Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Fun With Curveballs

Science has long held that the curveball is basically an optical illusion. Here's an explanation.

Basically, they theorize that the sudden break of a curveball is caused by the ball leaving your peripheral vision and entering your normal vision. They use fancier words, but that's the gist of it. There are visual examples.

Day Baseball Open Thread

We're down 1-0 already, but Braun is giving it a go. Have at it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

If Anything Is Broken In Braun's Wrist...

I might just get a bag of balls, drive down to St. Louis, and start flinging them at Adam Wainwright in awkward social situations.

My No-Hitter.

I attended yesterday’s Brewer/Cardinal pitchers duel, and actually managed to see the functional equivalent of a no-hitter as Yovanni Gallardo and Chris Carpenter combined to record 27 outs without allowing a hit through 4.5 innings. It doesn’t count, but it’s still a rare feat.

Carpenter was truly outstanding. By the time Gallardo had thrown his 100th pitch, Carpenter was only at his 60th, and this was not due to careless hacking by the Brewers. Carpenter lived in the strike zone all day, and still, no one could touch him. It was an outstanding performance and I thought I had a real chance to see a perfect game until Counsell managed a seeing-eye single (and was promptly thrown out stealing as part of a botched hit-and-run).

Bill Hall was the unlikely hero, splitting the gap with an opposite field hit in the 10th. We should give credit where credit is due. Hall has been struggling mightily against righties and has just experienced a terrible road trip. He had a good approach in that at-bat and wisely went the other way in a situation where only a single was necessary.

At 2 hours and 26 minutes, this was by far the shortest extra-inning game I’ve ever seen. The crew did a good job to steal this one and to reclaim their division lead. Meanwhile, in Chicago, the Cubs lost their 8th consecutive game.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

When Did The Twins Become Offensive Juggernauts?

The fuck? They've been scoring like mad, even though they only really have two good offensive players. This is very irritating.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Interleague Open Thread

Our long local nightmare is over. The evil reign of Bill Hall getting playing time against right handed pitchers seems to be over. Let us all be thankful that we came out of this i first, and hope that we are stronger for the experience.

2B Craig Counsell
SS JJ Hardy
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
CF Mike Cameron
RF Corey Hart
DH Mat Gamel
3B Casey McGehee
C Jason Kendall
LHP Manny Parra

F' the gophers!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

they should pay ME... watch jeff suppan pitch and bill hall hit with the bases loaded and one out against a right-handed pitcher, down 2.

i started to actually work out the win percentage and probability for every possible outcome if you let bill hall hit there or if you let... say... ANYONE ELSE bat, cuz i'm a dork, and i thought it would make me feel better to be right and have empirical evidence. but you know what? it didn't. cuz halfway through the calc, i realized that it's so damn obvious that you have less chance of winning the game with hall batting there, that everyone knows it. ryan braun knew it! you saw him rolling his eyes and shaking his head through the whole at-bat. ken macha knew it! but he made a promise. roy oswalt knew it! you could tell both by the shit-eating grin on his face and the second-to-last pitch under hall's chin that set up the low-and-away slider that was 80% likely to result in a strikeout and 20% likely to result in a double play. i knew it! because i was actively rooting for the strikeout. hell!!! bill hall knew it! which i'm assuming is why he was running very small laps behind the umpire between each pitch.

for what it's worth, (and please take both my angry-bias and 5 beers into account) i seriously believe the brewers decreased their win percentage by a double digit number with that decision. that wasn't malpractice. it wasn't even sabotage. it was murder. they murdered their chance of winning with that choice.

i'm so worked up over this development that i don't even care if they win the game. the decision was so inexplicably dumb, that anything that comes after it can't redeem it. it's like when your 14 year old daughter tells you she's pregnant with a drug dealer's baby, and then comes home 2 weeks later with straight a's on her report card. it just doesn't matter that much anymore.

I hate Bill Hall

open thread

Gwynn trade to San Diego

The JS is reporting that the Crew traded Tony Gwynn Jr. for outfielder Jody Gerut.

Gerut is batting 221/248/381. Which sucks. But his career numbers are a bit better.

I swear, I was coming around (is taken?)

