Posts Tagged ‘Seth McClung’

Minor Moves Highlight Monday In Baseball

February 2, 2010

Yesterday was my first day at my new job. First days at a new company are always fascinating. Everybody is your best friend, you do the typical HR stuff, and all the papers on your desk are all in a neat pile.

By the end of the week, you become less popular and all the papers on your desk look like a tornado (Kerry Von Erich perhaps?) just hit it. However, it took me just one day to become the least popular guy in the office.

During lunch I decided to buy a box in the company’s Super Bowl pool. And on cue, I draw the numbers four and seven. The Holy Grail of Super Bowl numbers.

I felt like George Costanza when he gave the going away speech on his first day when he was working on the Penske File. Everyone was like “Who is this guy?”

While I started a job on Monday, there were a lot of baseball players who either found a new home or were left looking for a new job or in one players case, found and a new home and in a matter of hours, needed a new home.

Here are some of the minor moves that took place on Monday.

Florida Marlins sign Seth McClung. The Marlins are desperate for bullpen help, so signing McClung to a minor league deal makes sense. McClung finished with a 4.94 ERA in 62 innings for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2009.

In order for McClung to be effective, he needs to lower his walks. He almost had a one-to-one (39 BB’s/40K’s)  strike out to walk ratio in 2009. His WHIP and ERA have increased three years in a row.

Garko has a new home in Seattle

Seattle Mariners sign Ryan Garko. The Mariners signed Garko to a one-year, $550,000 contract on Monday. Garko had two productive years in 2007 and 2008 for the Cleveland Indians, but didn’t do much for the San Francisco Giants when they acquired him in July.

Garko hit only .235 with two home runs in 127 AB’s with the Giants last year. Look for Garko to be the Mariners pinch-hitter off the bench against left-handed pitching.

San Francisco Giants sign Horacio Ramirez and Byung-Hyun Kim. The Giants signed Ramirez to a minor league contract. Remember when the lefty was considered the next great Atlanta Braves starter? Yeah, that was a long time ago.

Injuries have derailed Ramirez’s career and he has been toiling in mediocrity with the Seattle Mariners, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, and Washington Nationals.

I would be very surprised if he made the Giants’ Opening Day roster.

Kim hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2007 and quite frankly, I didn’t even realize he retired. No matter what Kim accomplished in the majors, he will always be remembered for giving up those home runs in back-to-back games in the World Series against the New York Yankees.

I thought he would retire on the mound right then and there. That was brutal to watch.

Oakland A’s sign Gabe Gross. Another day, another outfielder on the A’s roster. It seems like the A’s have 10 outfielders on their roster.

The former University of Auburn quarterback hit .227 with six home runs and a .326 OBP in 115 games with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2009. Gross could be the A’s fourth outfielder in 2010 and his signing could spell the end for Travis Buck in Oakland.

Oakland A’s trade Aaron Miles and a PTBNL to the Cincinnati Reds for Willy Taveras and Adam Rosales. The Reds needed to shed payroll in order to sign Orlando Cabrera, so they shipped Taveras to Oakland. Taveras’ stay with Oakland lasted about two minutes as the A’s promptly designated him for assignment.

These things happen when you have a .559 OPS.

Miles, who was traded to Oakland along with Jake Fox from the Chicago Cubs earlier this offseason, is expected to be Brandon Phillips’ primary backup next season.

One guy who didn’t sign yesterday was Johnny Damon. I got to be honest, I like Damon a lot, but I can’t take it anymore with him this offseason.

It’s getting very annoying reading article after article about what teams may or may not have an interest in him. Just sign with a team, cut your losses, and get it over with.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Angels Miss In The Bullpen Again, Sign Fernando Rodney

December 23, 2009

In my opinion there are five divisions for closers.

There is the Dennis Eckersley division which is your very top-tier closers like Mariano Rivera and Joe Nathan.

There is the Tom Henke division which are just under the top-tier closers, but are very solid like Francisco Cordero.

There is the Jeff Montgomery division which are your no frills and no thrills closers, but usually get the job done like Huston Street.

There is the Armando Benitez division for closers who will put you through the ringer and are much suited to be eighth inning guys like Carlos Marmol.

Lastly, there is the Al Reyes division which are for closers who are thrust into the closer job because the team they are playing for has no other options. They become the closer by default like Fernando Rodney.

