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.
So I’ve been away for a bit.
There was Summerfest. There was a wedding. There were 3 glorious, albeit sweltering, days of Dave Matthews Band.
But the good news isn’t that I’m back. No. The good news is that I have good news to report. And not even report, really, but just weigh in on. Because, let’s face it, you already know what I’m about to tell you.
The Brewers wrapped up the official first part of the season in a first-place tie with the Cardinals before sending 3 elected starters to the All Star Game. Even though top vote-getter Ryan Braun bowed out of the game with a lingering leg injury, Rickie Weeks and Prince Fielder were not only starting the game, but participating in Monday’s Home Run Derby. Which we can just gloss over.
But for once, some Brewers players actually helped out during the game. Prince’s 3-run homer off CJ Wilson put the NL on top and subsequently was named MVP. Later, in his 3rd and final at bat, Weeks reached on a fielder’s choice and scored an insurance run. Not too bad of a showing for the Brewers. Minus the Derby, anyway. (Hottie Robinson Cano absoultely killed it.)
And just to be sure the excitement we Brewers fans were feeling after the ASG wasn’t wavering, Doug Melvin wanted to present us with one more little nugget before bedtime: Francisco Rodriguez was joining the team.
Yeah. You know, Mets closer. Little bit of a temper, apparently. But hey, for a spotty bullpen, any arm helps.
All Dougie has to do is send off 2 minor league prospects and K-Rod is his. Not a bad deal.
I mean, let’s face it. The ‘pen needs help. It needs consistency. It maybe even needs a guy that isn’t afraid to assault an old man. I don’t know. It needs someone. Maybe Rodriguez isn’t the solution. But maybe he is. Melvin’s stated K-Rod won’t officially take over the closer’s role from John Axford but he won’t not close, either. So he’ll apparently be a set-up/closer on an “as needed” basis, sharing both roles with Axford.
But, you know, I can’t knock it til I try it.
I learned that lesson with Nyjer Morgan. I hated that guy for all the bases he stole against Milwaukee and all the fights he started on the field. But hot damn do I love me some T. Plush now!
So, welcome, Francisco. I hope you help.
Now. Middle infielders, anyone…?
And, just because there are so many American Leaguers fresh in my mind after the All Star Game, my running tally of MLB Hotties will get a final run-through on this wonderful off-day. I expect to have the official list up in the coming weeks.
I know you can’t wait.
But real baseball is back tomorrow. Milwaukee takes on the NL West this week. Rockies, Diamondbacks, Giants.
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.
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.
Well kids, last season I took an extended hiatus shortly before the All Star break. In that time, I’d like to say I was busy accomplishing goals or winning awards or making something of myself. But if I said any of that, I would be lying. In that time, I did very little worth mentioning. So we’ll breeze right past that and use this glorious Opening Day 2011 to re-start the ol’ Girl’s View.
What do you say? Good day to bring back the old format (as fun as the six words thing was, it got kinda hard after awhile) and wax poetic about my favorite sport, favorite team and favorite attractive men.
The Brewers took to Cincinnati to start the season, and start it they did. Sadly, I was taking the place of my boss today at work and was stuck in meetings with no iPhone access to check scores. Thus, I missed the Rickie Weeks/Carlos Gomez one-two punch to kick off the top of the first. By the time I was released of my duties, the Crew was up 5-2, Yovani Gallardo was still pitching and the game was looking pretty good. The car ride home netted a Casey McGehee RBI but also a Joey Votto dinger that brought the Reds within 3. A couple more innings and enter closer John Axford. Ummm, the first game of the season isn’t supposed to give me heart palpitations. And there it goes. That quickly. A sac fly and a 1-out, 3-run Ramon Hernandez homer. Boo. Over it. It’s too early to get worked up.
So aaaaaaaanyway, the Brewers’ home opener is Monday and I am like a kid on Christmas eve. If Christmas eve lasted 4 nights. Of course, you all remember the cupcakes. This year I’m adding cookies. I also managed to find Brewers crazy straws. I made a way cute new sweatshirt (yes, I’m still doing that, too). Unfortunately, I can’t anticipate sunburn this year so my Uggs will probably get another day of use before they get stored for the season.
The usual suspects will be in attendance but our party has grown considerably from years past. Which is a good thing. We’re a hoot, so who wouldn’t want to party with us? We’ve got an Opening Day virgin joining us this year, too.
To make it even better? I’m on vacation allllllll week! Home opener, maybe a random game during the week and then the infamous Leff’s Lucky Town Leadoff Tailgate to wrap up the good times. (That’s me and the rest of the triplets. Yes, we’re the faces of the party. See? A hoot!)
And, since it wouldn’t be A Girl’s View without a little hottie mention, can I just say how incredibly YUM 2011 Ryan Braun is looking??? Got a little extra muscle, got a little scruff, letting the hair grow–I likey.
And in other hottie news, I got to meet George Kottaras at the Brewers On Deck back in January. Laugh it up, I don’t care. I love him. And even though he’s currently beardless, I still like his beard. It’s not the greatest picture but I could care less.
So there you have it. Baseball is back, my boys are back, I’m back.
I’m pretty excited.
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 win five of six series.
Picked only loss of weekend. Boo!
Raaaaaaaandy! What’s up with the homers?
Errors. Great baserunning. Hart with 19?
Narv Dog killed first, next seven.
Rickie’s lead-off spot getting productive. Homerun!
Evan, BJ, play nice! Remember Zambrano…
Old Man Moyer gives up 506th.
White Sox beaten by baby bears.
468 feet. Hamilton aiming for god.
Yankee Hater. Dodgers hold lead, please.