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.