Lets stick with Rodney here for a second shall we?

I have never been a fan of Rodney. I don’t know the guy personally, but it really comes down to the fact that I have never thought he was good pitcher.

Rodney doesn't make the Angels better

Last year, Rodney moved into the Al Reyes division of closers because the Detroit Tigers really had no other options going into the season. Their best option other than Rodney was Brandon Lyon and as we all know, he can’t close.

Rodney was able to rack up 37 saves, but posted his usually mediocre ERA in the mid-four’s (4.40 to be exact). Over the last three years, Rodney’s ERA is 4.48, which is nothing special.

However, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim thought Rodney was special today. The Angels signed Rodney today to a two-year, $11 million contract.

You know in football when they say if you have two quarterbacks going into training camp, you really have none? Well, the Angels have two closers now going into spring training, but really have none.

The Angels now have Rodney and Brian Fuentes at the back-end of their bullpen and neither of them should be closing games on a World Series contending team. Rodney doesn’t solve the Angels’ bullpen problems–he adds to it.

Just because a guy racks up a lot of saves, doesn’t make him a good pitcher. If the Angels wanted to bring in a mediocre right-handed reliever, they would have been better off signing D.J Carrasco or Seth McClung.

Either of those pitchers would have cost the Angels less money.

And is one more thing I learned about Rodney today. He is 32-years-old! I had no idea he was that old. His age makes this signing even worse for the Angels.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Which Players Were Non-Tendered Contracts Last Night?

December 13, 2009

Last night at 11:59 pm est was the deadline for major league teams to offer players with less than six years service time contracts. These players are often referred to as tendered or non-tendered players.

Here is the list of players last night who were non-tendered a contract:

Kelly Johnson, Atlanta Braves. In my free agent primer, I had Johnson has my biggest non-tender sleeper. I think he has a lot to offer a team.

In 07′ he had an .831 OPS and in 08′ he had .795 OPS. In 09′, he was put in Bobby Cox’s doghouse. I think he could have a bounce back 2010 if given the opportunity. He would make sense with the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, or the Minnesota Twins.

Jack Cust, Oakland A’s. Cust is a classic “Moneyball” player–lots of walks, lots of strike outs, lots of home runs, and can’t play defense. Cust hit 22 out of his 25 HR’s last year against right-handed pitching.

Cust could sign with a team as a left-handed power hitter off the bench.

Garrett Atkins, Colorado Rockies. Atkins was non-tendered a contract on his birthday. That hurts.

Atkins’ OPS has dropped four years in a row and now can probably latch on to a team as a backup 1B/3B off the bench. He could be a fit with the Twins.

Wang was non-tendered last night

Chien-Ming Wang, New York Yankees. Wang really hasn’t been the same since he hurt his foot running the bases in Houston a year and a half ago.

At 29, Wang should have something left. I would say there is a 75 percent chance he ends up with the Dodgers and Joe Torre. The other 25 percent says he ends up with the Yankees on a minor league deal.

Jonny Gomes, Cincinnati Reds. All Gomes did with the Reds in 2009 was hit 20 HR’s and had an .879 OPS in just 98 games–now he is out of a job.

Gomes crushes left-handed pitching (.914 OPS in 2009) and it wouldn’t shock me if he returned to the Reds on a discounted deal in 2010.

Jose Arredondo, Matt Brown, and Dustin Moseley, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. I am very surprised the Angels would give up on this 25-year-old. It was reported yesterday that Arredondo would need Tommy John surgery and would miss the entire 2010 season.

A team will sign him and store him away until he is ready in 2011. He is too good of a talent not to be given a chance.

D.J. Carrasco, Chicago White Sox. Carrasco had a 3.76 ERA with the White Sox in 2009, but his peripherals weren’t great–9.9 hits/9, 1.41 WHIP.

There is a shortage of pitching in baseball, so he should get a chance somewhere.

Ryan Garko, San Francisco Giants. When Garko slugged 21 HR’s in 2007, he looked like he could be a very good first baseman for a long period of time.

Garko was traded to the Giants near the July 31st trading deadline last year and really provided no offense for the Giants. He hit .235 with just two HR’s in 40 games.

Ryan Langerhans, Seattle Mariners. Langerhans played in 38 games with the Mariners last year and hit just .218. He has always been a good OBP guy.

