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What we learned: April 14, 2014

Today's lessons include the winning streak, the bullpen situation, and the role of Tyler Thornburg.

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Mike McGinnis

This Weekend's Results

Brewers 4, Pirates 2

It was win #7 in a row for the Brewers. The first three innings turned into a pitcher's duel between the two starters, with Francisco Liriano pitching three perfect innings and Wily Peralta allowing a total of two walks through three. In the fourth inning, Aramis Ramirez got the scoring going with a two-run home run. They would tack on two more runs in the fifth inning, and Wily Peralta pitched seven innings allowing two runs.

Brewers 3, Pirates 2

Carlos Gomez led off the offense for the Brewers with a home run, and the Brewers got another run in the second inning from a wild pitch. The Pirates would tie it in the third with two more runs before the Brewers scored their winning run on an RBI single from Jonathan Lucroy in the eighth inning. Francisco Rodriguez pitched a scoreless ninth to lock down the eighth straight win.

Brewers 4, Pirates 1

It was Kyle Lohse's best start of his Brewers career. He pitched 8⅔ innings, allowing a total of one run on four hits and nine strikeouts. It was more than enough for the Brewers. They scored a run on a sacrifice fly in the third inning, then a second run from a RBI single from Aramis Ramirez. The last two runs came on a strange play. With runners at second and third, Scooter Gennett struck out on a ball that was not caught by catcher Tony Sanchez, and when he tried to secure it at first base, he threw it into right field, allowing both runners to score and Scooter Gennett to get to third base. Will Smith pitched the last ⅓ inning to secure the Brewers ninth win in a row.

This year's winning streak is more impressive than last year's winning streak.

In the excitement of this year's winning streak, it can be easy to forget that the Brewers did the same thing last April. Which one was better of the two? Noah argues that this year's winning streak is more impressive than last year's winning streak, even before it got to nine games. There are various reasons for this (opponent quality, winning margin, etc.), and it's adding up to a big winning streak to start the year. Regression is coming at some point, but for now, we can just enjoy the ride.

Brandon Kintzler headed to the DL and the bullpen got a bit of a shake-up.

After the winning streak, the biggest news of the weekend was an injury. After Saturday's game, the Brewers placed Brandon Kintzler on the DL with a mild rotator cuff injury. It shouldn't require more than a minimum DL stint, and the Brewers recalled Rob Wooten to fill the vacated spot. The bullpen hasn't had to pitch too much yet, but due to some decisions & roles in the bullpen, some relievers had been used more than others. Before yesterday's game, a few relievers had been overworked and needed some rest. They got the rest they needed thanks to a complete game yesterday, but it could be something to watch for a while.

Tyler Thornburg's success should not limit his role.

Tyler Thornburg has been one of the surprises in the Brewers bullpen this year. He has pitched in some big situations and provided critical outs. However, should this success limit when he can be used? Derek argues that even though Thornburg can handle high-leverage situations, it shouldn't stop him from being used as a long reliever. There's nothing wrong with using him for an inning at a time, but that shouldn't stop him from being used multiple innings. Keeping that flexibility could be important, and not being willing to change it can hurt the team. Let's hope that the Brewers are willing to use Thornburg as they should.

Cram Session

The Winning Streak

Brewers Bullpen

First Base

TV Broadcasts

  • One of the most annoying parts of TV broadcasts are the blackouts that don't make sense. Jeff Pasaan talks about how the policy is hurting MLB, and also has some notes from MLB (including a few on the Brewers).
  • On Friday night, FS Wisconsin aired a special on baseball in the Dominican Republic featuring Jean Segura. Enrique Bakemeyer of The Brewers Bar has some thoughts on the special.

Other Notes

Minor League Update

Team Level Record Weekend Result Today
Nashville Sounds AAA 5-6 Fri: Omaha 5, Nashville 4
Sat: Nashville 5, Omaha 2
Sun: Nashville 5, Omaha 3
Omaha @ Nashville
Huntsville Stars AA 7-3 Fri: Huntsville 5, Pensacola 4
Sat: Pensacola 2, Huntsville 1
Sun: Peansacola 7, Huntsville 5
Huntsville @ Mississippi
Brevard County Manatees A+ 6-4 Fri: Brevard County 5, Dunedin 2
Sat: Dunedin 4, Brevard County 2
Sun: Dunedin 6, Brevard County 2
Lakeland @ Brevard County
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers A 6-4 Fri: South Bend 4, Wisconsin 3
Sat: Wisconsin 6, South Bend 4
Sun: Wisconsin 11, South Bend 7
Lansing @ Wisconsin

Division Update

Team W L GB
Brewers 10 2 -
Cardinals 7 5 3
Pirates 6 6 4
Cubs 4 8 6
Reds 4 8 6

Today's Games

  • Pirates (Wandy Rodriguez) @ Reds (Homer Bailey) - 6:10 pm
  • Cubs have the day off.

Today's Action

The Brewers start their first series of the year against the Cardinals today. Matt Garza starts for the Brewers, and Lance Lynn will start for the Cardinals. First pitch is at 7:10 pm, and Matt Slovin of has the preview.