Some things to read while experiencing rare stereotypes.
I honestly don't know what to say this morning. I had company over for last night's second game, but even we turned it off early and wandered off to play board games. The disappointment of yesterday's doubleheader sweep is tangible at this point, and it'll be completely understandable if there aren't many people who want to read about or discuss this team today.
I guess all I can offer in form of encouragement at this point is the possibility that this might be rock bottom, that getting beaten twice and nearly no-hit yesterday might be the embarrassment we eventually acknowledge as 2011's turning point. Maybe we'll eventually compare this road trip to the disastrous trip to Boston in 2008 where the Brewers completely failed to compete and got swept, but then turned it around and made the playoffs.
Or, maybe we're in for a really long season. I think we're at the point where we have to acknowledge the possibility. Lately Brewer games have been almost as painful to watch as this rap video.
Zack Greinke's return wasn't quite the spark many of us were hoping for last night, as he was only able to complete four innings and allowed five runs (four earned) on five hits, walking one and striking out six. Tom Haudricourt noticed that his velocity dipped from around 92-94 in the first inning to 89-92 later in the outing. After the game, Greinke said all of his pitches were decent, but nothing was amazing.
Greinke's new defense didn't wait very long to start letting him down, as two first inning errors led to the first Braves run in game two. Christina Kahrl of ESPN says the Brewer defense is something Greinke is going to have to work around all season. Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker took a look at last night's peripheral numbers, though, and said Greinke will be fine.
With that said, Tom Haudricourt said it's going to take more than Zack Greinke to fix what's ailing this Brewer team, and it's hard to disagree with him.
Not everyone's a pessimist, though: Before yesterday's games Rob Neyer said the Brewers are in good shape, and Jeff Sullivan of SBNation.com said Greinke's return should give the Brewers a "Dynamite Five-Deep Rotation."
Other notes from the field:
- Rickie Weeks was the only Brewer to get a hit in game two, and as such he has the Brewers' longest active hitting streak at three games.
- Martin Prado, Marco Estrada and Nate McLouth are leading FanGraphs' Star of the Game voting for game one.
- Tim Hudson, Zack Greinke and Dan Uggla are leading the voting for game two.
- Here's a transcript of Ron Roenicke's postgame comments.
- The quote that sums it up is probably this one: Roenicke said "We're not doing anything well right now."
- 15,543 paid to see the doubleheader yesterday.
- The Brewers are now 0-4 in doubleheaders in 2011. They swept the Mets in their only twin bill in 2010.
- Howie Magner has an excellent idea for a feature to add to Brewer broadcasts.
Carson Cistulli has a look at Bob Uecker's unique relationship with Usinger's Sausages.
It had been widely suspected that the Brewers would send Marco Estrada to AAA to make room for Greinke, but they went another route and outrighted Brandon Boggs back to Nashville (FanShot). Boggs once again has the right to refuse the assignment, and for the second time I'd be very surprised if he doesn't choose free agency. At one point or another this season the Brewers have chosen Erick Almonte, Mark Kotsay, Jeremy Reed and a collection of relievers over Boggs, so it's safe to assume the organization doesn't think much of him.
Despite mentioning the possibility and having an extra reliever around just in case, the Brewers opted not to make any more roster moves yesterday. It's possible they could make one to activate a fresh arm today, though. Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar says Mitch Stetter and Sean Green are wasting roster spots at this point.
Jonathan Lucroy went 0-for-4 in yesterday's first game but is still hitting .314/.386/.412 on the season. Josh Wussow of Inside Wisconsin Sports has a look at Lucroy's improved plate discipline in 2011.
Of course, plate discipline is only an asset when the strike zone is consistent: Jonathan Scippa of Baseball Analytics says Rickie Weeks and Prince Fielder have combined to have 50 strikes called on pitches outside the zone in 2011.
John Axford had a bad day yesterday too, allowing two runs on three hits in the eighth inning of the second game. It was his first appearance in a week. He still has his mustache, though, and The Hall of Very Good has some facts about it.
At least we won't have to sit through an off day stewing over yesterday's debacles: Arden Zwelling of MLB.com has a preview of today's series finale.
As if we needed the reminder: Chris Cwik of FanGraphs has another look at Yovani Gallardo's continued struggles. He noted that hitters are making more contact when they swing at Gallardo's pitches.
Elsewhere in bad news: Manny Parra's rehab assignment in Nashville has been shut down after he suffered a sprained UCL and strained flexor tendon in his elbow. He's now out indefinitely.
In the minors:
- The affiliates went 0-4 last night, with both Huntsville and Nashville losing in extra innings. Minor League Notes are on a brief hiatus this weekend, but the Brewerfan.net Link Report has recaps of all four games.
- All four teams are back in action today, and Wisconsin takes on Beloit at 11 am. Del Howell is scheduled to pitch for the Timber Rattlers.
- The Sounds posted video of an interview with Eric Farris and former Brewer prospect Lorenzo Cain.
The timing on this probably isn't the greatest, but the Brewers have a pretty good deal available today for fans still interested in paying to watch this team: In honor of Ryan Braun winning NL Player of the Month for April, they're selling loge bleachers and terrace box seats for the May 23rd and 24th Nationals games for $8 until 5 pm today.
Mets: Placed pitcher Pedro Beato on the DL with elbow tendonitis.
Padres: Placed second baseman Orlando Hudson on the DL with a hamstring strain.
Rangers: Designated pitcher Ramon Aguero for assignment.
Twins: Placed outfielder Jason Repko on the DL with a sore left quad.
The Brewers only dropped half a game in the standings yesterday as the Marlins beat the Cardinals in the ninth inning. You already know that and much more if you've read this morning's edition of Around the NL Central.
Today in former Brewers:
- Morineko reports that Seth McClung, currently pitching for AAA Round Rock, says hi.
- Matt Stairs started 2011 0-for-13 for the Nationals, but his first hit of the season came last night and it was the 100th pinch hit of his career.
Tim Lincecum is only 26 years old, but Jayson Stark noted that he pitched his 29th career ten strikeout game last night. To put that into perspective, here's the Brewer career leaderboard:
|Pitcher||10 K Games|
|Nine others tied||3|
Lincecum also threw 127 pitches in the game.
A lot of us had a long day watching baseball yesterday. Red Sox fans, however, might have had it worse: Their team lost to the Angels 5-3 in 13 innings last night, in a game that took five hours to play and included a 2 hour, 35 minute rain delay. The game ended at 2:45 AM Eastern time after the winning run scored while the Angels broadcasters were wearing wrestling masks.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a record to break.