I was going to write a post yesterday about how much I have been enjoying Ken Macha over the last month.  Clearly some of that is winning (managers are absurdly overrated) but I've also liked his intelligent use of platoons.  Bringing Matt Gamel up (and immediately starting him) was also a pleasant surprise.  Bullpen management is probably the one thing I think falls solely on the manager, and Hoffman has made that job a whole lot easier.  Essentially the Brewers now have four go-to guys in DiFelice, Coffey, Stetter and of course Hoffman (Villanueva for Mark DeRose?) and that is pretty tough to screw up.

I'm glad I waited.  Using Bill Hall last night in the ninth inning against righty Chris Sampson (Hall has a .697 OPS against Sampson) was inexcusable with Counsell on the bench.  My mind was boggled.  To the shock of no one, Hall made a fool of himself in that at bad (the last of his 4 k's on the evening...fully half of the Brewers total) and before he had finished his swing he started jawing at the ump, as though Hall had swung at the two-foot-outside-slider in an effort to quickly end the at bat in order to more quickly start his whining.  Pathetic at bat.

So pathetic in fact, that I thought "finally!  This has GOT to the Hall's last at bat against a righty in a high leverage situation!"  Sadly, no.  Ken Macha pulls a Yost (and inexplicably blasts Brad Nelson in the process);
Brewers manager Ken Macha is giving Bill Hall one last chance to show he can hit right-handed pitching.

Hall is trying to make the most of it.

"It shows he has confidence in me and knows I'm going to right this thing," Hall said. "Everybody in here knows what kind of player I am and what kind of damage I can do, whether it's against right-handers or left-handers.

"It's just one little thing that's going to make it click. I'm trying to find it."

Macha's promise the other day in St. Louis is why Hall batted against Astros right-hander Chris Sampson with two outs in the ninth inning Wednesday, representing the tying run. Hall, whose struggles against righties last season cost him regular playing time, hit against Sampson even though the Brewers had lefty hitter Craig Counsell available on the bench.

"I don't read the paper [don't forget the Internet, skip!] but I'm sure I was getting killed for sending Brad Nelson up there to hit," Macha said, referring to the outfielder who was 0-for-21 before the Brewers cut him loose. "I was giving Brad Nelson every opportunity to be successful in the role he was given here. I'm trying to do that with everybody."

Hall will start again Thursday against Houston right-hander Roy Oswalt. Hall is 14-for-41 against the Astros ace.

"Here's a guy who hit 35 home runs for this club [in 2006]," Macha said. "Could we use that power right now? Absolutely. I don't think we're going to be able to use that power if, every time you turn around, you're pinch-hitting for that guy."
Insanity.  Bill Hall has plummeted to a .195 average against right handed pitching.  He's getting on base at a blistering .295 and slugging a mammoth .338.  His OPS against righties is .633.  Against lefties Hall is a damn God, sporting a 1.147 OPS.  I think you could make the case that his meek swings against right handed pitching is costing Bill Hall money.  It exposes him for the marginal player he really is and is detrimental to his overall career.  Hall has an absolute ton of value as a super sub who can play anywhere against left handed pitching.  As an everyday third basemen Bill Hall is no good.

2006, Ken?  Really?  You know what else was good in 2006?  Lost and mortgage backed securities.  Like Bill Hall they died a quick death as a result of over exposure and improper use.  Reign it in Ken, before you kill a franchise and oversee the collapse of an industry leader!

As to the "heh, people probably bitched when I let that worthless fat bum Brad Nelson hit too" was  that really necessary?  What a dick head comment.

Bill Hall needs to be in a hard platoon.  There is no getting around that fact.  Thankfully, the Brewers have offensive stud Matt Gamel today and the Italian stallion getting ready in AAA. 

Don't overthink it, don't fall on the loyalty sword.  Bill Hall is shit against right handed pitching.  You know it, I know it, Bill Hall knows it. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Yo Roughed up Early

But it's not over yet. It's rally time. I want free burgers over Memorial day Weekend dagnabit.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Open Thread: Bush v. Hampton

The Brewers are probably tired from losing their off day, playing a night game, and then traveling, but with the Crew, one of the things they wake up for is a soft-tossing, over-the-hill lefty. Most of the team hasn’t seen much of Hampton, but the old guard (Kendall, Cameron, Counsell) have excelled at getting on base against the guy. Only Cameron makes the righty-heavy lineup tonight, along with Mike Rivera behind the plate and Casey MCGehee minding the keystone. Braun and Fielder each have 3 ABs against Hampton. Braun has 3 singles. Fielder has 1 HR. If nothing else, this should be interesting.

