As I checked the MLB leaderboards this afternoon on my lunchbreak, the Brewers players (or lack thereof) listed got me thinking about a lot of things. Take a look at some of these numbers and you’ll see what I mean.
MLB Batting Leaders
Prince Fielder – 31 (4th)
Ryan Braun – 26 (Tied, 13th)
Prince Fielder – 107 (1st)
Ryan Braun – 86 (Tied, 6th)
Ryan Braun – .314 (Tied, 15th)
Felipe Lopez – .313 (Tied, 18th)
On Base Percentage
Prince Fielder – .420 (4th)
Prince Fielder – .600 (4th)
Ryan Braun – .568 (9th)
Ryan Braun – 143 (11th)
Felipe Lopez – 140 (Tied, 13th)
Ryan Braun – 85 (6th)
Yovani Gallardo – 11 (Tied, 17th)
Yovani Gallardo – 165 (6th)
Trevor Hoffman – 26 (Tied, 10th)
Mitch Stetter – 57 (Tied, 11th)
Todd Coffey – 56 (Tied, 12th)
I’d say it’s pretty apparent what the problems are here. It’s a major, major issue when only 2 players show up consistently on the batting leaderboards. Admittedly, it’s nice when players hit hot streaks, like Fielder’s current tear. And, of course, not every position player on a team will get hot at the same time. And true, the Brewers have logged double digits in the hits column for what? The last 7 games? But when the one pitcher you see on the boards only takes the mound once every 5 games, things aren’t going to sync up as often as they need to. And even when Gallardo does pitch, the Brewers have trouble giving him ample run support.
It’s no secret that Milwaukee’s pitching staff has taken a perpetual beating this season. Currently, the starting rotation has given up both Jeff Suppan and Dave Bush to the DL, Braden Looper gives up homerun after homerun (to be fair, the entire staff has given up 159 longballs – the most in the majors. Ouch.), Manny Parra spent a few weeks in the minors only to come back and be crazy-consistent, Gallardo is the ace in the making and then there’s Mike Burns, reliever on loan. Even when the starters manage to go the distance, the distance is generally somewhere around 6 innings – definitely not enough.
Which leads me to the bullpen. It’s no wonder the Brewers have 2 relievers showing up as having pitched in the most games. The bullpen works far too often because the rotation can’t get it done. Adding a few new arms out there have so far not paid off. The only thing Jesus Colome, David Weathers and Claudio Vargas have in common with the rest of Milwaukee’s pitching staff? The ability to give up runs in great numbers.
There are only 44 games left for the Brewers this season. If the pitching doesn’t match up with the offense soon, the team will be in serious jeopardy of falling further out of contention. (Despite what it may sound like so far, I do still have faith in my boys.) It’s just really hard to fathom a big comback in either the NL Central or Wildcard races if batting and pitching coming together is about as rare an occurence as a solar eclipse.
Including wrapping up this current series in Pittsburgh, there are 14 match-ups left in 2009. Only 6 of those series will the Brewers face teams lower in the standings than they are. Also looming for Milwaukee are 3 series against the Cardinals, 2 versus the Cubs and 1 against the Wildcard-leading Rockies. If the Brewers are hoping to take any or all of those series, they had better start by winning more against the teams that, on paper, they’re capable of beating.
And at the risk of sounding selfish, I have at least 6 more games to attend this year, including 2 in St. Louis at the end of the season. I’d like very much to see a major turnaround from my team by then. Well, in addition, I’d like to see the Cubs and Cards take a nosedive, but beggars can’t be choosers. And don’t get me wrong, I know enough about baseball to understand it’s full of ups and downs and I can’t expect the world all the time. But come on, Brewers. I’m really sick of the downs.
Okay, so in other news, Bill Hall’s future will be decided by Friday. It’s entirely possible that Doug Melvin will use Hall as a trading chip. Quite honestly, I hope that he does. Obviously, Hall’s career is far from over and there’s got to be at least a few teams interested in picking him up. The Brewers, if I haven’t made it clear enough yet, need another starter. I’ve been reading the Reds are interested in Billy and, well, they’ve got a couple arms they’re willing to part ways with. And I definitely wouldn’t mind seeing Bronson Arroyo or Aaran Harang put on a Brewers uni. But the decision on Hall still has a few more days to be made, so don’t worry – I won’t hold my breath.
