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What we learned: August 4, 2014

Today's lessons include trade evaluations, bullpen regression, and defensive analysis.

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Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

This Weekend's Results

Brewers 7, Cardinals 4

The Brewers power trio of Jonathan Lucroy, Ryan Braun, and Aramis Ramirez came to play on Friday, driving in all seven of the Brewers runs. They were led by Ramirez, who was 3-for-5 and a triple away from the cycle. It backed a strong start from Wily Peralta, who pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits and four walks.

Cardinals 9, Brewers 7

Kyle Lohse had a rare bad start, giving up nine runs in four innings. However, the offense came to play, putting up four runs in those first four innings, and seven runs in the game total. They had a chance to tie the game in the ninth, but couldn't finish the comeback as they fell to the Cardinals.

Cardinals 3, Brewers 2

The Brewers got two early runs off of John Lackey, and Matt Garza was pitching great through six innings. However, Matt Garza was pulled at the start of the seventh due to injury, and the bullpen gave up three runs promptly in the seventh. The offense couldn't come back and the Cardinals won the game.

The Gerardo Parra trade isn't a game-changer, but it is an upgrade.

Unlike some previous years, the Brewers elected not to go with the blockbuster trade this year and instead went with a smaller trade, acquiring Gerardo Parra from the Diamondbacks. It's definitely not the flashy move that the Brewers have made in the past, but it will help the team. After thinking about the trade for a day, Jordan posted his reaction to the trade on Friday. Overall, he likes the trade and thinks that it will be good for the Brewers. However, he also notes that the Brewers should have made another move. There's still time to make another one, though it will have to happen through a waiver trade in August.

Will Smith has reverted to what he should be.

After Will Smith's strong start to the season, he has struggled more in recent weeks. This has led to many people saying that there's something wrong with Will Smith. However, Derek believes that the issue isn't that Will Smith is struggling, it's that he may be pitching to his true level now. He notes that despite being used often, Smith isn't showing any signs of breaking down. He may just be regressing to his normal career marks. If that's the case, the only thing that needs to be done is to switch Smith's "role" to a more appropriate one.

The Brewers are a great defensive team.

In the last several years, the Brewers have typically not been a good defensive team. They've had individual players that have been great, but overall, there have been seen as below average. This year, that perception is changing a little. Noah noted on Saturday that the Brewers defense has ranked above average this season. The number show that the offense is improving, and though it's a small sample size, it appears to be accurate. There are still a few holes in the defense, but it's not as bad as it has been in the past.

Cram Session

Minor League Update

Team Level Record Yesterday Today
Nashville Sounds AAA 62-54 Fri: Nashville 2, Colorado Springs 1
Fri: Colorado Springs 1, Nashville 0
Sat: Nashville 4, New Orleans 2
Sun: New Orleans 4, Nashville 3
Nashville @ New Orleans
Huntsville Stars AA 65-49 Fri: Jacksonville 3, Huntsville 2
Sat: Jacksonville 3, Huntsville 2
Sun: Jacksonville 7, Huntsville 1
Jacksonville @ Huntsville
Brevard County Manatees A+ 56-49 Fri: Bradenton 3, Brevard County 2
Sat: Brevard County 4, Bradenton 2
Sun: Bradenton 5, Brevard County 3
Brevard County @ Bradenton
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers A 59-51 Fri: Wisconsin 5, Peoria 1
Sat: Peoria 9, Wisconsin 3
Sun: Peoria @ Wisconsin (SSPD)
Wisconsin @ Cedar Rapids
DSL Brewers R 23-31 Fri: DSL Phillies 13, DSL Brewers 4
Sat: DSL Brewers 6, DSL Phillies 3
DSL Brewers @ DSL Braves
Helena Brewers R 17-29 Fri: Missoula 4, Helena 0
Sat: Helena 10, Missoula 1
Helena @ Idaho Falls
AZL Brewers R 17-18 Fri: AZL Dodgers @ AZL Brewers (SSPD)
Sat: AZL Brewers 4, AZL Rangers 3
Sun: AZL Brewers 9, AZL Rangers 1

News & Notes

Division Update

Team W L GB
Brewers 61 51 -
Cardinals 59 51 1
Pirates 59 52 1.5
Reds 56 55 4.5
Cubs 47 63 13

Today's Division Games

  • Reds (Alfredo Simon) @ Indians (Corey Kluber) - 6:05 pm
  • Cardinals, Pirates, and Cubs have the day off.

Today's Action

The Brewers get a day off today before returning to Miller Park tomorrow. They will open a three-game series against the Giants on Tuesday night.