Nothing happened yesterday

By Nathan Petrashek (@npetrashek)

Well, yesterday was pretty ho-hum around Milwaukee.  I mean, pretty much nothing of any significance at all happened, so I don’t know what all the fuss is about.

It’s not like suspensions from the Easter massacre were announced.  Martin Maldonado didn’t receive a five-game suspension and begin serving it immediately.  Carlos Gomez wasn’t slapped with three games pending his appeal.  On the Pirates side, it wasn’t two games for Travis Snider and one game for Russell Martin.  And Gerritt Cole, who instigated the fracas, didn’t get anything.  Wait a minute …

As for Johnny Hellweg, he’s going to be fine.  Sure, the Brewers’ number four prospect (Baseball America) has a torn ulnar collateral ligament, but who doesn’t now days?  I’m sure the second opinion he’s getting from noted Tommy John doc James Andrews will show he’ll be good as new with rest and Advil.

And the Brewers certainly didn’t play an extra-innings affair which they lost to the Padres, 2-1, in the 12th.  Hopefully tonight a stymied Brewers offense will be among other stuff that doesn’t happen.  It’s Kyle Lohse versus Tyson Ross at 7:10.

 

Unlucky Number 4

by Kevin Kimmes

The number 4 seems to carry with it, a very vexing connotation in Wisconsin sports lore, and as of yesterday, the number has reared it’s ugly head again. With no disrespect to Paul Molitor, who’s number 4 was retired by the Brewers in 1999, the number is best known to carry hurt feelings over a former NFL quarterback named Burt something-or-another. However, as of last night, it has become the “Magic Number” for the St Louis Cardinals.

With Milwaukee’s’ loss to the Cincinnati Reds and St Louis’ win over the hapless Houston Astros,  it appears that the clock may be quickly approaching midnight on the Cinderella story that was the Brewers’ post season push. Now, is this to say that all hope is lost for the Crew? Absolutely not. Hell, it’s baseball, and if I’ve learned anything from watching the game over the years it is that just when things seem to be at their bleakest, the baseball gods have a funny way of throwing a 12-6 curveball that reshuffles the status quo.

If the Cardinals win today, again, DO NOT PANIC! They will pick up a win, maybe 2, over a lesser club like Houston. It’s just the way it is. The positive is that while Milwaukee may struggle with the Reds, they finish at home with 3 games each against the Astros and Padres, while St Louis will be at home taking on 2 teams that are contenders, the Nationals and Reds.

The Brewers can pull this out. It may however come down to sweeping these final 8 games to do it. Fans I ask one favor of you, don’t stop Brewlieving!

The Bats Awaken

Before last night, the Brewers hadn’t scored more than six runs since April 22, a full 16 games.  Lacking offense, the Brewers stumbled badly during a disappointing 2-8 roadtrip against the Braves, Astros, and Cardinals, wasting respectable outings from Wolf, Marcum and Narveson in the process.  The team hit just .171 and scored only 17 runs on the trip.

Even a home game on Monday, their first in three series, couldn’t snap the Brewers out of their offensive funk.  They won the game behind superb pitching from Zack Greinke, but only four runs managed to cross the plate.  Weeks and Lucroy were the only starters to contribute RBIs.

weeks hr.jpegYesterday, though, the skies opened.  The most remarkable thing about the Brewers’ 8-6 defeat of the Padres is that not one Brewer hit a home run.  They’ve had that problem lately, further reinforcing this team’s image as a home-run club.  And as Bernie’s Crew pointed out, the team is trying to swing their way back into contention.

We have seen some very positive things, though, out of some players with question marks coming into the season.  Despite their recent struggles, there’s no doubt guys like Braun and Fielder are going to hit.  Indeed, they’ve provided the majority of the offense for the Brewers’ so far, knocking in 51 of the Brewers’ 134 total runs (nearly 40%).

But Weeks, Lucroy, and even Carlos Gomez have demonstrated that this is not a two-man show.

Weeks, whose breakout season came last year after he was finally healthy for a full campaign, is excelling once again as the Brewers’ leadoff man, hitting .291 with a .361 OBP.  He puts pop at the top of the lineup, too, with seven HR.  If last year was no fluke, the Brewers will be very happy having Weeks around for the next four years.

Lucroy, surprisingly, has the highest average of any starter on the team.  I say “surprisingly” because although we all suspected he could hit, he batted only .253 last season.  Lucroy is roaring after starting the season on the DL, though, hitting .324.  And some of those hits have come at key times, too; four of Lucroy’s ten RBI came in Monday’s and Tuesday’s games against the Padres, and essentially decided the contests.

I know Gomez is still an object of scorn, but even his detractors have to recognize that he’s exercising more patience at the plate and squaring around on the ball.  He has a modest four-game hitting streak going, during which he’s raised his average from .226 to .242.  Gomez has almost as many walks so far in May (4) as he had in all of April (5).  Good thing, too; with Nyjer Morgan again on the DL, this team needs his bat.