Brian Anderson, Boston Red Sox. Anderson was once a top prospect with the White Sox. Now he is a fringe major league player.

Brian Bass, Baltimore Orioles. Bass had a 4.90 ERA in 48 games out of the pen for the Orioles in 2009. He is probably looking at a minor league contract.

Neal Cotts, Chicago Cubs. Cotts had Tommy John surgery in July of this year. He will probably be ready to pitch again in the 2011 season.

Alfredo Amezaga, Florida Marlins. Amezaga played all three OF positions and SS for the Marlins in 2009. He is a career .251 hitter over eight seasons in the major leagues.

Raul Chavez, Toronto Blue Jays. Chavez hit .258 in 168 AB’s with the Blue Jays in 2009. I am sure he will get a two-year contract somewhere as that is the trend for mediocre catchers these days.

Clay Condrey, Philadelphia Phillies. Condrey–no relation to Dennis Condrey of the Midnight Express tag-team back in the 80’s–has posted an ERA below 3.26 the last two years.

Gabe Gross and Shawn Riggans, Tampa Bay Rays. Gross, the former University of Auburn QB, hit .227 in 115 games for the Rays in 2009. Gross should get a bench job somewhere.

Mike MacDougal and Scott Olsen, Washington Nationals. MacDougal found a second life with the Nationals in 2009 and ultimately became their closer.

MacDougal had 20 saves and a respectable 3.60 ERA, but his one-to-one walk to strike out ratio is not impressive at all. He should get a chance with a small market team.

Injuries and some off the field issues have really hurt Olsen’s career so far. Since everyone loves a lefty, he should get a minor league deal.

Tim Redding, Lance Broadway, Jeremy Reed, and Cory Sullivan, New York Mets. Redding has pitched eight years in the majors and has never been good. This might be the end of the road for him

Like Brian Anderson above, Reed was once a top center field prospect. He might get a job as a defensive replacement somewhere.

Mark DeFelice, Mike Rivera, and Seth McClung, Milwaukee Brewers. I like McClung–especially as a reliever. Once the Brewers were forced to put him in a starting role last year that’s when all hell broke loose.

McClung should get plenty of interest as a reliever.

Mark Worrell and Jackson Quezada, San Diego Padres. I can honestly say I have never heard of Jackson Quezada before. I am not even going to try to lie and write like I know something about him.

John Buck and Josh Anderson, Kansas City Royals. Buck looks like a better player than he is. In eight seasons with the Royals, Buck hit .235 with seven HR’s in over 2,000 AB’s.

Matt Capps and Phil Dumatrait, Pittsburgh Pirates. After having solid 2007 and 2008 seasons, Capps really fell off in 2009. Capps had a 5.80 ERA and registered the highest BB/9 rate of his career (2.8/9).

Capps should see interest

He also registered the highest K/9 of his career as well (7.6/9). Perhaps Capps just needs a change of scenery. Once he finds that change of scenery, expect Capps to be a set-up man not a closer.

Dumatrait was once a first-round pick of the Red Sox back in 2000. He has a 7.06 ERA in three major league seasons.

Adam Miller, Jose Veras, and Anthony Reyes, Cleveland Indians. What a sad story Adam Miller is. As late as 2008, Miller was the Indians’ top prospect. But a hand injury has pretty much stopped his once promising career.

Veras could end up back with the Yankees on a minor league deal. Veras pitched with the Yankees for four years compiling a 4.47 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP in 103.2 innings.

There are a lot of players on this list who can help a team in 2010. Now that the non-tenders are on the market, I think we will see activity really pick up.

I think a lot of teams were waiting to see who was non-tendered before they made a move.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Cubs vs Brewers…

May 10, 2009

Today’s live game blog is between NL Central rivals, the Chicago Cubs vs the Milwaukee Brewers. We should get a good pitching matchup tonight as Ryan Dempster (2-1, 4.86 era) squares off against Brewers’ ace Yovani Gallardo (3-1, 3.02era). This will be the Cubs first game without Aramis Ramirez who suffered a dislocated left shoulder in Friday night’s game against the Brewers.

Game – Chicago Cubs vs Milwaukee Brewers

Date – 5/9/09

Starting Lineups

Cubs

1. Soriano, LF

2. Theriot, SS

3. Fukudome, CF

4. Bradley, RF

5. Hoffpauir, 1B

6. Soto, C

7. Fontenot, 2B

8. Scales, 3B

9. Dempster, P

Brewers

1. Weeks, 2B

2. Counsell, 3B

3. Braun, LF

4. Fielder, 1B

5. Hardy, SS

6. Hart, RF

7. Duffy, CF

8. Kendell, C

9. Gallardo, P

Top 1st

First pitch of the game to Soriano is a curveball high for ball 1. Looks to be a pretty good atmosphere in Milwaukee as the stadium is sold out for this one. This Cubs’ lineup looks really weak without Ramirez and Lee.

On a 3-2 count, Gallardo paints the black with a fastball to strike out Soriano. Perfect pitch.

Gallardo gets back to back K’s as Theriot strikes out on a curveball in the dirt. Gallardo has thrown 5 curves so far this game and none of them have been for strikes. Theriot should have been sitting on a fastball and should have been laying off the curve.

Fukudome works a walk. Again, 2 curveballs thrown and still none for a strike.

Bradley grounds weakly to Weeks to end the inning.

Bottom 1st

One of the great things about the baseball package is that you get to see commercials from other cities. Apparently the Piggly Wiggly is a big sponsor of the Brewers. That is just funny to me.

Weeks K’s on a slider about 2 feet outside the strike zone.

Counsell, who it seems like has been in the majors since 1980 ropes an opposite field single to left.

Braun is a beast!!! Braun rips a mediocre fastball into the gap in left center and Counsell scores all the way from 1st. 1-0 Brewers. If the relay throw from SS had been on the money, Counsell would have been out at home.

On the very next pitch, Braun attempts to steal 3rd and Soto throws the ball into LF. Braun scores to make it 2-0. If the Cubs make 2 good throws, they are out of the inning with no damage.

Fielder K’s on just a terrible AB.

Hardy K’s as well to end the inning.

So despite striking out the side, Dempster gives up 2 runs on 2 hits.

After 1, 2-0 Brewers.

Top 2nd

Hoffpauir starts off the inning with a double to right. That ball was smoked. Hoffpauir really needs to learn how to play the OF. When Lee comes back, Hoffpauir will sit on the bench and he has too good a bat to be sitting on the bench.

Soto singles to left and now it is 1st and3rd with nobody out for Fontenot.

Gallardo paints the black again as he strikes out Fontenot on a 94 mph fastball. Another perfect pitch from Gallardo.

Up comes Bobby Scales who spent 11 years in the minors. Wow, that is a lot of bus rides. Scales didn’t see fastballs like the one he just saw from Gallardo. 94 at his eyes. Scales K’s to make it 2 outs. Big out right there because now the pitcher is up.

Dempster flies out to center and despite having 1st and 3rd with nobody out, the Cubs don’t score.

Still 2-0 nothing Brewers heading into the bottom of the 2nd.

Bottom 2nd

The Brewers’ sideline reporter is named Telly Hughes. If that isn’t a perfect name for a reporter, I don’t know what is. It sounds like he should have been a character in Anchorman.

Hart goes down looking on strikes. This game has been a strikeout fest so far.

Duffy hits one back to the mound and now there are 2 outs.

Kendell strikes out but because the pitch he swung at was 3 feet outside and in the dirt, the ball got by Soto. Kendell is on at 1st. Big play there because it clears the pitcher for next inning. However, Gallardo is not a joke at the plate. He is the anti-Al Leiter.

Gallardo strikes out to end the inning. That is 6 K’s now for Dempster.

After 2, it is still 2-0 Brewers

Top 3rd

Gallardo finally has got his curve working as he throws a wicked one to Soriano to strike him out. 5 K’s for Gallardo.

Gallardo walks Theriot. Those are the types of walks that anger managers. Throw strikes to guys like Theriot. What is the worst he can do? Single to left? Can’t walk a guy like that. Have to let him beat you with the bat.

Fukudome flies to left and now there are 2 outs.

Ok, do you know want to know why pitchers no longer throw complete games? It’s because the strike zone is the size of a shoe box. Gallardo just threw 2 pitches to Bradley that were right down the middle and called balls. All these things like K-Zone and Questech have hurt the game. Umpires are scared to call strikes because they are graded by these stupid machines.

