A mere 4 days ago, I was bragging about my first place Milwaukee Brewers.
It seemed, at the time, that they could do no wrong.
Of course, they had just swept the Cubs, who we all know suck. They split a 4-game series with the Pirates, who we all know try really hard not to suck, but still do. They swept the Mets, who we all know don’t suck as badly as Chicago or Pittsburgh, but still suck in their own right.
The Brewers were winning left and right, turning triple plays, hitting monster bombs — basically just backing up their awesome starting rotation with stellar defense and bursting offense.
Soooooooo when the Cardinals come to town 10 1/2 games back in the NL Central, you’d think the Crew would be able to keep the momentum alive and at least win one.
You know. Or not. Whatever.
Shaun Marcum’s loss Tuesday wasn’t his fault. A couple unearned runs was all it took to lessen the gap. Thank you, errors. Brewers lose, 2-1.
Last night was entirely RAAAAANDY’s fault. (RAAAAANDY may or may not be trademarked by Aziz Ansari. Regardless, I use it. Constantly.) Leadoff home run for Rafael Furcal, one out, follow up dinger from Albert Pujols, settled down, GRAND SLAM FROM PITCHER JAKE WESTBROOK. All pretty standard, no? Oh, not, actually. Somewhere in there the Brewers scored 3 runs, Ryan Braun’s trademark hustle became his downfall while attempting an inside-the-park home run (HILARIOUS, btw!) and, just as RB went down, so did the Crew. 8-3. Boo.
So, today. Nearly a carbon copy of last night, except for Yovani Gallardo was the one giving up 1st inning homers to Furcal and Pujols, and a subsequent grand slam to Prince Albert, which is when I turned off the game to catch up on DVR and pack for the first round of moving to MN. Yo surrendered a career high 4 HRs in a single outing. An outing that lasted less than 5 innings. Evidently, Jonathan Lucroy, Corey Hart and Prince Fielder answered with some too-little-too-late homers but alas, 8-4. Donezo.
And the Brewers were swept for the first time in Milwaukee all season.
The comfortable LoveSac lead has dwindled: 7 1/2 games over STL.
Thankfully, the baseball gods were smiling on My Boys when the 2011 schedule was made and they should be able to rebound nicely, facing the already eliminated Houston Astros over the weekend, while St. Louis takes on the Cincinnati Reds.
Now’s the time to gain back the 3 games lost. As they say, there’s no time like the present.
But don’t think I’m at all discouraged by this sweep. It was bound to happen and quite honestly, I’m surprised it hadn’t already.
I will say this, though: Even though the rest of the month seems like a cakewalk (half of the remaining 24 games are against the NL Central, and Chicago and Pittsburgh will very likely be officially out of the running by the time they face Milwaukee again), the Brewers need to bring their A-game now more than ever. I know they’re not a team that would ever rest on their laurels, and I’m certainly not accusing them of that for this series, but this is crunch time, no matter how big the lead.
I still have faith in you, Brewers. I mean, why wouldn’t I? I’m convinced it’s your year every year, going back pretty much for forever. And I’m sure you won’t prove me wrong this season. Because you wouldn’t do that to me, right?
PS, don’t forget to tune in to the Energy Sports Zone on mnenergy.com this Sunday morning from 9-11! College football, NFL, baseball, BREWERS!!! What more do you need?
The Brewers own the Pirates. Everyone in the world knows this.
But how does that law of physics go? For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction?
The Reds subsequently own the Brewers.
I, for one, will no longer stand for it. Because, obviously, I’ll be able to do something about it.
The fact that the Reds are the thorn in their sides has to have something to do with the fact that the Brewers basically fall to pieces every time the two match up. I mean, look at the Pirates. (Well, it’s not exactly the same because the Pirates suck.) They used to dominate Milwaukee at PNC. Then the Crew won like, 18 in a row? And suddenly PNC isn’t so threatening.
Milwaukee started the season on the road in Cinci and were swept. The Reds came to town 3 weeks later and took 2 of 3. Considering the Brewers have either won or swept all of their home series, to lose that one was pretty telling. The season so far is 6-1 in favor of Cincinnati and there are 6 games left to play.
Though, the road is a bleak place for the Brewers, no matter who the opponent.
The Reds had sunk in the standings after losing 6 in a row earlier in the month and had a dismal roadie, going just 2-8 in Cleveland, Philly and Atlanta. So you’d think the now second place Brewers would be able to ride another stellar string of games and cruise through Cincinnati pretty easily.
