Round ’em Up: Thursday

10 07 2008

UPDATE 07-10-08 1:55pm – Ned Yost says Milwaukee has no interest in releasing Guillermo Mota.  Oh good.


Well, ladies and gentlemen. The Milwaukee Brewers pretended Glendon Rusch was the second coming of CC Sabathia last night. All the Brewers hitters (perhaps with the exception of Bill Hall) looked utterly lost against the left-hander. It’s not like he had an ERA of over 6 and a half coming into the game…

  • Last night, Pete from Brewers Fanatics ran the first installment of The Brewers Blog Roundtable. Jared from Right Field Bleachers and myself took most of the questions, and we have a podcast for you all to listen to. As of right now, the Roundtable is going to be a sort of question-and-answer format. We are very open to making it a live call-in show if the audience is big enough. Until then, I will simply post the podcasts here for you to listen to.

    The first installment is a little rough, as Pete is getting used to the software. It was also our first run at the program, so it will get smoother down the line. It’s a pretty good product for the first try though. Enjoy.

    Brewers Blog Roundtable

  • Tom Haudricourt says enough is enough with Guillermo Mota. He fully expects Mota to be designated for assignment today. I completely agree that he will be DFA’d, but it will probably not come until after today’s game. What if the Crew needs someone to handle mop-up time? Might as well get a few more innings out of Mota before cutting him loose.

    TH thinks Luis Pena will get the call to the big leagues. He struggled with his stuff to start the season, but has really turned it on as of late. Nashville’s closer has a 1.78 ERA in his last 30 1/3 innings. Not bad at all.

    I think that Doug Melvin and Ned Yost will go with big league experience at this point in the season, however. He may not have much, but Tim Dillard showed that he’s capable of handling himself on a big stage. It’s true that he lost his command a bit, but has been throwing the ball much better with the Sounds lately.

  • In-Between Hops believes it may only take a trip to the DL to get Mota back on track. If only things were just that simple…
  • The Brew Town Beat is absolutely ecstatic that Haudricourt is calling for Guillermo Mota’s head. Mota has been exceptionally awful over the past month and a half, and it is about time for Milwaukee to cut their losses and DFA the big guy.

    I also notice that Brew Town mentions me in their post when they criticize people for saying Mota has thrown good pitches like the pitch against Joe Mauer. I don’t shy away from criticism. That was a good pitch, and Mauer simply beat him. The problem is that Mota has not thrown many good pitches since that point. I did not defend him in the least bit against Arizona or last night. It was one game, and I stick by it. With that said, Mota’s time in Milwaukee has drawn to a close.

  • Brew Crew Pub says something is missing from the 2008 Milwaukee Brewers. It is patience and a high on-base percentage. Agreed. I’m not sure Kenny Lofton is the best choice here. I would much rather send Rickie Weeks away from a high OBP second baseman like you’re suggesting. To my knowledge, Huntsville has not tried Alcides Escobar at second base.

    What would I suggest? This is clearly me in a dreamworld, but how about a package that sends Rickie Weeks, Brad Nelson, and Zach Braddock for Brian Roberts and George Sherrill? Both Roberts and Sherrill will be under Milwaukee’s control past the 2008 season, and it would provide the Brewers with a very solid arm in the bullpen and a bona fide lead-off hitter. The package would probably need another prospect though. Perhaps someone like a Alexandre Periard.

  • Ned Yost does not want Ryan Braun to participate in the Home Run Derby. Milwaukee’s manager does not want Braun messing up his swing for the second half. I’m more worried about his sore hand at this point…
  • Between the Green Pillars takes an excellent look at the Manny Parra situation. He is on pace to throw more innings than the Brewers organization originally wanted him to. History has shown that pitchers are at a higher risk for injury if they make a big jump in innings pitched like Parra is on pace to do. The author believes Milwaukee will not hold him back, as the CC Sabathia trade signifies that the team is all in for this season.

    I would agree with that, but I also do not fall in the camp that believes Parra’s innings should be limited this season. Younger pitchers coming out of high school do need to watch their innings, but Parra does not have a young arm. He has been slowed by injuries, yes, but he is not new to throwing on the mound. Older relievers that have never thrown many innings do just fine when stretching out their arms. In my opinion, Parra is certainly capable of going more than 163 innings. If he starts to experience a bit of “dead arm,” then Ned Yost should worry about it.

