Making moves

Jody Gerut for Tony Gwynn Jr.

I like the trade alot.  Gerut is a solid OF and should fit well in Milwaukee.  He may take over the lead off spot someday, but for now he will make a great 4th OFer.  I’ve always been a fan of TG Jr.  He’s a solid player whose time will come to make the Bigs (if they haven’t already given him a spot).  People can criticize what he’s done so far for the Brewers, but being the kid of one of the best ball players of all time, I’m sure he won’t disappoint. 

Not so fast….

Is respect something you demand or something that is earned?  Well since the Brewers haven’t played like the Red Sox, Cardinals, or Phillies  in the past years, there is no demanding (notice I didn’t say Cubs?).  I hear a lot Brewer fans talk about how the Brewers should be talked about more because they swept the Cards and took 2 out of 3 from the Cubs and why aren’t they the lead story on ESPN.  There is no need for talk, the Brewers don’t need to be over emphasized.  They don’t need to blown up this early in the season.  As a loyal fan I feel they are doing well on the stage they are on right now.  I’m one of those people who think that too much talk leads to little action. 

Since we lost Weeks, I’m also a little leary about the next player who will fill his void.  Gamel already showed he’s got a stick and a glove to take over 3rd.  So that leaves Counsell, but at 38, I’m not sure if he’s cut out for everyday play.  Hernan Iribarren just got called up and could possilbly be a savior, but I’ll give a few games first. 

I’m fine with SportsCenter keeping the Brewer highlights closer to the end of the show, that’s usually when I watch anyway (Top 10 plays is all I have time for).  So let’s not do any premature cheering until we are about 10 games over with a week left in the season.

 


Got him by the ball(s)

Numerous articles have been written about The Happy Youngster’s ball, yes the one that he didn’t have to give back to some Marlin’s rookie.  I read numerous articles, all have been completely one-sided and actually ridiculous.  Whether Happy had to give the ball back is one thing, but for him to ask some thing in trade is not out of the ordinary.  He could have put up a big production and ran out of the stadium and all hell could’ve broke loose.  Over what? A stinking baseball.  A home run ball by a rookie.  It wasn’t #62 or #756, it was a rook’s ball.  He’s going to hit a few more.  If it’s worth that much to him, what’s the big deal for what Happy asked?  He didn’t ask for his unborn child or his soul for a ball!  I don’t believe that there was any demanding involved. I’m sure he was just bs-ing with the him about other things and the guy was getting impatient.  Quite honestly, I’m with Happy.  I’m sure it was just an innocent request that was taken too far.  He’s a baseball fan just like the rest of us, just adding a little bit more fanacticness (if that’s a word) to it.    

Scratchin’ for a game

So the Brewers are almost 30 games into the season and I haven’t been able to catch one at the park.  I live about an hour and half away from Milwaukee, but kids, no time, a new house and yeah a new house is surely keeping me from getting down to one.  Well at least I’m catching them on TV.  As I stated in a previous post, there is absolutely nothing like taking in games live.  Perhaps I only need one game to wet my whistle and then I’ll be good. 

Any way, how ’bout them Brewers?  There are so many good things to talk about.  Pieces of the puzzle are falling into place.  It takes so many hitters to get hot, they might as well sit the first couple weeks of the season out.  Like clockwork, each hitter in the Brewer lineup is coming around.  Hardy is hot now, hopefully he can pick up the rest of the guys who have fizzled.  The most important thing IMO, has been the middle relief.  Probably the most underrated part of the game ever has been carrying the Brewers thus far.  I say underrated because if you look at any middle relievers in history I can’t name a stud.  I can’t think of a player’s baseball card that is worth over a 25 cents!

Upcoming games, Reds for two and Cubs for three at home.  Let’s hope they stay strong and take 2 of 3 from the Chubs this weekend. 

Speaking of baseball cards, since I’ve been 8, I’ve been a fan of them.  I’ve collected for a few years and stopped once I decided to spend my money on booze.  That was about twelve years ago though.  Since I’ve moved boxes in the house I’ve found my baseball cards again and I’m curious to see what my cards might be worth.  Something, I’ll probably save for a rainy day. 

