Thursday, May 29, 2008

I'll take 2 out of 3 from Atlanta

I have to say I am very pleased we took 2 of 3 from Atlanta to start this home stand, they came in to Miller Park somewhat hot and have the leagues best hitter Chipper Jones who left Milwaukee with a nice .420 batting average as he continues to "flirt" with .400 and try to become the first player to hit over.400 for a season since 1941 when Ted Williams did it. But anyway, the Brewers won the last game in Washington and the first two of this series and had a nice 3 game win streak with a chance at a sweep and of course what happened in the series finale? They lost. For some reason the Brewers always seem quite capable of winning the first 2 games of a series and then hardly even bother to show up in the final game, as the Braves whooped them today 8-1. I don't know why but it just bugs the shit out of me that this team can't ever seem to convert sweeps when they are right in front of them. Seth McClung who looked great in his first start as a Brewer was the exact opposite today going only 4 2/3 innings giving up 8 hits, 6 earned runs and 6 walks. Ouch! Not very good, I'm willing to give Seth at least two more starts to really see what we do or don't have in him as a starter. But after that, it may be time to see if Jeff Weaver has anything to give. One bright spot from today's game, "3TO" Russell Branyan hit a solo HR his first of the season and in true Branyan fashion also struck out and walked. Well the Astros now come into town for a 3 game series starting tomorrow. Game 1 will feature LHP Manny Parra (2-2, 5.11) for the Brewers against RHP Brandon Backe (4-5, 4.19) for the Astros. I'm gonna hope for a sweep, but I'll take 2 out of 3. I will be at Miller Park for Sunday's game in the right field bleachers, which is Ryan Braun bobblehead day. It's gonna be awesome! Go Brewers!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Julian Tavarez Officially A Brewer, Good First Outing

After passing his physical yesterday in Milwaukee veteran RHP Julian Tavarez officially became a member of the Brewers and to make room on the roster the Brewers sent LHP Zach Jackson down to AAA Nashville. Tavarez got a chance right away to impress the hometown fans as he came into the game in the 8th inning and sent the Braves down in order 1-2-3, one of which was a strikeout. He looked very sharp, throwing his fastball in the low 90's with lots of sink and movement. In a bullpen that was starting to look like a AAA team after injuries to David Riske and Eric Gagne it is refreshing to see an accomplished big leaguer out there. Lots of playoff experience for Tavarez as well with Cleveland, St. Louis and Boston. We can only hope that playoff experience comes in handy for the Brewers later this season.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Brewers Now 3-6 On This Ten Game Road Trip

After a 7-6 loss today to the Nationals after Guillermo Mota threw a wild pitch in the 9th that let the winning run come home from 3B the Brewers have fallen to 3-6 on this current road trip. The Brewers did battle back from a 6-0 deficit to make it 6-6 in the 6th. But they were unable to score again. We do send Ben Sheets to the mound tomorrow in the series finale in Washington, so I guess we have a chance to make it a 4-6 road trip. My question is win or lose tomorrow, is Ned Yost finally gone? What is really the difference between 4-6 and 3-7 on this trip. Both marks are awful, but will it finally be enough for Mark Attanasio and Doug Melvin to put their heads together and pull the trigger on Yost? We in Brewers Nation can only hope that when we return to Miller Park Tuesday to start a long home stand and series against the Braves that a different Manager is in the dugout. My vote is still for Frank Krembals, but I would be okay with Ted Simmons or Dale Sveum at this point. Oh and maybe a silver lining in todays game was Russell Branyan went 2-3 with a single, double and a walk. Looked great at the plate and played solid D at 3B.

Russel Branyan Called Up, Tony Gwynn Sent Down

A move that should have taken place at least a week ago if not more finally took place after last nights win over the Nats. The Brewers called up left handed power hitting 3B Russell Branyan and sent down weak hitting, no use on the team 4th OF Tony Gwynn. I hate to be that harsh on Tony but he really brings no value to this team. The things he does bring is speed and defense neither of which were the Brewers using him for. Now what Branyan brings to the table the Brewers really need. A left handed bat with power who could be key late in the game as a pinch hitter and to start some games at 3B against RHP since Bill Hall is atrocious against righties and Branyan mashes them. Now I don't expect Branyan to be some kind of savior but I do think he will help the offense a bit. Granted he will strike out like Hall does, but he can hit the long ball and he brings a good OBP and should take a fair amount of walks. With as bad as Hall as been against RHP if Branyan hits even .250 against RHP it's an upgrade. Branyan is expected to be in the starting lineup this afternoon for the Crew against RHP Tim Redding of Washington. Let 3TO version 2.0 begin!

I Have To Apologize to Seth McClung

I'm a man (no I'm not 40) and can admit when I am wrong. I was wrong about Seth McClung. At the beginning of this season after he gave up 5 earned runs in his first outing I refereed to him only as "McDung". I would like to say sorry Seth, how wrong I was. Since that otuing McClung has been damn good out of the bullpen and last night in his first chance at starting for the Brewers he pitched awesome. He was on a limited pitch count and was able to go 5 innings allowing only 4 hits, 2 earned runs, no walks and 4 K's. He picked up the win, but probably the best thing about his start was he had zero walks. McClung was always known as a guy who was a little wild but last night he just went right after the Nationals hitters and pounded the strike zone. It was very refreshing and I'm actually really looking forward to Seth's next start, hopefully this gives him a big confidence boost and he can keep it going. If we found lighting in a bottle in McClung to go with staff ace Ben Sheets, an every start improving Manny Parra, solid vet Jeff Suppan we should be okay as long as Bush can turn it around as the #5 starter. Or perhaps Doug Melvin still looks at a trade for another starting pitcher to take Bush's spot.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

