Posts Tagged ‘Yovani Gallardo’

Starting Rotation: National League Central

January 22, 2010

Today, I am going to take a look at the starting rotations for each National League Central team.

Pitchers like Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter, and Roy Oswalt call this division home. This division has quality pitchers throughout.

Here are the starting rotations for each National League Central team as presently constructed.

St. Louis Cardinals

1. Chris Carpenter, RHP

2. Adam Wainwright, RHP

3. Kyle Lohse, RHP

4. Brad Penny, RHP

5. TBD

Quick Take – This rotation is very top heavy with Carpenter and Wainwright leading the way. Carpenter’s health is key. If he is healthy, the Cardinals will be favorites to win the division. I like the Penny signing. The Cardinals don’t have a candidate for the fifth starter right now, so look for them to sign someone.

Milwaukee Brewers

1. Yovani Gallardo, RHP

2. Randy Wolf, LHP

3. Dave Bush, RHP

4. Doug Davis, LHP

5. Jeff Suppan, RHP

Quick Take – With the additions of Wolf and Davis, this rotation is vastly improved from 2009. Wolf and Davis will give the Brewers innings. Look for Gallardo to continue to develop into an ace. Suppan will battle with Manny Parra for the No.5 starter spot.

Chicago Cubs

1. Carlos Zambrano, RHP

2. Ryan Dempster, RHP

3. Randy Wells, RHP

4. Ted Lilly, LHP

5. Tom Gorzelanny, LHP

Quick Take – This might be the most overrated pitching staff in baseball. Dempster has had one good year in the last seven years and was not worthy of his contract. It’s up in the air whether or not Lilly will be ready for Opening Day. I am starting to wonder if all those innings Zambrano threw earlier in his career is coming back to haunt him now?

Cincinnati Reds

1. Bronson Arroyo, RHP

2. Aaron Harang, RHP

3. Johnny Cueto, RHP

4. Homer Bailey, RHP

5. TBD

Quick Take – This rotation will really miss Edinson Volquez in 2010. Volquez might pitch in 2010, but not until towards the end of the season. Arroyo and Harang are prime trade candidates. The Reds’ No.5 starter spot is open right now. I don’t think it will be Aroldis Chapman to start the season.

Houston Astros

1. Roy Oswalt, RHP

2. Wandy Rodriguez, LHP

3. Brett Myers, RHP

4. Bud Norris, RHP

5. Brian Moehler, RHP

Quick Take – From where this rotation was at the beginning of 2009, the Astros have come a long way. Astros need Oswalt to have a bounce back year. Norris showed potential last season, but needs to cut down on his walks and needs to show development next season.

Pittsburgh Pirates

1. Paul Maholm, LHP

2. Zach Duke, LHP

3. Ross Ohlendorf, RHP

4. Charlie Morton, RHP

5. Kevin Hart, RHP

Quick Take – I really feel bad for Maholm and Duke. If they were on better teams, they would be more recognized and people would know how good they are. Morton came over to the Pirates in the Nate McLouth trade and at 26, he needs to step up and prove he belongs in the major leagues.

Tomorrow, I will have the final installment of this series and take a look at the division where pitching dominates–the National League West.


Brewers Continue To Add Pitching, Sign Doug Davis

January 21, 2010

In 2009, the Milwaukee Brewers’ starters finished last in the National League in ERA (5.37) and last in innings pitched (891). Determined to improve their starting rotation in 2010, the Brewers have aggressively pursued starting pitchers this offseason.

Earlier in this offseason, the Brewers signed LHP Randy Wolf to a three-year contract and today, they have signed another left-handed pitcher to bolster their staff.

Davis is returning to Milwaukee

According to’s Adam McCalvy, the Brewers have signed Doug Davis to a one-year, $5.25 million contract. There is also a $6.5 million mutual option for 2011.

Davis, 34, will be making his second stop in Milwaukee in his career. He pitched for the Brewers from 2003-2006. He compiled a 37-36 record with a 3.92 ERA.

Last year with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Davis was 9-14 with a 4.12 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP in 203.1 IP (34 starts). While Davis’ WHIP was less than stellar, it’s the IP and starts the Brewers care about the most.

The Brewers desperately need their starters to eat innings in 2010 and Davis can certainly do that. Davis has made 30+ starts five out of the last six years and has pitched 200+ innings four out of those six years.

