn’t had his “A” stuff in his last couple outings.  Fans shouldn’t be worried, however.  The young right-hander has been the model of consistency in the bullpen the last couple seasons.  He will bounce back.

Julian Tavarez, on the other hand, hasn’t shown any consistency since being signed.  The movement on his pitches is phenomenal, but the control has been notably absent.  In his 1.1 innings of work, he gave up four hits and three walks.  The veteran worked from behind the whole night.  He’s not cutting it on the mound.  If he wants to get the ball in important situations, throwing strikes is key.

Amidst all the frustration that ended the night, fans at the ballpark tonight were treated to a dandy.  In the ninth inning, the Brewers trailed by one with two outs.  Russell Branyan gets the call to pinch hit.  He has one job at the plate: Tie the game.  On a fastball middle-in from Twins closer Joe Nathan, Russell absolutely clobbered a solo home run to tie the game at four a piece.  All looked right for the Crew going into extra innings.

Things even looked better when Prince Fielder connected on a high fastball in the bottom of the 11th.  The towering shot appeared to clear the wall just over the fingertips of Carlos Gomez, but the umps ruled it a triple.  Boos rained in from around Miller Park, and Ned Yost came out on the field to argue the call.  After seeing the replay, however, it was clear the ball bounced off the inside corner of the wall and back into the field of play.  The umpires made the right call.  A game of inches indeed.

Yost went back into the dugout and play resumed, but Milwaukee was unable to plate Prince home from third.  Mike Cameron swung at a ball way off the plate and hit a dribbler to the pitcher’s mound.  The momentum shifted to the Minnesota Twins, and they never looked back.  A rough, rough game for the Crew tonight.  They should have won the game multiple times.

Records: Brewers (35-33); Twins (34-35)

Hero of the Game: Russell Branyan

Russell had the touch for late-inning heroics today.  After sitting on the bench the entire game, the Brewers’ skipper called on him with two-outs in the bottom of the ninth against Joe Nathan.  Russell didn’t get cheated in his at-bat.  He absolutely killed a Nathan fastball into right-center field.  How clutch can you be?

This will be immensely unpopular, I’m sure, but Russell needs more playing time.  He has been better than advertised defensively at third base, and he’s seeing the ball incredibly well.  I understand he has not hit lefties well this year in the big leagues, but he had pretty good success in the minors.  You can say it was the minors all you want, but everyone said that before he got called up too.  Look how that turned out.  Give the guy a chance.  Bill Hall has sure proven he doesn’t deserve regular playing time.

Goat of the Game: Corey Hart

Yes, Julian Tavarez pitched horrendously.  This “award” has to go to Corey this evening though.  Besides the costly error in the ninth inning that made everyone’s collective heart sink in their stomachs, the Brewers lead-off hitter went 0-6 with two strikeouts.  Corey has been one of the most consistent players this season, so I will cut him some slack.  The young right-fielder should take this loss personally, however.  That error in right was pathetic and just a lack of concentration.

On Tap

Brewers right-hander Seth McClung will battle fellow right-hander Scott Baker tomorrow at Miller Park.  The Crew will hope not to get swept by the Minnesota Twins.  The contest will begin at 1:05pm CT.





Round ’em Up: Monday

9 06 2008

UPDATE 06-09-08 3:35pm – Rickie Weeks finished his examination on his knee in Milwaukee.  The doctored diagnosed the Brewers second baseman with a “sprained left knee.”  He is listed as day-to-day.

After the past couple years when Rickie has been injured, however, I highly doubt he will be back within the week.  I hope I am wrong.  Weeks doesn’t have a track record of bouncing back quickly from injuries.

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UPDATE 06-09-08 1:55pm – It seems the Brewers are not interested in Brian Roberts after all.

Tom Haudricourt spoke with Doug Melvin this afternoon, and Melvin refuted Ken Rosenthal’s claim. The Brewers did have scouts at the Baltimore games, but no specialist scout had been assigned to Roberts. The scouts attended the games as a part of standard protocol. There is apparently nothing special about the scouts being at the game.

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The Milwaukee Brewers have an off-day today, but are traveling to Houston to take on the Astros tomorrow. Monday’s Round ’em Up is always much more fun, as all the bloggers are out in full force after the weekend. It still means that the weekends are slow.

  • Second baseman Rickie Weeks is on his way to Milwaukee to get his injured knee examined by the team doctors. He had his knee buckled by a hard slide while he was trying to turn two over the weekend. Hopefully this is not as bad as it sounds…because it could turn into a Yovani Gallardo type of situation.
  • Mike Cameron has been seeing the bench a little more lately. He’s been struggling mightily at the plate, and Gabe Kapler has been the model of production in the early months. I suspect Cameron will be back in the lineup tomorrow, but Tom Haudricourt says he will probably not be in the two-hole. You know the saying, “How many licks does it take to get to the inside of a tootsie pop?” This situation is more like, “How much has to go wrong before Ned Yost admits he’s wrong?” Perhaps nobody will know…
  • Chuckie Hacks says that Salomon Torres and Carlos Villanueva should be the 7th through 9th inning tandem from here on out. I’m sorry, but I thought we discussed this whole “set formula” thing. Not a fan.
  • Jeff Suppan is finally pitching like he’s worth the money the Brewers signed him for last off-season. It is nice to see Soup grinding out some tough starts and just plain producing for the Crew.
  • Here’s another diary entry from Matt LaPorta, courtesy of Baseball Digest Daily.
  • The Jay from Brew Crew Ball has a nice graphic up about the Brewers bullpen. They are not overused, but they do throw a lot of pitches. I do appreciate the category that has Milwaukee without Turnbow as its own team. How true that is.
  • This is something I have not heard until today. Ken Rosenthal from FOX Sports is reporting that the Milwaukee Brewers are interested in Baltimore second-baseman Brian Roberts. The Crew has had scouts at the past couple Orioles games. Rosenthal suggests that a Rickie WeeksBrian Roberts trade would be unfair for Milwaukee. If Weeks’ knee gets better in the coming week or so and the Brewers could pull off this trade without giving up anything but Rickie Weeks, you pull the trigger. No questions asked.
  • Jim Powell writes about the Brewers and their lack of momentum on the road. Their road woes sicken me.
  • Speaking of Jim Powell, he has an interview with Brewers first-round pick, Brett Lawrie. Here’s the audio stream.
  • In-Between Hops suggests that Carlos Villanueva is the closer for the future for the Milwaukee Brewers. I agree that he’s been spectacular out of the bullpen this season, but Carlos will have to prove his worth over a full season before I would hand over the 9th inning duties to him for good.
  • As BrewersNation reader Aaron pointed out, the Brewers could take a look at RHP Sidney Ponson. His ERA seems to be misleading, as batters are getting good wood on the ball consistently. I don’t think Milwaukee is a team that goes the “troubled player” route.
  • SS Matt Cline was demoted to West Virginia this week. He has responded, however, giving the slumping Power a nice little jolt.




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.