Trevor Hoffman has really been showing Milwaukee fans why he’s the all-time saves leader.
Tonight’s 4-2 lead over the Astros was preserved, yet again, by Hoffman, who’s currently perfect in saves opportunities for the Brewers.
Starting pitcher Dave “Love the Socks, Trim the Beard” Bush got the win and is now 3-0. He went 6 innings, striking out 2, walking only 1 and had 2 hit batters, but both the Astros runs belonged to him. Houston’s pitching looked better on paper, and they needed one less out of the bullpen than Milwaukee, but giving up 5 walks definitely contributed to their loss.
Also announced today was the call-up of infielder Hernan Irabarren as a 3rd potential replacement for the injured Rickie Weeks. Craig Counsell got the start last night against Kyle Lohse and Casey McGehee was in tonight to face lefty Mike Hampton. Irabarren will probably be used sparingly, because, like Counsell, he bats left-handed. His only start for the Brewers so far came last September and, even though it was at second base, he’s spent some time in the outfield, too. This could come in handy for Ken Macha down the line with Chris Duffy being the only backup for the outfield.
With tonight’s win comes a 7-game winning streak and a 3-game lead over the now tied second place teams, the Cubs and Cardinals. St. Louis beat Chicago 3-0, bringing them back into second, but as long as the Brewers keep this hot streak alive, there should be no need to get too worked up about what those 2 teams are doing.
Tomorrow night’s match-up is Yovani Gallardo (4-1, 3.09 ERA) against another lefty, Wandy Rodriguez (4-2, 1.90 ERA). Gallardo got an extra day’s rest after starting a rained out game in St. Louis last Friday, so let’s hope he comes out fresh tomorrow.
Rickie Weeks is out for the season. Damnit.
Just when I was starting to like the guy, he goes and tears a sheath surrounding a tendon in his left wrist. Huh? Regardless, Weeks has been insane so far in 2009 and and the Brewers lead-off spot will be hard to fill.
As far as replacing Weeks on the everyday roster, there are a couple of key infielders down in Triple-A Nashville that are contenders. Hernan Irabarren is the most likely to make the short trip to St. Louis to join the team for tonight’s game. And the recent addition of Mat Gamel in place of the already forgotten Brad Nelson allows a bit more play on the infield for manager Ken Macha, not to mention another left-handed bat.
This injury couldn’t have come at a worse time. The Brewers stand alone in first place after knocking the Cardinals down in the first 2 games of the series. Tonight’s make-up game from Friday puts former Card’s starter Braden Looper (3-2, 4.7 ERA) on the mound against Kyle Lohse (3-2, 4.25 ERA). Hopefully the Brewers will be riding high and breeze through the next few series on this roadtrip. And, hopefully the Cardinals and Cubs will stay at bay for a bit longer.
Oh, and stop being such whiners, St. Louis. The Brewers can untuck their shirts and celebrate their wins. Or maybe you’re just upset that they’ve won the last 8 of 9 games played at your stadium and are just trying to make them look bad. Well, prepare for 9 of 10 and have fun in 3rd place!
(Sorry, Rickie! We’ll miss you!)