According to Fangraphs, Davis pitched like a $7.8 million pitcher last season, so at $5.25 million, this is a good deal for the Brewers.

With the additions of Wolf and Davis, along with staff ace Yovani Gallardo, the Brewers pitching staff looks to be much improved in 2010. If the Brewers can get anything out of Dave Bush (kind of useless), Manny Parra (somewhat useless), or Jeff Suppan (completely useless), the Brewers will be back in the playoff hunt next season.

Davis will be entering his 12th season in the majors in 2010 and has a career record of 90-97 with a 4.31 ERA with the Texas Rangers, Diamondbacks, and Brewers.

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

Starting Nine: National League Central

January 15, 2010

Next up in our Starting Nine series is the National League Central. Outside of the St. Louis Cardinals re-signing Matt Holliday, there haven’t been any big-time offensive additions to this division. As a whole, this might be the weakest offensive division in baseball (yes, even passing the NL West).

Let’s take a look at the starting lineups for all six teams in this division as presently constructed.

St. Louis Cardinals

1. Skip Schumaker, 2B

2. Brendan Ryan, SS

3. Albert Pujols, 1B

4. Matt Holliday, LF

5. Ryan Ludwick, RF

6. Yadier Molina, C

7. Colby Rasmus, CF

8. David Freese, 3B

9. Chris Carpenter, P

Quick Take – Re-signing Holliday was crucial to this lineup. Despite having Holliday and Pujols in the three-four spot, this lineup will only be as dynamic as Rasmus and Freese takes them.

Milwaukee Brewers

1. Rickie Weeks, 2B

2. Alcides Escobar, SS

3. Ryan Braun, LF

4. Prince Fielder, 1B

5. Casey McGehee, 3B

6. Corey Hart, RF

7. Gregg Zaun, C

8. Carlos Gomez, CF

8. Yovani Gallardo, P

Quick Take – The Brewers sacrificed some offense for defense in 2010. This isn’t the powerful Brewers’ lineup of the last couple of years. There are a lot of automatic outs from seven through nine.

Chicago Cubs

1. Alfonso Soriano, LF

2. Kosuke Fukudome, RF

3. Derek Lee, 1B

4. Aramis Ramirez, 3B

5. Marlon Byrd, CF

6. Geovany Soto, C

7. Ryan Theriot, SS

8. Mike Fontenot, 2B

9. Carlos Zambrano, P

Quick Take – This lineup is getting old in a hurry. If Soriano, Ramirez, and Soto can come back from disappointing 2009 seasons, the Cubs could be in business in 2010. However, I still think they are going to be hard pressed to score runs in 2010.

Cincinnati Reds

1. Drew Stubbs, CF

2. Brandon Phillips, 2B

3. Joey Votto, 1B

4. Jay Bruce, RF

5. Scott Rolen, 3B

6. Ramon Hernandez, C

7. Paul Janish, SS

8. Chris Dickerson, LF

9. Bronson Arroyo, P

Quick Take – This lineup looks good for now and even better for the future. If Bruce can stay healthy, he could have a breakout year in 2010. I would like someone better than Janish at SS, but top prospect Todd Frazier isn’t ready to take over just yet.

Houston Astros

1. Michael Bourn, CF

2. Kaz Matsui, 2B

3. Lance Berkman, 1B

4. Carlos Lee, LF

5. Hunter Pence, RF

6. Pedro Feliz, 3B

7. J.R. Towles, C

8. Tommy Manzella, SS

9. Roy Oswalt, P

Quick Take – This six through nine is brutal. It’s hard to have a top offense when the bottom part of your lineup is this bad. Top catching prospect Jason Castro is not too far away, so this is Towles’ last stand with the Astros.

Pittsburgh Pirates

1. Andrew McCutchen, CF

2. Akinori Iwamura, 2B

3. Garrett Jones, 1B

4. Ryan Doumit, C

5. Andy LaRoche, 3B

6. Lastings Milledge, LF

7. Ryan Church, RF

8. Ronny Cedeno, SS

9. Zach Duke, P

Quick Take – I think in order to maximize their offense’s potential, the Pirates will play Jones at first and Church in right instead of playing Jones in right and Jeff Clement at first. The Pirates’ offense will be better in 2010, but will still have a hard time scoring runs on a consistent basis.

Last, but not least, tomorrow we will take a look at the National League West.

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


Fantasy Week In Review 5/25-5/31….

