Our Milwaukee Nine started the week losing three straight to the St. Louis Cardinals, and oddly that’s the margin of the Cards’ lead over the Brewers — three games — and the Crew trails the Cubs for second by a half game. But the Brewers would be wise to stop treading water soon.
Freddy Peralta is making rehab starts, Corbin Burnes looked better in a minor league start yesterday, and Gio Gonzalez made an OK start today. Life interrupted Jimmy Nelson’s rehab assignment (family is always more important), but maybe he’ll be back soon. So perhaps the rotation can right itself. How-so-ever...
TOP PITCHING STORY: The Milwaukee Brewers have a bad bullpen. Last week, relievers NNH* (Not Named Hader) made 21 appearances, pitching 20.2 innings, and giving up beaucoup runs. Their ERA was 7.40, and they tossed out a WHIP of 2.177. My oh my. SEVENTEEN walks in 20.2 innings. Only three dingers allowed, though, ain’t that grand? This is all very concerning, at least to me. And I’m not assuaged by the return of Jeremy Jeffress. His fastball is still 5 mph slower than last year, and he seems unwilling to throw his curve. Maybe he’s just half-way recovered from his weak shoulder.
Dishonorable Mention: see above.
OK, OK...Josh Hader’s lone appearance on the week tasted a bit more like Haderade than sewer water: two perfect innings with five strikeouts.
TOP HITTING STORY: The bad news is that April is almost over. The good news is that Eric Thames has a couple of more days to be April Thames. This past week Thames had nineteen plate appearances, and he walked four times and fanned five. That leaves ten at bats to put the ball in play, and he used those for five hits and five RBI, and five runs scored to complete the trifecta. Eric popped an OPS on the week of 1.141. His homer gives him six on the season. Hopefully nobody shows him a calendar on Wednesday.
Honorable Mention: Christian Yelich (didn’t think I’d go a week without mentioning Yeli, did you?) has a bad back. Sigh.
IMHO: I feel like a broken record. The Brewers have done a lot to compete for a World Series this year. It wasn’t all this past winter, and David Stearns and company have continued to work on things into the season (Gio). But the loss of Corey Knebel and the ineffectiveness of nearly everyone else will sabotage the hopes of the team and the fans alike if steps aren’t taken to deepen the pen. Maybe Craig Kimbrel just doesn’t want to pitch in Milwaukee. I don’t know. But as currently configured, having just Josh Hader as an effective reliever isn’t gonna cut it. Well, and Junior Guerra too.
And oh yeah...I’m very excited about Keston Hiura. Have I ever mentioned that?
COMMENT OF THE WEEK: In an SB Nation FanPulse poll 40% of voters said it’s OK to intentionally hit a batter with a pitch. I guess I should be happy that 60% are against it? Kyle wasn’t happy and tried some education, and Luckybucky showed his respect for Kyle’s fine writing:
I think I’m gonna vote in whatever direction causes Kyle to self-righteously scold us the loudest
Because it’s hilarious
Seriously, folks, don’t wish for potentially deadly injuries for baseball players. Or most anyone, for that matter.
Onward and upward...hopefully. The Brewers return to Miller Park for the week. The Colorado Rockies come to town for four games, then it’s a rematch against the Mets for next weekend. I’m predicting a five win week, because that’s the least I want to happen.
IMHO (Special Edition): Miller Park hosted a Billy Joel concert last Friday night, and my lovely daughter gifted my wife and me with field seats. She’s a nice young lady. I enjoyed the concert immensely, but I gotta say, I am sorely disappointed in how the concert was set up. We had great on-the-field seats. But in their infinite wisdom, organizers had two (you can count them) entrances onto the field — one on the first base side, one on the third. At the bottom of the box seats. Aisles big enough for two people, with some going to their box seats, some coming up for the restroom or refreshments, and a trickle of folks going down to the field seats. Honestly, it took us as long to get from the concourse down onto the field as it did to drive to Miller Park from Madison. Getting out was almost as much fun. Yeah, yeah...in the cosmic scheme of things, a minor inconvenience. But I can think of lots of ways to fix this. Why can’t the powers that be who organized the show?
But thanks, Billy Joel and your fine musicians. It ended up as a wonderful show.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference