I think the headline says it all. (Sort of.)
I’m not quite sure how it happened, but the Brewers just beat Roy Halladay and the Phillies 9-0, 6 of those runs belonging to Doc. This coming off of a 12-inning, 6-3 win to open the series last night. And that coming off of a combined 17-8 sweep at the hands of the perpetually last-place Nationals.
Yeah, well, it’s too early to tell how the season will pan out, and we Brewers fans are usually optimistic until the very end, but if the streaky April start is any indication, things to come might not be so pretty for the Crew.
I mean, the 0-4 start? Meh. At least they’re not the Red Sox. Boston started 0-4 and hasn’t really improved. The basement of the AL East isn’t all that familiar to them, yet there they sit.
Winning 7 of 8 games to follow? Welllllll….. It doesn’t mean much when you then get swept by a team with one of the worst batting averages in the National League.
Until tonight, it seemed that the 2011 Brewers were a bit backwards from Brewers of recent seasons’ past. The pitching staff, with the exception of a 12-run hiccup in Cincinnati and a couple blown saves at the hands of John Axford, has been above average and holds a team ERA under 4. The bats, however, haven’t been able to muster more than 6 runs in a game. Until tonight in Philly.
As a team that is now above .500 and sits alone at 2nd in the NL Central, a mere half-game behind the Reds, are the Brewers finally starting to put their wishy-washy ways behind them? Let’s hope so.
We saw Zack Greinke pitch well in his first rehab start tonight. I mean, so what if it was Single-A? Dude can still pitch. And with a handful of starters already at a respectable 3.15 ERA and a combined 84 Ks in 20 innings, I’d say Greinke is definitely not going to hurt things joining in on that rotation. It’s always nice to have a Cy Young award winner in the mix. We all remember what CC Sabathia did for the team in a mere 3 months. Keep Greinke from breaking any more ribs for the rest of the season and I think this ballclub will be able to do what many predicted it would.
The National League Central is up for grabs and because I said we fans are always so glass-half-full, I think the Brewers legitimately have a chance to reach out and grab it.
It’s that time of year again. I no longer have to plant myself in front of the television for nearly 3 straight hours on Thursdays to catch all the zany action in Pawnee, Scranton, New York and Philadelphia. The Top Chef has been chosen, Dexter killed his last victim until next year and I still don’t know how Ted met his kids’ mother. The freetime I have is astounding. I mean, just check out what I did last night in the same amount of time I would’ve spent on my couch with some of my favorite fictional friends.
I seriously don’t understand why I give so much of my life to television when I see what I’m able to do instead. I still can’t manage to turn away from The Jersey Shore or Tough Love, though. Ah, well. We all have our weaknesses.
But moving on to baseball.
The Brewers finalized their deals with new pitchers Randy Wolf and LaTroy Hawkins and also worked out a 1-year deal to bring Craig Counsell back next season. (Yay!) The Crew is also only a physical away from having Claudio Vargas back in their bullpen even though they probably could’ve had Seth McClung instead. Sorry, Big Red. I’ll miss you! In addition to McClung, the Brewers non-tendered catcher Mike Rivera and pitcher Mark DiFelice, though DiFelice later signed a minor-league contract with the club.
A couple of Milwaukee’s free agents have found homes this week, as well. Mike Cameron is heading to Boston, while Jason Kendall will be the Royals new backstop and Corey Patterson will be sucking in the Mariners minor league system. But the biggest news this week was undoubtedly the 4-team deal involving Toronto, Oakland, Seattle and Philly. The deal sent post-season superstar Cliff Lee to the Mariners and Roy Halladay can finally breath easy, having landed in Philadelphia after much trade speculation for the last six or seven months. Halladay wanted be part of a contending team in 2010, the Phillies seemed like the perfect team for him and he finally approved the trade.