But you’d think wrong.
Last night, Christopher Narveson (Narv Dog is tabled. Again.) let one bad pitch get too far into his head. After Jay Bruce’s 3-run homer in the 4th, Paul Janish pushed the Reds even further ahead with a single and Christopher was done for, with a 5-0 deficit to his name.
Back-to-back homeruns for Carlos Gomez and pinch hitter Josh Wilson (new guy, kinda cute) in the 5th were a welcome sight, but definitely not enough of a rally as the Brewers eventually fell 7-3.
Tonight Zack Greinke (3-1, 5.79) looks to put an end to the road woes as he goes up against Chad Reineke (0-0, -.–), a fill-in from the minor leagues.
Dusty Baker’s pitching staff looks a bit different than usual since struggling starter Edinson Volquez was sent to Triple-A and Homer Bailey added to the DL. Lucky for the Brewers, hot-handed reliever Aroldis Chapman probably won’t be activated during this series, either.
If Milwaukee can capitalize on facing a pitcher who hasn’t seen Major League action in nearly 2 years and get into Baker’s bullpen early, they could have a strong chance to pull off a much-needed win. (Of course, they need to keep the errors to a minimum, too.)
The Brewers line-up tonight really has no surprises but hopefully Corey Hart is back at 100%. Ryan Braun has also been on an offensive tear lately, hitting in 18 of his last 19 (that early ejection against Washington halted his latest streak) and if Nyjer Morgan can get himself on base, I’m gonna need everyone to start using the term “scoring position” when he’s standing on first, too. ‘Cause that dude is fast.
So, seriously, Boys. I like that you dominate the Pirates. It’s kinda comical to be on this end of it because it’s like, why even try, Pittsburgh? But it’s not cool to be on the losing end. Please stop this now before it turns into a 20-something game losing streak. Thanks.
No. Not me, silly.
But there have been some guys getting criticized in the past few of weeks for attending their children’s births.
Geez. Is it really that big of a deal?
First, it was the Rangers’ Colby Lewis. More recently, Kurt Suzuki and Jason Bay.
Seriously, people. I understand that we all take professional baseball pretty seriously. But slamming a guy for wanting to see his own flesh and blood brought into the world? Cut them some slack.
I think Major League Baseball did a good thing implementing paternity leave. If a guy wants to be a good father in addition to being a good player, he should have the right to be with his family. They let guys go to funerals. Why not births? I mean, if the Phillies can part with Roy Oswalt while he deals with tornadoes for a week, why can’t the A’s part with Suzuki a day or two?
Okay, I get the big game scenarios. Your team is on the verge of winning a pennant, game 7 of the World Series is on the line, blah, blah, blah. Yes, I’d probably be upset if a player opted to skip out on his paid duties in a situation like that. Should he have the choice, though? Absolutely.
I don’t get what people are getting so uproarious about. Do their jobs not offer paternity leave? Are they just jealous that someone can still make thousands of dollars while not actually doing their job for a couple days? If their team loses, is it all the new dad’s fault? I don’t know. The whole argument seems absolutely ridiculous to me.
Let these players be good fathers and husbands for a couple days. B effing D. There are 24 other guys out there that can pick up the slack. Seriously, out of 162 games, what’s 1 or 2 missed? Count it as a regular day off and leave it at that.
Now, on the off-chance that someday I’m giving birth to George Kottaras’ gorgeous, tan baby, maybe I’ll change my tune.
And speaking of missing games…
It seems the Brewers have collectively missed their last 6.
They’ve been outscored 31-7 and while they did have a couple of good starts at the hands of Yovani Gallardo (who then lost it) and Shaun Marcum (who didn’t factor, but K-Loe lost it for him), they’re just not doing enough.
Zack Greinke finally made his first start and it was a doozie. And not in a good way. He was on a limited pitch count as it was, so he only went 4 innings, but gave up 5 runs, 4 earned. Since the rest of the team failed to show up offensively (Tim Hudson all-out dominated in a one-hit, CG shutout), the 6 Ks Greinke mustered up literally meant nothing.
Oh, and what could possibly be the cherry on top of this heaping scoop of crap? How about Nyjer Morgan breaking his finger and going back on the DL? Yay! More Carlos Gomez! (Grrr)
I mean, super duper, boys. You’re really living up to the expectations. I’m so proud of all of you.
I guess I have to say it.
I’ll keep this one short and sweet, seeing as I’m in the middle of game one of the Brewers-Braves double header. (The Crew is down 4-2 in the top of the 5th, FYI.)