  • Something tells me that Jason Kendall was a good pick-up this off-season.
  • The Junkball Blues takes a look at what Chicago gave up to get Rich Harden compared to what Milwaukee gave up to get CC Sabathia. He concludes that Harden did cost a bit more than Sabathia, as he should.

    People keep overlooking the fact that Sean Gallagher, Matt Murton, and Eric Patterson have all spent time in the big leagues. The Cleveland Indians did not get that from a single player from Milwaukee. Matt LaPorta may fizzle out before getting to the big leagues. After all, Nelson Cruz is still raking in Triple-A…

  • The Cub Reporter says that Rich Harden may not be under Chicago’s control through the 2009 season like everyone believes. That would certainly change the dynamics of the trade completely. (Tip of the cap to Right Field Bleachers for this one.)
  • Dugout Central says that Billy Beane is a dangerous GM to be making a deal with. He never loses a big trade. Most of the pitchers he loses end up fizzling out due to some sort of injury (Mark Mulder) or ineffectiveness (Barry Zito). I don’t know if I agree with the article when it says Tim Hudson has been mostly ineffective for two seasons. I definitely wouldn’t want that 3.16 ERA from this season or that 3.33 ERA from 2007. What a poor performance…

Prince reigns over Pittsburgh

5 07 2008

Prince Fielder may be struggling at the plate, but sure saved the Brewers tonight with timely hitting in the bottom of the ninth inning.

In a 1-1 game in the bottom of the ninth, Rickie Weeks battled back from a 0-2 count to draw a huge walk to start the frame. That turned out to be a huge boost for the team.

J.J. Hardy then sacrificed his 16-game hitting streak by laying down a sac bunt to move Rickie to second base. Pittsburgh reliever Tyler Yates chose to next intentionally walk Ryan Braun to get to a struggling Prince Fielder and to set up the double play.

Brewers fans rose to their feet in support of their Prince. Yates started him off with a couple fastballs on the outside part of the plate to head in the count 0-2. The right-hander then tried to make Prince chase a ball at his eyes. Prince appeared to be too eager at the plate and almost obliged. Now down 1-2, I thought Yates was going to bury a ball in the dirt, as Prince showed he wanted to swing at everything. Instead, he tried to sneak an outside fastball by the big lefty. It didn’t work. Prince served a line drive to left-center field that scored Rickie from second. 2-1 Brewers. Ball game.

Milwaukee got an absolute gem of a start from right-hander Dave Bush. He changed speeds beautifully all day, and his curveball stayed down in the zone all day. Bushie had fantastic control this evening, especially on the outside corner. I’m not sure how often it has happened all season, but he did not walk an opposing batter all game, while striking out six.

It turned out that Dave Bush needed to pitch well tonight, as Paul Maholm also spun a gem on the mound. Besides a nice opposite field home run from Mike Cameron, Pittsburgh’s left-hander went eight innings without surrendering another run. His curveball and change-up fooled Milwaukee hitters all evening. Tonight’s game was the epitome of a pitcher’s duel.

Even Eric Gagne threw the ball well, pitching the top of the ninth without giving up a run. He gave up a hit and struck out one. While his velocity has gone way down since injuring his shoulder, the command has been a thousand times better. His change-up has been absolutely nasty for him, falling right through the zone and fooling opposing batters. The command on his fastball has been much better. He has been able to work the corners much more effectively than before his stint on the DL.

The lack of velocity will be a hindrance of Gagne, but the better control may land the former closer 8th inning duties. If he is able to keep up the fine performances, I wouldn’t mind that at all. Don’t worry, that’s not a self-fulfilling prophecy at all.

There is some news on the C.C. Sabathia trade front.

Tom Haudricourt reports that Doug Melvin is waiting for a response from the Indians on their trade proposal. All signs point to the package being Matt LaPorta/Taylor Green/Lorenzo Cain. The Indians will probably wait until Monday or Tuesday before deciding on anything. They could perhaps ask for more in return, but nothing new seems likely to occur before Monday.’s Buster Olney says that the Indians are fielding other offers from the Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Philadelphia Phillies.

