One hour without internet. Missed much!
Counting Crows, great. Dave Matthews, greater!
Parra gives up 5, still wins.
Brewers batter Cards for series split.
Gallardo strains oblique, maybe avoids DL.
Corey Hart is only Brewers constant.
Weeks ejected for first time ever.
Escobar’s many errors prove costly. Ouch.
(This girl distracted by Always Sunny…)
ASG rosters announced: Stars and Snubs.
Mauer leads with over 5 million.
Votto with early lead in Finals.
Braun, Hart represent Crew, Gallardo out.
Hart to pound out in Derby.
Lilly gives up 4 long balls.
Baby bears routed by Reds, Stubbs.
15 innings, 5+ hours, Rockies prevail.
Torii racks ’em up over Royals.
Kershaw forgets direction of basepaths. Whoops!
Carl Pavano + Brendan Ryan = Creepy Mustaches.
Bush pulled, relievers falter, Crew loses.
Brewers’ only run was walked in.
Hart still manages hit. Streak: 20.
Crew, Giants lefties only for series.
Geoff Jenkins retiring as Brewer Friday.
Need Miller Park trip before ASG.
Come on Brewers, step it up!
Brewers strike first, yet can’t win.
Bush better, Villanueva gives it away.
There are shadows! Deal with it!
Damn Astros and their Wednesday wins.
A-Rod’s only 5 away from 600.
Josh Hamilton at 23. Neverending story?
LaRussa drinking again? Supports AZ immigration.
Holy Vlad! Five RBIs vs. Angels.
Cubs can’t deliver. Lose in 10.
Awe. Sad. Utley going under knife.
Brewers at Busch. No more woes!
Guess who’s playing tonight? George’s beard!
Guess who’s happy about it? Me!
Go Brewers! Go Brewers! Go Brewers!
What started out as an ordinary, boring Monday turned out to be one of the best days ever. Well, if you’re a Brewers fan, anyway.
Jeff Suppan was finally released.
Happy, happy. Joy, joy.
Suppan’s last appearance for the Crew came in Friday night’s 8-0 loss to the Cardinals. I was out watching the game and, upon seeing him come out of the bullpen, immediately wanted to pick up my empty pint glass and hurl it at one of 2 things: the 60 in. NON HD television (seriously? No HD?) or the speaker sitting directly next to it that was blasting Nickelback instead of game analysis. Instead, I calmly set my glass back on the table and excused myself and went into the bathroom for fear of seeing something catastrophic. Thankfully, I didn’t witness the final straw that was 3 hits, 1 walk and 3 ERs.
The organization will eat the $2 million buyout and Jeff will likely sit around, hoping some other team as naive as the 2007 Brewers come along.
But, being the stand-up guy that he is, Suppan will continue to donate to Brewers charities until the end of the season and handled his release extremely professionally.
In reaction to the release, the Brewers bought reliever Chris Smith’s contract from Triple-A Nashville. In 23 appearances for the Sounds, Smith is 2-1 with a 1.71 ERA in 21 innings. He’s allowed 17 hits, 6 runs (4 earned), and 6 walks, but has 29 strikeouts. So as far as right-handed relievers go, he’s waaaaaaay better than Suppan.
Also, Todd Coffey was placed on the 15-DL with a thumb injury, so the Brewers are expected to make at least one more roster move to fill the bullpen. David Riske is the likely replacement, who needs to make one more appearance in Triple-A on Wednesday and also needs to be put back on the 40-man roster.
And, since I’ve been talking about pitchers this whole time, how about that Manny Parra, huh?
Last night, Parra pitched relatively unscathed through 4 solid innings, striking out a career-high 10 batters (including 7 in 2 innings. Yes, that’s right.) before giving up a home run to Albert Pujols in the 6th. After that, Parra lost whatever it was that was finally working for him. After walking the bases loaded with only 1 out, Dave Bush was called out of the ‘pen for one batter, Kameron Loe finished out the inning. Loe continued into the first 1/3 of the 8th, but after giving up the game-tying run, Zach Braddock held on for the final 2 outs of the inning and got his first major league win after Corey Hart hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the top of the 10th. Then, you know, John Axford pitched the 10th and, once again, made me forget about Trevor Hoffman for a little bit.
Go Brewers! (Don’t let the Cubs and interleague play ruin this homestand, please!)
