Before last night, Jared Fernandez was making me very happy. Gotta love a knuckleballer, plus his numbers suggested he was pitching better than any other starter on the team. Last night, not so happy. The Brewers lost 8-6 and Fernandez coughed up six runs (five earned) in four innings. I saw a few flashes of knuckling brilliance, but Jared explains part of the problem:
I would hope that one outing isn't changing the team's views. There's still a good shot Jared will be on the Opening Day roster, though his performance between now and April 17th will likely determine whether he stays when Ben Sheets comes back.
Other notes from the game: Rickie Weeks is back, and looked ready to go. He was a little shaky in the field, and though he went 0-3 at the plate, he didn't look overmatched. Capellan, Wise, Lehr, and Kolb threw perfect innings. And Carlos Lee looked great, mashing a no-doubt-about-it HR in the 3rd and later walloping a double that looking homer-like off the bat. Jeff Cirillo also hit a line drive HR.
Ned Yost says last night's lineup would be "strikingly similar" to what we can expect in the season. Here it is:
Zach Sorenson cleared waivers, and he's mulling whether to go to Nashville or try his luck as a free-agent. Speaking of deals, there's apparently no real progress on a long-term contract for Turnbow, but they're still working on it.
Most importantly, there's news about concession prices. Most food items are going up a quarter, but beer prices are staying put. Here's the best idea the new regime has implemented yet:
The publication will be called "Brewers Gameday," and will be filled with player features, historical and opponent information, and team rosters.
The programs will be available during every home game from kiosks at entry gates throughout the ballpark.
If I'm not mistaken, they do this at Shea Stadium now, as well. I was utterly shocked the first time I went into a game and was handed a program. Of course, they'll still try to sell you glitzy ones for twelve bucks. But hey, for free? What a great (and probably very cheap) way to get fans more involved in the game.
Today: With six days till the home opener, Dave Bush pitches against Denny Bautista and the Royals in another night game. It'll be on the radio as well as over MLB.TV.