RF Corey Hart
3B Bill Hall
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
CF Mike Cameron
SS J.J. Hardy
C Mike Rivera
2B Casey McGehee
RHP Dave Bush

What do we think of the the Kalahari Splash Zone? Offensive bastardization? Pointless semi-pandering? Or “getting closer?” I plan on pretending it’s filled with rum, see how that goes.

Go Crew!

Solve the 2B Gap

Weeks is out, which is a shame because he was finally starting to look good at the plate and in the field (second best second basemen according to UZR at the time of his injury).  But we must soldier on.  I think of all the regulars, he will probably be missed the least (aside from Kendall, who I refuse to acknowledge).  That isn't meant to be a knock on him.  Strangely, I think he is also the least easy to readily replace.  If an outfielder got hurt, we'd stick some shitty outfielder in there.  If Fielder got hurt, well, anyone can play first.  Hardy, Escobar.  Hall, the team gets better...etc.

What do we do at second though?  JSOnline had a poll and the readers want Escobar or a platoon (Counsell/McGehee).

I don't want Escobar up there.  He isn't hitting at AAA and he would be a rookie playing a new position for  a division leader.  I don't like it, not now at least.  My "solution" would be to platoon Counsell and McGehee for a few weeks.  If it works, awesome.  If not it gives Escobar time to get at least somewhat comfortable on the right side of the infield and the Stache can call him up in June.

Anyone have better ideas, I hope you do because I am not exactly thrilled with mine.

Speaking of platoons, I'm ready to give Gamel the start against right handed pitchers.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sweep the Cards Open Thread

Gamel went bridge, Braun superman'd into a beautiful grab and the Brewers are up 4-0. Almost makes one forget about the bad news.

Win it for Rickie!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Cardinals Are Birds of "Thin Feathers"

- St. Louis, MO. The Cardinals have made national news lately for their incessant whining about the Milwaukee Brewers tradition of untucking their shirts after a victory. As most people familiar with the controversy know, the tradition is a tribute to Mike Cameron's father, who, after a long day of work would come home and untuck his shirt. Mike took this to be a symbol of a job well done, and the tradition has spread to the team as a whole.

The Cardinals, for reasons known only to them, have taken personal offense to this harmless, noble tradition. I recently decided to spend a few days inside the Cardinal clubhouse using my, uhm, Brewed Sports press pass* to find out exactly what the big deal was. As it turns out, the untucked shirt is just one of the many things that the Cardinal team finds offensive.

"Those bastards eat Twinkies, after every game!" That was an angry Khalil Greene referring to the Florida Marlin infielders Jorge Cantu and Dan Uggla, who enjoy some of the famous Hostess snacks after every game. Greene went on to say that "they'll pay for that lack of respect next time with some chin music. Everyone knows Ding Dongs rule."

2nd baseman Skip Schumaker claims he has been personally effected by the odd quirks of his club. Said Schumaker:

"My real name is Randolpho, but Albert thought is was too showy, and did not display proper respect for the game. I mean, who has ever heard of a player named Randolpho? Anyway, I've been "Skip" ever since."

When asked about Randolpho "Skip" Schumaker, Pujols was guarded. He claimed that while Skip could call himself whatever he wanted, he didn't want anything to detract from the solemn nature and century long tradition of baseball. When asked if he was offended when other players "watched their home runs" as Brewer left-fielder Ryan Braun has been accused of doing, he stated that "Yeah, I do. Ryan doesn't spend nearly enough time admiring" and that "he needs to watch the master to learn how to properly ogle a moonshot." He then said he had to run to talk to catcher "Phil Molina."

Centerfielder Rick Ankiel claimed to have the biggest problem with untucking shirts after games. Ankiel claimed to have never untucked a uniform, having installed a hatch on the seat of his uniform pants for bathroom emergencies. When asked if anything else offended Ankiel he replied "throwing strikes."

Manager Tony LaRussa had his share of odd quirks as well. In his own words:

"I was talking to Charlie Manuel a few years ago, just casual conversation. He said every night he likes to head home from the ball park, get in his recliner, and have a little Jack Daniels to help get to bed. The jerk. Everyone knows you're supposed to drink a lot of Jim Beam while you're driving home."