*Except I do care. Please stop hassling him, and the rest of the Brewers pitchers. Thanks.
It’s time yet again, to complain about the team I still, for reasons that I can hardly explain, hold so dear.
Monday, the Narv Dog was awesome. Yeah, awesome until he and/or Manager of the Year Ken Macha decided he could go ahead and get that final out of the 5th inning and instead gave up a game-tying homerun. Then the bullpen came out and that’s where things really got out of control. Brewers lose, Marlins win. Ugh. (Oh, yeah. Neither here nor there, really, but Cameron Maybin had an inside the park HR, too. Super.)
Yesterday, my old favorite bearded Brewers (current fave: George Kottaras) pitcher, Dave Bush, struggled in the first inning, giving up a Marlins team cycle and 3 runs before he even had 2 outs under his belt. He settled in (sort of) after that, pitching 5 scoreless innings and the Brewers tied the game with HRs from Prince Fielder and Corey Why-am-I-not-on-the-All-Star-ballot Hart, thus putting Bush in line for the win. But, alas, DB was suffering from a blister (ahhhhh, so that’s why he couldn’t find the zone all game) and left after 6.
Enter Trevor Hoffman.
Dude comes in to the pitch in the 7th and gives up hit after walk after hit after hit for an eventual Marlins 6-3 lead by the time he managed to scrape up a 3rd out and walk off the mound. Yes, Hoffman, the all-time saves leader. The man with 4 more saves to go until 600. The man with a 1-4 record this season and an 11.65 ERA in SEVENTEEN INNINGS!!!!!
Sooooooo, the Crew calls upon the new guy, the beastly 6’8″ Kameron Loe, to pitch the 8th. And what does this guy do? Shows Hoffman how it’s done. Loe goes 1,2,3 with 2 strikeouts.
Alright, so now it’s time to play the blame game.
We can argue all day about who’s fault it is that the Brewers are having a wickedly bad start to the season. I can tell you who’s fault it isn’t: the offense.
I don’t like to throw numbers around, but this is something that cannot be disputed. There is at least 1 Brewers player in the Top 10 of every major batting category in the National League. Clearly, offense can’t do it alone (CLEARLY!), but these numbers don’t lie.
HR- Corey Hart, #1 (seriously. I know.)
RBI- Casey McGehee, #1
AVG- Ryan Braun, #4 (T)
OBP- Prince Fielder, #7 (notice lead-off man Rickie Weeks is absent)
SLG- Hart, #1 (T)
SB- Braun, #5 (T)
H- Braun, #2 McGehee, #7 (T)
R- Braun, #2
As a team, Milwaukee ranks 2nd overall in the NL in OPS and SLG, 3rd in HR and OBP and 5th in SB. So, you know, the Brewers are pretty damn good offensively.
One might argue that since it’s not the bats’ fault, it must be the pitchers’. One might be right. The only name you’ll see among the NL pitching leaders is Yovani Gallardo with 5 wins, 2.78 ERA, 73 Ks and a .714 WPCT.
The team ERA? 5.36, good for 14th in the National League. That’s right. Good enough to not be last but so terrible that it’s nowhere near 1st. And for a team that scores enough runs per game to be ranked 2nd in that category, the pitching staff allows 5.78–also 14th.
So, here the Brewers sit at a massive 10 games below .500 with a starting rotation that’s seen more guys come and go in the last 2 months than your friendly neighborhood brothel. The only bright spot, besides Gallardo, seems to be that just about every guy that’s been called up from Triple-A to help salvage the mess has been doing his part and then some.
But, there are still those that believe it’s not even the pitching staff’s fault. Because someone had to have hired that staff, right?
I mean, yes, Doug Melvin had his hand in signing insanely awesome acquisitions like Jeff Suppan. But then again, he saw something in Yovani Gallardo, too. Sure, Mark Attanasio is keeping Melvin around. But that guy? He basically brought baseball back to Milwaukee (according to a guy I know). And what about Manager of the Year Ken Macha? Well, he’s just making some bad decisions. That is, when he can make up his mind at all. (Find a line-up and stick with it, Keebler Elf!)
So, blame whoever you want to blame. The point is, the Brewers, my team, my Boys, suck right now. And that’s putting it mildly because what I really want to say would just get all starred out on here (thanks, censorship!).
