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What we learned: April 7, 2014

Today's lessons include the true state of Ryan Braun's thumb, the back end of the rotation, and the waiting for Wei-Chung Wang.

Jared Wickerham

This Weekend's Action

Brewers 6, Red Sox 2 (Friday)

It was a day that was supposed to be all about the Red Sox. It was their home opener, and they were getting their World Series championship rings. Unfortunately for them, the Brewers didn't realize this. They struck early for a 2-0 lead, but the Red Sox tallied single runs in the 3rd and 4th innings to tie the game. Both pitchers locked out the offenses after that until the ninth inning, when the Brewers scored four runs off of Edward Mujica to get the win.

If you missed the game, Noah also has some GIFs for you.

Brewers 7, Red Sox 6 (Saturday)

Bad defense was the story of this game, with four errors committed and some other defensive problems coming out. Brewers pitchers allowed six runs (five by Wily Peralta and one by Jim Henderson), but only two of those runs were earned. However, despite the absence of Ryan Braun, the Brewers scored six runs in the first three innings. After that, the Brewers couldn't buy a hit with a runner in scoring position despite ninteen hits in the game. The game ended up in extra innings, with the Brewers finally breaking through in the eleventh inning and Francisco Rodriguez locking down the win.

Brewers 4, Red Sox 0 (Sunday)

After pitching six scoreless innings on Opening Day, Yovani Gallardo continued his scoreless streak with another 6 2/3 innings on Sunday. The Brewers needed every pitch of it, with Jon Lester locking out the Brewers offense for most of the game. Unfortunately for Lester, he allowed two runs early and another two runs in his last two innings, though only two runs were earned. Between Gallardo, Zach Duke, and Tyler Thornburg, the Brewers kept them off the board to secure the sweep.

Ryan Braun's thumb is going to be an issue for a while.

We had heard reports in the offseason about Ryan Braun's thumb, but coming in to the season we didn't think it would be a major problem. That changed on Friday when reports came out that his thumb was still an issue. He does not have much feeling in the thumb and is developing blisters become he can't tell how hard he is gripping the bat. The only fix for the issue is surgery, but it's not a guaranteed fix. Adam McCalvy has some comments from Braun, who explained in more detail what the issue is. Meanwhile, Justin Schultz of Reviewing the Brew asks the question we are all wondering about: How many games will Ryan Braun play this season?

Braun played at DH and went 0-for-5 on Friday, and then was out of the lineup Saturday to rest. He did return on Sunday and went 2-for-4, but did not take batting practice.

The back end of the rotation has a lot of potential.

A successful season usually involves some good contributions from the back end of the rotation. This year, the season is starting with Marco Estrada and Wily Peralta at the back of the rotation. Derek Harvey previewed both of these players over the weekend, with a profile of Marco Estrada on Friday and then a profile of Wily Peralta on Saturday. Marco Estrada has been a great control pitcher with a high strikeout and low walk rate, but has some problems allowing home runs and staying healthy. Meanwhile, Wily Peralta is a bit of the opposite, with a high velocity fastball but less control. While the Brewers aren't depending on these pitchers as much, they still need to put together a good season if the Brewers want to compete.

As always, some Brewers will hit some milestone moments this season.

Some of the Brewers have milestone moments coming up this year. The round numbers have always meant something to baseball players, and hitting those marks help define how a career has progressed. Yesterday, I went through some of the marks that are coming up this year. It's something to watch for this year as the season goes on and we will try to note these moments as they pass.

We are still waiting for the debut of Wei-Chung Wang.

24 of the 25 players on the 25-man roster have made their season debut. The only one that has not made his debut is Wei-Chung Wang. Since he has not pitched in a regular season game above rookie ball, Ron Roenicke wants to ease him in to his debut in an easier situation. Adam McCalvy wrote about this over the weekend, how the Brewers are handling Wang so far. It's a tricky situation with Wang since the Brewers can't send him to the minors without having to offer him back to Pittsburgh. However, he has enough potential that it may be worth figuring out.

Cram Session

Notes from the Field

Outside the Game

Minor League Update

Team Level Record This Weekend Today
Nashville Sounds AAA 2-2 Nashville 4, Omaha 2 (Friday)
Nashville 2, Omaha 1 (Saturday)
Omaha 4, Nashville 3 (Saturday)
Omaha 6, Nashville 5 (Sunday)
Nashville @ Iowa
Huntsville Stars AA 3-1 Huntsville 5, Jacksonville 3 (Friday)
Huntsville 7, Jacksonville 1 (Sunday)
Huntsville 3, Jacksonville 0 (Sunday)
Huntsville @ Jacksonville
Brevard County Manatees A+ 2-1 Brevard County 4, Daytona 3 (Friday)
Daytona 13, Brevard County 2 (Saturday)
Brevard County @ Daytona
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers A 2-2 Wisconsin 8, Peoria 4 (Saturday)
Peoria 3, Wisconsin 2 (Sunday)
Wisconsin 3, Peoria 1 (Sunday)

News & Notes

Division Update

Team W L GB
Brewers 4 2 -
Pirates 4 2 -
Cardinals 3 3 1
Reds 2 4 2
Cubs 2 4 2

Today's Games

  • Reds (Tony Cingrani) @ Cardinals (Michael Wacha) - 3:15 pm
  • Cubs & Pirates have the day off.

Today's Action

The Brewers were scheduled for a game against the Phillies today, but the game was postponed early due to a lot of rain. It was rescheduled to Tuesday.