Wheels starting to fall off?

33 hours and three trips to Subway later I have finally made it back to Milwaukee from the land down under, Australia. After watching every game this season on MLBTV.com it’s good to be able to watch a game with my boys again. Don’t get me wrong it was the greatest semester of my life, but it’s nice to be back home. 

Anyways we need to talk about some Brewers baseball.  After watching a no no get throw on them in a great game for Justin Verlander somebody needs to address the Ned Yost situation.  I would stick up for Ned in years past saying that if he could only get some talent he could get this team into the playoffs.  At the beginning of the season let me tell ya I was letting everybody know that I had faith in Ned the whole time but now he is making me look like a chump.  What is he doing out there?  He won’t keep the same lineup more the two games in a row and he has made too many bad decisions that I can’t stand it any more.  Prime example is starting off the batting order with Counsell and Graffanino last night.  What the F#@$% are you doing Ned?  Why not just start the game off with 2 outs and go on from their.  I am sorry but I have lost all patience with these two players, they are complete garbage at the plate and should not be playing more then once every couple weeks let alone playing at the same time and leading off the order.  It seems like Ned finds a batter order that works then purposely decides not to use it again after that.  Example Corey Hart; this kid was killing it and for some reason he gets taken out of the leadoff spot why?  They makes no sense unless Rickie is back or you have Gwyn is in the lineup, and even then I say stay with Hart until he cools down.

On another note we are going to be in real trouble if Cordero can’t get it back together.  Yeah, I know its only two games out of 23, however giving up a 4 inning with nobody on and two outs and a 0-2 count is a pretty big blow to the confidence.  I feel that he will be able to bounce back and regain his dominance that he has shown all year.  The problem is he was one of the only things that you could count on on this team.  Don’t get me wrong Prince is on a tear and he has the potential to be a David Ortiz type of player, but with Hardy really cooling down since his amazing April there isn’t much that you can count on in Milwaukee anymore.  Now I’m not saying push the panic bottom just quite yet, but I would say another 2 series losses without a win and there will need to be some big changes.  And you can bet that the Milwaukee fans will be demanding Ned’s head if we lose our lead in the pathetic NL Central.  I know I will be one of those leading the charge.

JT Brewer

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Bring up Gallardo?

The question as to when will Doug Melvin bring up Yovani Gallardo from Triple A is something that Brewer fans have been wondering all season.  Some questioned if he would even make the leap this season due to what was perceived to be a strong rotation.

However, after another tough loss, the sensation to bring Gallardo up is reaching its peeks.  Equal blame should be placed on the offense as they left 10 runners on in scoring position. But that fact of the matter is another L was put in Dave Bush’s record. Bush now sits at 3-6 with his last 3 starts all ending in losses.  Bush should be glad to see the month of May end as he allowed 22 runs and only recorded 1 win in 6 outings.  The problem is that 14 of the 22 runs came after the 5th inning.  While Bush has been very solid in the first 5 innings of every game, he has struggled significantly once he reaches the 6th or 7th inning.  I would assume that somebody has brought this statistic to manager Ned Yost attention.  So, this puts Yost in a tough position; will he continue to put a pitcher in the starting rotation that is only going to be able to get him 5 maybe 6 innings before he self destructs?

If we did not have such a promising player waiting in the wings I would say yes, lets put one of the long relievers in after the 5th and put it on the pen to get the win.  But with Gallardo pitching lights out in Nashville,I feel Yost and Melvin need to make the move to bring him into the rotation instead of Bush.  Now I am not completely sure if arbitration has something to do with Gallardo still being in the minors, because if so, I can wait another month if it will keep him under contract for an extra year.  But if not then the move needs to be made.  Some would argue that Bush is better than Vargas but I have to disagree.  Yes, Vargas has gotten himself out of some pretty sticky situations this year, but that is exactly why I would rather have him, because he has the ability to get himself out of trouble where Bush doesn’t.  Vargas also has a significantly lower ERA 3.90 compared to Bush’s 5.67.  The biggest stat is that of the 11 games that Vargas has started 8 have resulted in wins.  Now only 3 of those 8 wins were given to Vargas but either way they seem to win when he pitches.  Some would say that Vargas only goes 5-6 innings just like Bush but it seems like Yost understands that Vargas only can go 5-6 and then pulls him before he has a big inning.  The bullpen is good but they are going to be stretched pretty thin if we continue to keep 2 pitchers that can only get through 5 innings.  Thus, calling up Yovani Gallardo from Nashville needs to happen.

