Bullpen, Managerial Woes Continue In 7-5 Loss To Astros

MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 25: Travis Ishikawa #45 of the Milwaukee Brewers is congratulated by Corey Hart #1 after hitting a home run as he returns to the dugout during the game against the Houston Astros at Miller Park on April 25, 2012 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

W: Wilton Lopez (2-0)
L: Jose Veras (2-1)
S: Brett Myers (3)

HR: Ryan Braun (4), Travis Ishikawa (2), Corey Hart (6)

MVP: Ryan Braun (+.248)
LVP: Mike McClendon (-.167)

FanGraphs Win Expectancy Graph and Star of the Game Voting

Maybe keeping this game off TV was the right decision. If nothing else, it probably kept me from breaking the TV when Ron Roenicke used Cesar Izturis to pinch hit for Travis Ishikawa (two homers in two days) in the eighth inning. Ron Roenicke didn't want Ishikawa to face lefty Welsey Wright...even though he homered off a lefty earlier in the game. I'm not sure even Ned Yost would have done that. Meanwhile, George Kottaras and Mat Gamel got the day off.

The Brewers wrapped up a nine game homestand today and, for the eighth consecutive day, allowed their opponent to score first. Both starting pitchers struggled early today, allowing four runs each in the first three innings. Shaun Marcum settled down from there, but still needed 99 pitches to get through five innings with four runs (three earned) on eight hits. He walked four and struck out seven in the outing.

The Brewer offense, meanwhile, scored four runs in the first three innings but little more after. Ryan Braun got the scoring started in the first with his fourth homer of the season, Travis Ishikawa followed suit with his second home run in as many days in the second, and Corey Hart closed the gap a bit with a solo shot in the eighth. Hart, Braun and Carlos Gomez all had multiple hits today.

With Marcum pulled after five innings Ron Roenicke was forced to rely heavily on his bullpen today, and they burned him again. Tim Dillard pitched a perfect sixth but Jose Veras allowed a run in the seventh and Mike McClendon gave up two more in the eighth.

Today's loss dropped the Brewers to 2-7 in day games this season. They'll play two more day affairs in their series with the Cardinals this weekend, but open the set with a 7:15 contest Friday night.

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