After a rough series with the Cubs, the Crew bounced back to take the first game form the Pittsburgh Pirates, much in part to the home town guy Damien Miller.
As much as it pained me that we lost the Cubs series it will soon be forgotten. With three more games against the lowly Pirates and followed by the Nationals the Crew looks like they could close out the first half of the year with two more series wins. Villanueva picked up his sixth win of the season as he relived Suppan who game up all three of the runs scored by the Pirates. While it looked like it was going to come down to the final inning, the Pirates pen got blown up in the seventh for 7 runs, four of those runs coming from a Damien Miller grand slam. Miller has been real hot as of late and like I mentioned in an earlier blog, he is a great back up catcher. This is why this team is becoming a legitimate title contending team in the NL, a different player can step up every night and it’s really not that big of a shock. In this instance yes, it was a shock cause as much as I love Miller since he is from my home town I can’t say I expected him to knock in 7 RBI’s and 2 HR’s. Our batting order has become very solid 1-8. When your 7th and 8th hitters are Geoff Jenkins and Rickie Weeks you know you are playing for a high powered offensive team. And when I say high powered I mean a team that is top three in runs, HR’s and top 5 in BA. With hitting like that its no surprise that we have two guys headed to the All-Star game, one of which is going to be a starter.
Prince will be getting the start at first base over Alber Pujols who is my mind is one of the top two players of my generation with A-Rod being the other. I consider Bonds to be before my generation only because I am taking about the Bonds that doesn’t look like a he should be on American Gladiators. I think Prince will be making many more All-Star teams but its going to be hard to be a continues starter with guys like Derek Lee and Pujols in the NL. I also have to throw out some congrats to JJ Hardy who will also be making his first All-Star team. Even though he has cooled down significantly since early tear, he is still putting up solid numbers and is playing some solid defense. Sheets and Cordero will also be making a trip to San Fransicso to represent the Brewers. Like I have said in my last four or five posts Sheets has become one of the best pitchers in the league and has gotten himself back to the Sheets we all knew when we signed him to the fat contract. Now even though Cordero has not been as lights out as he was earlier in the season he is still shutting the door on a regular basis when he comes in to close. My only beef is that our pen and Cordero have blown up twice now when Gallardo is pitching. This kid should be 3-0 right now but instead is 1-0 with 3 quality starts. My only reason for being made about that is that if Gallardo is sitting at 3-0 right now his confidence would be through the roof. I’m sure he isn’t suffering right now but looking at a 3-0 record is always more encouraging then 1-0. I think it is safe to say that he will be staying up in the rotation now that Cappy is back.
Which brings me to the questions who goes to the pen and who goes down to Triple A. First of all there is no question in my mind that Bush gets put in the pen and Vargas becomes the number five starter. Vargas in my mind is just a better pitcher and gets the job done. It is really exciting to think of a starting rotation of Sheets, Cappy, Suppan, Gallardo and Vargas. I look at those five and think we could easily put together winning streaks of six or seven games. I just have not felt comfortable with Bush pitching all season long and would feel a lot better with him in the pen. I look at the final six games before the All-Star break and think we should win at least five of these games. Of course I would like to win out and go into the All-Star break on a seven game winning streak but I figure we will have on game were we go through the motions and get beat by around four or five runs.
Cappy will take the mound tomorrow for his first game back from the DL and I like that he is coming back against a team like the Pirates. This team by no means is an offensive powerhouse and I think he should be able to get to them earlier and pick up a win. Lets go Brewers!