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?
Why does it seem, every season, the Brewers have to face the oft-dominating teams of the AL in interleague play?
Two months ago, I wouldn’t have been to bothered to face Boston. They started the season 0-6 and slid uncomfortably into last place in the AL East, all the while the Brewers held themselves up towards the top of the standings in the NL Central. And, despite a bit of a tailspin, Milwaukee has finally begun to establish themselves as a team to be reckoned with, but they were thrust into their first interleague series after a dismal showing at Wrigley. And, as luck would have it, the first series was on the road at Fenway Park.
After finally posting a W on the third try in a 4 game series in Chicago, I thought maybe the Brewers could split the series and swoop into Boston with a little bit of momentum. Instead, Thursday’s game at the hole that is Wrigley proved to be disastrous and the Crew fell to the Cubs 12-7, handing Zack Greinke his second loss of the season. So any hope of an upswing to start the series in Boston was long gone.
It’s not that the Brewers didn’t try. They just ran into a couple of insurmountable issues from their starting pitchers.
Friday night Milwaukee held a brief 2-0 lead, but starter Shaun Marcum left the game after a 44-pitch first inning with a hip injury. Even after a 2 more RBIs, Marco Estrada took the loss after giving up 3 more ERs, but Boston kept plugging away for an eventual 10-4 win.
Game 1 = crap on a spatula.
Last night’s game handed Randy Wolf an early 2-0 lead after back-to-back homeruns for DH Rickie Weeks and Corey Hart. Ryan Braun followed with a line-drive double but was unable to cross the plate and the Red Sox tied it up at 2 in the second. My favorite (almost) MLB beard George Kottaras had a solo homer in the 3rd, followed by a Casey McGehee RBI single to give the lead back to Milwaukee. Wolf went 7 innings and Kameron Loe held the game at 4-2 for John Axford to come in for the save.
Game 2 = barely squeaking by, but I’ll take it.
Today was horrendous. Yovani Gallardo somehow managed to go 3 full innings, despite basically serving Boston a 6-0 lead on a silver freaking platter in the first. (Yo left with no outs in the 4th and an 8-2 deficit.) Nyjer Morgan hit his 2nd homerun of the season just barely over the right field wall to give the Brewers a couple runs but the bullpen failed to hold the Sox at bay. Sergio Mitre and Mark DiFelice combined for 4 innings and 4 runs. The only pitcher that didn’t allow a run to score was LaTroy Hawkins.
Game 3 = bad. Wicked bad.
The Brewers may have only been on the road for 7 games, but the home confines of Miller Park are going to be a very welcome sight. Tampa Bay comes into town first. The Rays just swept the Marlins in 3 games and if the Brewers are going to put a halt to TBs momentum, they need to shake off the horrid roadtrip. The fact that Marcum’s scheduled start for Wednesday is up in the air could put a damper on things, too. Chris “Narv Dog” Narveson (4-4, 4.48 ERA) gets the nod in game 1 tomorrow. Narv is coming off a good start in Chicago, taking home the only win of the series. He faces Jeff Niemann (1-4, 4.74 ERA), a tall righty who hasn’t won a game since April 28th.
After Tampa, the Brewers have to face the Minnesota Twins, who have been knocking so hard at the basement door, someone finally let them out. Minnesota has won their last 3 series, including a sweep of the Padres. The Twins have always been a tough opponent for Milwaukee but you have to hope with the way the Brewers have been able to play at home that they may have better luck this season. Plus, I’m going on Sunday and the Brewers have yet to lose a Sunday game that I’m at. (Knock on wood.)
So anyway, I’m gonna try to forget the last week’s worth of games and I suggest the Brewers do the same. They’re really gonna need to pick themselves up soon if they’re gonna get out of interleague play alive.
Grasping onto the coattails of John and Cait, I’ve been thinking a lot about ballpark food lately.
I’ve eaten the most amazing Philly Cheesesteak in St. Louis (go figure) and the tacos at Busch aren’t so bad, either. The nacho bar (and the liquor-types of bars) at Target Field will be hard to rival and although I didn’t have food at Great American Ballpark, the beer selection was pretty nice.
And I have my go-to’s at Miller Park. For sure. Who doesn’t?