Instead of being out of the inning, Gallardo is now forced to throw more pitches adding to his pitch count. RIDICULOUS.

However, no damage was done as Hoffpauir flies out to center.

Bottom 3rd

Weeks leads off the inning with a single in the hole between SS and 3B. Weeks is looking like he is finally coming into his own this year.

Dempster just threw a 2-1 splitter to Counsell. Are you kidding me? CHALLENGE HIM!!! I really wonder what is going threw the head of pitchers and catchers sometimes. Counsell walks and now it is 1st and 2nd with nobody out for Braun. Dempster is digging himself a nice hole here.

Braun walks on a pitch that was probably a strike. Got to love Questech.

Fielder hits a HIGH fly ball to center that is deep enough to score Weeks from 3rd. 3-0 Brewers.

Hardy pops one up and Soto reaches into the stands to make the catch. Way to help your team out Brewers fans.

Wow, what a play!!! Hart rips one off of Dempster’s shoulder, the ball goes over 2B, Fontenot gets to the ball and makes an off balance throw to get Hart. Really great play. Saved a run

That inning could have been a lot worse for Dempster. 3-0 Brewers after 3.

Top 4th

Soto down looking on K’s. Home plate umpire Jerry Crawford’s strike zone is all over the place.

Fontenot hits one past Fielder and down the RF line. Fontenot at 2B with a double. Hart got to that ball quickly and made the play at 2B a lot closer than it should have been.

Both teams are giving Jerry Crawford a piece of their mind. I know Crawford is a very good umpire, but tonight he is having a bad night.

Scales pops out to Counsell in foul territory for the 2nd out.

On a 1-1 count, Gallardo threw Dempster a curveball. My head is going to explode. Wow, Gallardo just walked Dempster. That is a no-no.

Gallardo strikes out Soriano to end the threat. It wasn’t a very good AB by Soriano as he went up there swinging at everything.

Bottom 4th

Dempster strikes out Duffy to start the inning.

Dempster won’t be winning the Gold Glove anytime soon. Kendell hits a ground ball back to him, the ball pops off his glove, he panics and then throws the ball into RF. Kendell on 2nd.

Gallardo ropes the ball, but right to Theriot at SS for the 2nd out. No chance of a double play.

Weeks, showing great patience at the plate draws a walk. Again, Dempster finds himself in trouble.

Dempster is dodging bullets as Counsell flies out to Fukudome in CF

We head to the 5th with the Brewers leading the Cubs, 3-0

Top 5th

Gallardo has thrown 89 pitches so far so he needs a quick inning in order to stay in the game longer

Theriot grounds out to Counsell at 3B for the 1st out.

Fukudome lines one to Hardy for the 2nd out. The Cubs are doing Gallardo and the Brewers a favor right now.

Bradley bloops one between Duffy and Hart for a single.

Hoffpauir blasts one over the RF fence for a 2-run HR. If you wanted the definition of a “bloop and a blast” that was it. The Cubs need to find a way to get Hoffpauir’s bat in the lineup everyday. He can flat out hit.

Gallardo bounces back and strikes out Soto to end the inning.

The Cubs get back in the game and it is now 3-2 Brewers.

Bottom 5th

Braun gets hit in the helmet with a Dempster changeup. That might have been the least scary player hit in the head moment in baseball. Braun got hit in the head and acted like nothing happened.

For some odd reason Braun tries to steal 2nd with Fielder at the plate and he gets throw out by 5 feet. I think Braun is a great player, but that was a bad baseball play. To say Ken Macha looks displeased would be the understatement of the century.

Fielder strikes out for the 2nd out of the inning.

Hardy pops out to Fukudome in CF to end the inning.

Dempster keeps dodging bullets and after 5 it is 3-2 Brewers.

Top 6th

I am getting the sense that this is one of those games where the Brewers keep the Cubs in the game by stranding runner after runner and the Cubs find a way to steal it in the end. I am getting that feeling.

Seth McClung comes into the game to replace Gallardo. Gallardo walked 4 and struck out 7 in 5 innings. Not Gallardo’s best performance but he does leave with a lead.

McClung gets Fontenot swinging for the 1st out.

Scales flies out to Hart in right for the 2nd out of the inning.

McClung makes quick work of Dempster and strikes him out on 3 pitches.