Tampa seems more focused on a right-handed outfielder and probably lacks the motivation to make a strong offer for Sabathia. If they do decide to make a play, however, Milwaukee may be on the outside looking in. Tampa has an incredible farm system and can outplay the Brewers. They will test the waters, but most likely will look elsewhere.

The Dodgers need a shortstop, but could change gears and hone in on the left-hander. They should have enough to get the deal done. It all depends on the motivation and the transparency of their proposal. Olney says Los Angeles has a tendency to balk at proposals. They will say one player is available, then back off and say he’s not.

Most likely, the Philadelphia Phillies will be the toughest opponent if they choose to be aggressive. Their farm system does not have as many offensive five-star prospects, but they could offer more players to get the deal done. I have heard that Philadelphia prefers Erik Bedard though.

Records: Brewers (48-39); Pirates (40-46)

Hero of the Game: Prince Fielder

The award could easily go to Dave Bush for his gem of a performance, but I came away from the game very impressed with Fielder’s resilience in the ninth inning. He has fought his swing the past couple weeks, but the big guy came up big to win the game. After trying a little too hard on the first three pitches, the fourth pitch from Tyler Yates turned out to be the charm. He didn’t overswing and took the ball where it was pitched. A great win for the Brewers.

Goat of the Game: Jason Kendall

Jason just didn’t look comfortable at the plate tonight. He did call a superb game for Dave Bush this evening, but he went 0-3 at the plate. The catcher doesn’t really deserve the Goat. Sorry, Jason.

On Tap

RHP Jeff Suppan will battle LHP Zach Duke in the series finale at Miller Park. The Crew looks to sweep the Pirates and continue their fine play. The game starts at 1:05pm CT on FSN North.

Round ’em Up: Wednesday

2 07 2008

Last night was a little frustrating to watch down the stretch, but the Brewers were able to pull out a win against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The 2008 Brewers certainly have a knack for making their wins tough at the end of the game. They need a few blow-out wins. My heart gets a little stressed out after wins like last night.

  • Brew Crew Pub has a recap of the game from last night. Make sure you show BN reader Aaron a little love.
  • Jim Powell has an interview with Ryan Braun about the All-Star Game and a mailbag from last night’s game. He has a little token recap of the game, but nothing in-depth.
  • In case you were confused last night, Rickie Weeks missed the game because of a stomach virus. I’m not sure how long he will be out, but stomach viruses can last for a few days. At least Joe Dillon has looked incredibly solid in his past couple games. It might be good for him to get a few more at-bats.
  • Before last night, Milwaukee had not scored in 22 and 1/3 innings against relief pitchers. It is amazing that they have won as many games on this road trip as they have with those numbers. Part of the struggles have been due to the lack of patience at the plate. The streak ended last night when Mike Rivera it that ridiculous opposite-field double at his eyes.
  • FOX Sports Fantasy Baseball says that Salomon Torres appears to have secured the closer’s role in Milwaukee. Really? Perhaps the fact that Ned Yost said Torres is Milwaukee’s closer was a little too subtle. Sheesh. Salomon has been 13 for 13 in save situations since Eric Gagne went on the DL. Of course he’s staying put.
  • Al’s Ramblings has a quote from Peter Gammons on his blog today. It says that scouts believe there are at least five legitimate major league players on that roster. Another scout says that Huntsville has the best prospects he has ever seen in a minor league system. Jack Zuriencik, I thank you on behalf of all Brewers fans.
  • Ken Rosenthal from FOX Sports says that the Brewers are interested in RHP Vicente Padilla. Rosenthal says that it would take quality young pitching to get Padilla out of Texas, however. The 30-year old right-hander has a 4.06 ERA playing in the tight Texas ballpark. Let me put it this way, Vicente Padilla is not my first, second, or third choice for a starting pitcher acquisition. In fact, he was not on my radar. Doug can do better than that.
  • Dugout Central has a nice look at the year thus far, giving a bunch of stats on every team in every division.
  • The Baseball Analysts has a Triple-A All-Star team on its site. Today, the site selected its starting rotation and bullpen. Mark DiFelice is coming out of the ‘pen. His walk-to-strike out ratio is ridiculous. I very much like DiFelice and think he can be a productive member of Milwaukee’s bullpen in September and into next season.
  • Diamond Hoggers gives Ben Sheets the NL Comeback Player of the Year award. I understand the logic, but Gabe Kapler deserves a look for that award. He was completely out of baseball last season and is now hitting north of .300 in the major leagues. That’s a comeback.Oh, and I utterly disagree with Joey Votto being the NL Rookie of the Year. I’ll excuse it though, as the site has an obvious Cincinnati bias. Not that it’s a bad thing. This site may or may not have a pro-Milwaukee bias.
  • C Michael Roberts made quite the debut last night for the Helena Brewers. He homered in his first professional at-bat, and also had a two-run triple later in the game. Not bad, young man.
  • The Philadelphia Phillies demoted Brett Myers to the minors yesterday, and he surprisingly accepted the move. This all but cements Philadelphia’s inclusion in the starting rotation market. They are said to covet Erik Bedard, but C.C. Sabathia could become a real possibility in a couple weeks.