Anyway, the Crew is at PNC Park again tonight to try and restore some dignity and stop the downward spiral. Manny Parra (8-8, 6.44 ERA) matches up with Ross Ohlendorf (10-8, 4.30 ERA). Parra’s been nothing short of spectacular since returning from Triple-A just a few weeks ago and since the last time the Brewers saw the Pirates, they’ve gotten rid of the majority of their team. Hopefully, this will bode well for Parra and he’ll be on point again tonight. Hopefully.
Lately, it seems that’s all a team needs to make fools out of the Brewers. Lucky for them, New York didn’t have any to send to the mound in this series. That, coupled with nearly all of their A-squad on the DL, and they pretty much handed the series win to the Crew.
Brewers 10, Mets 6
If it weren’t for Carlos Villanueva, I would say Monday night’s was one of the best games of the season so far. Instead, it was just a really good game with a bit of a blemish.
The Brewers finally rejoined the hit parade, nearly tying their season high of 20. That game was the 15-3 blowout in Cincinatti back in May. Aside from the high hit count, this game had something else in common with that one: the grandslam.
Casey McGehee had the honor in the bottom of the 6th–sweet redemption from the lazy pop-up that entered, then promptly left, his glove in the top of the frame.
But, being the diehard gamer that he is, McGehee didn’t seem to even acknowledge the grandslam. He was too busy mulling the error that eventually led to 2 Mets’ runs to even think about what he’d just done. Either way, he was beckoned back out by the thankful crowd and he reluctantly obliged the curtain call. It was nice to see his post-game interview, too because, one, I’ve never seen him smile or heard him speak and two, I wanted him to show some pride over what he’d accomplished. Way to go, Casey!
There were other things working for the Brewers that night, too. JJ Hardy went 4-4, including a solo HR. Jason Kendall went 3-4 with an RBI, and even when McGehee was taken out, Bill Hall was shockingly able to produce. Hall stepped up, going 2-2 with 2 RBIs.
Villanueva, as I mentioned, was the lone dark spot on an otherwise great game. After Todd Coffey and Mitch Stetter worked a combined scoreless 1+ inning, Villa gave up enough runs (including a Gary Sheffield 2-run shot. Boo.) to warrant a trip to the mound from Trevor Hoffman. Ordinarily, I’m not opposed to seeing Hoffman, but with a 7-run lead going into the 9th, I’d rather not have to. Instead, he comes out with 2 on and 1 out, and with one pitch, the game is over and the shirts are untucked.
When all is said and done, Milwaukee leads the NL Central by 1. Awesome.
Brewers 6, Mets 3
Mike Burns vs. Johan Santana. Hmmmm….
This game did not go as many wouldn’ve expected it to. Although, it started that way.
Burns gave up a 2-run homer early in the first to David Wright. His remaining 6+ innings were basically flawless.
Santana, on the other hand, wasn’t as lucky. A series of hits in the 3rd ended up scoring the first Brewers run on a Ryan Braun RBI. One inning later, I found myself hoping for another grandslam. Santana walked Burns on 4 straight pitches then Corey Hart doubled on the most hilarious outfield slip I’ve seen in a long time. (I kid you not. The fall that Fernando Martinez took was classic. My stomach hurt from laughing so hard.) JJ Hardy followed with a walk to load the bases for Braun.
What happened next may as well have been a grandslam, as far as I’m concerned. But I’ll take what I can get.
Braun doubled on an 0-2 count to Gary Sheffield. Burns and Hart scored easily, but a throw to the plate to catch Hardy was deflected past Omir Santos to Santana, allowing the third run. Santana then overthrew third on an attempt to tag Braun out and, despite not technically being a grandslam, that 4th run scored anyway. My neighbors probably think I’m crazy after that play, for I was home alone, screaming like an absolute maniac. (Can you blame me?)