JJ Hardy Wins "Error of the Year" Award By Landslide

Last night I missed the first 5 innings of the Brewers @ Nationals game since I was watching a movie with my fiancee. We watched "Martian Child", which is a great movie by the way. One of those cute dramady type films. Anyway the movie finished and I tuned in to see the Crew tied 1-1 with the Nats. Then everything pretty much went down hill, I was just in time to see the Brewers get 1 out on the bottom of the 6th and with a man at first and Christian Guzman at the plate he hit perhaps the easiest ground ball to the SS (Hardy) for a tailor made field ball step on 2nd and throw to 1st, BOOM DP inning over. Well it didn't happen that way. Hardy instead of fielding the ball, booted it like he was trying to outdo Prince Fielder for biggest, bone headed, awful error of the season. And as we all know Fielder has had many of those thus far. And boy did Hardy outdo Prince, after that error the Brewer went on to give up 4 runs in the inning and that was all she wrote as the Nats won 5-1 on only 3 base hits. Yes you read that right, the Nats got 5 runs on 3 hits. JJ, even though Prince has had many bad errors this season that have made me want to pull the hair right out of my skull you sir have won the award for that performance. And perhaps the saddest thing is your supposed to be a good fielder. We can only hope we win 3 straight to finish this God awful 10 game road trip at 5-5. But if not, maybe there is a better chance Ned Yost is fired before we start a home stand Tuesday.

No Trade, Gagne To 15 Day DL

Well the hopes that the Tim Dillard call up from Nashville had something to do with a trade for a starting pitcher were squashed. Myself and many believed that a trade was possible because they took so long to name the corresponding roster move to Dillard's call up. Well it turned out they have chosen to put closer Eric Gagne on the 15 day DL for that shoulder tendinitis. My first thought is it is not something to serious and more of a way to get Gagne a few rehab outings in AAA Nashville to work on his location and more reps on that slider he has began throwing so that he can be more productive as our closer on the big club.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Brewers Working On A Possible Trade Of Some Sort?

There is a possibility that GM Doug Melvin may be working on finalizing a trade before tonight's Brewers @ Nationals game. Early this morning the Crew called up pitcher Tim Dillard from AAA Nashville. But they have not announced any corresponding move yet. Some speculate that Eric Gagne is going to the DL, but that does not make much sense since if they were gonna DL him they would just do it, plus they wanted to wait till at least Sunday to have him throw and see how the shoulder feels. Another speculation is that Dave Bush is going back to Nashville or to the pen, if to the pen probably Mark DiFelice or Zach Jackson would be sent back down. But again if that were the case wouldn't you just have your mind made up and announce the move? Interesting indeed. Myself and many in Brewers Nation are hoping this is going to end up a trade possibly for Padres pitcher Randy Wolf or Greg Maddux. Will be interesting to see what does end up going down.

Why I Love The FSN Baseball Report And Best Damn Sports Show Period

Well there are many reasons why I'm such a big fan of both of those Fox Sports produced shows. But probably #1 would be the lady on the left, Charissa Thompson. Not only does she have intelligent takes on sports and conducts very good interviews, but my goodness is she a looker! In a baseball and sports media world in general with awful female broadcasters who either suck and don't look good or look good but suck, it is refreshing to find one who is knowledgeable and enjoyable to look at. Charissa will also add another show to her resume as she will do some work for the NFL on Fox Sundays this fall/winter. But to me she will always be the sexy sidekick to Tom Helmer on FSN's Baseball Report which airs Friday nights (usually before the Brewers pre-game show). You can catch her on Best Damn weeknights at 11. Trust me they are both worth watching for A. Sports content and B. Charissa, just hope she wears the librarian style glasses. Extra hot! And while I enjoy Trenni Kusnierek as the Brewers dugout reporter, I would trade her in a second for Charissa who did that same job for the Colorado Rockies.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Even Jumps In On The Yost Bashing, Kind Of EDIT: Fox Sports Now Also Joins In

Well they are not bashing Yost, but John Donovan did write an article on that was posted today about how we (the fans, not all but some fans) love to hate Yost and live to bash him. It's a good read and very true. He does bring up a good point though that it is not just Yost who we have been upset with but others such as Weeks, Gagne, Hall, and Melvin. You can read the article here.

You can view a similar article from Dayn Perry at here.

When the national media is also picking up on many of us in Brewers Nation's distaste for the Manager and also question if he should be canned you know Yost is really on the hot seat. I guess it only matters though if Mark Attanasio and Doug Melvin feel that way.

Funny Isn't It?

As I made my last post on Monday I bitched about how Yost should shake up the lineup a bit to try to get something going offensively and I gave my suggestion. Guess I should bite my tongue because Ned's lineup has worked the last two games. Granted they were against the Pittsburgh Pirates who are terrible but still they are starting to swing the bats (and it's not just Braun and Hart!) Monday night they scored 7 runs and last night they scored well only 4 but had key hits with 2 outs and runners in scoring position to score some of those runs, which is something they just were not doing. Also Weeks and Cameron at the top have gotten on base in this series. They have a chance to sweep the Pirates tonight as they get ready to head to Washington for a 4 game series with the Nationals. While I still think Yost should be canned, I will never root for the Brewers to lose games just so that will finally happen. If they can continue to win despite their awful Manager then so be it.