Other players were just as forthcoming. Pitcher Adam Wainwright is offended whenever anyone ties their shoe on the field, claiming that "they should care more about their equipment when participating in this great game of ours."

Chris Carpenter is offended by unkempt fingernails and the color green. Injured 3rd baseman Troy Glaus hates 14 foot high walls and chicken wings. Pitching coach Dave Duncan claimed that former Cardinal Scott Rolen was shipped out because he owned a poofy dog unbecoming of a baseball player, and "only drank craft beer after games, the pansy." Duncan also claimed that relief pitcher Ryan Franklin was on a short leash, at least until he "got rid of that stupid Prius."

Rookie Colby Rasmus believes that the game has no place for mascots with claws or any entrance music written in a 5/3 time signature. Ryan Ludwick will not "look a sunflower seed chewer directly in the eye" and thinks "the Padres are trying to convert me." Lastly, pitcher Kyle Lohse was greatly offended by tucked in shirts, making him somewhat of an outcast on the team. "That", said Lohse, "and Albert's secret steroid use. Wait, forget that last one."**

Other anonymous Cardinals claimed to take great offense to "teams that play on Tuesdays," Excedrin users, elbow bandages, ice packs, heat packs, gold chains, Simon and Garfunkel, 4-wheel drive, historical fiction, pasta, and Jews.

We followed up our Cardinal observations with a call to Brewer manager Ken Macha who, when asked if anything offended him replied:

"Yeah, losing, and bullshit."

*The Brewed Sports Press Pass is just a piece of paper that says we can make up quotes to make people look bad.

**There is no evidence that Albert Pujols has ever taken a performance enhancing drug, except for everyone who is remotely close to being as good as he is having taken them.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Nice Work Jeff

That's as close to a Yovanni Gallardo impersonation as we're likely to see out of Mr. suppan.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Brad Opts Out

Brad Nelson has opted for free agency, and while I'm a bit sad to see him go, as I think he's fairly talented, this was probably the smart move for him. While he's still young at 26, he is old for a prospect, and he is likely blocked at every position he can play for the foreseeable future as long as he was in the Brewer organization. Even if Corey Hart were to move to center on Mike Cameron's departure, that spot is likely destined for Matt Gamel.

Good luck to Brad. I expect he will be getting a call from a certain Seattle baseball club in the near future.

Anyone else really starting to hate the Cardinals?

The Brewers begin a series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium tonight. As of today, the Brewers and the Cards are tied atop the NL Central at 21-14, so it should be an exciting series. Another reason it should be fun to watch is because of crap like this.

But first it's the Milwaukee Brewers, who are tied with St. Louis atop the National League Central. And who, honestly, are a little bit more fun to beat because of their flamboyant ways.

"Well, they've got a little flair about them that some people don't care for," said closer Ryan Franklin. "But that's just the way they are. So yeah, I think it would be more fun to beat them than it would be the Padres or something, just because of what they do after they beat you."

It's not that the Brewers are bad guys. It's not that this is the Red Sox and Yankees in the 1970s, when players were at one another's throats. But the Brewers are well known around the league to be a little showier about things than some other teams are. And dating back to late 2007, St. Louis and Milwaukee have had the occasional dustup.

This is actually from their game preview on their official website. At first the whole "we're the Cardinals and we 'respect the game'" thing was sort of cute, but now it's just getting absurd. Albert Pujols basically invented watching home runs, and Mike Cameron untucking his shirt has nothing to do with the other team. These guys need to grow up.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Daytime Open Thread

Why work? We've got baseball!

It’s Josh Johnson v. David Bush in the series finale. Mr. Johnson is an enormous righty from Minneapolis. He’s been fantastic this year sporting and ERA+ of 188, and a little, tiny WHIP of 1.080.

Dave Bush is, as always, Dave Bush.

In the lineup, we have a Chris Duffy and a Mike Rivera sighting. It’s worth mentioning that Rivera caught Bush’s near-no-no the other day. Just think what could have been had Jason Kendall and his superior staff-handling ability caught that day. Alas. Here’s your lineup:

2B Rickie Weeks
SS J.J. Hardy
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
CF Mike Cameron
3B Bill Hall
RF Chris Duffy
C Mike Rivera
RHP Dave Bush

Only 4 Brewers have faced Johnson before, with Bill Hall having the greatest success in a very limited sample. Enjoy the game, and the Woot-Off.

