By: Big Rygg
(And what do we do to cover for Rickie Weeks?)
First and foremost, allow me to say “Welcome to the Show, Mat Gamel!”
Yes, I know (as you should, if you don’t) that Gamel made his official Major League debut last September. Heck, he even recorded his first big league base hit. But tonight? All he did was smack a three-run home run and make a terrific defensive play (and, naturally, a throwing error but let’s focus on the positives) en route to helping the Brewers to a series sweep over the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium.
Coming into this series, as a side note, the Milwaukee Brewers were tied with the Cardinals atop the NL Central Division. As mentioned a tidy little sweep through town puts us a full 3 games up on the redbirds.
But tonight was Mat Gamel’s first career start and he made a nice day out of it by hitting his first career home run and playing a great hot corner with the exception of his thrown away ball in the bottom of the 7th.
Here’s to many more big flies, Mr. Gamel!
Something else I wanted to talk about this evening is the loss of Rickie Weeks to probable season-ending surgery which he will undergo in very short order. Weeks tore a tendon sheath in his left wrist while striking out to lead off the game last night. Weeks was having the best start to a season in his career by a long shot and this is the purest definition of “bad timing”.
The real question, of course, is “How do the Brewers cover up Weeks’ absence?”
Do they bring up Hernan Iribarren? Do they sign a free agent like a Ray Durham or Mark Grudzielanek? Do they try to pull off a trade? If a trade, what do they do once Weeks is ready to go for 2010? Do they perhaps bring up Frank Catalanotto to have a 5th OF again and simply go with what they’ve got to cover 2B (which means some combination of Craig Counselll and Casey McGehee and maybe Bill Hall in an emergency)?
All viable options, but not one of them screams that it is the correct option.
Keep your eye on this, Brewer fans, as it truly could impact our march to the playoffs more than you might initially think.
But, in better news, the Brewers did finish that sweep of the Cardinals. We move on to Houston for the second time this season and look to at least duplicated our 2 out of 3 effort that we accomplished last time.
Let’s have another winning road trip!