Fear not Brewers fans.
If Francisco Liriano can toss a no-hitter with a massive 9+ ERA and a losing record, then there should be no need to worry about the recent woes of certain members of the Brewers starting rotation.
I’m just saying.
So congrats on the first no-no of the 2011, Francisco.
But enough already about that, it’s finallly Zack Greinke Day!!!
Game 2 should be underway in a couple hours. Zohmygod. It’s so exciting!
Go Greinke! Go Brewers!
Such was the story of Christopher Narveson and the Brewers vs. Bud Norris and the Astros: 24 total strikeouts.
Christopher, who took the loss despite 6 strong innings and 7 strikeouts, has failed to earn his nickname back. He was pretty much dialed in until a towering 3-run homer off the bat of Carlos Lee gave the Astros a bit of insurance on their way to an eventual 5-0 win and series victory.
Brewers relievers Sergio Mitre (who gave up Houston’s 5th and final run) and Zack Braddock tacked on another 5 Ks, bringing the Crew’s strikeout total to 12 for the day.
Bud Norris, however, managed to strand 11 Brewers at the plate all on his own, even though he was the only one of the Astros 4 pitchers to give up any hits. (Mark Melancon notched Houston’s 12th K.)
On a somewhat positive note for Milwaukee, Ryan Braun walked in the first inning which mean’s he’s reached base safely in all 27 of the Brewers games this season. That was pretty much the only bright spot, even though Christopher seemed to have gotten his command back.
The Brewers also committed 5 errors in this 3-game series (if I remember correctly, they were all throwing errors?), so I’m pretty much over hearing Bill Schroeder talking about how great they are defensively. Um, not so much. And while we’re talking about their flaws, how about that Carlos Gomez running the bases? He’s so smooth. I wish I could be just like him. Grr…
Carlos Lee, despite his own bright spot of the homerun, was carted off the field and taken to the hospital during the top of the 7th after he and Angel Sanchez collided going after a Mark Kotsay pop up. Ouchie.
So the Brewers head to Atlanta for 4 games starting tomorrow and Zach Greinke is slated to pitch Wednesday against Tim Hudson. (Yay!) The Braves and Brewers are both in 3rd place in their respective divisions, but Atlanta is coming off a walk-off win against St. Louis to open this series. While the baseball world is waiting with bated breath to see Greinke’s National League debut, Milwaukee will have to take on Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson before that day even comes. Hopefully Yovani Gallardo has shaken off his streaky April and Marco Estrada will shine once again before his likely departure to Nashville.
In other baseball news:
If you’re playing in Cleveland as a visitor, plan on going home with your tail between your legs.
Don’t even bother trying to pitch to Andre Ethier because he will hit you.
Don’t make obscene gestures and homophobic slurs to fans of the opposing team. You’ll probably get suspended.
While you’re not doing things, don’t tweet about your ejection from the clubhouse. You’ll probably get suspended.
Lots of people are having surgery or breaking things. Casey Blake: out. Ryan Zimmerman: out. Panda: out. David Freese: out.
@TonyPlush will be back Tuesday. Lord knows the Brewers need him.
The day was cold, windy and threatening rain. Yet we Brewers fans started lining up our caravans on Miller Parkway shortly before 9am. We were ready and we weren’t going to let a little inclimate weather or an 0-3 start get us down.
Once parked, the tents were set up (including the pee tent–genius), the keg was tapped and the wop was flowing. That glorious aroma of lighter fluid and charcoal filled the gusty air and shouts and music and laughter came from all directions.
The time had finally come: Baseball was back in Milwaukee.
We’d been there for less than 20 minutes when I noticed we already had a man down.
Bill Bob had somehow gotten smushed under the backseat. He was saved and had some more adventures later on in the day.
We ate, we drank (some of us, a bit too much–oops!), we played flip cup.
The pee tent came in handy!
We had cute, yummy desserts.
And then, before we went inside, we got the whole group. See how happy we all were, pre-game?
Blurg. What a loss. Narv Dog was awesome. Narv Dog did his job. Rickie Weeks got his 3rd homerun in 4 games. And then that was it. Well, not really. Takashi Saito surrendered 2 solo Braves homers and then that was it. Enough to send the Crew to an 0-4 start to the season. Boo. (Unfortunately, the only pictures I even attempted to take during the game were blurry shots of Narv. Drunk camera operating is not recommended.)
Sooooo it was back out to the lots.
Where Bill Bob was kidnapped. (Briefly. He’s safe now.)
