White Sox (28-33) v. Brewers (33-27)

In game one against the other team located 90 miles south of us; Jeff Suppan gets the start for the Brewers.  Soup’s last 2 outings have been pretty good.  He weaved in and out of trouble every inning in Atlanta, but managed to escape.   He gave up zero runs in 5 1/3 innings en route to his 4th win of the year.  The outing before this he pitched 5 innings against the Marlins and gave up only 2 runs.  The Brewers had the lead until Jorge Julio took the mound.  Now Julio’s flipping burgers at a joint near you.  The Brewers are 7-5 in games started by Suppan.  Clayton Richard goes in game one for the White Sox.  My Dad always told me never to trust a man with 2 first names.  Anyway, Richard began the year as a reliever, but has moved into the rotation.  Tonight will be his 7th start of the year.  Richard has been effective in 3 of his 6 starts so far.  As a starter, he is 2-1 with a 4.05 ERA.  Let’s see the brewers break out of this nasty funk and get back into the win column!  Go Brewers!!


Recapping an ugly Colorado series…..

We knew coming into the series that the Rockies were red hot…….unfortunately 3 days later, this statement remains true.  Obviously what was most alarming about how the series played out was that the Brewers were unable to do anything offensively for the entire series and the bullpen has now performed poorly in 4 straight games.

Look, the bullpen has been marvelous up to this point and they are bound to have more down times throughout the long year, but it would have been nice if they were only bad in 3 of the 4.  This way we at least win 1 and aren’t stuck in a 4 game losing streak.   Long losing streaks are what you have to avoid in the season.  A 2 or 3 game skip won’t kill ya, but anything longer than that and it gets to be a slippery slope.

The offensive is again going through one of those pitiful stretches.  Like the bullpen it is bound to happen throughout the season, but man is it painful to watch.  What makes it more painful is that this is coming against pitchers that the Brewers should hit and hit hard.  The first two games the Rockies threw out weak starting pitchers who frankly probably shouldn’t be in a MLB rotation.  Aaron Cook went yesterday and he is the Rockies best pitcher, but still he had a 4.50 ERA so far this year.  This shows that he hasn’t been great.  I guess what I’m getting at is that I would much rather see the Brewers offense go through a drought when they face quality pitching.  At least this is acceptable.   Say a 3 game stretch like the opening series this year against Lincecum, Johnson and Cain.  I could accept the Brewer bats struggling a little.  Not against Hammel, De La Rosa and Cook.  Unacceptable.

So now we head into an interleague series against the White Sox with Suppan, Looper and Parra going.  Not what I would prefer, but hopefully we can stop the bleeding.  After all…..we are still in FIRST PLACE.  Let’s not forget this.

Rockies (25-32) v. Brewers (33-24)

The Crew welcomes the Colorado Rockies to Miller Park tonight to open up the home stand.  The Rockies are red-hot and just did the Brewers a tremendous favor by sweeping the Cardinals in a 4 game series in St. Louis.  The Rockies fired Clint Hurdle about a week and half ago and hired ex-Dodger and Pirates manager Jim Tracy.  They are 7-4 since he was hired.

Braden Looper gets the start for the Brewers.  After starting out the year on fire, Looper has been stuck in an on again, off again routine.  His last outing was an off again, when he couldn’t get through 5 innings against the Marlins.  Overall, Looper has been pretty good this year and the brewers are 8-3 when he starts.  The Rockies will send Jason Hammel to the hill in game 1.  Hammel has been both a starter and reliever this year, as well as his entire career.  Hammel seems to be all over the place statistically and while his numbers aren’t horrible, he gives up a lot of hits (63 in 48 IP) and opponents are hitting .313 off of him.  That tells me he’s not that good and the Brewers should get to him.

Sorry this is quick and to the point, but I’m short on time.   Go Brewers!!

Brewers (33-23) v. Braves (26-28)

You got to love back to back shutouts.  Although this one was not as impressive as Yovani’s, you still have to give credit to Suppan.  Suppan worked out of trouble practically every inning, but managed to keep any runs off the board for 5 1/3 innings.  After this the bullpen took over and was lights out as normal for the remaining 3 2/3 innings.  Once again the offense didn’t do much, but it is easy to win when you only have to score one run.  Prince took care of this all by him self with a pair of solo homers.  Prince is officially on an absolute tear!  Check out his numbers through the first 6 games in June:  .500 Avg, .577 OBP, 3 HR, 3 2B, 6 RBI, 7 R, 4 BB, 1 K.  Now that’s some good stuff.  In the process he has raised his overall average to .299 and has 54 RBI in 56 games.  Fielder is really carrying us right now, so the other guys can feel free to jump in any time.  I really suggest watching today’s game and if you are unclear why check out the preview:

Tommy Hanson who ranks anywhere from in the top 4 pitching prospects in all of minor league baseball will make his highly, highly anticipated MLB debut.  By all accounts, Hanson has wicked stuff and has backed it up at all levels.  He has a plus fastball  that can reach 96-97, a slider, a 12-6 curveball and a changeup.  Not only this, but Hanson has superior control as well.  So far this year in the minors, he had 90 K’s to only 17 BB’s.  He has a lot of hype to live up to, show maybe he will be a little nervous which could help the Crew.  Normally the Brewers don’t fair well against pitchers they’ve never seen, or making their MLB debut.  The enigma we call Manny Parra will try and complete the sweep for the Brewers today.  Parra is………inconsistent.  By now this is a broken record.  He has to turn it around at some point.  Better now than ever.  Go Brewers!!