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.

Home runs cannot push Crew past Twins

27 06 2008

The offense did it’s part, but it wasn’t enough.

Corey Hart’s two homers were not enough to overcome Minnesota’s seven runs.  J.J. Hardy confused everyone watching by socking a two-run home run to the opposite field.  A monster blast by Russell Branyan was not enough.  The 12 hits pounded out by the Crew were not enough to pull out the ‘W’ tonight.

A long story short…one cannot blame Milwaukee’s offense for losing tonight’s game against the Twins.  Even Rickie Weeks continues to swing a pretty good bat since coming off the DL this week.  It may just be me, but Rickie always seems to rake after coming off an injury.  Just an observation.

The infallible Seth McClung came down to earth a bit this evening, struggling through 4.2 innings and giving up five runs.  Minnesota managed nine hits off the big right-hander.  Seth simply didn’t have his ‘A’ stuff tonight.  Heck, he didn’t even have his ‘C’ stuff.  After the bunch of fine performances in the past couple weeks, however, I am more than willing to look past this start.

Seth’s control was spotty at best today, as he found far too much of the plate far too often.  He seemed a little reluctant to throw the curveball this evening, and the Twins hitters jumped on his fastball.  The big man put together a poor outing in every sense, and he will look to rebound next week.  Let’s hope he does in a big way.  The rotation has begun to rely on Seth at the back-end.  If he begins to lose his command, the Brewers may seriously begin to push the C.C. Sabathia envelope.

With a tie game, Ned Yost turned to Guillermo Mota to preserve the 6-6 tie.  Mota has been struggling over the past month, but he looked to be throwing the ball quite well tonight.  Even Joe Mauer’s go-ahead solo shot was a 96 mph fastball at his shoulders.  That is not a location mistake.  A pitcher cannot do anything but tip his cap to the hitter at that point.  It was a good pitch.  Mota couldn’t go to the slider on an 0-2 count to a lefty.  If he hung it, it was gone.  He and Kendall made the right decision, and Mota threw it where Kendall wanted it.  Joe Mauer simply connected.  Ballgame.

The Brewers made it interesting in the top of the ninth against closer Joe Nathan, but were unable to capitalize.  Prince Fielder was up at the plate with runners and first and second.  A grounder to first base ended the threat, however.  Fielder is still over-aggressive when he has the chance to win the game in the ninth.  He needs to relax more at the plate.  Maturity will help alleviate that tension though.  It will come.

Records: Brewers (43-36); Twins (44-36)

Hero of the Game: J.J. Hardy

I know Corey Hart hit two home runs today, but J.J. did something I never thought I would see again.  He drove the ball with authority to the opposite field and hit a home run.  The Brewers shortstop went 2-5 in the two-hole in the lineup.  He has continued to look pretty good since being moved to the two spot.  If Hardy can consistently drive the ball to right field with authority, pitchers will have to pitch him inside again.  Brewers fans should know what Hardy can do with an inside fastball.  His scorching start to the 2007 season should be an indicator of that.  He mashes the inside fastball.

Goat of the Game: Seth McClung

This award cannot go to Guillermo Mota tonight.  He did not throw a bad 0-2 pitch to Joe Mauer.  It was shoulder-high and at 96 mph.  What more can you ask for from Guillermo?  The all-star catcher simply deposited his strikeout pitch over center field.

