Saturday, July 29, 2017

Brent Suter, Brewers Vs Cubs 7/28/17

It was a game in late July, but last nights game vs the Cubs at Miller Park felt like a playoff game. As I watched the game with friends at my neighbors house everyone watched it with the intensity of a playoff game, hanging on every pitch. The atmosphere at Miller Park through the TV was electric and felt like a game with it all on the line in October. The Brewers came into the game after a BRUTAL 2-8 East Coast road trip that saw them lose their grip on 1st Place in the NL Central and actually fall 1.5 games behind the Cubs. You have to give it up for Brent Suter. He was outstanding. Easily the best start of his career. 7 shutout innings, 5 K, 1 BB, only game up 4 hits and had a Game Score of 73. Suter showed some serious #want and #rig on the mound in a game the Brewers desperately needed to win and needed a strong start and with the offense only scoring 2 runs, the margin for error was thin. Suter has now started 7 games this season and has been really good in 5 of them. And one of the two he wasn't so good in, was the game he had to start in an emergency vs the Cardinals when Brandon Woodruff hurt his hamstring in pre game warmups. What I'm getting at here is that Brent Suter has earned his right to stay in the Brewers rotation once guys like Garza and Anderson come off the DL. Once those two guys are back healthy it should be a rotation of Nelson/Anderson/Garza/Davies/Suter. Junior Guerra should go to the bullpen (where he could actually be pretty good) once everyone is back healthy.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Brewers @ Nats 7/26/17

Well, that was a tough loss to swallow. Maybe the toughest of the season. I know there have been at least a handful of other games that have been this hard to take, specifically another game that Jimmy Nelson started against the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw when he out pitched Clayton Kershaw. But we're not talking about that game. We are talking about tonight's game, when Jimmy Nelson dominated again, against a really good lineup and has nothing to show for it. I don't blame Counsell for pulling Nelson after the lead off walk in the bottom of the 8th. Barnes came in and looked okay, got a couple of ground balls but they got through. I do have an issue with pulling Hader after he got Harper to strike out on four pitches. Is Counsell planning to use Hader as a LOOGY now? I guess the right on right match up of Hughes vs Zimmerman makes sense, but it also could be seen as some over managing. Getting to cute. Of course hindsight is always 20/20 and if he leaves Hader in and he blows it we bitch that he should have gone to Hughes or another RHP. I guess to me, Hader has been so electric and looked so dominate in his time with the big league club that its hard to turn away from him in that spot. I'm a Craig Counsell guy, so while I will question the move, it certainly doesn't make me think he's a bad Manager or can't manage a bullpen. I think that's crazy talk personally.

On a positive note it was great to see Lewis Brinson hit his 1st big league HR. Man that was a shot and a thing of beauty. Hopefully that is the first of many. And with Brett Phillips being sent down to AAA to make room for Anthony Swarzak on the active roster it seems that Brinson will be the everyday CF at least for the time being. Needless to say I'm pretty pumped about this as I think he can really help the club now. With this now being his second stint in the big leagues and getting that 1st HR out of the way hopefully he can relax, slow the game down and just play. As impressive as the HR was, I might have been more impressed with the walk he took in his second AB. He spit on two very tough pitches on ball 2 and 3 in that AB and worked a walk. It was really good patience, if he can show that on a regular basis and pitchers and forced to throw him strikes he could be huge down the stretch. See what they can do against Scherzer tomorrow and get ready for the Cubs this weekend and the battle for 1st place.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Swarzak Trade

It looks like the Brewers have made their first of hopefully a few upgrades to their bullpen today. Jon Heyman tweeted that the Brewers and White Sox had an agreement in place for RP Anthony Swarzak. Later Dan Hayes tweeted that the Brewers would be sending the White Sox minor league OF Ryan Cordell to complete the trade. Swarzak figures to slide right into a late inning role setting up for closer Corey Knebel. Big question will be to make room for Swarzak who do the Brewers give the boot to? Torres? Drake? Peralta? Blazek? Hard to say, Blazek is the only one with an option which could determine what Stearns does. I think most fans would like to see Torres or Drake gone.

Hard to not like this trade for the Brewers. They fill a need for another quality RP on the big league club and deal from a organizational position of depth in the OF from the minor leagues. Swarzak is 31 yo and enjoying the best season of his career. 48.1 IP, 2.23 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 2.34 FIP, 52/13 K/BB, 1.8 WAR. That is a pretty impressive line. He will be a free agent after the season. Cordell who came to the Brewers as the PTBNL in the Lucroy trade with the Rangers is a nice OF prospect who was not in the Brewers top 10, but easily a top 20 guy. I liked Cordell and thought he could be a nice 4th OF for the Brewers at some point, but with all the other OF prospects they have it's not a huge loss. And for a quality arm like Swarzak to give this bullpen a boost it certainly seems worth it on paper. One more bullpen arm would be real nice; Neshek, Wilson, Reed or Ramos. We'll stay tuned.

Monday, July 24, 2017

I'm Not Feeling Gray About It

Ken Rosenthal just tweeted that per sources the Brewers were fading in discussions for Oakland Athletics SP Sonny Gray. Needless to say I am not upset about this. Gray is a fine pitcher and would have been a nice little upgrade for this Brewers pitching staff. But in a sellers market for SP, the price was going to be pretty high and I am glad that GM David Stearns stuck to his guns and was not willing to pay what will probably be a high price for Gray similar to what the Cubs paid to the White Sox for Jose Quintana. In my opinion this is not the time to send away a bunch of highly touted prospects you just spent three years accumulating for a pitcher like Gray. Still in first place, stay the course with what you have and got you here. Chase Anderson should be back in a few weeks and you could turn to Brandon Woodruff at some point. I do hope the Brewers look to add a quality RP or two yet before the deadline. *Fingers crossed for Pat Neshek*