Monday, May 19, 2008

How About A Lineup Change?

Well still no word yet of Yost getting fired today, but the day is not over so we can only hope. But I was thinking about how we could shuffle the lineup a bit to try something new and maybe get some of these guys hitting that are not hitting. Here is what I came up with:

1. Jason Kendall- C
2. JJ Hardy- SS
3. Ryan Braun- LF
4. Prince Fielder- 1B
5. Corey Hart- RF
6. Mike Cameron- CF
7. Bill Hall- 3B
8. Rickie Weeks- 2B
9. Pitcher

Let me explain, Weeks and Cameron need to be removed from the 1st and 2nd spots in the lineup. Neither has a very good OBP and they both K a lot. I put Kendall 1st because he has a good OBP, has batted leadoff before and he actually has pretty good speed for a catcher. I put JJ 2nd because he has started to hit a little better lately and has had his best success in his career while batting in the 2 hole. So with Kendall at 1 you move the pitcher back to the 9 spot and you place Cameron 6th since he does have some pop and can drive guys in and put Weeks 8th although you could put him 7th and Hall 8th either or. I say they give this a shot, with Kendall and Hardy 1-2 I think Braun and Fielder will have an opportunity to bat more with guys on for RBI opportunities. Because lets face it with Weeks and Cameron at the top you have two guys batting in front of Braun and Fielder that are not hitting over .200.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Ned Yost Needs To Be FIRED!

I'm gonna make this quick. The Brewers lost again today in Boston 11-7. They got swept in the series and have now lost 5 games in a row and 9 games in a row on the road (swept by Houston, Florida and now Boston). It has never been more clear that this team as talented as they are will not win with Ned Yost as Manager. They are now 20-24 and in sole possession of last place in the NL Central and 7 games back of 1st place Chicago. It is time for Mark Attanasio and Doug Melvin to pull the plug on Ned Yost. I know it isn't all is fault he can't go out there and throw the pitches and swing the bats, but he needs to be a motivator and put his players in a position to succeed and he has not done that. You can't fire all the players so someone becomes the scape goat and it has to be Yost. In 6 years this team is still making bad errors and stupid mental mistakes left and right. They need someone who can change that. My hope is that Attanasio and Melvin are having this discussion and soon promote AAA Nashville Manager Frank Kremblas to interim Manager and see what he can do with a team full of players he has already managed in AAA to championships. I think this could happen as soon as tomorrow or as late as after this road trip finishes up in Washington.

Juuuuuust A Bit Outside Of Acceptable Swim Wear For An Old Man....

The Brewers were featured in a piece in Sports Illustrated by Lee Jenkins this past week on being a young team on the road during that 9 game trip. Well in the article was the picture above showing JJ Hardy and Corey Hart playing ping-pong pool side on their off day in Florida. Well who made a cameo in that picture looking on at the game but a 73 year-old Bob Uecker who appears to be in pretty good shape for a guy who could be my Grandpa. But Ueck, what is up with the speedo type shorts? And you wonder why you have stalkers, what women couldn't resist that bronzed body? I hope Ann Ladd wasn't looking on.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Roster Moves Before Boston Series

This is late but before the Brewers traveled to Boston they made to roster moves (no neither was bringing up Russell Branyan, which sucks), both moves involved pitchers. First they placed relief pitcher David Riske on the 15 day DL with an elbow injury. In his place they called up RHP Mark DiFelice from AAA Nashville. DiFelice has spent 11 years in the minor leagues and will make his big league debut when the Brewers call on him at some point probably this weekend. The second move was sending relief pitcher Mitch Stetter down to AAA Nashville and calling up LHP Zach Jackson. Stetter who was very good when he first got called up this season struggled mightly during his last few outings allowing 8 walks. Smart move with Stetter, I like Mitch a lot and think he will be back at some point this season but he was starting to go "Turnbow" and just couldn't find the plate. Jackson was up for the Brewers in 2006 and was pitching well in Nashville since being moved to the bullpen from the starting rotation.

The Brewers Bench Needs Some "Muscle" As In Russell "The Muscle"

.373 AVG 11 HR 33 RBI's, .716 SLG .451 OBP, 1.167 OPS

Those numbers above would be the season stats thus far for 3B Russell Branyan in AAA Nashville. Now Branyan has been quite the journeymen over the course of his career and I sure wouldn't expect him to put up those kind of numbers in the big leagues since he never really has and I wouldn't want him starting everyday. But what Branyan has always brought to the table is the ability to hit the long ball, slug a high percentage and walk a lot giving him a high on base percentage. He won't ever hit for a high average and he does strikeout a lot. But with the way Bill Hall has hit against righties this season and our black hole known as power from the left side off the bench why not call Branyan up? That way you have a guy to bring off the bench late in the game who can poke one out and can give Hall a day off once in awhile against a tough RHP. If they call Branyan up you send Tony Gwynn down. Bottomline is although Gwynn can give you some speed as a pinch runner and plays a good CF he just can't hit. He is an okay left handed slap hitter but we already have one of those on our bench back up infielder Craig Counsell. Another reason we don't need Gwynn is we have two other backup OF's on the roser Gabe Kapler and Joe Dillon. I hope at some point soon GM Doug Melvin realizes this as well and we get to see Russ in a Brewers uniform once again. Branyan is a huge fan favorite at where he is known as 3TO (three true basbeall outcomes: HR, K, BB) and who could forget his 2-HR game on Opening Day at Miller Park in 2005?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ryan Braun Locked Up! Signs 7-year $45 Million Contract Extension