One Step Forward...

Mat Gamel has been called up!

The Brewers summoned Gamel, their top offensive prospect, to the majors Wednesday night in anticipation of using the third baseman as their designated hitter in interleague play.

To make room on the roster for Gamel, the Brewers sent reserve outfielder Brad Nelson outright to Class AAA Nashville. Nelson, who was hitless in 21 at-bats this season, including 14 pinch-hit appearances, has the right to decline the assignment and become a free agent.

In the coming weeks, the Brewers have three interleague series on the road, where the designated hitter will be used. The first of those series is May 22-24 in Minnesota.

Rather than wait for those series, the Brewers opted to summon Gamel and let him get his feet get wet with some at-bats off the bench and perhaps an occasional start.

“He’ll probably get some pinch-hits, get acclimated a little bit to the big leagues,” said manager Ken Macha. “He may get a start. We’ll see how that all plays out.

“This kid is probably our best prospect. I don’t think the plan is to have him sitting on the bench.”

General manager Doug Melvin said the decision was made for a two-fold reason: Gamel’s strong offensive showing at Nashville and the lack of production from the young hitters on the bench.

But they always have to accompany it with one step back....

Bill Hall, who has started 27 games at third base, has begun to struggle again against right-handed pitching (.215 batting average). But Melvin said the Gamel move doesn’t signal a platoon or the possibility of trading Hall to open the position.

“We’re not talking about a trade at this point,” said Melvin. “That’s not what this is about.”

Yeah, why would you want to do something that makes sense (and worked so well last year).

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

5/12 Open Thread: Marlins @ Brewers

Game already started, Bonafaccio already has 1 stolen base. I predict six for Juan Pierre-lite in this series.

Brewers Sign Catalanatto

The Brewers signed Frank Catalanatto to a minor league deal today. Lefty bat, career .358 OBP, .449 slugging and a 109 OPS+. He is 34 and has played everywhere. He's to the point now though that he is mainly a corner outfielder. I imagine he will be the first bat off the bench for the Crew at this point.

More importantly, this gives the Brewers some bench depth, and ends the illustrious major league career of Brad Nelson...eventually.

He does have significant splits, however, and should only be used against right handed pitching. Unless something catastrophic happens, he'll be purely a pinch hitter, but he should be an excellent upgrade from Nelson.

Yankee Pricing Follies

From Kottke (via MR):

Option 1: Two tickets to Tuesday night, June 30, Mariners at Yanks, cost for just the tickets, $5,000.

Option 2: Two round-trip airline tickets to Seattle, Friday, Aug. 14, return Sunday the 16th, rental car for three days, two-night double occupancy stay in four-star hotel, two top tickets to both the Saturday and Sunday Yanks-Mariners games, two best-restaurant-in-town dinners for two. Total cost, $2,800. Plus-frequent flyer miles.

Good times.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Match The Lefty!

Below are the names of several left-handed first basemen (and Raul Ibanez, just for kicks), their number of plate appearances against left-handed pitching in 2009, and their line against left-handed pitching in 2009. Can you match the players and the stats?

1. Russell Branyan

2. Ryan Howard

3. Raul Ibanez

4. Prince Fielder

5. Carlos Delgado

6. Justin Morneau

A. 44 PAs, .220/.273/.293

B. 42 PAs, .359/.406/.564

C. 22 PAs, .333/.409/.556

D. 33 PAs, .250/.303/.464

E. 32 PAs, .276/.313/.586

F. 43 PAs, .235/.395/.382

The correct answers will be posted in the comments around 4:00 or so.

Cubs Announcers: Morons

No, not Pat Hughes and Ron Santo. Well, yes, them as well, but we're talking about Bob Brenly and Len Kasper. On Saturday Ryan Braun got hit in the head with a Ryan Dempster pitch. Ryan Braun does not like it when people throw at his head, understandably. In his next at-bat, Ryan Braun hit a ball off of Ryan Dempster that is just landing

As Braun started his home run trot he glared at Dempster just for a second. For anyone with half a brain the message was obvious: "That'll teach you to throw at my head, jerk."