A nice inning by McClung.

Bottom 6th

Hart pops up to Hoffpauir in foul territory for the 1st out.

Duffy lines out to Fukudome in center for the 2nd out.

Kendell grounds one off of a diving Hoffpauir’s glove for a single.

McClung strikes out to end the inning.

After 6 in the books, it is still 3-2 Brewers.

Top 7th

It was just announced that this game is the Brewers’ 7th shutout of the season. The Brewers are starting to become the success model for small market teams.

McClung still in there and gets Soriano to ground to Counsell for the 1st out.

Theriot works a walk and is on 1st with Fukudome coming to the plate. As my summer league coach used to say….”Oh those bases on balls.”

Fukudome gets a broken bat single to right. Theriot goes to 3rd. The Cubs are set up now with 1st and 3rd with 1 out and Bradley coming to the plate.

Bradley walks and Macha is gonna make the call to the pen.

Lefty specialist, Mitch Stetter comes in to face Hoffpauir. Talk about being thrown into the fire.

Good morning, good afternoon and good night to Hoffpauir. 3 pitches and Hoffpauir is done. Macha comes out again to make another pitching change. Not a bad day at the office for Stetter. 1 batter faced, 3 strikes and 1 out.

Carlos Villanueva is summoned out of the pen to face Soto. Big spot here.

On a 2-2 pitch, Villanueva throws a perfect curve on the outside corner but thanks to Jerry Crawford’s ever shrinking strike zone it is called a ball. Just terrible.

Thankfully for the Brewers, Crawford’s terrible call didn’t cost them because Soto grounds to 3rd to end the inning.

Bottom 7th

Dempster still in there despite throwing 110 pitches. I like it. Old school baseball. I was watching Game 4 of the 1983 ALCS between the Orioles and White Sox on the MLB Network this morning and Brit Burns threw 150 pitches in that game. The legendary Brit Burns was throwing 150 pitches back in the day. Amazing how much the game has changed. 

Braun was a beast on Saturday

Braun was a beast on Saturday

Weeks flies out to Fukudome for the first out.

Craig Counsell turns on a fastball and hits it out for a HR. That ball barely made it over the right field fence. That was his first HR since June 17th of last year. Counsell now has more HR’s than David Ortiz. I am just sayin’.

It’s back to back at Miller Park as Braun crushes one to LF. I guess that was payback for getting hit in the head. 5-2 Brewers.  

Neal Cotts comes in to replace Dempster and promptly walks Fielder on 5 pitches. I already see the fumes coming out of Piniella’s ears.

Hardy smacks one up the middle for a base hit. Theriot got a glove on it but was only able to knock the ball down. 1st and 2nd and still only 1 out.

Cotts night is done. Piniella looks like he wants to punch Cotts as he approaches the mound to take the ball.

David Patton gets the call from the pen to face Hart and is greeting by a single up the middle scoring Fielder. 6-2 Brewers. I thought the Cubs’ bullpen was supposed to be a strength this year? Guess not.

Duffy grounds to Hoffpauir and Hoffpauir gets the force at 2nd. 1st and 3rd with 2 outs now.

Kendell bloops one to left for a single and Hardy scores to make it 7-2 Brewers.

Brad Nelson is called upon to pinch hit for the pitcher. He looks like a poor man’s Matt Stairs. Nelson came into the AB 0-20 on the season and on a 3-2 count, Patton throws him a curveball. What??? The guy is 0-20!!! Throw him a fastball. Makes zero sense.

Bases loaded now for Weeks. I have Weeks on one of my fantasy teams, so I am hoping for a big fly here. I will settle for a single. Duffy scores to make it 8-2 Brewers. This has turned into a route.

9-2 Brewers as Patton throws one that gets by Soto. I guess my feeling that the Cubs might win this game was a little off.

Scales makes a nice play on Counsell to end the inning.

But the damage was done. 6 runs on 6 hits and after 7 it is now 9-2 Brewers

Top 8th

If anyone is in the Milwaukee area this weekend, the Piggly Wiggly has a sale on Tombstone Pizza. 4 for $10. I think that is a pretty good deal.

Jorge Julio is on to pitch for the Brewers so this game isn’t over yet.

That’s what you want to see from your reliever if you are Ken Macha. Up 9-2 and Julio walks the first batter. Good times if you are Macha. Fontenot on 1st.

