Sigh. You always know when the Brewers travel out west that things can go south quickly. A 1-6 week is so far south it’s almost to the Antarctic.
The Brewers appeared overmatched in San Francisco, as the Giants hit the ball hard and pitched well. For the series the Brewers were outscored 24-8, and the only close game was a 3-2 loss where the Brewers had so few baserunners against Madison Bumbarner that they only left one of them on base.
The series in LA against the Dodgers was considerably more frustrating. They won the opener on a 9th inning homer from Jonathan Villar, but coughed up two 3 run leads earlier in the game. They lost eighth inning leads in games two and four, and couldn’t keep up in a slugfest in the third game, blowing a 5-2 third inning lead.
All in all, the Brewers played just well enough to lose this week.
BEST PITCHING STORY
Wily Peralta is gone. Matt Garza is back. If there is a silver lining to this cloud of a week, this would be it. Garza wasn’t great, but he was much greater than Wily, and pitched with determination and grit. He went 10 innings and only allowed one earned run, although his WHIP of 1.4 is high. He consistently made pitches to get out of jams, and showed good location a majority of the time. He had a classic Garza throw to first. Heck, he hit .333 for the week, tied for third on the team. Unfortunately, of the four guys that hit .333 for the week only Villar was a position player.
Honorable Mention: the actual best Brewer pitcher right now is Zach Davies. His seven inning, one run start against the Dodgers was wasted when the Brewers couldn’t add to an early lead and gave up the lead in the eighth and lost in ten. But Davies, after a first inning homer to red-hot Justin Turner, had the Dodgers befuddled nicely the rest of the way.
BEST HITTING STORY
Jonathon Lucroy continues his solid season at the plate. He slashed .375/.423/.620 this week, with 3 doubles and a homer. Drove in six. He is now 0-4 pinch hitting this year, so on his off days perhaps he should stay off. What’s that you say? Small sample size? No it isn’t! It’s 70 games!
Honorable Mention: Ramon Flores has gradually started to show why David Stearns wanted him on the team. He is getting on base more regularly, is making solid contact, and has seen his production steadily - if unspectacularly - improve. For the past week he was at .353/.421/.412. I don’t know that we’ll ever see much power, but he is someone that you aren’t sorry to have come up in an important situation.
I’m not going to criticize the two Rule 5 picks that the Brewers made this year, and ended up returning to their ‘parent’ clubs. Zack Jones was unlucky, but with all of the other pitchers added this year he might not have made it through the season anyways. We’ll never know.
And what can I say about The Walking Man? Colin Walsh just never got it going; his plate discipline gained him an insanely high OBP for someone that didn’t hit a lick. Notice I didn’t say couldn’t hit a lick, but he sure didn’t. And at 26 he was just too old to keep around and hope for improvement. He needed to contribute right away. The Brewers gave him ample opportunity and it just didn’t happen.
Anyways, the Rule 5 draft is just another way of trying to add talent to the team, and it’s a relatively inexpensive way at that. Players are being traded for, drafted, picked up off of waivers, signed as FA’s, etc. Not all of them will work out...in fact, a very small percentage of them will. But if eventually 25 of them do, that’s all that matters.
Now is the time to try for success with the Rule 5 draft. Next year, too. After that, one hopes it won’t be appropriate.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
It was a tough week to be a Brewer fan. But they won a game, so let’s honor our favorite most important stat guru, drezdn:
.GW-RBI Tracker brought to you by the Microsoft Zune - Squirt Someone Today
Villar is for lovers
Carter 6, Braun 5, Santana 4, Villar 4, Lucroy 3, Gennett 3, Nieuwenhuis 2, Hill 2, Nelson 1, Broxton 1
This team needs more guys who put the ball in play like Yuniesky Betancourt and less strikeout machines like Domingo Santana.
So it’s on to Oakland for two and back to Miller Park for a weekend three game set with the Nats. Has to be better.