And, now, game on.
Go Brewers, I guess.
Please pardon the absence. I’ve been on vacation all week and there was no way I was gonna sit down and post when I had every opportunity to go out during the week, be lazy during the days and watch my Boys start to turn it around.
Finally, a week later, here’s the Minnesoooooota recap.
The weekend began by taking a short jaunt to Madison Thursday night so we could cut off an hour and leave later for Minneapolis the next morning. After making spicy jalapeno mac and cheese and chili lime chicken burgers, we settled in to watch my Hubby, the Narv Dog, lead the Crew to it’s first win in their last 10 games. Not an amazing win by a long shot, but it was nice to go to bed knowing the Brewers weren’t total losers.
So, smoothies in hand, we set out for Minnesota in the pouring rain and Madge, our GPS, was leading the way to The Nook in St. Paul. Three starving ladies just wanted burgers and beer (and in Nik’s case, a malt) to kick off our mini-vacay and let me tell you, this thing was worth the wait.
Behold, The Molitor. Two burger patties filled with pepperjack cheese goodness, paired with the best fries I’ve ever had the pleasure of stuffing my face with. It should be an actual crime for all restaurants to NOT soak their handcut fries in vinegar before frying them. I will forever be disappointed with anything else.
If you’re heading to the Twin Cities anytime soon, it is an absolute MUST that you stop at The Nook.
From there, we drove the arduous 15 minutes to Minneapolis and once we arrived, it was really hard not to notice the one eyesore of an otherwise gorgeous city: The Metrodome. And, naturally, since Mol and I were wearing Packers shirts (because why wouldn’t you wear Packers shirts when in Viqueens State?), we got out to find Mr. Arnold himself…
…to take some pics of our disdain for him.
The only mean Minnesotans we encountered all weekend was a drive-by insult at this point, telling us to go back to Wisconsin. I mean, gladly. We have Aaron Rodgers there.
Anyway, after that quick stop, we got to our super-cute downtown hotel and got ready for the quick walk to beautiful Target Field. We put on our best Brewers gear and, of course, prepped with a couple Sausage Shots…
…and the Triplets were off. We made a quick stop at Brothers for Happy Hour in the adorable alley bar…
…then joined the droves of fellow Brewers fans (and super, super attractive Twins fans) and went to the field.
So the game…
First of all, gorgeous, gorgeous stadium. Thank god the Twins don’t have to play at the Eyesore anymore, is all I have to say. Look at this view!
Soooo, top of the 1st, eh, who cares? No runs, NBD. Bottom? Holy eff.
Normally, you know, I’m all about Dave Bush. Love the high socks, love the sometimes beard. But on this particular night, I wanted to punch him in the throat. Six runs in 1/3 of an inning and who does Manager of the Year Ken Macha send out to replace DB? Oh, of course. Logical choice. Jeff freaking Suppan. Cue the Triplets leaving their seats and finding the nearest bar (thankfully, Target Field has LOTS of full bars scattered throughout).
Luckily for us, Twins fans are super nice and no one gloated when their score kept climbing and the Crew’s sat at zero. Although, you have to enjoy Carlos Gomez hitting a 3-run bomb and toooootally rubbing it in his former team’s face.
After the game, the ladies and I went back to Brothers to drink away our sorrows, play a bit of darts (of course, me and a dude in a Denard Span jersey won in a total beat-down) and dance our little Brewers-loving booties off.
The next day, Nik and I took to the skywalks while Mol slept off her headache. It was pouring yet again, and as nothing was open in the buildings, we had to hoof it on the actual cold, wet streets if we wanted to find food. By the time we were done eating, the skies had cleared and it was getting warmer by the minute so we walked towards the field to check out how unreasonably priced tickets were for that afternoon’s game. Too rich for our blood, so we wandered around a bit longer, went back to the hotel to pick up Mol and go to Brit’s Pub…
…to catch the rest of what turned out to be a 12-inning debacle of a game. Not surprising, the Brewers were now down 0-2 in interleague play.
After that, we got all dolled up and headed out for a night on the town, which is a totally different beast at night. We don’t like clubs, we don’t like covers and we most definitely don’t like girls that wear underwear as clothes. Needless to say, we called it an early night and went back to the hotel to finish our bottle of reisling in bed.