Over his last 8 starts Gallardo has gone at least 6 innings ever game and has recorded a dominating 88 strikeouts and an impressive ERA of 0.75.  This kid is straight up lights out.  Three times this year he has left the mound only having given up 1 hit though his 7 innings of pitching.  I think the time has come for Melvin to make the move and bring up Gallardo and send Bush to the pen as a long reliever and send Jose Capellan back down to Triple A.  Of course I don’t expect this kid to come into the majors and dominate like he has in Nashville but he has proven that he can pitch and deserves a chance to prove it at the next level.  Just like any other pitcher he will go through his lumps but it is obvious that keeping him in Triple A is not going to help any further in his growth since he is almost blanking every team he plays.  With in the next 2 weeks this kid needs to be in the rotation.  With games against Kansas City, Houston and the Cubs coming up at the end of the month I would expect him to make his start against one of these teams.  A debut against the lowly Royals sound perfect to me! 

JT Brewer

Getting Back on Track

With a big win today over the Florida Marlins at Miller Park the Brewers won their first series since they swept the Nationals in early May.  However, the 2nd place Cardinals also got a win today to remain 6.5 half games back in the NL Central. 

A dominate performance today by our ace Ben Sheets over one of the best pitchers in the game in Dontrelle Willis.  Sheets pitched six shut out innings and recording his sixth quality in a row.  Sheets finally looks like he has his confidence back and I expect he will start to blow people away again and record around 7-8 strikes outs a game.  There was much speculation earlier in the year over who was the ace of this team.  I have to admit with the way Cappy was playing earlier in the year I was one of those guys who wasn’t sure who I called our ace.  But after what I have seen from Sheets in his last six starts there is no question he is still the ace of this ball club. 

The bats weren’t quit there today but we did enough to get the win. Prince and Hardy continue to knock in RBI’s with each knocking in one while the third goes to Johnny "on the spot" Estrada.  You can almost expect that either Hardy or Prince is going to bring in at least one run a game but Estrada has been a huge boost to this team’s offense.  While he isn’t putting up mind blowing numbers he is playing really solid ball.  And how about our boy Ryan Bruan?  I think this kid is going to be the real deal.  Now that he has finally been brought up you are looking at an infield that is going to be one of the best in the majors for many years to come. 

With Prince and Hardy as the anchors this infield is stacked. Braun has the potential to be right there with them when it comes to HR and RBI’s and don’t think I’m not excited about Rickie.  This kid has made great strides in just one year on the defensive side.  He has only committed 3 errors in 44 games which turns out to be around 11 for the year compared to his 22 errors in only 92 games last year.  Don’t forget he has had a nagging wrist injury and once he gets over that he is going to start putting some good wood on the ball as well.  We are looking at an infield that could potentially have 4 players that hit 25 plus HR and drive in around 90 RBI’s a year.  I haven’t even touched on the pen yet which could be one of the best in the league with a couple of moves.

Once Gallardo is ready to be brought up you are looking at one scary team.  A rotation of Sheets, Supan, Cappy, Gallardo and Vargos is just scary.  Especially when you have long relievers like Villy and Wise and then Tbow and Cordero to slam the door.  I expect Gallardo to be brought up by mid June and possibly make a move with Bush.  I like Bush, but I feel Vargos has better stuff and Gallardo could be a future ace.  Gallardo has been lights out in Nashville and deserves a chance to show what he can do at the next level.

Its a great time to be a Brewer fan!

JT Brewer

A Month to Forget

After a month of being stuck doing group projects and writing essays for school I am finally done with school for the summer.  Now it is time to get back to writing about the Crew.

Yes, the Crew is still winning the division but they are really going to need to turn it around.  With the Cards crawling their way back to second place they can not have any more 2-9 stretches.  Yeah, the Cards are still under .500 and 6.5 games back but we still have months of baseball left.  The good thing is our bats are starting to get hot again and we have a couple series coming up that we should win. 

Prince Fielder come on down!! This guy is playing straight up lights out the last couple games.  He can do no wrong with his bat.  Tied for the lead in HR’s for the entire league and he is hitting these HR’s with people on.  The combo of him and Hardy is going to be sick to watch for the next couple years.  Hardy has cooled off a bit since his early tear but he is still putting the ball in play and driving runners in.  Now add the fact that Braun just got brought up and is proving he is worth all the hype.  Hopefully he will continue to produce and with Prince behind him they will have to pitch to him, because you know if you’re an opposing pitcher you do not want to see Prince at the plate.  Now the one question mark that is left is Bill Hall.