But the Cubs announcers don't have much of a grasp of the obvious. They stated that Braun has acquired a reputation for being "cocky" and that if he continues to show up pitchers by glaring at them, he will experience "another intercostal muscle problem during his next at-bat."

They somehow forgot to mention that Dempster had thrown at (and hit) Braun just two at-bats ago. The message, I suppose, is that if Braun keeps hitting home runs off of pitchers who throw at Braun, that pitchers will keep throwing at Braun. OK.

Goevany Soto should also send Kosuke Fukudome a bouquet of flowers for making such a shitty throw home the other day when Prince Fielder scored from second. If that throw is any better the Cubs are placing yet another player on the DL.

Quick Update:

Apparently that pitch actually hit Braun's bat. I watched it in a bar and to me, it looked like it hit his helmet. Either way it was certainly targeted at his head.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Saturday 5/9/09 Evil @ Good Part 5

Not much chatter in last night's open thread. Understandable for a Friday night. I should be watching the first half of the game at home, so I'll throw up an open thread for the night. It's Gallardo vs. Dempster. Here's the line up:

2B Rickie Weeks
3B Craig Counsel
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
SS JJ Hardy
RF Corey Hart
CF Chris Duffy
C Jason Kendall
RHP Yovani Gallardo

Go Brewers!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Open Thread: Good V. Evil

Evil is in town, and will put some guy just called up from Iowa on the mound because Carlos Zambrano hurt himself bunting. He’s a dandy, that one.

BP has the following on Randy Wells:

“The Cubs gave up too quickly on Wells, who was taken by the Blue Jays in December's Rule 5 draft. While he does not have that one plus-plus offering that makes scouts do a Tex Avery double-take, he mixes and matches well enough to be a league-average reliever and has struck out more than a batter an inning in his minor league career. Once again, the Cubs' focus appeared to be on his ERA, which has been inflated by some high BABIP marks, rather than on his more informative and encouraging peripheral stats.”

So he might not be that bad. Opposing young Mr. Wells will be David Bush, who, if memory serves, is like 1-7 against Evil. Aramis Ramirez, Alfonso Soriano, and Kosuke Fukudome have been particularly Goliath against young David. The lineup is fairly standard:

2B Rickie Weeks
RF Corey Hart
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
CF Mike Cameron
SS J.J. Hardy
3B Bill Hall
C Jason Kendall
RHP Dave Bush

Jason Kendall will be doing the catching, and the not-hitting. By the way, Jason’s Baseball Reference page can be sponsored for only $50. I recommend buying it and writing “KENDALL SUCKS” in huge letters. That way when he reads it, he will realize that he sucks.

Fortunately for the Brewers, Geovany Soto has actually been worse than Kendall. So we got that going for us. Which is nice. (Though his backups have played surprisingly well.)

Enjoy the weekend, and the game.

Trade Jason Kendall

The Yankees need a catcher.  We have a guy who pretends to play catcher.  Perfect.  They're desperate so maybe we can get a washout like Ian Kennedy!

Anthont Witrado is not the only bad writer the JS pays to talk about the Brewers

Worst column ever?

Norm McDonald on Bob Uecker

Apparently Norm McDonald and Bob Uecker are friends.

Yo Dog

It doesn't take a casual reader of Brewers beat writer Anthony Witrado very long to ask why the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel would hire a complete idiot to cover the Brewers. It turns out that Witrado isn't just an idiot, he's also a Dodger fan.

Why let the equivalent of a pitcher hit in the ninth?

I would have preferred Gallardo pinch hit instead of letting Kendall flail away meekly up there.  I understand that the Brewers have a rookie backing him up.  I get that.  How bout we cross that bridge when we tie the game?  At least give the damn team a chance to tie it late in games.  The Brewers are not good enough to give away an out in the ninth inning down a run. 

I'm sort of warming on Macha but this Kendall shit has to stop.  He's had his chance, Macha has given him more than a month to adjust to his (how is it even possible?) constantly slowing bat speed.  He can't.  He is terrible.  Put someone up there who at least has a snowball's chance in hell of tying the baseball game.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ye Olde Opene Threade

First, I'll believe that Brett is staying retired once I see Sage Rosenfels' unsteady hands actually try to give the ball to Adrian Peterson in a regular season game.

