May 2011

Brewers : Pirates :: Reds : Brewers

The Brewers own the Pirates. Everyone in the world knows this.

But how does that law of physics go? For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction?

The Reds subsequently own the Brewers.

I, for one, will no longer stand for it. Because, obviously, I’ll be able to do something about it.

The fact that the Reds are the thorn in their sides has to have something to do with the fact that the Brewers basically fall to pieces every time the two match up. I mean, look at the Pirates. (Well, it’s not exactly the same because the Pirates suck.) They used to dominate Milwaukee at PNC. Then the Crew won like, 18 in a row? And suddenly PNC isn’t so threatening.

Milwaukee started the season on the road in Cinci and were swept. The Reds came to town 3 weeks later and took 2 of 3. Considering the Brewers have either won or swept all of their home series, to lose that one was pretty telling. The season so far is 6-1 in favor of Cincinnati and there are 6 games left to play.

Though, the road is a bleak place for the Brewers, no matter who the opponent.

The Reds had sunk in the standings after losing 6 in a row earlier in the month and had a dismal roadie, going just 2-8 in Cleveland, Philly and Atlanta. So you’d think the now second place Brewers would be able to ride another stellar string of games and cruise through Cincinnati pretty easily.

But you’d think wrong.

Last night, Christopher Narveson (Narv Dog is tabled. Again.) let one bad pitch get too far into his head. After Jay Bruce’s 3-run homer in the 4th, Paul Janish pushed the Reds even further ahead with a single and Christopher was done for, with a 5-0 deficit to his name.

Back-to-back homeruns for Carlos Gomez and pinch hitter Josh Wilson (new guy, kinda cute) in the 5th were a welcome sight, but definitely not enough of a rally as the Brewers eventually fell 7-3.

Tonight Zack Greinke (3-1, 5.79) looks to put an end to the road woes as he goes up against Chad Reineke (0-0, -.–), a fill-in from the minor leagues.

Dusty Baker’s pitching staff looks a bit different than usual since struggling starter Edinson Volquez was sent to Triple-A and Homer Bailey added to the DL. Lucky for the Brewers, hot-handed reliever Aroldis Chapman probably won’t be activated during this series, either.

If Milwaukee can capitalize on facing a pitcher who hasn’t seen Major League action in nearly 2 years and get into Baker’s bullpen early, they could have a strong chance to pull off a much-needed win. (Of course, they need to keep the errors to a minimum, too.)

The Brewers line-up tonight really has no surprises but hopefully Corey Hart is back at 100%. Ryan Braun has also been on an offensive tear lately, hitting in 18 of his last 19 (that early ejection against Washington halted his latest streak) and if Nyjer Morgan can get himself on base, I’m gonna need everyone to start using the term “scoring position” when he’s standing on first, too. ‘Cause that dude is fast.

So, seriously, Boys. I like that you dominate the Pirates. It’s kinda comical to be on this end of it because it’s like, why even try, Pittsburgh? But it’s not cool to be on the losing end. Please stop this now before it turns into a 20-something game losing streak. Thanks.

 

Go Brewers!

 

Hart found his stroke, selfishness found Bernie

Holy offense, Brewers!

It’s about time.

You had to know it was gonna be a big game when Corey Hart hit his first homerun of the season off the scoreboard in dead center. No wait. You had to know it was gonna be a big game when Corey Hart hit his first of three homeruns off the scoreboard in dead center.

That’s right. Three homeruns. In one game. And there were guys on base every time, too. A miracle, you say? Nah. Just a quick tweak to the stance in the cages before the game. So 7 RBIs later (oh, and 4 others not of his doing) Hart handed Yovani Gallardo his 4th straight win and the Brewers extended their winning streak to 4, all the while pushing towards the top of the standings in the NL Central.

Tim Dillard made his first appearance for the Crew in the 9th and let the Nationals have a couple mercy runs. You know, just so they wouldn’t feel so bad.

Assuming the sweep in DC back in April was a fluke, I’m sure the Brewers will be more than happy to return the favor this week. Tonight’s game matches up lefty Chris Narveson (2-3, 3.44) with right-hander Livan Hernandez (3-6, 3.64). Hernandez held the Brewers to 1 run the last time out and he pitches well against Milwaukee, but the Narv Dog had been nothing short of outstanding lately and has already given the Crew 3 starts with at least 6 scoreless innings. I’m just guessing the Brewers pretty much have this series in the bag.