As for the “new” baseball cards, have a look:
“The cards, called Topps 3-D Live, are built with technology created by augmented reality company Total Immersion. All you have to do is download an ActiveX control from the Toppstown.com
Web site. Once it’s installed, you simply click on the appropriate
player, hold your card up to any webcam, and the player will appear to
pop up in 3-D on your monitor’s image.” 

Alright, this is crazy!  I think I need to check this out.  My mind is going in the gutter real quick on with this one.


Nothing Fancy

Almost, they almost came back .500 from a road trip.  Not bad considering their struggles.  My observations thus far have consisted of watching the majority of the games on TV and listening to a handful on the radio.  I’ve gotten to know the ‘Crew a little bit more each game.  The more I think about it, it’s a staple of my life.  I don’t plan my day on it, but I work my schedule around to watch or listen to the majority of games.  There might be some neglection (my new word) of a few duties/people/etc, but it usually tones down once the summer starts and more activities pick up.  Either way, this is all temporary. 

Back to the observations:

  • Braun and Cameron are hot and Fielder is heating up, others are start to come around, but the power is here. 
  • Pitching has really got back on track.  Nothing like having the 5th worst ERA to one of the best as of late.  Credit DeFelice, Coffey, Suppan (Yes, Suppan), and Looper.   Pretty much all the pitching has come around since the first week, but these guys have stood out in the past week. 
  • Good job to the Cubs.  Strong start, then the age old excuse of injurys have come out of the woodwork.  It’s not the injuries, it’s just the Cub’s luck.  Either way, they are right down where the Brewers are.
  • Pittsburgh Pirates perhaps?  Are they going to make it over .500 this year?  I’d like to see it.  They are young and can hammer the ball. 

The Brewers haven’t had to use anything fancy to win games.  They are finally putting hitting, pitching, and defense together.  A little small ball and agressiveness will always help too, but straight up, these guys are hitting the ball well and pitchers are coming through.

On a side note, a few Wisconsin boys make their debuts in the bigs.
 
Jordan Zimmerman from Auburndale played at UW-Stevens Point.  Feel free to check out his stats.  Very impressive with consecutive wins against Atlanta and the New York Mets
jz.jpg

Jason Jaramillo a Racine native who attended Oklahoma State.
He’s one of two rookie catchers filling in this year. 

jj.jpg

In the Loop

Braden Looper has not disappointed (so far).  As I write things, I hope not to jinx him, but stuff like this is meant to be written about.  I wrote about Coffey and his scoreless streak, lo and behold, it was broke recently, but who cares, that’s going to happen anyway.  Little background on Looper, he’s their 4th starter and used to play for the Mets, Marlins and Cardinals.  He has been in and out of the bullpen his career.  In St. Louis he eventually made his way to the starting rotation and pitched pretty decent as a starter ever since.  Did I mention he has been the NL his whole career?  Something crazy, I heard that he had a scouting report on all the Reds hitters for his game this past series.  That tells me a couple things:  He’s got a damn good memory, he’s faced the Reds more than the average husband faces his wife, or he obtained it from Pete Rose.  Either way, it proved effective.  He only walked one guy and the Brewers won.  Looks like a good fit in the rotation.  

Needless to say, this season hasn’t been a wash…(I hope not, we’re not out of the first month yet!)  Hitters are coming around, pitching has been showing good signs of getting back on track.  Took 2 out of 3 from the Phillies, something they couldn’t do last year even with the big guns.  Up next is a battle with Berkman/Lee and company.  It’s going to be a battle for last place.  

Rough stretch

It’s been a less than stellar start for the Brewers this year, currently having 4 wins and 8 losses makes for tough critics.  Perhaps Suppan not having done the greatest in his first two starts, or maybe Braun not showing his clutchness, and obviously the bullpen has had a significant impact in the majority of the losses (minus Coffey). 

I don’t know about any other so-called fans, but this is no time to jump off the bandwagon. They are 12 games into the season and every team goes through a stretch of crappiness.  It’s not the Brewers are like the Nationals, who are bad year after year, they just started out a little slow.  What I find a little comforting, last year the Brewers were on the winning end of most 1-run games, this year, the tide has turned.  So it’s not like they are playing that bad of ball.  They could easily be 8-4.  Like any human, I was looking for excuses for their poor performance and a few excuses I could find was possibly having a new manager who’s still learning his boys.  I don’t know, maybe the loss of two giant pitchers might have something to do with it, or the fact that facing stud pitching and excellent batting might be tough to handle. 