Seth McClung, on the other hand, had a terrible outing.  The big right-hander was unable to preserve any lead Milwaukee had over Minnesota, and it eventually came back to bite the Crew.  I look forward to next week when fans can see how he responds to this start.  He’s done nothing but impress thus far, so I suspect that will continue next week.

On Tap

Rookie left-hander Manny Parra will battle veteran right-hander Livan Hernandez tomorrow night in Minneapolis.  The game will start at 6:10pm CT.  Manny looks to rebound from a below-average start, but it will not be an easy task against the surging Twins.  Control will be key for Manny tomorrow evening.

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

Prince’s Power Hour Propels

22 06 2008

The big boys came out to play in the Milwaukee Brewers’ final game against American League opposition, the Baltimore Orioles. Home runs from Corey Hart, Bill Hall, and a pair from Prince Fielder bailed out an out-of-sorts Manny Parra. Sprinkle in some nice defensive plays and a season-tying high for double plays and the result was good 7-3 victory finishing off a 6-3 homestand for the Crew.

From the get-go it looked like Parra might set up Milwaukee for a long afternoon. His pitch locations were off and a tight zone from the home plate umpire wasn’t helping his cause. Parra walked six guys including four in the first three innings. Two of Baltimore’s three runs were walks that came around to score.

Rickie Weeks was back in the lineup today (and in the lead off spot in the order) and looked shaky early on. Jason Kendall caught Jay Payton off of first, but Weeks, attempting to get Payton out, dropped Kendall’s throw.

Fielder has also looked shoddy on defense recently (something that he had looked to improve this season. He misplayed a bunt single in the second inning failing to pick up the ball and get it to Parra at first base. Earlier in the season is looked as though Fielder was making big strides in his defensive play, but in the last few series he has made several mistakes on plays that should be outs.

If the defense has fallen, the offensive game of Fielder has shown brightly. Prince belted a double and two home runs today. Fielder was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored. His monster, two run blast in the seventh gave the Crew some breathing room heading into the closing frames.

The secondary storyline of the game is the positive defensive plays that the Brewers made to back up the struggling Parra. Ryan Braun made two outstanding sliding catches (the one in the sixth was ESPN’s #5 “Web Gem” today) to rob Baltimore of base hits. The infield also turned five double plays on an Oriole team that has the grounded into the least amount of double plays in the American League (45). Weeks was strong on his DP turns (something that has been troubling… low throws to first) and made a fantastic play to end the seventh inning.

Guillermo Mota and David Riske both continue to struggle in relief appearances this afternoon issuing two walks apiece. A strikeout for Riske and two nice defensive plays by JJ Hardy and the already mentioned Weeks grab bailed out David. It took an appearance by Salomon Torres and a double play to get Mota off the hook in the ninth. Mark DiFelice had a good outing, going 1-2-3 in the sixth, but otherwise this bullpen is starting to worry. There are a bunch of bright spots (DiFelice, Torres, Shouse), but they can’t pitch everyday and allow the inconsistent guys to shake down games.

Records: Brewers (41-34), Orioles (38-36)

Hero of the Game: Prince Fielder

The Prince has been going on a power binge of late. He’s got five home runs in the last six games. For June all of his vitals are skyrocketing. Take a look at his May/June comparisons:

Stat May June

On Base Percentage .358 .432

Average .294 .343

Slugging: .450 .757

Promising stuff from the kid.

Goat of the Game: Davillermo RiskMota

What’s up with these guys? I know the zone was tight, Parra struggle with his stuff all night, but Riske and Mota’s inability to find a strike lately is looking Gagnesqe. I guess I’m particularly worried about Riske because I never was that high up on him since the beginning of the season. For the money we paid for him I feel like the Brewers haven’t gotten a lot of relief security.

A few good outings early in the season was marred by several rough outings before going on the DL. Since being activated from the DL two days ago, Riske has participated in the almost-loss on Thursday against Toronto and stunk it up today. These sorts of trouble should be worked out with a player before he comes back from his rehab stint in the minors. I know he blew threw the opposition in his one inning of work in Nashville, but there’s nothing wrong with playing it safe and seeing he’s all there.

On Tap:

The Crew hits the road to take on the Atlanta Braves. Jo-Jo Reyes (3-4, 4.05 ERA) is on the mound versus Ben Sheets (8-1, 2.74 ERA). Game time: 6:05 CT.

By: Dan Wiersema