Second, Braden Looper faces the excellent hitting Micah Owings tonight. Unfortunately for the Reds, he's pitcher. Here's your lineup:

2B Rickie Weeks
RF Corey Hart
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
CF Mike Cameron
SS JJ Hardy
3B Bill Hall
C Jason Kendall
RHP Braden Looper

Bill Hall is back tonight, as the ground is looking fairly dry. Mike Cameron has 10 career PAs against Owings and has pasted him to the tune of .444/.500/1.444. No one on the team has more than Cameron's 10 PAs against Owings, but in limited action 5 Brewer position players have OPSs over 1.000 against him.

I'll be enjoying most of this game from my car. Enjoy the game.

Go Crew!

That's Just Manny Being Enhanced Manny.

Manny Ramirez was just suspended 50 games for using a performance enhancing substance.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

wooo! hoooooo!

a 5 run lead to start the game... gotta love it... consider this the open thread since one hasn't been posted yet.

Brett Favre blah, blah, blah.

As we all knew this would happen I haven’t really been in the mood to jump all over the story. That said, here’s what I’m looking forward to in the Favre-Viking era:

1. Watching Brett Favre throw 5 interceptions in the Metrodome and being happy about it.

2. Watching Adrian Peterson get pissed off every time Favre audibles to a pass.

3. The inevitable “sex tractor” scandal.

4. Favre will visit Lambeau in early November, which will probably be sort of cold; however, he will get to freeze his butt off at Soldier Field on December 28th.

5. He’s come this far for Darrell Bevell. Can a conversion to Mormonism be far behind?

6. Mark Chmura’s first visit to Lake Wobegon.

7. The confusion that ensues when Favre calls the play “Blue 47, duck, duck, goose” when his teammates expect to hear “Blue 47, duck, duck, grey duck.”

8. The first time someone compares Brett Favre to Jeff George.

9. When he fake-retires again next year and joins the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

10. Beating the Vikings.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Owning The Pirates

It's sort of like owning that skunk farm in The Game Of Life, I suppose. On to the news and notes:

The Bell Tolls For Thee

Trevor Hoffman has been pretty awesome so far, but it’s worth keeping in mind that lefties have really turned into his kryptonite. While he’s been deadly against righties (who are not only hitting a solid .000 against him, but also have not walked against him, have struck out 4 times, and have grounded into a double play), lefties are 3/8 off of Trevor on the young season, and while all of those hits are singles, it does show that lefties don’t have trouble with Hoffman’s change. Last season, Hoffman surrendered a HR every 17 plate appearances against lefties, and while no one has taken him deep yet, they’re still making plenty of contact, as Nate McLouth did last night.

My intent is not to bash Hoffman; he’s done an admirable job. I just want everyone to keep in mind that at some point this season Hoffman is going to face some powerful left-handed hitter in the 9th with men on base, and he’s going to give up a bomb that costs the Brewers the game. This will happen because basically every manager in baseball including Ken Macha believes in magical closer powers. This will also be very predictable and preventable.

Weeks’ New Approach

Of course, Rickie Weeks was the big hero last night (along with Ryan Braun’s dramatic late entrance). Weeks is taking fewer walks this year, a fact that he credits to pitchers throwing him more first-pitch strikes, forcing him to change his approach and take some hacks earlier in the count. Rickie’s numbers appear to support that theory as he’s making good contact more frequently, posting a line drive rate of 21.2% (after posting rates of 15% and 17% over the last two seasons. Hopefully he can keep this up.

Matt LaPorta Goes Deep

The biggest sacrifice in the Brewers playoff run last year was parting with prospect Matt LaPorta, who collected his first major league hit yesterday, a two-run homer which tied the score. The Indians eventually went on to win the game.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Don't look now...

but the Brewers are in second in the NL central and have won 8 of their last 10. If the playoffs started tomorrow, we'd be tied with the Phillies for the wild card! I know, it's way too early to be saying stuff like that, but after the rocky start, it's nice to look at the standings and smile. And Suppan went 6.1 innings allowing 6 hits, 1 solo dinger and no walks. He even struck out three! That's like... pretty okay-ish. The real key to this win though was the offense. I know, they didn't score much until late in the game. But what they did do, is have quality at bats and drive up a young pitcher's pitch count and get him out of the game. It's great to see.