Cactus League Nachos and Friday’s Strawberry Long Islands are generally the way to go, and you’d be hard-pressed to find an argument from me otherwise. (Though the baked potato equivalent to the nachos are good, too.) And since my friend Chris’s chicken parm sandwiches were beat by chunks of sausage on a stick (blech!) in the concession contest prior to the start of the season, I haven’t really wanted to try too many of the new items out of spite.
However, the talk of the pulled pork parfait has piqued my interest. For sure.
The first time I tried to get it, I was so excited. I ate a minimal lunch before the 3:10 start in anticipation of meat and potato gloriousness. I was expecting a long line and instead came across just a father and son paying for their pork delectibles. I step up to the counter and place my order.
“Actually, we just ran out of mashed potatoes. I can make you a sandwich, though!”
I have LI-trally never been so disappointed about food in my life. I wanted to trip the small child that was handed the last parfait of the day, steal his and run away. (I had no intention of that sentence rhyming so much.) I kind of wanted to cry. I did’t want a sandwich! I wanted my barbeque slathered pork goodness layered in a dessert cup with mashed potatoes! A sandwich?? A sandwich??? Gah!
I turned to the loaded baked potato for comfort. It wasn’t the same. It could never match the things I’ve heard spoken of the parfait, of that I was certain.
So, friends, tomorrow is my chance. The pulled pork parfait will finally be in my belly. I’ve learned my lesson to not wait. Immediately after securing a Long Island, I’ll make my way over to Section 127 and stand in line as long as it takes.
She will be mine. Oh, yes. She will be mine.
So, um, baseball. Right.
The Brewers absolutely LIT UP Kyle Lohse and assorted Cardinals relievers, handing the Narv Dog a much-needed, and extremely well-deserved win. Ryan Braun and Corey Hart each homered in the 8-0 victory and though the strike zone was somewhat–no, very–inconsistent, Narv pitched 8 shutout innings and the Crew managed to play smart ball on all facets and are now just a game and a half behind the Red Birds.
Tonight Milwaukee sends Zack Greinke (5-1, 4.83 ERA) to face Chris Carpenter (1-5, 4.25 ERA). The Brewers offense has treated Greinke well since he joined the rotation and the team is 6-1 in games he’s started. Both starters have Cy Young Awards under their belts, but Carpenter’s still searching for win #2, despite pitching for a first place team that’s 11 games over .500.
Tomorrow’s game, which I’ll be attending and stuffing my face with yummy food, is Zack Greinke bobblehead day. It’s also a game that could potentially put the Brewers alone in first place (assuming they win tonight). The Brewers have Shaun Marcum (6-2, 2.58 ERA) lined up against Jake Westbrook (6-3, 5.01 ERA). Marcum pitched a lovely game Tuesday night against the Mets but the Brewers couldn’t provide enough offense and they lost it 2-1.
So, here’s to a team that’s finally starting to work together on a consistent basis and here’s to knocking the Cards down a bit!
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.
Holy offense, Brewers!
It’s about time.
You had to know it was gonna be a big game when Corey Hart hit his first homerun of the season off the scoreboard in dead center. No wait. You had to know it was gonna be a big game when Corey Hart hit his first of three homeruns off the scoreboard in dead center.
That’s right. Three homeruns. In one game. And there were guys on base every time, too. A miracle, you say? Nah. Just a quick tweak to the stance in the cages before the game. So 7 RBIs later (oh, and 4 others not of his doing) Hart handed Yovani Gallardo his 4th straight win and the Brewers extended their winning streak to 4, all the while pushing towards the top of the standings in the NL Central.
Tim Dillard made his first appearance for the Crew in the 9th and let the Nationals have a couple mercy runs. You know, just so they wouldn’t feel so bad.
Assuming the sweep in DC back in April was a fluke, I’m sure the Brewers will be more than happy to return the favor this week. Tonight’s game matches up lefty Chris Narveson (2-3, 3.44) with right-hander Livan Hernandez (3-6, 3.64). Hernandez held the Brewers to 1 run the last time out and he pitches well against Milwaukee, but the Narv Dog had been nothing short of outstanding lately and has already given the Crew 3 starts with at least 6 scoreless innings. I’m just guessing the Brewers pretty much have this series in the bag.
So onto the more pressing Brewers-related story: Where’s Bernie?
Apparently, he’s spread through a small number of households in Wisconsin, waiting to be purchased on eBay.