Three innings go by with nary a run scored. Somehow Burns is out of the game in the 7th with a mid-90’s pitch count, while Johan remains in the game, over 100 pitches, and proceeds to give up a solo bomb to Prince Fielder. Just a little insurance, I guess. Looks like Jerry Manuel wasn’t thinking too clearly by leaving Santana in to start the bottom of the 7th. He finally exits the game after that.
A myriad of pitchers come out for both teams and the Brewers narrowly avoided an 8th innings Mets’ threat. And because Hoffman worked a grueling 1-pitch game the night before, it was Coffey on the mound to finish it off. A nice double-play ball put the first 2 outs on the board, but I guess Martinez wanted to make up for his embarassment back in the 4th and hit a homer to the Tundra Territory. Ah well. Too little, too late.
The game ended one batter later, preserving Burns’ first Major League win.
The Brewers now lead the Central by 2 games. Awesome.
Brewers 0, Mets 1
Apparently Yovani Gallardo can’t catch a break against the Mets. The poor guy pitches another great game, yet loses again in a 1-0 shutout.
Newly appointed Top 10 Hottie Ryan Church was responsible for the single RBI of the game, and Gallardo was tabbed for the loss.
Despite outhitting the Mets 7-5, the Brewers were unable to capitalize and give Yo what would’ve been a well-deserved win.
Gallardo struck out a career-high 12 batters in 7 innings pitched. That’s twice as many as Mets’ starter Mike Pelfrey.
And Fielder was caught stealing. Shocker.
The Brewers currently lead the Central by a game and a half. Still awesome. Hopefully the Cardinals will get swept.
The Brewers final roadtrip of the first half is a 4-game series this weekend in Chicago. The Cubs have been faltering lately, so I’m not too worried the Crew will come home with their lead in tact. But before the All-Star break, the Cards and Dodgers come to Miller Park. That leaves a bit up in the air. But, as I said in my last post, the second half is relatively easy for Milwaukee. Hopefully the lead will still be theirs come October.
Tomorrow’s match-up: Seth McClung (3-1, 3.55 ERA) vs. Ryan Dempster (4-5, 4.09 ERA) in a rare Thursday night game at Wrigley.
With the excitement that’s still running through me from the awesome game that ended nearly 2 hours ago, I have to tell you about the day that almost wasn’t.
I feel like it’s a long story, but bear with me. It has a very happy ending!
My dad and I purchased 2 seats in a 9-pack for the season and tonight’s game was to be our third. As we had 2 graduation parties to attend, he decided I could have the tickets for tonight. It was a 6:05 start time and he didn’t want to be rushed. Awesome. Of course, I’ll take the tickets.
Then, of course, no one is available to go with me. People are either working, or have plans or are already going. Typical. I had a week to try and unload the second ticket, but no takers. eriously, annoying.
So my dad decides he’ll take my mom, if that’s alright with me. I said sure, since I had just gone to Wednesday’s game. No big deal.
Well, all day I’m getting texts from Mol from her tailgate party asking if I found anyone to go with because I should meet them down there. So now I’m a little jealous I’m not going. And I’m sulking my way through the 2 grad parties and I really wished I could go.
My mom offers her ticket back to me, but my dad wasn’t having it. “Why don’t you just get a standing room only ticket?” she asks. I thought about it and just decided I didn’t want to deal with trying to meet up with people and wandering around until someone texted or called. Plus, at this point, it was a little over an hour before the first pitch.
So, we get home, mom and dad change and are ready to walk out the door and I changed my mind super-last minute and bought myself a ticket when we got down there. I bummed a seat in their section just in time to see Seth McClung throw his first pitch.
Then I was kindly asked to leave the seat. So I move to another and same thing. Three seats later, I just leave to wander and get some food, maybe something to drink and end up behind the right field bleachers with a margarita in my hand.
A nice guy comes and starts chatting me up, because, hello? Why wouldn’t he? And I find out he’s with a bachelor party, the groom had disappeared 4 innings prior, thus there was a seat open, would I like to join him? Why not? My friends, at this point, had not told me where their seats were, nor had offered to meet up with me anywhere.
Now, not that I’m the good luck charm or anything, but on Wednesday when I moved down into the right field bleachers, the Brewers took the lead and thus, won the game. Tonight when I sat down there, the Brewers tied it up 4-4 on a Prince Fielder 3-run homer followed by a first-pitch blast from Casey McGehee. Coincidence? (Probably.)