And Bonnie wouldn’t start.
I mean, all in all, we had a blast. A measly loss isn’t gonna bring us down. Sort of, but not really.
It may have been too late for a happy home opener, but the Brewers did finally muster their first 2011 win last night. In a complete game shutout by Yovani Gallardo. I’ve said it many times before, pitchers’ duels are not my favorite but when you’re looking for your team to win by any means just so they can have a win at all, I will take it. Yo was certainly the hero last night, scoring the game’s only run and facing just one batter over the minimum. Great game.
So now that the monkey’s off their backs, hopefully the Brewers will start to become the team people thought they would be.
The Brewers called up Marco Estrada to start tonight against Mike Minor. Estrada had a good showing this spring as a starter so here’s hoping he can hold off the Braves. And also here’s hoping the Brewers offense will start to show up sooner rather than later.
@MLB discovered six words! Yay me!
zkonedog: Twins fave in AL. Sad.
mimi: Love twitter! Thanks for stopping!
Braun leads NL. Outfield starter? Yep.
Heyward no-go, even if voted in.
LaRussa tossed. Multiple mistakes. Cards victory.
Dodgers turn five DPs, tame Giants.
Utley to DL. Thumb injuries abundant.
Almost cried watching Zumaya’s injury. Ouchie 😦
‘Bourn’ not ‘Bourne.’ Oops. My bad.
Google six-word memoirs. Life changing. Addicting.
Davis on way back. Rotation bound?
Fielder to SF? For who, Bauman?
Softball. Mobile MLB, then bar TVs.
Gallardo follows up 12K shutout tonight.
Could be two-parter. Tune in post-softball.
Parra’s wild first yield’s no runs.
Rodriguez at home in Puerto Rico.
Strasburg pitched? Oh, I hadn’t heard…
Zambrano mad! Zambrano need anger management!
Edmonds + Counsell = 79. Old Men Brewers.
Bourne’s first homer. Off Crew. Shocking!
Manny goes wild again. Run scores.
Braun homers. Trails Hart. Bizarro Brewers.
Pujols: No Derby. Can’t whine afterwards.
Strasburg allows 3. *gasp* He’s human!
Indians squeeze out win over Jays.
Villanueva loads ’em for Coffey. Ehhhh…
Aaaaaand Pence ties it. 5 all.
I like Braddock better than Coffey.
Rolen reaches 300 against former team.
Heyward to DL. Active for ASG.
Opportunity wasted by Prince, Ryan. Ugh.
Bullpen fails. Astros ginormous comeback win.
Losses okay when Cubs lose, too.
Carlos Lee’s on my fantasy team.
It may be a short trip, but thank god they’re on the road again.
It’s been 16 years since the Brewers lost 9 in a row at home. They may only be at 8 losses right now, but that’s not to say they won’t lose again when Houston comes to town next week. The Astros may be the only team in the NL Central with a worse record than the Crew, but the way those boys play at home, anything’s possible.
The Brewers were at Miller Park for a short 6 games, but were outscored by the Braves and Phillies 51-20. Add being swept twice in a row to their already dismal home record, and Milwaukee sits at just 4-14 — ouch.
The Crew now faces the first place Cincinnati Reds for 2 games, then head to PNC Park for 2 against the Pirates before their first bout of interleague play in Minnesota.
The Reds have been on fire and their starting rotation has dominated, going 7-1 in their last 8. Meanwhile, Milwaukee’s first trip to Pittsburgh was an all-out annihilation, outscoring the Bucs 36-1, so here’s hoping they can come alive again.
Adding to the Brewers woes is a new member of the DL in Doug Davis, who was admitted to the hospital Saturday with a minor chest condition. His health issues pushed up the rotation, prompting a trip to the mound a day early (but still on 5 days rest) for Dave Bush. Now, I’d like to think of this as a blessing in disguise, given the poor performances Davis has shown us thus far. I mean, one less bad pitcher in the rotation is a good thing, right?
Looking at the probables for the next 3 games, the Brewers seemingly have the advantage. Despite the Reds’ recent efforts to push the Cardinals out of the top spot, the numbers their starters have posted aren’t much to brag about and hopefully, Milwaukee will be able to take advantage.
Yovani Gallardo (4-1, 3.06 ERA) v. Johnny Cueto (2-1, 4.07 ERA)
Manny Parra (0-2, 3.98 ERA) v. Homer Bailey (1-2, 5.66 ERA)
Wednesday (@ Pitts):
Randy Wolf (3-3, 4.66 ERA) v. Brian Burres (2-1, 5.00 ERA)
Thursday’s starter is TBD for the Brewers, but the Pirates are looking to send Paul Maholm (3-3, 4.40 ERA) to the mound.