Sadly, the promotion that should have been a fun, family-friendly scavenger hunt throughout parks all over the state was actually a pretty big bust for the Brewers organization.
Since the promotion played out @Bernie_Brewer and #WHERESBERNIE the past week, I’m assuming most of the accounts of the event I read on Twitter today were pretty accurate.
Yes, all of the Bernie Brewers were found and most folks probably had a good time looking for them. However, a handful of greedy “fans” ruined the fun and games by staking out parks, sneaking Bernies much earlier than the 5am designated start time and hoarding dozens of statues, which surprisingly started popping up on eBay a short time later.
One brazen lady decided to post pictures of her haul to Twitter. Not a smart idea, @erinann1511. Not smart at all. (I hear she’s since deleted the account.)
So I hope the Brewers learned their lesson with this one. I also hope they plan on doing something similar again because it did seem like it would’ve been a good time. Just maybe plan it out a little bit better, maybe?
And it’s a shame that the few Bernies that were available to purchase at the Team Store are sold out. Looks like the selfish (I’m guessing adult?) so-called Brewers fans will actually be making money off their inability to possess common courtesy or follow rules.
But honestly, the thing is pretty creepy looking and I didn’t really want one anyway.
That’s right. I’m taking away Narv Dog priveleges after last night. At least until he get’s his ERA back under 3.
I mean, I certainly wasn’t expecting him to win the Cy Young this season or anything, but come on now. He was pitching so well. I hope it really was just illness that sidelined Christopher’s ability to throw anything useful last night. Seriously. Thanks a lot, head cold. I don’t like being mad at anyone on my team but you’re not making it easy for me.
Last night’s game was so bad that I switched to Always Sunny reruns and when I switched back it was 6-0 Reds and Christopher had thrown 65 pitches and still only had 1 out in the top of the 3rd. Aaaaaaaand enter Brandon Kintzler aaaaaaaand switch back to Sunny. (Sidenote: How does The Gang never get arrested for their crazy antics??)
Now, I can’t quite explain why the Brewers have so many issues playing against the Reds. Maybe Prince Fielder’s inability to throw to homeplate has something to do with it. (Three bad throws at home already this season. That’s definitely not good.) I mean, it took them 5 innings before they plated a run last night. That’s probably got something to do with it, too. Spot Cincinnati 7 runs in the first 3 innings, you might wan’t to try a little harder. And even when they did finally score, it was on a Paul Janish throwing error so, you know, not even helping themselves.
I finally turned off the TV after Sergio Mitre (who, by the way, I like. I think it’s the way he wears his hat so low) gave up 2 more runs in the ninth. I guess I was just hoping anything good might happen if I wasn’t watching. Ryan Braun hit a too-little-too-late 2-run homer to make it 9-5 and then Casey McGehee grounded out to end the game. And not only did he end the game, but he ran into Joey Votto and sprained his thumb. Icing on the cake, I suppose.
So it’s game 2 of the series tonight. The only one in the Brewers line-up to have ever faced Reds full-time starter and part-time shoplifter Mike Leake is Wil Nieves. And he’s gone 0-fer. Having never seen Leake could go either way for the Crew. He’s 3-0 on the season but has 4.94 ERA.
Brewers starter Marco Estrada has been nothing but good since filling the 5th spot in the rotation, though he only has 1 win to show for it. This will be his 3rd start and 6th game and he’s rocking a 3.21 ERA. He’s also had 13 Ks in 14 innings. Soooo he’s got that working for him.
In other Brewers news, Corey Hart is back with the team but will not be reinstated until tomorrow, Nyjer Morgan and Takashi Saito are both headed to AAA-Nashville for rehab outings before returning from the DL and apparently Erick Almonte took a ball off the face in warm-ups today. Ouchie.
Six words entirely Brewers related tonight.
Finally snapped the 5-game losing streak.
Almost no embarassment against the Pirates.
Corey’s got a new hitting streak.
Prince got my fantasy team points.
Favorite beard went 0-fer until 9th.
Tied it, then thrown out. *******.
Axford’s ‘stache for the win. Yes!
Braun goes 2-5. Walk-off single. Finally.
At least Davis got a no-decision.
Ryan Doumit’s eyes freak me out.
Keep the winning streak alive, Brewers!