And the TYIB winners were announced today. My picks didn’t fare so well. Obviously, Joe Mauer was winning Hitter. I just had high hopes for Prince Fielder. I was right on with Zach Greinke for Starter, was waaaaay off the mark picking Casey McGehee for ROY, but got back on track by choosing Jim Tracy for Manager. Stupid Yankee Mariano Rivera got closer. Again. I did pick Jeremy Affeldt for Set-Up, so way to go me, but Torii Hunter wasn’t even close to Jacoby Ellsbury for Defense. Mark Burhle, blah, blah, blah. Really? Dewayne Wise? The best play of the year? Sure, he kept perfection in order, but it was just robbing a homerun. It happens pretty much every game. Over it. How the Angels celebrating the post season in honor of Nick Adenhart didn’t beat out everything else for Moment is beyond me. Phillies Dad got his 15 minutes. Over that, too. Ruben Amaro, Jr. was pretty deserving for Executive. I tooooootally picked the Unsung Star in Jayson Werth and, yes, I’m a Yankee hater so their post season anything didn’t deserve to win. But anyway, congrats to all the winners. These awards mean nothing, so way to go.
And, lastly, since Christmas is only a week away and I work in retail, don’t expect any new posts for a bit. I mean, unless the Brewers manage to do something astounding in the next 7 days. Which is pretty unlikely.
Alright, boys. I didn’t want to have to recap a crappy weekend, but I guess that’s what it’s gonna be because that’s all you’re giving me.
Friday is already forgettable. My big complaint about Friday night is that Manny Parra was taken out too soon. Okay, so I missed the first hour of the game because I took Piper to see G-Force. (Too cute. Totally want a guinea pig now.) But still, Parra out after 5? It was a pretty good last inning, yet Macha takes him out and the game starts to go downhill. Ryan Braun had it tied at 4 with a 2-run shot, but the Brewers would fail to score following that at bat. Over it. Next.
Saturday my mom and I headed to Miller Park for game 2 against the Braves. It was Negro League night and my boys were decked out in the replica Bears unis. Adorable.
Even Rickie was back in the dugout with the rest of the boys. Awe.
I was also quite excited for a match-up of the two hottest Ryan’s in baseball, Braun and Church. I was totally in heaven with all the high socks and Top 10 Hotties. Until Braun flew out to Church. That moment ruined the night just a bit.
This one’s for me.
And this one just is funny. I think RB’s too freaking cute in that uniform.
Anyway, the game was great. 4-0 shutout by Yovani Gallardo (it was my first time seeing him pitch all season) and the first RBI was knocked in off Yo’s bat. Such an all-around guy. Love him! Prince was showing all other first basemen how to play solid defense and the rest of the guys got it done with a lot of small ball. Nice.
Two things from last night, however, that I must must must complain about.
One, some obnoxious drunk named Jeremiah was sitting 2 seats down from me. He was completely wasted when he sat down with TWO full bottles of beer in his hands. He never, I mean never, stopped talking for the entire game. Scratch that. He never stopped shouting the entire game. The only silence I experienced was when he got up to get more alcoholic beverages. He continually sang “Your Love” by The Outfield because it’s Frankie C’s at bat song. Not just when Catalanotto was batting. No, no. THE WHOLE GAME!!! (Listen to it now if you want to experience a tiny bit of what I had to hear.You know you want to.)
Next, I’ve never experienced such a conundrum in the parking lot leaving a game. Never. Mom and I actually re-parked the car because nobody was going anywhere. In any direction. When we finally did move, nearly an hour after the game was over, it was just to sit in more traffic, where we discovered there were very few cops directing cars. Generally, they’re on top of things and keep the flow going, but for some reason, many were absent last night. Gah! The game was over a little after 9 and it was nearly 11 when we rolled into our driveway. Ridic. Thankfully I had my new iPhone to take notes with so I’d remember what I wanted to post about when I got home.
So, onto other news. I’d rather not share my thoughts on today’s 10-2 blowout loss to the Braves, but I do have some other things I’d like to touch on briefly.
First, Telly Hughes interviewed the Brewers newly signed pitcher, Kyle Heckathorn, during today’s game. Future Top 10 Hottie right there. Holy yum. I’d love to post a picture of the 6’6″ righty, but there aren’t any out there yet that do him any sort of justice. Plus, he’s a Southern boy so he’s got that adorably dopey accent. Too cute.
