What we learned: April 10, 2014

Drew Hallowell

Today's lessons include the velocity of Jim Henderson, the home runs of Ryan Braun, and the potential debut of Wei-Chung Wang.

Yesterday's Results

Brewers 9, Phillies 4

The Brewers continued their hot play yesterday. They got started quick with two runs in the first in inning, but sloppy defense allowed the Phillies to show the runs in the bottom half of the first. The Brewers tied it in the second and took the lead again in the fourth, but the Phillies responded with another run in the fifth to tie the game at 4. The Brewers would take the lead for goods in the eighth thanks to an error by Ryan Howard, and Ryan Braun added two more runs with a RBI triple. Mark Reynolds would finish the scoring with a two run home run in the ninth. Matt Garza had a rough first inning but recovered to pitch six innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits and two walks with four strikeouts.

Jim Henderson has regained his velocity.

When the season started, Jim Henderson was removed from the closer role because of diminished velocity. He was put into situations for him to work back into the role, and his velocity has slowly returned. Yesterday, Jordan looked at Henderson's velocity over his three appearances and noted an upward trend in the velocity. In his appearance on Tuesday, his fastball was between 95 and 98 mph. While that is a good sign, it may be early to get too excited. Factoring in last night, his fastball started around 92 mph, but by the end of the appearance he was hitting between 94 and 96 mph consistently. Either way, Jordan also notes that the situation with Henderson may have put the Brewers in a good place to have both a closer and a reliever for high-leverage situations.

Wei-Chung Wang watch is still in progress and could be for a while.

The Brewers are eight games into the season now, and we still haven't seen Wei-Chung Wang pitch in a game. We keep hearing from Ron Roenicke that he is looking for the right opportunity to get him into a game, but it seems like we've already seen those situations comes up. The Brewers led by six runs in the eighth and ninth innings on Tuesday, and then by five runs in the ninth inning yesterday. However, we still did not see Wang enter the game. Derek Harvey asks this question and thinks we've seen some good chances already for Wang to enter a game. If Ron Roenicke doesn't get Wang into a game, he's essentially forcing himself to work with a 24-man roster. While that has worked so far, he could find himself needing that 25th man in a tough situation.

Ryan Braun could hit over 400 home runs in his career.

With his three home runs on Tuesday night, Ryan Braun passed Geoff Jenkins for third place in home runs hit as a Brewer. It is clear that by the end of next season, he should hold the record in that category. The only question is how many additional home runs he will hit. Noah put together a projection of what Braun could hit based on his first eight seasons. 400 home runs looks well within reach, but 500 may be too high. Where will Braun land? It could be fun to find the answer.

Cram Session

(Note: Sorry, no organization on links today. I was barely able to get this typed up due to computer issues.)

Minor League Update

Team Level Record Yesterday Today
Nashville Sounds AAA 3-4 Iowa 6, Nashville 1 Nashville @ Iowa
Huntsville Stars AA 5-1 Huntsville 5, Pensacola 4 Pensacola @ Huntsville
Brevard County Manatees A+ 5-1 Brevard County 4, Lakeland 1 Brevard County @ Lakeland
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers A 3-3 Wisconsin 6, West Michigan 1 Wisconsin @ West Michigan

Division Update

Team W L GB
Brewers 6 2 -
Pirates 5 3 1
Cardinals 5 4 1.5
Cubs 3 5 3
Reds 3 6 3.5
  • Reds 4, Cardinals 0: Mike Leake pitched eight shutout innings and Billy Hamilton went 3-for-4 and scoured two runs as the Reds shut out the Cardinals.
  • Cubs 7, Pirates 5: Jason Hammel allowed three home runs, but all of them were solo shots as he pitched seven innings, while Mike Olt and Junior Lake led the Cubs offense with 5 RBI combined to get a 7-5 win.

Today's Games

  • Pirates (Gerrit Cole) @ Cubs (Travis Wood) - 1:20 pm
  • Cardinals and Reds have the day off.

Today's Action

The Brewers go for the sweep against the Phillies and the six game road trip sweep tonight. The Brewers will have a tough game ahead of them as they face Cliff Lee. For the Brewers, Marco Estrada will get his second start of the season. First pitch is at 6:05 pm, and Adam McCalvy has the preview on MLB.com.

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