It’s still tied in the 7th, I finally hear from my friends and I leave the nice bachelor party-goers and head one section up. The panels were open in right field and it was the most amazing breeze I’ve ever felt. Todd Coffey’s pitching, he does an amazing job, and then the Brewers fail to score, prompting Trevor Hoffman to enter the game in the 9th, minus Hell’s Bells. Ugh.
This doesn’t look so troublesome on paper. Except Hoffman proceeds to give up 3 basehits in a row, loaded the bases and 2 Giants’ runs score. Oops. And the 3 batters coming up for Milwaukee aren’t really who you want at the plate in the bottom of the 9th to face Brian Wilson, one of the best closers this season — Mike Rivera, Bill Hall, pitcher’s spot.
Rivera was out and Craig Counsell batted in place Hall. Good move, Macha. Seriously. If anyone can start a 9th inning rally, it’s Counsell. Sure enough, he singled. Jason Kendall stepped in for Counsell as a pinch runner. Mat Gamel pinch hit for Hoffman and walked. Corey Hart’s single scored Kendall and JJ Hardy, who hadn’t done too much offensively all night, singled in Gamel. When Ryan Braun stepped to the plate, we knew it was gonna be a “go big or go home” kind of at bat. And Braun struck out. Eh. Not surprised. Then Prince Fielder saunters up, bat in hand, ready to make some magic happen.
The fans at Miller Park were doing all they could to summon something of greatness from that bat. And we got it. An RBI double to right field scored Hart for the win.
It was absolutely incredible that my little saga of a day ended the way it did! And I was so happy to have been with friends, instead of strange men at that bachelor party when it happened!
So now that the Giants have lost the series, I wonder if they’ll end up sending Tim Lincecum to the mound tomorrow. Their off day this week would mean it’s his day, but not his spot in the rotation. If the do, it would be an Opening Day re-match for Jeff Suppan. Otherwise, it’s Ryan Sadowski with the ball for San Fran. Either way, the Brewers already have the series win and are still holding on to that first place tie in the NL Central with the Cardinals.
However, after tomorrow, the Brewers face some major obstacles to get to the All-Star break with that lead in tact. I guess I should really start thinking one game at a time, since July hasn’t even started yet, and the way Milwaukee’s played these last 2 games, I shouldn’t be too worried. But they’ve got the Mets, Cubs, Cards and Dodgers over the next 2 and a half weeks. Not easy.
Anyway, I shall not dwell. Tomorrow is another day.
Interleague win #2. Done and Done!
Check out this rollercoaster of a box score:
Milwaukee 14, Cleveland 12 Today’s Boxes 6/15/09 LAA 9, SF 7
And holy eff what a win it was.
But first, poor, poor Dave Bush. The guy can’t catch a break. Six runs scored before he was pulled from the game after his shortest outing all season. Only 3 1/3 innings pitched. Dave, you know I love you, but you’ve gotta stop giving up homeruns!!! But don’t think it was just six ERs. Two more crossed the plate thanks to a Victor Martinez hit off of first time Brewer Chris Narveson. Ouchy, Dave. And it’s too bad for Bush that the run support came too late to save him. I really do hate to see him and his newly trimmed beard struggle like that.
At this point, the Crew had let 2 separate leads go and the Indians were ahead 8-3. But not to worry–this would be the first of 2, 5-run leads the Tribe would let get away from them. Following Cleveland’s 4-run 4th, the Brewers would close the first gap to 8-7.
But the Indian’s big inning was the 6th, when Narveson and Mark DiFelice would combine to allow 4 runs, thus lending a hand to the second of Cleveland’s 5-run leads.
I’m not gonna lie, at this point, I was ready to give it up. It was already 3+ hours into the game. But then Todd Coffey came out to pitch the 7th and had Milwaukee’s first 1,2,3 inning. He was the first of 4 pitchers to not let a run to score. The Brewers then sent 11 men to the plate in that decisive, 6-run 8th inning to garner Coffey his second win of the season.
