A 3-3 week for Milwaukee included a series win (two of three) in St. Louis, and they have won every series there last season and this, getting four in a row. The game they lost to St. Louis was a tough pill to swallow, with the Crew blowing leads in the bottom of the ninth and tenth before losing in the eleventh. Their win Saturday against the Mets (5-1) gives Milwaukee a 6-2 road record on the young season, and 8-7 overall.
The Cincinnati Reds are 2-12. Their closer Raisel Iglesias has two save opportunities; he’s converted them both, but seems a tad under-utilized. I wonder if they might be interested in a few prospects for him.
Top Hitting Story: Man, the Brewers are NOT hitting. Somebody even wrote an article about how Jonathan Villar’s early season batting average over .300 was a false positive, as he was showing no power. Well, his three run homer Saturday put the Brewers up 3-0 in a game that the Mets never challenged. Even so, his week still brought a slash of .267/.267/.333 for an OPS of .600. Baby steps. And nobody else that played a lot did anything.
Honorable Mention: I was going to go with Jesus Aguilar, and I hesitated with his small sample size and decided that since I was going to use a small sample size I’d go with relief pitcher Dan Jennings. Relief pitchers don’t get very many at bats, and Jennings had his first at bat since 2012 (a couple of AL seasons made getting at bats really tough), and he notched his first hit, a double sliced down the left field line. That’s just awesome.
Top Pitching Story: The pitching was solid this week. They posted a 3.27 ERA, with a WHIP of 1.16. But do you know what? Josh Hader is throwing the ball really, really well right now and stands head and shoulders above the rest. He gave up a homerun, and he walked a guy, with three appearances and 4 2⁄3 innings pitched. He registered his first save of the year, and of his career. The wow moment is that he struck out TWELVE batters in the past week. That’s fourteen outs registered, twelve of them by strikeout. His WHIP was 0.43 and I’m beginning to think he might be pretty darn good. Yowsers.
Honorable Mention: Chase Anderson was the pitching story early Saturday night, but was eclipsed by Hader’s overwhelming save. But in two starts, Chase worked 12 1⁄3 innings with an ERA of 2.19 and a WHIP of 0.81. Against both the Cubs last Sunday and the Mets Saturday Anderson located all four of his pitches well and came up with big pitches when he needed them. He lost the start to the Cubs when Milwaukee was shut out 3-0 but totally shut down a good Mets lineup with one run allowed on two hits in 6 1⁄3 innings.
IMHO: The Brewers’ bench is getting exceedingly thin. They have played the last few days with only one catcher. Manny Pina has said it doesn’t bother him to catch but he can’t run; I fear that having to move around behind the plate and block pitches won’t feel all that good either. Lorenzo Cain appears to still be hobbled by his quad injury but it playing through it. Ryan Braun left Saturday’s game with back tightness, and probably is scheduled for a day off tomorrow anyways. There’s a chance he won’t be able to pinch hit either. With Christian Yelich still not ready to come back from the DL, it is getting tough to even fill out a starting line-up.
Without bringing up another outfielder, the Brewers could conceivably be in a situation where they need to put Eric Thames in left so that Hernan Perez can cover for Cain in center, with Jesus Aguilar at first. Keon Broxton might want to help out. Not sure who goes down, but Jorge Lopez isn’t doing much. Or maybe our weather will get to New York in time to wash out tomorrow’s contest.
Comment of the Week: Referencing back to our Jonathan Villar discussion, Wohlfpack gave some common sense advice about Villar:
Perhaps he learned something over the off-season
and he’s still looking to find that balance between improved contact and taking a healthy cut when the count favors him. Never bat him above seventh and let’s see what happens. I’m not in the Villar fan club by any means, but I’m willing to give someone a chance to do what’s been asked/recommended of them. If his slash line doesn’t improve in a month or so, might as well see what NOrf can do, because the better solution is not on the current roster.
Not sure Nate Orf is an upgrade over the three-headed plush toy that is manning second base right now, but maybe Jonny V can pull it together.
Seven games in the next seven days mean the pen will most likely again be taxed, so maybe Lopez better stay up. After finishing up with the Mets, Milwaukee returns home to face the aforementioned Reds and their 2-12 mark, then the Miami Marlins and their 4-10 record. This should probably be a five win week, guys and gals, even with facing Noah Syndergaard tomorrow.