I don't even want to get into last nights awful loss when we blew the lead. And I certainly don't want to talk about today's loss when Ben Sheets pitched his first poor game of the season after getting lit up in the 7th inning. Today it's all about the franchise of the Milwaukee Brewers, my favorite current Brewers player LF Ryan Braun. Today Owner Mark Attanasio and General Managers Doug Melvin/Gord Ash made a huge and very important move for the future of this great franchise when they locked up Braun for 7 more years after this season. Braun will be a Brewer until at least 2015. This deal will take Braun through his prime and will probably end up looking like a steal in the end since the Brewers were able to buy out his arbitration and a few years of free agency. This made me very happy and trumps the shittiness of today's game. Now I do hope the Brewers are still able to re-sign Prince Fielder at some point, but if I could only sign one of the two there is not a single doubt in my mind Braun would be the choice. While I like Fielder and think he will be a very good player and multiple time All-Star in this league, I think Braun has that special talent that only comes around once in awhile and could be a Hall of Fame type player. Look what he did in his rookie year, one of the best in the history of the game and so far this season off to a another strong start. And I think he will be the last Brewer to wear #8 as it will be retired up in the rafters someday with the greats of Young, Molitor, Fingers and Aaron. Braun is that good, he has 5-tool ability. He will hit for average, hit the long ball, drive in runs, steal some bases and I think he will be close to a gold glove caliber LF when all is said and done. He has already made some nice catches and throws this season and will only get better at his defense as time goes on. Everything about him screams "superstar" to me and so many others in Brewers Nation. Another reason he was more important to lock up then Prince is because Matt LaPorta another young special talent down in AA is ripping the cover off the ball and is a natural 1B even though he is playing OF in the minors. So what did Braun do on his big day? Well he was only 1-4 but the one hit was his 10th HR this season deep to centerfield. I'm actually excited at the fact that my kids (will probably have one within the next year or two with my soon to be wife) will get to see Braun in a Brewers uniform. A great and historic day in Brewers history now it's off to Boston for the Crew, gonna be a tough 3 game series and just the beginning of a tough 10 game road trip.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Some Bits Of News And My Thoughts

  • Chris Capuano will indeed need a second "Tommy John" surgery to repair his elbow. He tore the ligament in spring training and tried to just rehab it, but to no avail. This will put him on the shelf for a calender year and is a huge knock to his career. I feel bad for Cappy, a true good guy on the Brewers team and was looking like the stud of the Richie Sexson trade. Won 18 games for the Brewers in 2005 and made the All-Star team in 2006. Last season struggled to a 5-12 record and an ERA over 5. But actually made a lot of nice starts that got wasted by no run supports from the offense. I wish Cappy the best, but it's gonna be a long road back for him.

  • I'm quite glad Ned Yost went back to Eric Gagne so quickly in a save situation. And although Gagne gave up a hit and a walk in the 9th yesterday against the Dodgers, he got the job down and converted his 10th save in 15 trys. We need Gagne in that closer role to be successful or the whole bullpen gets screwed up if you have a closer by committee pen. But with that said, Gagne has thrown 3 innings in two days. I hope to God Yost doesn't trot him out there tonight, give him a day off.

  • Ryan Braun is simply on fire! Back to hitting like the Braun we saw during his entire rookie season last year. This hot streak that kind of started at the end of the Florida series and exploded in the Cardinals series has continued at the start of the Dodgers series with his 2-4 yesterday with a double and a triple. Braun line for the season is now; .294 AVG, 9 HR's, 29 RBI, .563 SLG, .325 OBP for an OPS of .888.

  • After the Brewers couldn't get anyone starting pitcher not named Ben Sheets to get a win they now have three in a row with Suppan, Bush and Villanueva all getting "W's" in the past three games. Hopefully Manny Parra continues that trend tonight in game 2 of the Dodgers series.

  • Down on the farm in AA Huntsville, OF Matt LaPorta and 3B Matt Gamel are ripping the cover off the ball. The Brewers top two prospects are looking more and more like they may be Major League ready next season and will probably get promoted to AAA at some point this season.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

More Of The Same For Turnbow

In his first AAA appearance for Nashville, Derrick Turnbow looked pretty much the way he did while up in the bigs for Milwaukee this season. He came in against Las Vegas in the 8th inning and proceeded to blow up as he did so many times this season. He recorded 1 out allowed 1 hit, three walks and 2 runs. He was removed from the game after throwing 25 pitches of those only 9 were thrown for strikes. Granted it was his first time pitching since Wednesday April 30th against Chicago when he got lit up. But if he can't even put together decent outings in AAA, the Brewers might be forced to just release him and eat that $3.2 million they owe him. I still hope Derrick figures things out because honestly when he is right he is almost un-hittable and could be a big help to the Brewers bullpen.

Monday, May 12, 2008

How The Hell Can Ned Yost Not Know The Name "Scott Norwood" Or The Play Pictured Below?