Brewers (32-23) v. Braves (26-27)

What more can you say about Yovani Gallardo.  He is a true ace and one can only hope that he is in a Brewer uniform for a long, long time.  He has the ability to snap a losing streak and make a team feel a lot better about themselves.  He turns bad to good, dark to light, bitter to sweet, hell to heaven……..you get the idea.  Early this year Jason Kendall said that Yovani would win a Cy young some day.  I think that this has a very good chance of happening.  The offense did enough to get Yo the win.  I guess that’s not hard when you only have to score 1 run.  4 Brewers had 2 hits.  Most importantly was Mat Gamel, who drove in 3 runs with those 2 hits.  The more Gamel hits, the quicker we get to the point where we don’t have to see Bill Hall anymore.  Prince also continued his tear.  He reached base safely all 4 times, going 2-2 with a double and 2 walks.  As I said yesterday, if the Brewers can get 1 this weekend I’ll take a 3-4 road trip.  Here is a preview of today’s game:

Suppan will go in game 2 for the Crew.  Like I’ve said before, it is what it is.  You just have to deal with it and hope that the Brewers come out on top.  Suppan actually deserved a win in his last start against the marlins, but Julio blew up.  Currently, the Brewers are 6-5 in starts made by Suppan.  If the Brewers can play .500 when he starts for the entire year, I’ll take it.  Javier Vazquez will pitch for the Braves.  Vazquez has been around for a long time, but this is his first year with the Braves.  So far he has done fairly well.  Vazquez is 4-4 with a 3.58 ERA.  Vazquez also has a long career against the Brewers.  Tonight will be his 15th career start against the Crew.  In the previous 14, Vazquez is 5-6 with a 5.01 ERA.  The Brewers have hit .275 off him over this span.  Safe to say the Brewers have done quite well against him in the past.  Hopefully this continues.  Go Brewers!!

Brewers (31-23) v. Braves (26-26)

It is really hard for me to be disappointed in Dave Bush right now.  After getting the first 2 batters out, Bush took a hard line drive directly off his pitching elbow.  If he was not able to continue, obviously this would have been really bad overall, but it would have been horrible last night for the bullpen that is extremely overworked to all of a sudden have to have had to throw 8 more innings.  So Bush continued and got through 6 innings really well.  The problem is, the only mistake he made was to the opposing pitcher.  Bush served up a 2 out, 3-run homer that ended up being the difference in the game to Marlin pitcher Josh Johnson.  That should never happen and sucks.  But like I said, it’s hard to be mad at Bush, because it is amazing he continued.  I just hope he is able to make his next start.  So, my anger is going directly at the offense.  Mike Cameron was awful, going 0-4 with 4 strikeouts.  Frankly, everyone except Hardy, Braun and Fielder sucked.  These 3 were 6-12 with all 3 runs and  all 3 RBI.  The rest of the team went 1-20.  That says it all.  The Crew now moves on to Atlanta for 3.   Here is a preview:

Tonight sets up as a great pitching matchup. Yovani goes for the Crew and we all know what he’s about.  Atlanta will counter with their best pitcher (and a personal favorite of mine), Jair Jurrjens.  Jurrjens numbers are very comparable to Yo’s and actually better in several categories.  I’m really looking forward to this matchup.  The Brewers need to turn this around.  If they can just win this series, a road trip of 3-4 is acceptable.  Go Brewers!!

Catching up on Roster changes……

A lot has gone on this week with roster changes and I apologize for not updating well enough, so here is a synopsis:

–          After the outing that we would all love to forget Monday, Jorge Julio was sent packing.  It was only a matter of time in my opinion.  Julio was only on the opening day roster because Hoffman was on the DL.  When Hoffman came back he only remained on the roster because Riske was on the DL.  As I said before he was the only weak link in the current bullpen.  This is definitely addition by subtraction.

–          Mike Burns came up from Nashville to take Julio’s roster spot.  Burns had been starting at Nashville, so he was stretched out for long relief.  Burns pitched well on Tuesday in relief on Manny Parra.  He threw 4 scoreless innings in that outing.  More importantly, he saved a very overworked bullpen that night.  As long as he is effective, Burns may be up here for a while.  At least until the club decides what to do with Parra.

–          Mike DiFelice has been put on the bereavement list.  His grandmother past away and the funeral is this weekend.  Coincidentally, DiFelice has been nursing a sore elbow.  The Brewers have been trying to avoid putting him on the DL, because they don’t think he needs to miss 15 games and DiFelice has been close to the best pitcher out of the bullpen.  By putting him on the bereavement list, the Brewers get to call up a pitcher instead of being a man down. DiFelice will return after the funeral.

–          To take DiFelice’s spot, the brewers called up Chris Smith from Nashville.  Smith has been the closer on the Nashville team and has pitched really well.  Unfortunately for Smith, this will be a very short stay, so if he does get game action hopefully takes advantage of it and pitches well.  As mentioned above, DiFelice will be back after his grandmother’s funeral and Smith will then return to Nashville.

–          David Riske is done for the year and probably done as a Brewer after having Tommy John surgery earlier this week.  Tommy John is at a yearlong rehab process before one can even begin throwing again.  It looks like we got half a season out of the 3 year, $13 million dollar contract that Riske signed.  Riske wasn’t even very good that half a season.  Go ahead and begin the debate as to whether this is the worst signing in the Doug Melvin era, or even the entire Brewers era.  The 3 that come to mind are Riske, Suppan and Jeffrey Hammonds.  My vote (for now) goes for Riske.  Let me know what you think.