So onto the more pressing Brewers-related story: Where’s Bernie?

Apparently, he’s spread through a small number of households in Wisconsin, waiting to be purchased on eBay.

Sadly, the promotion that should have been a fun, family-friendly scavenger hunt throughout parks all over the state was actually a pretty big bust for the Brewers organization.

Since the promotion played out @Bernie_Brewer and #WHERESBERNIE the past week, I’m assuming most of the accounts of the event I read on Twitter today were pretty accurate.

Yes, all of the Bernie Brewers were found and most folks probably had a good time looking for them. However, a handful of greedy “fans” ruined the fun and games by staking out parks, sneaking Bernies much earlier than the 5am designated start time and hoarding dozens of statues, which surprisingly started popping up on eBay a short time later.

One brazen lady decided to post pictures of her haul to Twitter. Not a smart idea, @erinann1511. Not smart at all. (I hear she’s since deleted the account.)

"I hope you have a big trunk 'cause I'm puttin' my Bernies in it!"

 

So I hope the Brewers learned their lesson with this one. I also hope they plan on doing something similar again because it did seem like it would’ve been a good time. Just maybe plan it out a little bit better, maybe?

And it’s a shame that the few Bernies that were available to purchase at the Team Store are sold out. Looks like the selfish (I’m guessing adult?) so-called Brewers fans will actually be making money off their inability to possess common courtesy or follow rules.

But honestly, the thing is pretty creepy looking and I didn’t really want one anyway.

Go Brewers!

Over .500 — Let’s hope this lasts

The Brewers just completed a 3-game sweep of the Rockies, after a strange 4-game roadie on the West Coast that left them with a win apiece against San Diego and LA.

Friday, I was up drinking at a bonfire anyway so I mostly caught game one. I say “mostly” because I can’t get AM radio at my house so we had the TV audio coming through the outdoor speakers. Um, Bill Schroeder? I’d kinda like to know what’s happening with the game. I understand you’re not broadcasting for audio-only purposes, but still. I little more info, please. So anyway, I ran to the window just in time to see Yuniesky Betancourt’s blast tie up the game for the second time. (Casey McGehee did it first.) Needless to say, when the game was in the 14th and Colorado was in the lead, yet again, I made it a point to settle in for the bottom of the frame. Soooooooo glad I did!

I love Prince Fielder! I love that he just watched that ball sail. I love that he had a classy celebration at home plate. I (sort of) love that Felipe Paulino was almost immediately DFA’d after giving up that homerun.

So Saturday’s game…..

What is the flipping deal with FOX? Sorry, but the Cubs-Red Sox is not my market. I do not want to watch the effing scrubs. I want to watch the Brewers and your stupid deal will make my Saturdays miserable for the next 6 seasons of baseball. Major League Baseball, why did you have to make this deal? Why did you have to make me so angry? As I said before, I can’t for the life of me get a radio to get AM at my house. I don’t enjoy using GameDay on my phone. I want to watch the Brewers play. I don’t want to watch whoever it is you think is closest to my team’s market that day. This deal sucks and I want to physically hurt someone because of it.

Grr. Sorry. So Milwaukee won 3-2. Jonathan Lucroy hit his 4th homer. John Axford got the save. I saw none of it.

Though, I saw none of it today, either.

I didn’t even check the score til the 6th inning because I was at a baby shower. But I did wear a yellow and white dress and had on a Brewers necklace, so I was still supporting my boys.

The Brewers closed it out with another win today, 3-1. They’re finally over .500 but just can’t seem to close the gap with Cinci and St. Louis.

Somehow, I did not have tickets for a single game this weekend and I don’t have tickets at all this week, either. I may try to make up for it with some light player stalking post-game Friday night, but the week is still young. I may make it to a game yet. I should probably try to go Saturday since I know I won’t be able to actually watch it otherwise…

But the Nationals are in town first and in order to avoid any further embarassment at the hands of Jim Riggleman and Co, the Brewers need to keep this hot streak alive. I mean, we all remember that sweep back in April. It was not pretty. Yovani Gallardo, Narv Dog and Zack Greinke are slated to face off against, well, Tom Gorzelanny so far. I’d like to think those 3 can handle the Nats, so I’m just gonna run with that.