Yesterday before the Brewers game against St. Louis Ned Yost sat in the dugout and took questions from reporters like he would any other game day. He was discussing the the pressure and how difficult it can be to be a closer in baseball. During this conversation one of the reporters said it was similar to being a kicker in football with the game on the line. This prompted the name Scott Norwood to be brought up. Of course he was the Buffalo Bills kicker who missed a field goal wide right in the final seconds of Super Bowl 25 that would have won the game for the Bills. Now this was probably the most famous field goal miss in the history of the NFL, I would think even a very casual sports fan could recall the kick and Norwood's name. Not Mr. Yost, he said he never heard of Norwood nor did he read about it in the newspapers because he doesn't read newspapers only books. My question is how in the hell has Yost never seen this footage on his television at any point during the past oh I don't know 17 years! It boggles my mind that the Manager of a professional sports team would have never, ever heard about that play. I guess Yost really wants to prove his point he doesn't read, watch or listen to anything media related to sports so he can't here people bashing him constantly.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Closer By Committee And Braun Likes The Pink

A day after Eric Gagne gave up two runs to the Cardinals when he came into the game in a tie situation in the 9th, he admitted he was not worthy of the 9th inning and the closer role for the team. So Ned Yost is gonna go with a closer by committee in the 9th until Gagne works out his issues and can get back on track. Today it worked, Salomon Torres came in the start the 9th got two outs and then with left handed batters coming up Yost went to Brian Shouse who picked up his first save of the season.

I like the idea for now since Gagne clearly needs to figure out whatever his problem is, but it is not a good long term solution because it can wear the shit out of your bullpen as the season wears on. To really be successful we need Gagne to be that guy, he is getting paid $10 million this season for that reason. We shall see how it plays out over the next couple of weeks here.

Well the past couple of years on Mothers Day Bill Hall was the home run hero with that walk-off shot in 2006 and hit a long HR last season in New York, but I think Ryan Braun is the new "king of the pink" as he blasted two home runs today using the pink bat. Braun seems to really be heating up,he has seven hits in the series so far against St. Louis and now has his season AVG upto .281, 7 HR's and 25 RBI's. Also JJ Hardy amazingly looks like he is out of his slump as he was 3-4 today and his his AVG up to .260. Lets hope the rest of the guys also start getting hot so we can get on a roll.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Rickie Weeks Says: "Put That In Your Pipe And Smoke It!" To Me And All Others Who Have Ripped Him

Well the six game losing streak is history, thank God. And a big reason is Rickie Weeks, and I have to tip my hat to him and thank him for coming through in a HUGE clutch spot last night. Although Weeks has been ripped by the fans and media alike all season for his batting average hovering around the .180-.190 mark he came through with a game winning two RBI hit that we could possibly look back on as the point where this team and Weeks turned it around. On the verge of losing their seventh straight game down 3-2 in the bottom of the 9th with the bases loaded and two outs Weeks ripped a Jason Isringhausen pitch down the left field line and it scored JJ Hardy and Gabe Kapler and that was all she wrote for the losing streak. Steve "Sparky" Fifer of AM 1250 WSSP was able to rest his head and go to sleep last night after being awake for 65 hours during the losing streak. The 9th started off bad with Isringhausen getting 2 outs on two pitches. But then Hardy singled, Kapler singled and Kendall walked bringing Weeks up to the plate. I will be honest I though the only way we tie or win is if Weeks walks or gets hit by a pitch. But he basically gave me the best and happiest "fuck you JD" of my life. Thanks Rick, I hope and have a good feeling this was the type of win that can turn your season and the whole teams season around. Great chance to win two in a row today with Ben Sheets on the mound, something is Brewer here Nation. Also big props to the bullpen; David Riske, Salomon Torres and Brian Shouse were brilliant in relief of Manny Parra who actually had a decent outing and got through 5 full innings. Could have actually pitched another inning at least with a pitch count in the 80's but with his spot up in the order Yost went for a pinch hitter.

Friday, May 9, 2008

WSSP Sports Radio AM 1250's Steve "Sparky" Fifer On Sleep Strike

Steve "Sparky" Fifer who hosts "Sparky's Mid-Day Madness" on 1250 in Milwaukee as well as co-host with Tim Allen on their "Usingers Baseball Post Game Show" after each Brewers game is on a sleep strike until the Brewers losing streak ends. He is currently in hour 55 of the strike. Last night Fox 6 news in Milwaukee did a piece on it. Which you can view below. Big props to Sparky for doing this since many feel his playing of "Celebration" the day Turnbow was DFA on his show was what put the Brewers into this mess before the Houston series. I think it will be at least another day since tonight the Brewers bust out the very overrated 82' Retro Uni's as they do every Friday and they don't play well when they wear them, don't know what their record is when they wear them since they brought them back in 2006 but I know it is well under .500.

Turnbow Packing His Bags For Nashville

It became official today that the Brewers have out righted Derrick Turnbow to AAA Nashville. Unable to trade him for anything of value (perhaps some balls, bats and seeds wouldn't have been bad though) he will report on Monday to join the Sounds. Turnbow could have chosen to decline to go which would have made him a free agent, but then Turnbow would miss out on the $3.2 million the Brewers owe him. Turnbow was never really the same since his bobblehead doll night back in 2006 when he blew a save against the NY Mets. Somehow he did manage to earn an All-Star birth that season none the less. Here are Turnbow's awful 2008 numbers in eight outings this season, Turnbow is 0-1 with a 15.63 ERA, allowing 12 hits, 13 walks and 11 runs in 6 1/3 innings. The opposition is batting .414 against him.

Not sure if he will go into the closer role or what for the Sounds but perhaps he can somehow get his head on straight and find that awesomeness he had in 2005 and the first half of 2006. Only time will tell for Napoleon, errrr I mean Derrick.