Sunday rolls around and we pack and get ready to hit the road. It was only after we crossed the border back into Wisconsin and finish our KFC Buffet that we finally stumble upon a radio station that carries the game. And only after we are comfortably finished with our Norske’s Nook pies do the Brewers induce near-heart attacks and actually pull off a series finale win. Halle-effing-luja.
And, since it’s been so long, just a quick few things about the Brewers lately. First off, Narv Dog, no longer my hubby. From now on, ‘hubby’ will refer to George Kottaras. Second, Chris Capuano is back with the club and will likely be inserted into the starting rotation and as a result of his addition, Claudio Vargas was DFA’d. Thirdly, Macha’s been playing with the line-up and as of right now, it’s been paying off. (Although, Braun bats second today. Weird) Fourth, and probably most important, Yovani Gallardo outdueled Johan Santana Friday night. He went to distance with a complete game shutout. Fifth, Corey Hart is the talk of the town, walking off Yo’s insane game with a 2-run homer Friday, grand slamming in the 1st last night and 2-run homering in the 3rd, accouting for 6 of the Brewers 8 runs.
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…
This post was to have a different, more positive sounding title, but then I read the box score to today’s game against the Giants and it got decidedly more negative. Grrr.
My favorite oft-bearded, high socks wearing pitcher is set to go 4th for the Brewers this season. Dave Bush (who was 1-0 with a 2.13 ERA in 3 appearances at the time I began taking notes for this entry), is likely the best option for the 4th spot in the rotation, despite allowing a ginormous 7 runs in 6 innings today. What keeps me believing he fits the bill to start after Yovani Gallardo (who’s officially been tabbed as the Opening Day starter for April 5th in Milwaukee), Randy Wolf and Doug Davis is that he’s a legitimately great pitcher who just has some legitimately (really) bad days. I’ll forgive the inordinate amount of homeruns he gives up because he’s pitched multiple near-no-hitters, he’s had a buttload of quality starts and, let’s not forget folks, he’s got the only post season win for the Crew in the last 27 years.
Bush has proved in Arizona this spring (minus today’s hiccup. And, not to put all the blame on DB, it was a bit too little, too late on the offense, Brewers) that he’s back and ready to start. After taking a hard liner off the elbow last season, he spent 2 months on the DL and had the worst record of any of the myriad of Brewers starters to take the mound in 2009. Bush went 5-9 with a 6.38 ERA in just 21 starts, 22 total appearances. But, even after today’s 7 runs, Bush’s current ERA for the spring is 4.34 and, as someone whose opinion is completely taken into consideration by the powers that be, I think he’s going to be a worthy starter for Milwaukee in 2010.
As far as the Crew’s 5th starter goes, it’s been said more than once that a decision doesn’t have to be made until around April 14 because of how the schedule pans out. It’s still up in the air where Manny Parra (1-2, 6.32 ERA, 4 appearances), The Narv Dog (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 3 appearances) and Jeff Suppan (1-1, 7.71 ERA, 5 appearances) will fall before that make-shift deadline. Is it possible for the Brewers to settle on 6 starters and be an arm short in the bullpen? Sure. Is that likely? Probably not so much. I’ve said it many times, overpay Suppan in the bullpen because that guy hasn’t lived up to the expectations since signing with Milwaukee in 2007. He’s past his prime as a starter and we fans just plain old don’t like him. The Narv Dog has had a pretty good track record when he’s started for the Brewers, but I know his lack of Big League experience is weighing against him. And, I’m just gonna say it: It’s Manny’s year. He’s due for a breakout season and I think the Brewers need to give him that chance or risk losing him.
In addition to the pitching conundrum, the Crew currently has 29 guys on their active roster. And we all know that means some house cleaning will need to be done before next week. Catcher Angel Salome will likely be gone, as will outfielder Lorenzo Cain and pitcher Marco Estrada. The Brewers are an arm over in the bullpen so that means one more guy will have to go. There are a lot of guys in that ‘pen that Milwaukee can’t afford to lose, so unless something big happens with how the starting rotation falls into place (ie, getting rid of the odd man out), an established reliever will be on his way out.
Now, as there are 7 days before the best day of the year, I shall share with you the new creation, made especially for the chilly Wisconsin temperatures that we generally get on Opening Day.