Casey McGehee is certainly proving his worth with 2, 3-hit games in a row, including belting his first career HR on Sunday. JJ Hardy broke an 0-30 slump (finally!), but still only managed to go 1-5 last night. Baby steps, I guess. Ryan Braun was one hit shy of the cycle, knocking in 5 runs on 3 hits, including a 2-run homer and a 2-run triple.
But the true hero of the night was Prince Fielder. He had a career high 6 RBIs, 4 of which came off the 130th HR of his career. Scratch that–4 of which came off his first career GRANDSLAM!!!
(Side note: thanks to my mom for watching the game on an analog tv, thus screaming in excitement 2 seconds before I even saw the pitch in HD. Tiny ugh.)
Coffey and Mitch Stetter combined to hold the Indians at bay in the bottom of the 8th and the Brewers bats couldn’t produce anymore runs in the top of the 9th. But they had a 2-run lead going in to the bottom of the frame, prompting a 16th save opportunity for Trevor Hoffman. Hoffman gave up a run Sunday and inevitably posted something other than 0.00 in the ER column. It was bound to happen. But, Trevor remained perfect, gaining his 16th save for the Crew this season.
So, no negativity today.Yay! Dave Bush hasn’t quite taken Manny Parra’s place on the Hotties List, but if he lowers his ERA, he might have a chance to be bumped from the Honorable Mentions. He did finally listen to me and trim that Amish-y beard of his.
Anyways, getting back on track…
Crew and Tribe again tonight. Yovani Gallardo (6-3, 2.88 ERA) takes the mound opposite Jeremy Sowers (1-3, 5.10 ERA).
Before I start in on the game that completely fell apart last night, let me fill you in on the trip to Vegas.
We stayed at the Luxor. This was our second night out. It took nearly 2 full days before someone took a great picture of us in front of the Sphinx. (I love how Vegas-y and sparkly I am!)
We found a fellow Brewers fan! This guy loved us. His wife however…
We met this Canadian “hawkey” player at LAX the first night because we thought he looked like Ryan Braun. He had no idea who Ryan Braun even was.
But, the real Ryan did show up. Personal TV at ESPN Zone. We all bet on the Brewers to win Friday’s game. And we all won a huge sum of $6.25. Awesome.
On our last night, we discovered a 24-hour TGI Friday’s. It was no Front Row grill, but there were half-price appetizers and that was easily the best deal we found the entire time.
It was kind of sad to leave and have to come back to crappy Wisconsin weather, but at the same time, 4 days was enough. The flight home was horrible, we were all hungover from being at the Palms until 4 am and only getting 3 hours of sleep, we had an hour layover and our flight was late getting in. Ugh. All I wanted was my bed and to not have to stand anymore.
But the whole time we were there, the Brewers hung on to first place and kept it on Sunday when Trevor Hoffman (on Trevor Hoffman bobblehead day) saved his 13th game, keeping his save streak alive. I watched mostly from the comfort of my own bed and anxiously awaited my parents arrival home from the game with a tiny Trevor of my own.
Sooooooo, on to last night’s should-have-been win.
One might have thought that Jeff Suppan had stepped in for Marlins pitcher Andrew Miller, what with all his walks and hits allowed early on. Not only did he walk Jason Kendall for a run, but he followed walking pitcher Suppan for another in the second inning. The third is where some sloppy baserunning most likely cost the Brewers a couple runs. First Prince Fielder suddenly thinks he’s a base stealer and tried to steal 3rd with no clear lead or signal to even do so. Of course, the big man is thrown out by the entire length of his body. Nice job. Mike Cameron advanced to 2nd on the throw but was quickly tagged out on a poor decision to run on a JJ Hardy grounder to short. He literally walked right into that out. At least Casey McGehee tacked on another run in the 5th, but the top of the 6th was truely the downfall for Milwaukee last night.
Former Milwaukee Brewers reliever Jorge Julio was called on to pitch and I’m not quite sure I’d call what he did “pitching.” Throwing seems like a more apt word. He hit 2 batters, walked another and all in all was charged with all 5 of the Marlins runs that scored that inning. Oh yeah, and didn’t record a single out. Not that it was all Julio’s fault. There was a Prince Fielder error in there at some point. Todd Coffey came in after that and it wasn’t all roses for him, either. He surrendered a single and a walk, both for runs, before striking out the side to finally end that horrific sixth inning. After that, the bullpen held the Marlins scoreless, but the Marlins’ bullpen did the same to the Brewers.
