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6/9 Game Thread: St. Louis (35-24) @ Milwaukee (29-32)

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Jeff's out of town and I'm heading to the game soon to begin tailgating, so please pardon the premature game thread.  You'll need something with which to kill the time before the game, so here are some links to slake your thirst for Brewers info:

  • First off, the most important thing you'll see this weekend is this video.  Yes, the bird was okay.

  • The Brewers are making excellent progress signing their draft picks, with #1 Jeremy Jeffress and #2 Brent Brewer, along with a heaping handful of others.
  • Speaking of the draft, prospect guru John Sickels is very high on Jeffress:
    As you guys know, I love this guy. Not (just) because of the 100 MPH fastball. . .Colt Griffin taught us not to get excited about that. . .but because of his athleticism, his delivery, and strong makeup reports. He needs development time, but it looks like a good pick to me.
  • Hopping in the Wayback Machine, Sickels wasn't as high on the Brewers' first round choice back in 2000, Dave Krynzel:
    This is the first player that seems truly out of place in the first half of the first round. Most teams did not rank him this highly...His swing is inconsistent, and there are questions as to how well he will do against pro pitching.
    And what did Sickels think of Mike Jones, Milwaukee's #1 pick in 2001?
    He was bothered by some minor arm trouble this year, which hurt his stock. Scouts like his mechanics and size (6-4, 200) and also praise his work ethic. Like all high school pitchers, he's risky but potentially excellent.
    Questionable bat for Krynzel, injury risk for Jones, that pretty much sums up their careers, don't you think?
  • Stick around in 2001 for a bit and read this fascinating interview with then-GM Dean Taylor.
    We have...made tremendous strides in the areas of scouting and player development. In particular Jack Zduriencik and our scouting department deserve a lot of credit for our No. 1 draft picks each of the last two years -- David Krynzel and Mike Jones -- both of whom were voted the No. 1 prospect in the Pioneer League during their first year of play. In addition, Greg Riddoch and our player development staff deserve a lot of credit for continuing to develop young players for our Major League club such as Ben Sheets and Nick Neugebauer. We are excited about Billy Hall, who we feel will be a legitimate Major League shortstop withing the next two years.
    Check out this discussion on brewerfan.net about Zduriencik's history and success drafting high school arms--it isn't good. Mike Jones almost definitely isn't going to make it and Mark Rogers' future is still very much in doubt, despite recent encouraging signs, but hopefully Yovani Gallardo, Will Inman and eventually Jeremy Jeffress can reverse the trend.

    Also, what was Taylor smoking?  There's GM-speak and then there's this:

    Keeping our club healthy is a top priority for us as we look ahead to next season. And we feel we can be very competitive if the majority of our players are able to stay healthy.
    Keep in mind that he was saying this about the 2002 team.  Insane!  Nothing to make you feel warm and fuzzy about the current Brewers, risky high school draft picks aside, than reading that kind of nonsense.

Okay, back to the present; how about those Cardinals?  They just lost 5 of 6 at home to the Cubs and Reds and are 4-8 over their last four series.  Oh, and that wailing sound you hear is St. Louisans mourning the indefinite loss of Albert Pujols.  Nevertheless, Scott Rolen has been doing his best Pujols impression lately and most of their losses have been close--plus, they're still the Cardinals.

Today, Jorge de la Rosa will face Mark Mulder, with Chris Capuano/Jason Marquis and Dave Bush/Jeff Suppan being the matchups for the next two games.  Given that all three Cardinals starters have ERAs near or over 5 and the distinct lack of Pujols, I'm willing to say that at least all of the games will be close.  Hey, it's something.

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