Go Brewers!

Technically, isn’t homeplate scoring position?

I don’t know if the Brewers know it or not, but it takes more than offense to win games.

It also takes more than quality starts.

It kind of takes a little of both.

Not to mention runners in scoring position. It helps to bring them home.

Coming off a (supremely) unsuccesful roadtrip, the Crew came back to Miller Park last week and won 5 of 6, including a sweep of the Pirates. (But big deal. The Pirates + Miller Park = LOSERS.)

The homestand started with a Zack Greinke win over San Diego, another win that almost got away from them and then an utterly embarassing loss to wrap that series, which saw comebacks from both the Brewers and Padres, ultimately ending 13-6, thanks to Kameron Loe talking his way into the game. (I won’t even get started on how RR is on my bad side because of that decision…)

After taking a day to think about what they’d done (8 runs in one inning? Seriously, boys. Crap on a spatula), the Pirates were a welcome opponent. The entire baseball community knows Milwaukee pretty much owns Pittsburgh and such was the case over the weekend. Yovani Gallardo, The Narv Dog (yes, he’s earned it back) and Greinke all put another notch in their win columns and the offense came alive (finally!) to move the Brewers back up to 3rd in the NL Central race.

Milwaukee rode the momentum of the sweep all the way to Los Angeles, where Shaun Marcum pitched a doozie and the Brewers only needed 2 runs to bring the winning streak to 4, their longest so far. Though, it could’ve been worse had Carlos Gomez not pulled back a no-doubter from Juan Uribe. Last night, however, the Brewers were not so fortunate. The Dodgers only came up with 3, inlcuding a 2-run opposite field homerun from Top 10 Hottie Matt Kemp. The third run didn’t come until the 8th and as it turned out, LA didn’t even need it. The 4-game streak ended with a 3-0 loss.

The big issue, even though Milwaukee and Los Angeles split the series, is RISP. The Brewers left 12 men stranded in Monday’s win but went 0-9 last night.

Say what??

Yah. Twenty-one baserunners that never made it home. Blurg.

Not that I stayed up to watch either game. Stupid West Coast…

So tonight the Brewers will try to put all the pieces together as San Diego hosts another weird, 2-game series. Gallardo (4-2, 4.88) faces Dustin Moseley (1-5, 3.40). Given the way the two teams performed just a week ago, at this point, it’s anyone’s series.

What’s unfortunate for the Crew is that they have all the elements in place to win the games they’re supposed to win (like against last-place teams…) but they need to find a way for those elements to consistently work together.

Go Brewers!

She’s having a baby

No. Not me, silly.

But there have been some guys getting criticized in the past few of weeks for attending their children’s births.

Geez. Is it really that big of a deal?

First, it was the Rangers’ Colby Lewis. More recently, Kurt Suzuki and Jason Bay.

Seriously, people. I understand that we all take professional baseball pretty seriously. But slamming a guy for wanting to see his own flesh and blood brought into the world? Cut them some slack.

I think Major League Baseball did a good thing implementing paternity leave. If a guy wants to be a good father in addition to being a good player, he should have the right to be with his family. They let guys go to funerals. Why not births? I mean, if the Phillies can part with Roy Oswalt while he deals with tornadoes for a week, why can’t the A’s part with Suzuki a day or two?

Okay, I get the big game scenarios. Your team is on the verge of winning a pennant, game 7 of the World Series is on the line, blah, blah, blah. Yes, I’d probably be upset if a player opted to skip out on his paid duties in a situation like that. Should he have the choice, though? Absolutely.

I don’t get what people are getting so uproarious about. Do their jobs not offer paternity leave? Are they just jealous that someone can still make thousands of dollars while not actually doing their job for a couple days? If their team loses, is it all the new dad’s fault? I don’t know. The whole argument seems absolutely ridiculous to me.

Let these players be good fathers and husbands for a couple days. B effing D. There are 24 other guys out there that can pick up the slack. Seriously, out of 162 games, what’s 1 or 2 missed? Count it as a regular day off and leave it at that.

Now, on the off-chance that someday I’m giving birth to George Kottaras’ gorgeous, tan baby, maybe I’ll change my tune.

 

And speaking of missing games…

It seems the Brewers have collectively missed their last 6.