So, now Julio is out and Mike Burns is in. With the way Ken Macha is trying to preserve his bullpen, I hope Burns will be able to come in and be effective, taking some heat off Coffey and the slightly injured Mark DiFelice. I’m not saying I don’t trust Manny Parra to win tonight’s game on his own, but he does have the worst record for Milwaukee starters so it’s nice to see a new arm out in the bullpen that could help out if Parra gets himself in a jam.
Tonight it’s Brewers, Marlins. Manny Parra (3-6, 5.7 ERA) vs. Anibal Sanchez (1-4, 5.79 ERA)
Sorry for the hiatus. I promised a Monday post and, as it’s now Wednesday, this one is going to be a bit longer than I had anticipated. (Good thing I was taking notes all weekend!)
Friday. Brewers 3, Cubs 2
Danny Gokey Day here in Milwaukee proved to be eventful. The poor guy looked crazy tired, but he managed to belt out a pretty amazing National Anthem.
The first pitch? That didn’t go as well. A bit high, but at least it crossed the plate.
Gah, how annoying to have that American Idol camera that close to your face since 5am!
On to the game. Dave Bush, my favorite high-socks wearing pitcher, gave up a couple of runs early on, but then settled into a nice (eh) pitcher’s duel with Randy Wells (?). We all know I’d rather see some action. I guess I did when Aramis Ramirez separated his shoulder diving to stop a Ryan Braun liner to third. And, sorry that he got hurt and all, but the ball was still in play. Run to second, RB. Granted, there wasn’t really any more offense that inning, but still. JJ Hardy smacked a homerun in the sixth for the first Brewers run and Braun blasted one after a wild pitch advanced Corey Hart in the bottom of the eighth to take the lead and prompt a nice 1-2-3 visit to the mound by Trevor Hoffman.
Ah, Hell’s Bells. Can’t get enough! (Love the leg kick!)
Saturday. Brewers 12, Cubs 6
As we were unable to skydive due to low cloud cover (boo!), we all pretty much just sat around and drank until it was time for the game. Then we watched and drank some more. Since it was the longest baseball game known to man (not including a 20-ish minute delay due to the lights going out at Miller Park), you can imagine how much that might have been.
This is the kind of game I love. I’m not much for favoring pitchers and defense in a game. Give me the bats and the long ball. That’s what I live for. The Brewers got an early lead, and held on to it. Yovani Gallardo may have only pitched 5 innings, but he managed to hold the Cubs to 2 runs. The score stood at 3-2 in favor of the Crew until the bottom of the seventh, when Milwaukee batted around and then some, scoring 6 runs along the way, including back-to-back homers by Craig Counsell (haha!) and Ryan Braun. Braun’s came after a pitch by Ryan Dempster in the fifth grazed the top of his helmet. Maybe. Either way, he stared Dempster down before trotting off to first.
The top of the eighth wasn’t so lucky for the Brewers. Jorge Julio and Todd Coffey combined for 4 runs, bringing the Cubs within 3 and prompting Hoffman to warm-up in the bullpen. He could relax, though, as another outbust by Milwaukee bats let him sit back down and watch the rest of the game.
Sunday. Brewers 2, Cubs 4
Ugh. Happy Mother’s Day. Right.
The pink bats usually help, but I guess they only helped the Cubs this year. An early 2-0 lead for the Brewers was quickly erased by a 2-run homer from Alfonso Soriano off of starter Jeff Suppan. They scored 2 more and Milwaukee’s bats were silent the rest of the game. I did have a good time with my mom though, so that’s good. And it was nice to not have any Cubs fans rubbing a win in our faces afterwards. Afterall, the Cubs lost the series and Sunday’s win was nothing to gloat about.
As Monday was an off-day, I anticipated seeing some players at work. Although, of all the guys that have been spotted, I’ve managed to miss them all so far. Lo and behold, I get a text from Mol about 20 minutes too late. Yovani Gallardo was shopping in men’s dress shirts. I was already on my way out the door. Damn!
