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What we learned: April 3, 2014

Today's lessons include if Matt Garza can pitch well enough for his contract, how the Brewers will decide to challenge a call on the field, and other notes from the first series of the season.

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Mike McGinnis

Yesterday's Results

Braves 1, Brewers 0

Matt Garza could not have done much better in his debut for the Brewers. It's hard to do much better than retiring 20 of his first 21 batters and not allowing a hit through 6 2/3 innings. He only made one big mistake in the game, and that was a home run he allowed to Chris Johnson. After that, he only allowed one more hit in the game, finishing with eight innings pitched and seven strikeouts, allowing only the one run, two hits, and one walk.

Facing Aaron Harang, it seemed like a safe bet that the Brewers should be able to score at least one run, if not more. However, Harang ended up matching Garza pitch-for-pitch through six innings. Harang retired 18 of the first 19 batters he faced, and didn't allow a hit until the start of the seventh inning. The Brewers tried to rally in the seventh, putting runners at first and third with one out. However, a pop up and ground out ended the inning. The Brewers didn't get another runner on base after that and were shutout by the Braves 1-0.

Division Update

Team W L GB
Pirates 2 0 -
Cardinals 1 1 1
Reds 1 1 1
Brewers 1 2 1.5
Cubs 0 2 2

Today's Games

  • Cubs (Jason Hammel) @ Pirates (Wandy Rodriguez) - 11:35 am
  • Cardinals (Lance Lynn) @ Reds (Homer Bailey) - 11:35 am

Matt Garza can be good enough to earn the contract he was given.

Entering yesterday's game, there were questions about whether or not Matt Garza would be worth the contract that he signed. The contract that he got was the largest in Brewers history for a free agent, so naturally there was some hesitation about it. Derek Harvey took an in-depth look at Garza yesterday to see if he can match his contract value. This was before Garza's dominant start against the Braves. His start yesterday was the first of over 100 that he will make for the Brewers (assuming he remains healthy).

The Brewers will be prepared for when they decide to challenge a call.

A topic of discussion through spring training was how Ron Roenicke would use the challenge he gets each game. There's been some confusion on why Roenicke didn't challenge some calls in the first few games of the season. However, it may not all be Roenicke's fault. On, Adam McCalvy sat down with John Shelby and looked at his new role with the challenge system. Shelby will monitor the TV broadcast and available angles to see if a call should be challenged and relay that to bench coach Jerry Narron, who will signal Ron Roenicke with Shelby's decision. It has been used in the first few games and Shelby has not given the thumbs up to challenge a play. When he does, it will be for a play that the Brewers have a great chance to reverse.

Cram Session

Brewers vs. Braves

Other Brewers Analysis

Minor League Notes

Beyond the Game

Today's Action

The Brewers have the day off today as they travel to Boston for the start of their three-game series on Friday. Meanwhile, four of the Brewers minor-league affiliates start their seasons today. Nashville and Huntsville start their seasons on the road, while Brevard County and Wisconsin begin their seasons at home.