I never had any doubt that the Brewers would be leading the NL Central by August.
I knew there would be continual sweeps, great pitcher’s duels and offensive outbursts that couldn’t be matched.
I always hoped that Felip-ayyyyyyy Lopez would be back in a Brewers uniform.
There was never once a bit of hesitation whenever asked if Milwaukee was a legitimate contender in 2011.
Of course, you know that none of the previous statements are true. Yes. I’ve had my doubts about this team. Who hasn’t? They got even bigger once I saw the Pirates were forcing their way towards the top and I thought they were going to be insurmountable when Rickie Weeks went down last week against the Cubs. (Though the surprise re-addition of Lopez puts a bandage on that wound, and the pick-up of Jerry Hairston, Jr. is kinda like the Bactine–it really will help, even though you might not want to put it on.)
However, the Brewers swept that series and followed it up with a sweep of the Astros, which isn’t hard to do when both teams are scraping the bottom of the division and Houston decided to part ways with both Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn during the series.
Milwaukee extended their winning streak to 7 with one monster inning against Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter last night. Zack Greinke allowed a 2-run homer to Matt Holliday in the top of the first and the Brewers were playing with that deficit because Carpenter was lights out through the first 4, allowing just one hit. The Crew batted around in the bottom of the 5th, starting with Yuniesky Betancourt, and all 5 of the runs scored before the first out was recorded. Turns out, Milwaukee didn’t even need all 5, but hey, any time Tony Plush decides to poke his head out for a little fun (and a bases-clearing double), I’m into it.
But, there were a couple of moments that had my heart racing (and not in a good way). I was not pleased to see a bases-loaded, one-out jam at the hands of Greinke in the 6th. The Brewers probably wouldn’t have gotten out of it without harm if it weren’t for a, well, blown call at first on a Skip Schumaker double play-inducing grounder. We all hate bad calls. Until they go our way. So, obviously, I’m okay with it.
With last night’s win, Milwaukee has a relatively comfortable 3 1/2 game cushion over STL. It’s certainly no LoveSac. More like your standard beanbag chair. But it works. And who doesn’t like a beanbag chair?
But what hasn’t been helping on this little climb to the top? Craig Counsell’s bat.
Remember when Counsell used to come in to PH and would actually do something beneficial? Aside from the walk-off sacrifice fly to finish the first half (which I didn’t actually see, due to a 3rd day of preoccupation with Dave Matthews), I do not. Forty-five ABs without a hit. Four RBIs on the season with a .145 AVG. It’s atrocious. Yes, he’s a veteran presence, yes he can still play above average defense, yes he’s…nope. That’s all I got. I love you, Craigy, but turn this around offensively or it’s gonna have to be time to retire. I don’t particularly like either of the 40-year-old lefties on the bench (seriously, Brewers. Who needs TWO??) but something’s gotta give with Counsell. Like, soon.
Attempting to stretch the current streak to 8 wins, Shaun Marcum (10-3, 3.33) faces off against Jaime Garcia (10-5, 3.14). Garcia is tough on left-handed hitters, thus Hairston getting the start in CF over Nyjer Morgan and the only lefty in the Brewers line-up is, of couse, Prince Fielder. On the flip-side, Garcia’s ERA in 2 previous starts at Miller Park is 7.20, so if the Crew can continue to swing and play the same smart baseball they’ve been playing as of late, they may be able to solve the otherwise on-point Garcia.
But I’m good. I think that LoveSac is on it’s way.
As I read today on Twitter, people do not like when other people write sports blogs and just recap the games of the day. Apparently, there are plenty of other outlets to get a game recap, thus a recap is just a copout when it comes to said blogs. Therefore, I will not be recapping the past weeks games, but merely calling out the highlights (and maybe venting about some lowlights) and gracing you all with some photos from the multitude of games I attended during Miller Park’s Opening Week.
I am pleased to say that the cupcakes made it to Opening Day in tact this year. They were delicious, as usual.
The Triplets with our favorite beer guy, Malcolm.
And ps, I hate the Cubs.
I decided that this would be a good year for me to venture into the world of fantasy baseball. That quickly subsided when I saw just how much effort it takes to not only draft what will hopefully become a successful team, but manage it throughout a 24 week season. Luckily for people like me, there is what I like to refer to as a “lazy option.”
I thought it would be best if my first time was as simple as possible, so I opted to let the system do most of the work for me. Don’t get me wrong, I spent an inordinate amount of time pre-ranking just about every player in the Majors to give myself the best chance at having a semi-good team, but that’s about as far as my involvement went. I guess in the end, my chances of winning the $10,000 are pretty slim, but considering I started this whole thing basically on a whim, I don’t really care.
Well, today was my auto-draft and when I checked my email earlier and saw my roster, I figured there were people in my league that cared even less. I mean, how else do you explain Prince Fielder and Matt Holliday winding up on the Brewgirl’s Bombers (corny, I know) when I was in the 8th slot? I was also pretty happy to see that I got both the Brewers and Twins pitching staffs, not to mention a slew of Hotties, past and present, in Garrett Jones, Casey Blake and ,yes, even JJ Hardy.
Quite honestly, I think I might be able to hold my own in this thing if I just let it play out. I have my team set to send out the top ranked players for each game automatically, though if I see things are starting to look rough, I might actually have to step in. Although, I’m not even really sure how to go about things like trades and waivers. I may just have to let the thing play itself.
So anyway, I’d like to introduce you all to the Bombers and I’m open to any criticism or advice you may have. Already I’m a little concerned not having a backup catcher so that might have to be something to address.
1. Prince Fielder – 1B, MIL
2. Matt Holliday – OF, STL
3. Ryan Zimmerman – 3B, WSH
4. Jason Bartlett – SS, TB
5. Carlos Lee – OF, HOU
6. Miguel Tejada – SS, BAL
7. Michael Cuddyer – 1B, MIN
8. Kurt Suzuki – C, OAK
9. Alberto Callaspo – 2B, KC
10. Milwaukee Brewers – P, MIL
11. Casey Blake – 3B, LAD
12. JJ Hardy – SS, MIN
13. Garrett Jones – OF, PIT
14. Minnesota Twins – P, MIN
15. Carlos Delgado – 1B, –
16. JD Drew – OF, BOS