Ryan Braun Get's Pissed, And I Love It!

"It's frustrating; it's beyond frustrating. I'm fucking sick of saying it's early. You can only say that for so long. You can only say, 'It's early,' you can only say, 'It's going to be all right' for so long.

"It's time for us to start swinging the bats like we're capable of."

Ryan made these comments to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Brewers beat writer Anthony Witardo Tuesday night. Somehow I first saw these comments in an article written this morning by Michael Hunt. But I love hearing stuff like that, a player on the Brewers (my favorite player actually) stepped up spoke his heart and mind and even used a naughty word to express his anger over this current losing streak. I wish our Manager would say something like this once in awhile instead of sugar coating everything all the time, but it's the way Yost is and he isn't going to change. Big props to Ryan Braun, hopefully his stick comes around soon and it will.

Folks, That Would Be 6 In A Row

If I can steal a line from Dave Chappelle's character "Silky Johnson" from The Player Hater's Ball skit from "Chappelle's Show", "What can be said about the Milwaukee Brewers that hasn't already been said about Afghanistan and Iraq? They look bombed and depleted." After last nights suck fest 7-2 loss to the Marlins the Brewers have lost six straight games with no for see able end in sight with series coming up against St. Louis, Los Angeles and Boston. If the Brewers continue to have shitty outings from the starting pitching and continue to strand runners on base (24 were left on last night) when good scoring opportunities present themselves this losing streak could go on for quite some time. You know I don't have a problem with Ned giving one everyday player a day off yesterday but when your trying to snap a 5 game losing streak (now 6) you don't rest THREE of your everyday starters; Fielder, Hart and Kendall. I don't understand his logic there one bit. The best thing about last nights game was I missed a half hour of it from 8-8:30 because I was watching the new episode of "The Office", which was awesome by the way. Like I said above with the next ten games against three of the best teams right now in baseball this could get ugly and we could be out of this race quick. And if they do as bad as they might over these next ten games it could spell the end of Ned Yost as Manager of the Brewers, I will probably post a blog on that in the near future with my thoughts on Yost's future. Need to turn it around tonight, but I just remembered something it's a home Friday game tonight which means one thing: Retro Uniforms. Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! Might as well chalk up the losing streak to 7 because the Brewers have played awful when wearing the retro uniforms (yes I'm very superstitious). When will this team just let 1982 rest in peace.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

No Worries From Melvin And Yost On Gagne Struggles

Apparently I am not the only one who doesn't want to make a knee jerk reaction to the early struggles of Eric Gagne as closer. GM Doug Melvin and Manager Ned Yost have both said in recent interviews that Gange will remain the teams closer even though he has blown 5 saves in 14 opportunities. When Yost was asked if he would remove Gagne from that roll he said; "Not right now," he said. "That's all I can tell you. I don't have a timetable. I don't have anything marked down that says when the 35th man gets on base I start to be concerned." In his five blown saves, Gagne has allowed 10 runs in four innings. On the positive side, Gagne hasn't allowed a run in his other 11 appearances. I'm glad they are not ready to pull the plug yet on a guy they are paying $10 million this season to close games and pick up saves. I am a life long Gagne fan going back to his early Dodger days when he was first getting going on his 84 straight saves streak. So I was rather excited when the team signed Gagne this off-season, especially since he had so much success as the closer last year in the first part of the season in Texas where he converted 16 out of 17 save opportunities and an ERA of 2.16. Yes he struggled quite a bit in Boston but he was being used in the 8th inning something he was not used to doing. A couple of reasons I want him to keep the closer role a little while longer are as follows:

1. He does have 9 saves which is near the top on the NL, so he can save games and is quite capable.
2. He had 5 saves in a row before blowing one in Cincinnati, that was also when he was used for the 4th day in a row. Something I doubt Yost should have him do. 3 days in a row tops.
3. Although he blew 5 games, he never gave up the go ahead run that allowed the other team to win. He doesn't melt down and lose the game after giving up the tying run.
4. Some bad luck, you hate to blame blown saves on bad luck but he has run into some very questionable umpiring calls and poor defense by the Brewers which could easily give him 11 saves and only 3 blown saves.
5. He still has the closer mentality and is cool under the pressure. Sure we have a few other guys on the team that have closed a little bit in their careers but none have the mental part down quite like Gagne.

Basically his biggest problem that he must solve to turn this around, keep his job and rattle of 15 or 20 of these things in a row is to throw strikes, get ahead in the count don't pitch from behind as often as he has thus far. Especially his changeup which is still one of the best in baseball. As long as he can get his control down and not walk batters he will be fine and this won't be an issue. If he continues to walk guys, he will blow more saves and then yes we may need to start thinking about using Torres or Mota as our closer and the $10 million Melvin gave to Gagne may look like a huge waste of money. I hope that is not the case as a Brewers and Gagne fan.

Thanks ESPN.....

FOR POINTING OUT HOW MISERABLE MY LIFE HAS BEEN! Check out this article over at's Page 2 titled: "Woe Is The Milwaukee Brewers". It basically summarizes the last 25 years how we have failed to make the playoffs as well as each seasons horrible players or statistics or bad moves that have made us stay in this playoff drought. I knew we were bad, but seeing how bad and actually seeing someone from ESPN take the time to research it makes this current losing streak that much more depressing. Here are some of my favorite's from the list:

1990: The Brewers do stick to their guns. Brock is still playing first base even though he hits just .248 with seven home runs in 367 at-bats. Sheffield moves to third base and later accuses the organization of racism by choosing to play Bill Spiers at shortstop over him. He would later say, "The Brewers brought out the hate in me. I was a crazy man. … I hated everything about the place. If the official scorer gave me an error, I didn't think was an error, I'd say, 'OK, here's a real error,' and I'd throw the next ball into the stands on purpose."

