Weight off the shoulders

So we can finally let out a sigh of relief; the Brewers have their first road win against the Reds, and – big surprise – it came on the back of Zack Greinke.

Greinke didn’t have his best stuff tonight, not by a long shot.  His three walks equaled the number of walks he’d given up collectively in his prior five starts, and he scattered six hits over six innings to boot.

Greinke hit it on the head in the postgame presser when he noted that his slider was the only thing really working, as demonstrated on Brooks Baseball’s strikezone plot (most of the swinging strikes are sliders):

But you can see Greinke also did a good job keeping the ball down, and managed a lot of called strikes/fouls with his fastballs, even if they were not very well located (not much around the corners, is there?).  And then there’s always the bottom line; although Greinke loaded the bases in the fourth, he allowed only two runs.  In other words, he battled and managed to give the Brewers just enough to pull through.

Tomorrow Shaun Marcum looks to build on his exceptional season (6-2, 2.80 ERA, 3.94 K/BB).  It’s a big game, if only because it gives the Crew a series win on the road and some momentum heading into a four-game series against the red-hot Marlins (30-22).

One last thing:  If you missed WTMJ’s interview with outfielder Nyjer Morgan, it was one for the ages.  Not only did he repeatedly refer to the top of the lineup as “tallywhackers,” but he reminded the audience that the “boys on the bottom can but a little tail too.”  He also claimed a voodoo doll was responsible for his repeated DL stints; sounds like he’s waiting for the other shoe to drop.  He’s been super productive in limited time (.341/.372/.512), so hopefully he manages to avoid any bad karma.

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