The results for this past week (1-5) were bad, but the actual playing of the game by the Brewers was, more or less...also bad. Except for Junior Guerra. He was excellent.
BEST HITTING STORY
Jonathan Villar was Jeckyll and Hyde this past week. He had an OBP of .407 for the week, getting on base 11 times in 6 games - but he wasn’t a ‘run scorer’ (only 2, but it’s possible that that isn’t his fault). He didn’t steal a base, but wasn’t caught stealing either. He was picked off on consecutive throws to first, kinda. He hit .546 on balls in play, and drew 5 walks...but struck out 11 (!) times. That included two Golden Sombreros, and his trophy mantle must be getting crowded with them. Perhaps he can stack them on top of each other.
Villar committed two errors, one of them contributing greatly to the Cards’ three run fourth in their 3-0 win Saturday (of course, blaming pitching or defense in a 3-0 loss is silly).
Honorable Mention: Ryan Braun hit the ball well this week, closing with a four hit game Sunday. He slashed .375/.400/.583 with a homer, and drove in 6. Only one strikeout. TVR...but will the offers be better than keeping him on the team?
BEST PITCHING STORY
Junior Guerra, unfortunately, only started one game this week. It was, of course, the only one that the Brewers won - 7-0 over the Dodgers. (In games not started by Juni G the Brewers were outscored 33-19.) Guerra went eight shutout innings and allowed only three hits, walking two and fanning seven (including Adrian Gonzalez, who had gotten on base his previous five plate appearances - Gonzalez was so incensed at being retired that he got himself tossed from the game).
Honorable Mention: Jeremy Jeffress was given the week off, except for what appeared to be mop-up duty yesterday against the Cards, where the Brewers’ four run ninth threatened to turn into a five run inning and a 15 inning game. No wonder Ron Kulpa called Ramon Flores out on a pitch six inches off the plate. Anyways, Jeffress gave up his obligatory single and got his obligatory double play, so he’s fine despite the lack of activity.
My apologies to Chris Edwards of Viva El Birdos; I felt his series preview of the Brewers/Cards was titled insultingly ("Cardinals should destroy the Brewers"). But no, no...he knew whereof he spoke. Watching this weekend series was like watching a Twilight Zone marathon. And the second and third episodes were excruciatingly long.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
The Brewers selected nine players in the international draft this week. They did get the numbers 29 and 30 ranked players, but obviously were going for quantity over trying for the top players. Well, we don’t actually know whether they tried to sign them, but given how bent on improving the farm David Stearns is it seems reasonable that they at least made inquiries.
The process was ably reported by Kyle, and drew this response from TSSC:
You're right that given the ages it's possible that the two top 30 kids they went after...
…. could end up being as good or better than the kids who are going to get the biggest bonuses. I hope that’s the way they see it and that’s why they targeted those players and appear to be staying out of the bidding wars. But somehow I doubt that’s what’s going on here.