1993: Closer Doug Henry finishes with a 5.56 ERA. Tom Brunansky hits .183 in 80 games. Other problems too numerous to list also exist.

1994: Ladies and gentleman, your 1994 Milwaukee Brewers All-Star representative … Ricky Bones!

1998: Do you remember guys like Brad Woodall, Rafael Roque, Paul Wagner, Jose Mercedes and Bronswell Patrick? Nope, we don't either. (OK, actually we do, but that's because we're baseball nerds.)

2001: The Brewers dump Grissom, only to sign Jeffrey Hammonds to a three-year, $21 million contract. Hammonds, oft-injured and with mediocre OBPs outside of Colorado, plays 49 games with a .314 OBP.

Davey Lopes, coming off 89- and 94-loss seasons, is brought back for a third season. For 15 games. He's gone after a 3-12 start. The team loses 100 games (106) for the only time in franchise history. Needless to say, there was a lot of badness to go around. Somehow, the Brewers ended up with two All-Stars. The game was played in Milwaukee. It ended in a tie.

2003: Glendon Rusch starts 19 games. He wins once. Once. Let us repeat that: One win in 19 starts. One.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

How About Something Positive; "Cam"

There sure has been a lot of negative things to comment about over the last week for the Brewers. But let me take the time right now to talk about something positive. The play of Mike Cameron in his first 6 games as a Brewer since coming off that 25 game suspension. "Cam" in those 6 games is batting .269 with 3 HR's, 7 RBI's, .367 OBP, .654 SLG which is an OPS of 1.021. Those are pretty damn good numbers. Granted it's a small sample size but it pretty much is the kind of production Cameron should be able to give the Brewers, probably not that great of production every 6 games but close. I don't and haven't expected Cameron to be some kind of a life savior for this teams offense but I do expect him to put up decent offensive numbers as far as HR, RBI and OBP are concerned. He has never been a high average guy and he does strike out quite a bit. But if he can continue to sock some out of the park, get on base and play gold glove CF which we all know he will, he will be worth the contract they gave him this off-season. Hopefully starting tonight in Florida Cameron and Hart continue to hit (since they are the only ones doing so) and some of the other bats wake up so we can string some victories together and stay right near or at the top of this division.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Thank God For An Off Day

If there is one thing the Brewers and myself for that matter needed today it's an off day with no game. After getting swept in Houston by the Astros, when two of the three games were in hand by the Brewers and they gave them away, nothing feels better then a day off from watching the team. Yesterday's loss was probably the hardest to take of the three this weekend. They had a 6-2 lead after the 4th inning but failed to score in the final 8 innings of a game that went into extra innings. Eric Gagne blew his 5th save of the season, but in all honesty it should have been his 10th save of the season. I hate to blame the umpires for losses but today and actually for a lot of the season the Brewers have been fucked by the umpires. There were probably 3-4 pitches thrown by Gagne that should have been called strikes but Gagne was squeezed by the umpire, these are pitches that would have turned those at bats into outs. Then there was the grounder hit by Geoff Blum to Weeks who made a FANTASTIC play ranging to his left turned and threw to Fielder and it appeared he beat the runner by a half step and the ump called Blum safe. So once again Gagne had to record 4 or 5 outs in an inning, but by that time the Astros has tied the game. Although many are ready to chastise Gagne for the five blown saves, once again hate to make excuses but he has run into some bad luck in 3 out of 5 of those blown saves. Two of those are definitely on him, but overall he has made good pitches this season.

The Brewers start their three game series with the Marlins in Florida tomorrow. If we ever needed a sweep it would be now, but I would be rather pleased taking 2 out of 3. Anything less then that and we are in some serious trouble because St. Louis and Chicago both seem to be playing good baseball. A couple positives are that Corey Hart and Mike Cameron both seem to be hitting the ball well right now. Hart has his average now at .310 and Cameron in his first 6 games of the season has 3 HR's and 7 RBI's. Now if we can just get Braun and Fielder to hit consistently and Weeks and Hardy to hit AT ALL, we might turn this ship around. Cross your fingers.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Villanueva and Parra Unable To Step Up, Better Start Soon Or Else.....

We are only two games into the post-Yovani Gallardo portion of the season because of his season ending torn ACL. But already are pitching staff is failing to pick up the slack and make quality starts. Our two young pitchers in our rotation Carlos Villanueva and Manny Parra are talented young pitchers with good "stuff". "Stuff" for a pitcher is having potential, ability and the ability to throw quality pitches and get guys out. Right now there "stuff" only seems to work for the first 4 innings of a baseball game (if that even). Then sometime during the 5th inning (or Parra's case 4th) of a game Villanueva and Parra seem to lose their "stuff" and walk batters and throw pitches up in the zone that just get hit all over the ballpark. Friday night Villanueva cruised through the first 4 innings and then in the 5th the wheels came off. He ended up giving up 6 runs all earned and 9 hits, 4 of which were HR's. Villanueva is now 1-3 in 6 starts pitching 34 innings with an ERA of 5.56 and 20 K's to 11 BB's.