Bill Hall was never meant to be a player that is going to get you 35 HR in a season, or at least I did not expect him to be.  He had a great year last year and I expected similar numbers but most likely a drop in RBI’s and HR’s.  This is fine as long as he can keep getting on base and goes back to hitting for gaps and not hitting for HR’s.  However if he did become a consistent 35 HR that would greatly improve Prince Fieders game.  The Brewers are soon going start watching Prince take a lot of walks.  That is why we are going to need somebody behind him to make pitchers pitch to him.  I’m not saying we need to make a trade, if Hall can get himself back to last years form then we will be alright.  Otherwise maybe we make a move around the deadline.  Not sure if any player we got we would actually be able to resign, but even a nice rental player would be nice and greatly improve our chances of making a run to the series.  Trade Aquino, Gross, and maybe another prospect for another big bat and then bring up Gallardo and we are looking pretty.  At the moment I’m am still alright with Gallardo in Nashville, but if Bush continues to struggle I would not object to bringing the kid up.  He has some real good stuff, the kind of stuff aces are made of.  Of course I would much rather have Bush pitch well and let the kid develop a little longer, but I can hide my excitement to see him pitch in the big leagues.

After a horrible month for both the Brewers and my school work I see clear sky’s ahead.  Out of the 10 series we play this month I look for us to win 8 of them.  Series win number one comes tomorrow with another win over the fish!

JT Brewer

Rest of League Take Notice

The Milwaukee Brewers have a chance to show they are for real with a series win in New York.  To New York this may just be another series, however this series is very important to the Brewers. This is the type of series that could really propel this team to new heights. Yes, I understand they are off to their best start in over 20 years and they have the best record in the league and are dominating the NL central, but this is the series I have been waiting for since they started their season. I can’t say I expected them to jump out the gate so well and be so dominant, but I did expect them to be challenging for the division and possibly a World Series. The Mets were the favorite last year and they are the favorite once again this year. However the Brewers have been making some serious noise so far this season and if they win this series you can expect that noise to get even louder. The Mets will not be pitching their best for this series but it doesn’t matter. If the Brewers win this series or better yet sweep this series the confidence that they already have is going to go through the roof. The Brewers will be throwing their top three pitchers and I feel that they have the chance to sweep the Mets. If they are unable to sweep I still expect them to win the series. The Brewers are for real this year and when they win this series the rest of the league will take notice.

JT Brewer

Can’t look past the Nationals

     After another successful series against the Pittsburgh Pirates taking three of the four games at home, the Brewers will welcome in the struggling Washington Nationals.  As much as I can’t wait for the following series to begin against the NL favorite New York Mets, this series could be a big confidence booster heading into a six game road trip.

     Capuano looks to draw first blood as he tries to remain unbeaten while facing off with Matt Chico.  Chico however has struggled though out the year recording an ERA of 6.59.  Even though Sheets has been proclaimed the ace of the staff Capuano as of late has been the more consistent of the two.  If Capuano can continue on his winning ways he will be looking at a second straight All-Star apperance.  This is a game I would expect the Brewers to win.

     Dave Bush will try to get himself back to .500 with a win in the second game against Jason Simontacchi while Vargos will try to remain unbeaten as well as he closes the series VS. a winless Jason Bergmann.  If the Brewers want to be taken series as a playoff caliber and possibly a World Series type of team these are the teams that they can not lose to. I expect the Brewers to continue their dominance as of late and sweep past the Nationals and into New York continuing to hold onto the best record in baseball. 

      Even though it is only May, the series with the Mets will be a good indicator as to what kind of team this really is.  Now I don’t expect them to sweep out the Mets, maybe not even win the series but I would like to see one win and quality outings in the other two games.  With Suppan and Sheets both scheduled to start I would think that one of the two can get a win and if Capuano closes the series possible surprise some people and take the series. The question so far this season is, can the Milwaukee Brewers of 2007 be the Detroit Tigers of 2006?  I would sure love them to be, except I’m a greedy kind of guy and would like to see them in the World Series.  Go Crew

JT Brewer

Brewing something good in Milwaukee?

      The Milwaukee Brewers have a chance to take serious control of the NL Central this weekend as they finish out their series with the Pirates. Yes, it is only April but it has been an April to remember for Brewer fans, with the Brewers eight games above .500 for the first time in nine years and 4.5 games ahead of the second place Pittsburgh Pirates.  Now I am not declaring the Crew Central champs quiet yet, but this year looks to be the most promising year for the Crew to step out of the cellar and into the sport light. The pitching is there as well as the run support for the first time in a long time. With a solid rotation that ranks in the top five in ERA and a bullpen that has been just as impressive.   If you’re going to try to beat the traffic you can pack it up after the 7th inning if the Brewers have the lead as the boost an astonishing mark of 13-0 when leading after seven.

        Not to be out done by the pitching staff the bats have come alive as well and are also ranked in the top five in runs scored this year.  The biggest improvement on last years team has to be that they are no longer leaving base runners stranded in scoring position, going from dead last in 2006 to 6th in 2007.  Once again yes, it is April but it’s an April to remember and a great start to a season that could see the Brewers back in the post season for the first time in 25 years.

JT Brewer