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It Was Ugly, But It Still Felt Good

Despite the fact that Ned Yost sent the Brewers into battle with the Lefty Lineup of Suck (Counsell batting second, Hart on the bench, Tony Gwynn in center for Hall), Milwaukee scored nine runs, largely thanks to all those lefties.

Wade Miller helped, too.  In the second inning, the Crew batted around, including a two-run homer from Geoff Jenkins (Corey Hart, the bench is calling) and a shot to nearly the same place for Gabe Gross in the following at-bat.  Against Scott Eyre, the Brewers tacked on three more thanks to a bases-clearing triple from Counsell.

The confusing part of today's game was Chris Capuano's performance.  Capuano pitched beautifully for the first five innings: in fact, until the sixth, he only allowed one baserunner, and that was on a single through the left side.  He was consistently making Cubs looks stupid on his changeup.  Then it all fell apart.  He stopped throwing so many strikes, and he had to come out after getting only one out in the fifth.  Matt Wise wasn't brilliant either, but he got out of the inning and left us with a two-run lead, which is all we turned out to need.

A couple of other notes: Tony Gwynn is fast.  That isn't necessarily a good thing.  Yes, of course, it's nice that he's fast, but I wonder how many of his hits in the minor leagues were of the infield or bunt variety.  (Actually, turns out there's a source for that: last year more than 10% of his hits were infield hits.  It wasn't quite so dramatic in 2005.)  My point is just that we shouldn't be deceived by his batting average: he's just not that talented of a hitter.  Sure, he'll sneak his way on now and then, but his role right now is probably his ceiling as a big leaguer.

Also, great to see Carlos Villanueva get a couple of easy outs in an important spot.  He came on in the 7th after Shouse got the first out and retired the last two batters.  I don't know how I feel about plugging Carlos into high-leverage situations just yet, but I would agree that Ned had to go to Wise in the 6th, so somebody had to get those outs in the 7th, and I'm sure glad it wasn't Shouse.  Certainly nice to have options while Capellan is toiling away in Nashville.

So, 3-3 on the first week.  I'd rather it were 4-2 at home, but holding our own against two solid, 85-90 win teams is a good sign.  Nothing is really clicking the way we know it will at some point: Rickie isn't hitting much, and we've suffered through some seriously mediocre starts from pitchers who are better than that.  Against the Marlins this week, we've got a good shot at taking a series on the road.  If we can put up nine runs with the "Sunday lineup," imagine what we can do with the real hitters all starting!