Now onto Manny Parra, against Houston Saturday night he cruised through 3 innings and then ran into trouble in the 4th inning! Couldn't even make it into the 5th inning. He gave up 6 runs 5 earned on 9 hits 2 of which were HR's (one was to pitcher Brandon Backe who was batting .200) he walked 4 and only struck out 3. Parra is now 1-2 in 6 starts pitching 27.2 innings with an ERA of 5.86 and 22 K's to 17 BB's. That is not a good strikeout to walks ratio at all, it's awful in fact.

Basically unless Villanueva and Parra step up their performances this team is in serious trouble. Outside of Ben Sheets are pitching staff scares the hell out of me now that Yo is on the DL. Suppan we know what we have in him, a veteran who eats innings and can keep you in a game but he is coming off one of the worse outings of his career. Bush has looked awful this season and was in AAA Nashville and was recalled only because of Gallardo's injury. Ben Sheets will be fine, he is the ace as long as he stays healthy he gives us a chance to win every 5th game the question is who is going to win the games in between Ben Sheets starts? If Villanueva and Parra figure things out they have TONS of talent and can be good major league pitchers, but until they can go into the 6th and 7th inning of a game and cut down the walks their current trends will just continue and we may have to look to journeyman pitcher Jeff Weaver who is in AAA Nashville right now or maybe even Seth McClung startng, (GULP)? And I doubt many of us want to see it come to that.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Greatest Manager Rant Ever. Period.

This is not really Brewers related but it is baseball related and it's one of the funniest and most amazing things I have ever heard so I'm posting it. This past Tuesday when the Brewers were in Chicago to play the Cubs it was the 25th anniversary of former Cubs manager Lee Elia's tirade about the Cubs fans (imagine that someone complaining about Cub fans and their classlessness, yes I'm talking to you Cub fan who threw that beer at Braun on Thursday) after a loss. Well I thought that was the best manager rant ever until posted this beauty off of youtube the day of the anniversary and it's Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver on some local Baltimore radio station show called "Managers Corner with Earl Weaver". Enjoy!

Damian Miller Doesn't Want To Play Anymore....But Would If Brewers Needed Him

Great article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today with what former Brewers catcher and Wisconsin native Damian Miller is up to. Said basically the only team he would play for would be the Brewers. Hell if Kendall or Rivera got hurt he wouldn't be a bad choice since Vinny Rottino may not quite be major league ready on the defensive side yet since it's his first season catching full-time and the other option is Eric Munson. Here is the link: Miller Article

Longballs Spoil Good Start For Villanueva And Brewers

Carlos Villanueva looked like he was gonna make everyone forget about the loss of Yovani Gallardo for the season Friday night. He was cruising right along in Houston through 4 scoreless innings and a 4-0 lead. But then the 5th and 6th innings came. Villy gave up 2 runs in the 5th and then 4 in the 6th, all 4 of those runs coming on three straight HR's by the Astros. The Astros never looked back and won 7-4. Not a good start to the post-Yo part of the season. Of course it didn't help that the Brewers left 12 men on base, they better start hitting better with runners in scoring position or things could get ugly quick for this team. They now stand at 16-13 which is 2.5 games back of division leading St. Louis.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Turnbow DFA, Dillon Recalled

In addition to the awful news today about Yovani Gallardo, there was some good news. The Brewers finally cut their losses with struggling relief pitcher Derrick Turnbow and have designated him for assignment. This means the team now has 10 days to to trade, release or assign the former closer to the minors, and it also gives Turnbow time to decide what he wants to do. Turnbow, 30, has no more options remaining and could refuse the assignment, in which case he would become a free agent and lose out on his $3.2 million salary. Turnbow this season has been down right bad. In 8 games he is 0-1 with a HUGE ERA of 15.63 walking 13 batters and giving up 11 runs in only 6 1/3 innings. His last two outings his worst against Florida where he was not able to record an out after loading the bases and against Chicago where he gave up 6 runs in mop up duty and couldn't finish the inning out. Joe Dillon takes his place on the roster and now gives the Brewers another bat off the bench and a versatile guy in the field.

Bad News: Yovani Gallardo To DL With Torn ACL

After taking that nasty tumble on his right knee during the Cubs game yesterday during that collision with Prince Fielder and Reed Johnson on a play at first base it looked awful for the Brewers and Yovani Gallardo. But Yo got up and continued to pitch, so everything seemed fine. Well we found out today everything was not fine, not even close actually. News broke today that Brewers blossoming young pitching star Gallardo tore the ACL in his right knee on that play and was placed on the 15 day DL because of it. But will probably be moved to the 60 day DL because he will need surgery and his season is probably over. The only possible way Gallardo could pitch in another game this season is if he has a fast recovery and the Brewers make the playoffs. I'm going to hope that both of those things happen so Gallardo, who looks like an ace in training can get back on the field this season and finish what was a very strong start to the season. Although he had a record of 0-0 his ERA was 1.80 giving up only 4 earned runs and had 13 K's to only 6 walks in 20 innings. The only reason he didn't win any of his 3 starts was because the Brewers offense failed to score runs for Yovani. What makes this even more sad is the fact Gallardo had minor surgery on his other knee during spring training and missed the start of the season. After placing Gallardo on the DL the Brewers recalled Dave Bush from AAA Nashville to take Yo's spot in the rotation. Maybe this injury and the big come from behind win against the Cubs yesterday can spark this team to string together a big stretch of wins. It has happened before in baseball, it can happen again for the Crew.