June 1, 2009

The month of May brought us a lot of great performances, and the last week of the month was no exception. As always here are the fantasy studs, the players who might be a concern, players who hit the DL and the potential pickups from the week of 5/25-5/31.

Fantasy Studs

Luke Scott – .444/6/14/.524. Luke used the force and was by far and away, the hottest player in the majors last week.

Mark Teixeira – .357/3/10. Teixeira continues to rake hitting in front of Arod.

Adrian Gonzalez – .333/4/10/.500. I still haven’t figured out why teams pitch to him.

Ryan Howard – .333/4/10. Howard is starting to hit HR’s in bunches. He has scary power.

Nick Blackburn – 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA. Blackburn beat the Red Sox and Rays in the same week. That is a good week.

John Maine – 2-0 with a 0.75 ERA, 9 K’s in 12 IP. Back to back impressive outings against the Nationals and Marlins.

Yovani Gallardo – 1-0 with a 0.68 ERA and 15 K’s in 13.1 IP. Gallardo has established himself as the ace of the Brewers’ staff.

Brad Lidge – 4 saves with 5 K’s and a 0.00 ERA in 3.2 IP. A very nice bounce back week for Lidge, who was a concern two weeks ago.

Reasons for Concern

Fausto Carmona – 0-1 with 11 hits, 8 walks, and a 15.19 ERA in 5.1 IP. It appears Carmona’s 2007 was the fluke, not 2008. I am really surprised the Indians keep sending Carmona out there. He has been terrible. Those 5.1 IP were in two starts by the way. Ouch.

Francisco Liriano – 0-2 with 18 hits and a 10.13 ERA in 8 IP. Liriano hasn’t been the same since his Tommy John surgery a couple of years ago. My guess is the Twins keep sending him out there but it appears Liriano has a short leash in games.

Aaron Harang – 1-1 with a 10.61 ERA with 22 hits in 9.1 IP. Dusty Baker must really not like Harang. Last year Baker had Harang pitch in extra innings on three days rest in a meaningless game in May in San Diego. This year, after a two hour and three minute rain delay, Baker had Harang return to the mound to complete the fifth inning.

I understand Baker wanted Harang to get the win (Reds were leading 6-3 at the time), but that is ridiculous. Baker ruined Harang’s season last year and I hope he hasn’t done the same this year.

Josh Hamilton – Hamilton is off to a slow start this year and was 3 for 23 on the Rangers latest homestand. Today he will go for a MRI to find out exactly what is going on with his groin injury.

This injury has been lingering for some time now, so it’s about time Hamilton gets some answers. Hamilton had a great first half and a slow second half in 2009. Perhaps it’s the complete opposite this year.


There were a rash of injuries at the beginning of last week. I wrote about those injured players here. Here are some other players who also landed on the DL last week.

Khalil Greene – Placed on the 15 Day DL because of an anxiety disorder. Zack Greinke and Dontrelle Willis suffered from the same disorder, so hopefully Greene can come back from this. There is no time table for Greene’s return.

Carlos Quentin – Placed on the 15 Day DL because of plantar fasciitis. I wrote about this injury here.

Joey Votto – Placed on the 15 Day DL because of stress related issues. Apparently Votto is dealing with stress that is linked to his struggles dealing with an inner ear infection. Now, I don’t want to sound insensitive because I have never had an ear infection but, is an inner ear infection really that stressful? Something is not adding up here.

Grady Sizemore – Placed on the 15 Day DL with inflammation in his left elbow. Sizemore has been a HUGE disappointment so far hitting only .223 on the season. Sizemore will not swing a bat or throw a ball for two weeks. He is ruining a lot of fantasy teams this year.

Potential Pickups

Gerardo Parra – Parra has done nothing but impress since being called up in early May. Parra has hit .319 with three doubles and three triples in 16 games. Parra appears to have an everyday job in Arizona either as a leftfielder or centerfielder so he is worth the pickup, especially in keeper leagues.

Gordon Beckham – It appears the White Sox are growing tired of Josh Fields at third because Beckham is starting to play games at third in the minors. Once Gordon gets comfortable at third he will be in the majors playing that position. Gordon is a top prospect, so picking him now before another owner does might be a smart move.

Andrew Bailey – Even though it’s not official, it looks like Bailey has replaced Brad Ziegler as the A’s closer. Bailey is already 4-0 with two saves and a 2.23 ERA, so he is definitely worth a pickup.


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


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


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….

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