Seeing as the road has been kind to my boys so far, I’m hoping it will be kind to me and my ladies, too. Our roadie is finally upon us and if we can’t see wins at home, hopefully (pretty please?) we can see one in Minneapolis.
I know, I know. The Brewers are notoriously bad facing the Twins, but I’m thinking that playing outdoors on actual grass will be advantageous. And, if not, we’re only going to Friday night’s game, so we’re fully prepared to just go out and drink the rest of the weekend. We’re open to suggestions on cute, trendy places to go out (and maybe run into some players? Maybe?), so if any of you Minnesota folks know anywhere good, let me know.
And this girl also has next week off, so I may just venture to Miller Park and torture myse–ahem–prove what a loyal fan I am.
So this will probably be it until the Triplets return from Minneapolis. I’ve gotta plan cute outfits for the near 80 degree weather we’re expecting and bribe the FSN cameramen to put us on TV just like they did in St. Louie.
I somehow feel the Packers attire would be more appropriate in Minnesota…
Most people, in everyday life, wouldn’t get to take a day or two off work for performing poorly and still get paid. Most people wouldn’t get to sit out the day (unless they’re needed in a pinch) because a certain bigwig is coming and they do a better job working with a right-handed bigwig. Most people don’t do an amazing job 3 or 4 days in a row and then fall off as if they’ve never set foot in their office before.
Well, most people aren’t members of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Yes, it’s only the second week of May, but we all know that I’m not one to sit idly by and wait for actions. I openly air my greivances. And maybe I should’ve been more diligent with my blog and been posting during the last leg of that NL West roadie because then I would’ve been more apt to talk about things like the Narv Dog’s combined 11 Ks in his 2 wins against LA and Arizona. Or Yovani Gallardo’s 10 strikeouts over the Dbacks bringing him his 4th win and put him at 50 Ks on the season. I would be much happier to be talking about Prince’s birthday homer and the Mom’s Day 8th inning offensive outburst.
But, apparently I’m a glutton for punishment and choose not to post until all that positivity came to a crashing halt last night against Atlanta.
Now, I could just say to myself, “Calm down. It was only one game.” But the thing is, with the Brewers, that one game tends to lead to another and then another. They go through obnoxiously waivering spurts of insane offense coupled with sturdy pitching to lead to win after win and that eventually makes way for a few terrible, short starts, poor relief and a lack of bats. Fortunately for the Crew, they’re only 2 games under .500, but are 5 games behind the Cardinals.
So what exactly do I have a problem with. Really, it’s only 2 things.
One, this team seemingly relies on massive offense to pick up average pitching. “But what else is new?” you might ask. Sure, Milwaukee leads the league in runs scored, and that’s great, but then look at the amount of shut-outs they’ve been on the wrong end of (4). Or the number of games they’ve won when scoring less than 3 runs (2). Gah. Very rarely does the entire team, pitchers and batters, work seamlessly for normal wins (and by ‘normal’ I mean scoring single-digit runs and still winning).
My second problem might just be because of the hype I created in my own head, but I think I had waaaaaay too high of expectations for pitching coach Rick Peterson. Here’s a guy that created a system for finding a guy’s ideal pitching conditions. His biomechanic approach to pitching is designed to show exactly where a pitcher’s flaws are, what his strengths and weaknesses are, and then is able to work with each individual on how to improve his pitching game while avoiding any major injury or overexertion. Yet, the Brewers pitching staff is having it’s same old problems with inconsistency. I understand that Peterson isn’t a godsend or anything, but it seems like the amount of money spent to improve the staff and bringing him on board as coach are all for naught, seeing as the 2010 pitching staff is basically the same as the staff from years past–troubled and temperamental.
So that’s all.
If Milwaukee could somehow get their bats to speak up every game (when it counts, Casey. I mean, thanks for avoiding the shutout last night, but still) and their pitchers, both from the get-go and out of the bullpen, to get a little less erratic, they could really get themselves closer to the top. Yeah, yeah, it’s all easier said than done. But come on, I don’t get rewarded for not doing my job correctly. I mean, Jeff Suppan’s making $12 mil just to sit in the ‘pen for days at a time. Seriously, I know it’s not just me thinking it. It’s about time these guys get out there and do what they’re paid to do.