Setting the Stage

By: Big Rygg

Another day, another extra-inning affair. The Brewers lost this afternoon courtesy of a Wes Helms home run. You want to know something that ticks me right off? When we lose because of Wes freaking Helms.

Therefore, I digress from talk about the game today and instead pose the following situational query:

Ben Sheets is supposed to be getting his next start this coming Tuesday evening against the Chicago Scrubs in our second series of the year at the Northside Garbage Dump. Also, coming back for the Brewers in that game will be Centerfielder Mike Cameron, fresh off of his 25-game suspension for the use of a banned stimulant. A lot of people want to call him a steroid user, but that simply wouldn’t be an accurate statement.

We also know that Cameron’s roster spot on the 25-man roster was opened up when the team optioned RHP Dave Bush to AAA Nashville. They plan on keeping him pitching every five days while there so that he can keep working as a starter. While I understand the move (Bush had options and some of the other relief pitchers that could’ve been jettisoned don’t) and it makes sense to me, my question now becomes who gets the ax when Joe Dillon is eligible to return from Nashville as well?

One thought process from someone that hasn’t been paying any attention would be that since Mitch Stetter came up when Dillon went down, that it only makes sense that they’d swap back again. While Ned Yost and Doug Melvin may end up doing just that, Stetter has proven again and again that he deserves to be in the Brewer bullpen and that he also definitely helps us win. (I know I said I wouldn’t talk about tonight’s game, but he got out of a bases-loaded, no one out jam hand-crafted by Derrick Turnbow, with ZERO runs scoring. That’s impressive.)

So, who goes? Is it Stetter, and they’ll just call him back up again for the next Reds’ series? Is it McClung, which a move involving would leave us without a long-man? Maybe Turnbow finally has done enough that Yost wants him to go down for a spell to get his confidence back? I know it won’t be Gagne, Shouse, Torres or Mota (I’m pretty sure of this, but I never thought they’d carry 14 pitchers for as long as they did either.), but maybe it could be David Riske? I personally think he needs to be with the parent club, but maybe it’s his turn for a 10-day stint in Nashville?

Who do you think it’ll be, Brewer Nation? Or do you think that we’ll keep Dillon in the minors until something bad happens, thereby severely limiting ourselves offensively and just begging for something to happen that will force us to play somebody severely out of position?

Question #2: What are your thoughts now that this season is officially 25 games in? We have an off-day tomorrow (much needed in my opinion thanks to all of the extra-inning games we’ve been playing), so it ought to give us all a chance to reflect a little bit.

Personally? I think we’re lucky to be 14-11. You can say that without the Giants’ sweep that we’d be .500 (which is mathematically correct), but we’ve faced some tough teams and some very good pitching so far this year. We’ve run into Carlos Zambrano, Aaron Harang (twice), Johnny Cueto (twice), Johan Santana, Oliver Perez, Scott Olsen (who’s been throwing lights out so far), Adam Wainwright (twice) and the Cardinals staff that’s been playing out of their minds to this point, Cole Hamels…(do you see my point yet?)…and we’ve done this with Sheets missing one start and Yovani Gallardo missing a few himself due to an off-season knee injury.

We avoided Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain of the Giants, but otherwise we’ve drawn the opposing team’s ace in every series so far. Perhaps that’s adding in to our offensive struggles so far, but even if we would’ve faced everyones’ bottom three, we’d still have been struggling out of the gate with the bats. Individuals are starting to come around, and if we ever all come around at the same time we’ll be in for some fun 9 inning games, but we’re definitely not all there yet.

So what are your thoughts? Lucky to be 14-11? Should be better? Is that about what you expected after 25 games at the beginning of the season? Let me know what you think, Brewer Nation!!!


  1. southsdrob

    We are very lucky to be 14-11 with all the crap management has done to this team. Hitting the pitcher 8th has not helped in my opinion. Being right-handed heavy has made opposing teams make easy decisions when it comes to bullpen management. Yost gets his way and keeps 14 pitchers and is left with 0 options off the bench most of the time. Young players all still trying to score runs with the home-run ball by itself. Poor base-running, poor defensive positioning, poor play in just about all areas of the game and we are still 3 games over. It’s a miracle.

    I would like Ned to keep playing his games while we all witness this team play down to the competition. Maybe ownership will finally wake up and realize that management (both roster and in-game) has put this team in some very difficult positions. Is it 8 extra inning games in the first 25 when last season, we had 14 total?

    4 weeks ago, we were playing small ball and it worked. Maybe it wasn’t exciting to the average fan but we were winning games. Now, that’s all but gone. Ned’s the smartest person he knows. How will he manage to get this team to win consistently. I would hate to have on my resume’ that Wes Helms beat me twice in one 3 game series at home. That’s a disgrace…


    14-11, not bad considering the blown saves, Turnbow, and the lack of offense. I really think Cameron will help this club out. He is an athletic stud with an empty toilet paper roll as a wind tunnel between the ears, perfect. He isn’t smart enough to remember where he put his bottle of ritalin or a couple of miscues by the crew the night before. This team is pressing to hard and needs to relax and play some baseball! Oh yeah….WHY IS WEEKS STILL LEADING OFF?????

  3. jebuscubs

    We are lucky to be over .500, but it hasn’t been the managing in my opinion. Managing was probably a problem in just two games this year. As for the 14 pitchers… what a joke, but it’s not all Ned. Doug Melvin has just as much say about the roster regardless of what we think, but I don’t doubt it was Ned pushing for it to keep Bush around a little longer. Those 5 or 6 games they played with 3 bench players should have never went to extras or been even close. The pitching carried the team into one run games, and it was a bunch of kids swatting at files instead of taking the not so sexy walk that has made the difference.

    Just ask the Cubs. They were out hit by 6 yesterday, but still scored 7 runs because they walked 8 times last night. Ryan Braun gets outsmarted at the plate 2 or 3 times a game, and it’s not fun to watch. He needs to stop guessing and start hitting with his instinct like last year.

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