Julio redeems himself by stricking out Scales.

Aaron Miles comes up to bat for Patton. Miles hits a ball up the middle but Weeks slides to his right, backhands the ball and flips to Hardy for the force out. Great play by Weeks.

Soriano gets a broken bat single down the left field line. Miles goes to 3rd and it’s 1st and3rd with 2 outs.

Julio drills Theriot right in the ribs. That is going to leave a mark in the morning. Bases loaded now for the Cubs.

Julio throws a 55 ft slider in the dirt that gets by Kendell. Fontenot scores to make it 9-3 Brewers.

Like I said, this game isn’t over yet. Fukudome crushes one to center for a 2 run double. It is now 9-5 Brewers. I am sorry, but if you can’t protect a 9-2 lead, you shouldn’t be pitching in the major leagues.

Big Todd Coffey is on to pitch. Well this is strange. The lights just went out at Miller Park. Half the stadium lights went off. Great, only when I am blogging does stuff like this happen.

Right now the game is delayed. Faaaaaaaaaaantastic.

Well, that wasn’t so bad. We are back and so are the Cubs’ bats. Bradley hits one to deeeeeeeeep center for a double. Fukudome scores to make it 9-6.

Coffey strikes out Hoffpauir to end the inning.

The Cubs are trying to make a comeback as they score 4 runs to make it a 9-6 game

Bottom 8th

Chad Fox is the next pitcher out for the Cubs. Really? Chad Fox? These are desperate times for the Cubs.

Glallardo got the win on Saturday

Gallardo got the win on Saturday

Braun walks to lead off the inning. Your team just scores 4 runs to make it 9-6 and you walk the first batter of the inning. Unreal. A wild pitch advances Braun to 2nd.

Fox, who is coming back from 2 Tommy John surgeries, throws 3 pitches to Fielder and has to come out of the game. Looks like he hurt his arm again. Perhaps that was the last pitch in Fox’s career. 

Aaron Heilman will take over for Fox. Right now every Met’s fan reading this just cringed. Heilman coming in with a 3-0 count walks Fielder. That walk will be charged to Fox.

Hardy walks and now the bases are loaded. Piniella looks about as happy as Mets’ fans looked when they saw Heilman enter the game.

Oh boy. Heilman just walked Hart to force in a run. Braun scores to make the score 10-6. Still nobody out.

Duffy single to center and Fielder scores to make it 11-6 Brewers. I don’t think Heilman is winning any brownie points with Piniella at this point.

Kendell hits a sacrafice fly to right that scores Hardy. 12-6 Brewers.

Coffey down on strikes. 2 outs

Weeks strikes out to thankfully end this inning. That was brutal to watch.

The Brewers tack on 3 more to make it 12-6 after 8.

Top 9th

Soto starts the 9th with a single to left. This game is now 4 hours long. Good times.

Fontenot grounds into a 4-6-3 double play. Nicely turned by Weeks and Hardy. 2 outs.

Scales lines one to center that Duffy dives for and traps. A single for Scales. This game will never end.

Reed Johnson enters the game as a pinch hitter. Braun makes a diving catch in left to end the game.

The Brewers win this marathon 12-6. With this win the Brewers improve to 18-13, while the Cubs fall to 16-14. If the Cubs want to win the NL Central or even compete for a wild card they better get their bullpen in order because right now it’s terrible.

I would also like to wish all the mothers out there a Happy Mother’s Day!!! Or to take a page out of Ralph Kiner’s book….On mother’s day, I again wish you a happy birthday.

Brewers Rotation Looks To Rebuild Update…

February 13, 2009

This is an update to the “Brewers Rotation Looks To Rebuild” post. Yesterday the Brewers rounded out their rotation by signing RHP Braden Looper to a 1 year $4.75MM contract. The Brewers have a $6MM option for 2010. Looper is 24-26 with a 4.55 era as a starter

I like this deal for the Brewers for 2 reasons.

1. The Brewers needed another pitcher who can eat up innings. Looper threw 199 innings last season. That was 14 innings more than any starting pitcher on the Brewers roster.

2. This allows Seth McClung to move to the bullpen where he was most effective last year. McClung had a 3.67 era with 37 K’s in 41.2 innings as a reliever last year.

