MVP: Martin Maldonado (.102)
LVP: Michael Fiers (-.277)
Michael Fiers is adopting the 2011 Zack Greinke model of pitching. Great strikeout/walk rate, excellent FIP, excellent xFIP. But plenty of hits given up and, on occasion, some bad homeruns. We got the great start, then we got the start where he was hurt by homers. Now we get the start where he gave up a bunch of hits. Ten to be exact. Ten hits in six innings, but six strikeouts to just one walk. Fiers gave up four earned runs today.
As is the case most times, there were positives and negatives to his start. It's extremely encouraging to see him keep up his excellent walk and strikeout rates. Those stats are key for a pitcher and can be an excellent indicator of future success. On the other hand, it's troubling to see the hits continue. After his first start, Fiers has now allowed 18 hits in twelve innings. For someone who is heavily reliant on his deceptive motions, the fact that hitters are seeing his pitches well enough to hit that well isn't a good sign.
Here's the thing, though. Fiers' first time through the order tonight resulted in a pop out, four strikeouts, a flyout, a double play, and two singles. Nine batters, four strikeouts and two singles. That's successful.
His first time through the order in his previous start, Fiers had four strikeouts, and four hits. The hits were a little higher last time, but his strikeouts have been plentiful his first time facing batters. Now, this is a two game sample size, so take it with a grain of salt. A shaker of salt. But it appears that, with his success facing batters the first time, Fiers might be more successful in the bullpen. Maybe he's just getting unlucky, and those hits are falling in right where they need to. We'll see.
I really hope that Fiers can find success as a starter. He has already had some, by some measures. But if he keeps allowing so many hits, he may not last in the rotation. It's not the worst thing. The Brewers could use bullpen arms, too, especially young, cheap ones. As good as that would be, though, it would be many times better if he can stick in the rotation.
Anyway, Aramis Ramirez had a nice day today, with two hits, including a double, and a walk. Martin Maldonado also reached base twice and drove in a run. Cody Ransom showed a good eye at the plate, walking twice and scoring a run.
The Brewers lost. They've won a lot lately, but they lost today. 5-2. I hadn't mentioned the score yet. They lost 5-2 to the Padres. Still, they are not completely out of contention and they still have Ryan Braun and they still have Zack Greinke and they still have Martin Maldonado. Er, I mean Yovani Gallardo. Is it possible for the Brewers to still make something of this season? Oh, for sure. Definitely. Do I blame those who have already given up on this year? Not at all. It's hard to stay positive when there are so many reasons not to.
There wasn't much recap in this recap. Sorry. I didn't see the game. I was working. That's also why this is up so late. But, hey, somebody's gotta bring home the bacon.
The Brewers and Padres go one more round tomorrow. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10. Yovani Gallardo vs. Anthony Bass. Should be fun.