A few bright spots have been starting pitching.  Other than Suppan’s ugly outings, the Brewers have had 7 quality starts.  The other bright spot has been Todd Coffey.  He hasn’t allowed an run since the Brewers acquired him last year.  I’m guessing he’ll be the setup man when Hoffman is back and his return can’t come soon enough. 

We can’t be hanging our heads, it could be way worse.  We could have one win or have gotten whooped 22-4
Hang on to the wagon, even if it’s only a small one.

 

 

Short memory

It was a tough weekend to watch and listen to Brewer baseball.  I was able to catch a good chunk of it on TV and listened to the rest on the radio.  Let’s just say I heard more good things than saw them and the worse I didn’t see. 

  • Friday’s game was promising.  Looper was strong, and the execution was good. 
  • Saturday’s game was disappointing, but entertaining.  When a team wins in the final inning, hats off to them.  It was a fairly balanced game and Soriano is looking like a huge threat, not only to Brewer pitching, but all of the NL. 
  • Sunday’s game was hard to swallow.  Walks destroyed us.  Walks absolutely lost the game.  Take away the 4 walks in a row and the game goes to Milwaukee.  Reed Johnson was remembered for taking out Gallardo last year and he took out Fielder this year, but Johnson took him out with his glove, by means of taking away a grand slam.  Nice play otherwise. 

Carlos Villanueva’s quote after giving up the home run to Soriano that eventually won the game is something to remember when playing baseball, “I have to leave it here when I walk out the door”

Last, but not least, something else to remember……


Game #2

I won’t write about every game, but I braved staying up late (game was over after midnight in WI) and I can’t help to be excited about this W as well as a hard fought duel between Randy Johnson and Yovani Gallardo.  Gallardo hasn’t quite established himself as a stud pitcher, no CyYoungs, no hitters, not a member of the 500 K club, as of yet, but he’s had some tough outings since recovering from an injury that took a season away from him last year.  Do I have to mention, he jacked one off Johnson?  First time a Cy Young winner has given up a home run to an opposing pitcher.  He’s definitely showing promising signs in his first game that will give us fans hope.  Last night’s game calmed me down a bit, because pitching scares me, especially the bullpen.  Probably won’t see a lot of complete games, so the ‘pen will have to carry us.

Key points from last night:

  • Gallardo’s BOMB!  Can’t say he single handly carried the team, but his bat and arm contributed to 80% of the win.
  • Todd Coffey’s appearence.  Get this guy in the game more.  I have faith in this guy, like I have faith in one of my kids throwing at tantrum once a day.  I’ve seen him get them out of many of jams last year and picked up where he left off.  Glad he got signed again.
  • Braun’s opposite field hitting.  AT&T Park is a big park, Braun has been using all of it.  Game #3, I’m hoping for one of the fence. 
  • Cameron’s patience was back for game two.  No K’s again.  I’m not worried about jinxing him, because it would have happened already. 

Opening Daze

It was seriously nice to see the Brewers in action, especially against Lincecum.  Talk about getting a major test at game #1.  The Brewers either looked sharp in those early on or Lincecum couldn’t find the strike zone.  I’m guessing Lincecum was the issue, since they didn’t do much after he was pulled.  They scrapped together a few more runs, but the pitching couldn’t keep it close.  Giving credit where it’s due, SF has some sticks and showed it by knocking around all of Brewer pitching. 

  • Still not sure why Bush was in for one inning since he’s on the mound on 4/11. 
  • Nice to see Weeks isn’t swinging at everything
  • Aggressiveness on the base-path….will eventually win a bunch of games
  • Kudos to Suppan for knocking in the first run of the year.  Did more with bat than his arm.
  • Hats off to Cameron and his 4 base on balls….is this a sign of maturity or patience or is it too early to tell.
  • And for the ladies…Hardy was looking good, just not with his bat.

Tough loss, but on the brightside, baseball is back!

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