But I swear I saw Mark DiFelice. No one else did, so it probably wasn’t him. And he wasn’t as tall as I remembered. Maybe I’ll still tell people I saw him to sound a teeny bit cooler.
And last night was definitely my kind of game! While I was at my dad’s softball game and checking the Brewers game on my phone, the score never changed from a 3-2 Marlins lead.
As I walked in to Leff’s afterwards, the whole place erupted. A Rickie Weeks homerun tied it up. This was quickly followed by Prince Fielder’s second HR of the night. (His first was responsible for the Crew’s first 2 runs.) Mike Cameron tacked on a bit of insurance in the 8th with a solo shot of his own and then, Hell’s Bells yet again! It was impressive, of course, but I think that Leff’s needs to blast the AC/DC just as loud as Miller Park does. I just like pretending to have that experience.
In other, non-game news, Milwaukee signed veteran outfielder Frank Catalanotto to a minor league contract. I’m gonna go ahead and say he won’t be in the minors for long. As a left-handed bat, he could be a good replacement for the large-headed Brad Nelson, who, by the way, struck out AGAIN in a pinch-hit situation. Poor Manny Parra kicked *** last night and then that big, dumb, oaf of a guy comes in to bat for him and sucks like always. Smooth move, Ken Macha. Don’t you know this guy is worthless?
And my favorite bit of baseball from the past week was this little quote by Macha, referring to the ball that supposedly hit Ryan Braun in the helmet Saturday night:
“The league frowns upon people throwing at people’s heads.”
The Miller Park crowds and my immediate Facebook status said it all last night. (Do I dare get censored again?)
Have I seen blown calls in my day? Of course. We all have. Have I seen such a horrible game-changing blown call, with such blatant evidence as a mark in the dirt where the ball clearly landed in foul territory? Actually, I don’t think I have until last night.
After rallying for the lead in the 7th (again), the Diamondbacks had just tied the score at 2 in the top of the 8th and, with 2 outs, there were 2 men on base. Todd Coffey was on the mound to face PH Tony Clark and that’s when it happened. Initially, I couldn’t see where the ball landed on TV and judging by Ryan Braun’s slowed reaction in left field, I assumed it was foul. But apparently, I was stupid for assuming that, 2 runs had already scored and thousands of fans in Miller Park were loudly disagreeing with umpire Brian Gorman.
I maintain that, at best, the game should’ve been tied at 2 going into the bottom of the 8th inning, but Gorman maintains the ball was fair. There is no replay option for disputing fair or foul balls that are not homeruns, and I understand that baseball isn’t the type of game that should be instituting all sorts of technology like that. Baseball is a pretty pure sport that’s been around forever and shouldn’t really be messed with. And, with 162 games a year, how likely is it that that one blown call will determine a team’s fate? Probably not very likely at all.
Regardless, the game, up until basically that point, was a pitcher’s duel. Not my favorite kind of game to watch, but Manny Parra did his thing last night. And although he left the game on the hook for the loss (with only one ER), the little bit of offense the Brewers were able to kick up took that away the following inning. Both Parra and Diamondbacks pitcher John Garland had a hell of a game going. The game was never a run away for either team and it probably shouldn’t have become a 3-run game. But it did. There isn’t anything anyone can do about it now.
Tonight should be different. I’ll be there with the ladies, drinking Long Islands and taking lots of pictures, like we always do. We’re good luck charms, I think. The navy flipflops have been serving well lately (and the bridesmaid shoes helped the Crew in the 7th last night, but that’s all the luck they had in them, I guess.) and even though we will not be in the Club Level tonight, we’ll still be screaming as loud as we can. And maybe taunting Brian Gorman. Just a little.
It’s Braden Looper (2-3, 2.45 ERA) and resident Arizona scrub Dan Haren (2-3, 1.45 ERA) squaring up tonight. I’ve attended both of Looper’s wins, so that’s something on the Brewers’ side. I think Milwaukee will want to get some revenge tonight, and they most certainly deserve it, but they’re going to have to be careful. Haren’s been on-point lately. Either way, I think they can pull it off.