Also, I mentioned earlier that I loved seeing Rickie Weeks back with the boys in Milwaukee. I do miss that guy, but I was thinking, if he weren’t out for the season, Craig Counsell would not be producing the way he is and it’s a pretty sure bet that Felipe Lopez wouldn’t even be in a Brewers uniform. Even though Weeks was having a great start to 2009, his injury has brought some bright spots to the Brewers’ game.
Third, with Dave Bush’s injury keeping him out of the rotation until at least mid-August now, my fellow July 19th birthday buddy, Tim Dillard, was recalled from Triple-A and is likely in line to start Tuesday’s game againsts the Nationals. He transitioned from reliever to starter down in the minors and has been doing relatively well– well enough that Ken Macha is putting the team in Dillard’s hands for the time being. One can only hope that Timmy steps up to the challenge, but I would still like to see Doug Melvin try to get a new starter before the trade deadline. I saw the Phillie’s offer for Roy Halladay was rejected. And included in that offer? J.A. Happ. Are the Phil’s really willing to part ways with Happ, who’s got a 7-1 record and an ERA well under 3.0? Well, probably not for anyone on the Brewers current roster, but a girl can dream can’t she?
Anyway, that’s about all I’ve got in me today. The Brewers start a 7-game stretch against 2 of the last place teams in the National League tomorrow. Let’s hope they can start something this week before heading off to LA and Houston?
Tomorrow the Nats come to town. Jeff Suppan (5-7, 4.71 ERA) vs. Craig Stammen (3-5, 4.14 ERA).
If the SI.com reports I read last night are true, the Brewers are one of the frontrunners making a play for starting pitcher Roy Halladay. And, if the reports are true, former Top 10 Hottie Manny Parra could be packing his bags for Toronto.
Now, I’m just a fan. I’m no baseball expert and I certainly have no say in who goes where and why. But again, really?
Clearly the Brewers starting rotation isn’t as strong as it could be, but why send off someone like Parra, who’s had nothing but good starts since his stint down in Triple A? Of course, adding Halladay to the rotation would do anything but make it worse and, understandably, the Crew could desperately use a helping hand. For a team that’s been lingering with 4 (sometimes) quality starters and 1 Mike Burns, it would be a huge plus to have a set starting rotation, something that Milwaukee’s been lacking for the majority of the season.
But is there another option that the Brewers are willing to part ways with? I’m not so sure. Right now, Parra is the choice to say goodbye to, and probably rightfully so. Dave Bush is currently on the DL and will hopfully be able to pitch to his ability sooner rather than later, and neither Bush nor Parra should be forced to the bullpen should the Brewers relieve a reliever of his duties to bring Halladay on. I’m okay with Parra being the odd man out, it would just be weird to see him in a uniform other than the Brewers, that’s all.
Now, if the Brewers do acquire Halladay, letting go of a pitcher isn’t the only way they’ll get him. I think Milwaukee is currently overloaded with infielders, so it wouldn’t be the end of the world to see Alcides Escobar go. There’s no room for him unless JJ Hardy gets shipped elsewhere in the near future. And we all saw what trading away top prospects for starting pitching did for the team last season. I don’t think anyone is holding their breath to see it happen again this year, but in a division that’s as wide open as the NL Central, why wouldn’t the powers that be do everything they can to snatch it up while it’s still up for grabs? Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m just as concerned about the future of this team as I am the here and now, but why throw away the chance when you’ve got it? The Brewers are great at growing their own players in the farm system. I think they’ll be okay if they let a couple go here and there for the greater good of the team.
All I’m really saying is, the starting rotation for the Brewers this season has been a question mark since parting ways with CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets in the off-season. I don’t think too many people expected them to do well with the rotation that was set back in April, and that’s starting to become a reality. The Brewers need a solid starter to help them finish out the season if they intend to stay in the NL Central race until October and if Roy Halladay is the one they need, then by all means, I hope they do everything they can to get him.
Next Up: Braves at Brewers. Javier Vazquez (7-7, 2.86 ERA) vs. Manny Parra (4-8, 6.37 ERA)