Now the Brewers rotation looks like this:

1. Gallardo

2. Bush

3. Parra

4. Looper

5. Suppan

Again, the Brewers really depends on the maturity of Gallardo and Parra but Looper gives them more depth than what they had before. Expect a 13-12 record with a 4.40 era in 195 innings from Looper

Brewers Rotation Looks To Rebuild….

January 31, 2009

Last year the Milwaukee Brewers made the post-season for the first time since the “Harvey Wallbanger” Brewers of 1982 made it all the way to the World Series. A lot of the Brewers success last year was fueled by their starting rotation. The Brewers finished 3rd in starters era in 2008 and were led by staff aces, CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets.

2009, however poses a new challenge for the Brewers rotation. Sabathia took the Yankees money and ran and Sheets is a free agent still looking for a team. So can the 2009 Brewers starting rotation replace those 24 wins Sabathia and Sheets left behind? Let’s take a look at the Brewers 5 man rotation headed into 2009.

1. Yovani Gallardo Gallardo missed most of the 2008 season with a torn ACL he suffered during a May 1st start against the Cubs. Gallardo was able to make it back in September and started 2 out of the 4 games against the Phillies in the NLDS. Fully healthy headed into 2009, Gallardo will be counted on to replace Ben Sheets and be the staff’s ace. That is a lot to ask a 23 year old.

If there is one thing Gallardo has done in his brief time in the majors, is prove that he can pitch. In 20 starts in 2007, Gallardo was 9-5 with a 3.67 era and in just 4 starts last year, Gallardo had a 1.88 era. If Gallardo can give the Brewers 30 starts in 2009, then 15 wins and an era in the mid-3’s is very attainable for this young superstar.

2. Manny Parra – Parra is probably best known for his August scuffle with teammate Prince Fielder. That is unfortunate because Parra is a very talented young pitcher. The Brewers 2007 Minor League Pitcher of the Year will be asked to have the same success in 2009 as he did in the first half of 2008. Parra was 8-2 with a 3.78 era in the 1st half before he suffered a 2nd half swoon which resulted with a trip to the bullpen.

The key for Parra is to harness his control (75 BB in 166 IP) and stay ahead in the count. When Parra was ahead in the count he had a 3.25 era and when he had a batter either 0-1, 1-2 or 0-2, they hit .214 against Parra. I think inconsistency still might plague Parra in 2009 but 10-13 wins and an era in the high 3’s is doable

3. Jeff Suppan – Suppan turned a miracle performance as the 2006 NLCS MVP into a 4 yr $42MM contract with the Milwaukee Brewers. What have the Brewers gotten in their 1st 2 years of this investment? A 22-22 record and a 4.79 era. This should be surprising to no one as Suppan has always been a mediocre pitcher as his lifetime record of 128-123 indicates.

Suppan at this point in his career should be a #4 or #5 starter. Unfortunately for the Brewers he is their #3. Expect Suppan to put up 9-10 wins, 10-12 losses and an era hovering around the 5 mark for 2009

4. Dave Bush – Bush has been a pretty serviceable pitcher for the Brewers going 33-31 in his 3 years with the club. Bush’s biggest moment as a Brewer came in Game 3 of the NLDS against the Phillies in a must win game. Bush hurled 5.1 solid innings only allowing 1 run on 5 hits and got the win to keep the Brewers alive for at least one more day.

Bush has more potential at this point in his career than Suppan so a surprise year could always happen. But I doubt it. Bush will most likely go his usual 12-10 with an era of 4.20 in 2009

5. Seth McClung –This is where the Brewers could use some help. McClung belongs in the bullpen but because of lack of depth, McClung will the be the #5 starter headed into 2009. McClung shined down the stretch for the Brewers in 08 posting a 1.10 era in 16 innings in Sept and Oct. Of course most of those innings were tossed from the pen.

5-8 wins should be expected from McClung in the #5 spot in the rotation. If the Brewers are in contention come July, Doug Melvin wouldn’t be shy about pulling the trigger. That would allow McClung to be back were he excelled in 2008…..the Bullpen

As you can see the Brewers starting rotation isn’t as in shambles as everyone makes it out to seem. While there is no denying they will miss Sabathia but if Parra continues to develop and Gallardo becomes the ace everyone think he can be, the Brewers might be in contention for a playoff spot yet again in the National League