They’ve been outscored 31-7 and while they did have a couple of good starts at the hands of Yovani Gallardo (who then lost it) and Shaun Marcum (who didn’t factor, but K-Loe lost it for him), they’re just not doing enough.

Zack Greinke finally made his first start and it was a doozie. And not in a good way. He was on a limited pitch count as it was, so he only went 4 innings, but gave up 5 runs, 4 earned. Since the rest of the team failed to show up offensively (Tim Hudson all-out dominated in a one-hit, CG shutout), the 6 Ks Greinke mustered up literally meant nothing.

Oh, and what could possibly be the cherry on top of this heaping scoop of crap? How about Nyjer Morgan breaking his finger and going back on the DL? Yay! More Carlos Gomez! (Grrr)

I mean, super duper, boys. You’re really living up to the expectations. I’m so proud of all of you.

Gah.

I guess I have to say it.

Go Brewers!

 

 

 

 

There’s hope yet!

I’ll keep this one short and sweet, seeing as I’m in the middle of game one of the Brewers-Braves double header. (The Crew is down 4-2 in the top of the 5th, FYI.)

Fear not Brewers fans.

If Francisco Liriano can toss a no-hitter with a massive 9+ ERA and a losing record, then there should be no need to worry about the recent woes of certain members of the Brewers starting rotation.

I’m just saying.

So congrats on the first no-no of the 2011, Francisco.

But enough already about that, it’s finallly Zack Greinke Day!!!

Game 2 should be underway in a couple hours. Zohmygod. It’s so exciting!

 

Go Greinke! Go Brewers!

Sugar, we’re going down swinging

Such was the story of Christopher Narveson and the Brewers vs. Bud Norris and the Astros: 24 total strikeouts.

Christopher, who took the loss despite 6 strong innings and 7 strikeouts, has failed to earn his nickname back. He was pretty much dialed in until a towering 3-run homer off the bat of Carlos Lee gave the Astros a bit of insurance on their way to an eventual 5-0 win and series victory.

Brewers relievers Sergio Mitre (who gave up Houston’s 5th and final run) and Zack Braddock tacked on another 5 Ks, bringing the Crew’s strikeout total to 12 for the day.

Bud Norris, however, managed to strand 11 Brewers at the plate all on his own, even though he was the only one of the Astros 4 pitchers to give up any hits. (Mark Melancon notched Houston’s 12th K.)

On a somewhat positive note for Milwaukee, Ryan Braun walked in the first inning which mean’s he’s reached base safely in all 27 of the Brewers games this season. That was pretty much the only bright spot, even though Christopher seemed to have gotten his command back.

The Brewers also committed 5 errors in this 3-game series (if I remember correctly, they were all throwing errors?), so I’m pretty much over hearing Bill Schroeder talking about how great they are defensively. Um, not so much. And while we’re talking about their flaws, how about that Carlos Gomez running the bases? He’s so smooth. I wish I could be just like him. Grr…

Carlos Lee, despite his own bright spot of the homerun, was carted off the field and taken to the hospital during the top of the 7th after he and Angel Sanchez collided going after a Mark Kotsay pop up. Ouchie.

So the Brewers head to Atlanta for 4 games starting tomorrow and Zach Greinke is slated to pitch Wednesday against Tim Hudson. (Yay!) The Braves and Brewers are both in 3rd place in their respective divisions, but Atlanta is coming off a walk-off win against St. Louis to open this series. While the baseball world is waiting with bated breath to see Greinke’s National League debut, Milwaukee will have to take on Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson before that day even comes. Hopefully Yovani Gallardo has shaken off his streaky April and Marco Estrada will shine once again before his likely departure to Nashville.

 

In other baseball news:

If you’re playing in Cleveland as a visitor, plan on going home with your tail between your legs.

Don’t even bother trying to pitch to Andre Ethier because he will hit you.

Don’t make obscene gestures and homophobic slurs to fans of the opposing team. You’ll probably get suspended.

While you’re not doing things, don’t tweet about your ejection from the clubhouse. You’ll probably get suspended.

Lots of people are having surgery or breaking things. Casey Blake: out. Ryan Zimmerman: out. Panda: out. David Freese: out.

@TonyPlush will be back Tuesday. Lord knows the Brewers need him.

 

 

Go Brewers!

 

 

 

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