by South Side Rob.
There was some good, some bad, and a lot of ugly. Some quotes after the game:
- “We just didn’t pitch very well.” — Ken Macha.
- “When you get [Lincecum] out of the game, you’ve got to feel good about
it. When it’s in the third
inning, you feel like you’re going to score some runs.” — Bill Hall.
- “Those were the two at-bats that really stick out in my mind. In those situations, you’ve got to make the pitch. Both of
[those] pitches were in a location where they could drive it.” — Jeff Suppan.
- “Rebuild the first inning — take a look at it. With the
exception of that changeup he left over the plate to Ishikawa, he
didn’t get knocked around a lot and he gave up three runs.” — Ken Macha.
- “There were a few little things, but regardless of how you get there,
you’re always working to get out of it. You have to keep making
pitches.” — Jeff Suppan.
- “I don’t go out there and argue very often.” — Ken Macha
- “How you play on Opening Day doesn’t dictate how the season plays out.” — Jeff Suppan.
On Macha saying we didn’t pitch very well, that’s obvious. I sometimes wonder what pitchers are thinking about on how they approach certain hitters. I mean, we were playing what will probably be one of the worst offenses we see all season with 3 rookies making their major-league debut. Suppan pitched like he was facing a veteran 3-hitter all day. If he dreams of being Greg Maddux, that’s fine as long as he wakes up and remembers he’s Jeff Suppan. He talks about location constantly. Everytime Suppan was hit hard, the location was easy to see which was just below the waist and right down the pipe with an off-speed pitch that had zero movement.
Rickie Weeks had a nice game. Corey Hart had 2 3-pitch strikeouts, I guess he’s back to guessing wrong again. Braun had a nice hit but failed twice with runners in scoring position. Fielder had a nice double but also failed with runners in scoring position. Hardy had a strikeout and bounced into 2 double plays. Cameron walked 4 times and stole 2 bases. Billy Hall had an RBI double when the Brewers were down 5 runs (ala 2006) but didn’t do anything worth noting. Kendall tried to call a good game but Suppan can’t locate. He didn’t do anything at the plate. Suppan actually had an RBI double and drew a walk. Come to think of it, the Brewers drew 10 walks and were hit by 2 pitches for 12 free passes. Throw in their hits and they only managed 5 runs while knocking out last year’s Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum after 3 innings, his shortest outing in over a year. Yet, the Brewers lose 10-6.
Seth McClung showed why the Rays traded him away 2 years ago. Jorge Julio was an embarrassment as well.
It’s just one game but given the circumstances in facing one of the best pitchers in the game and getting to him early, the game was a complete waste.
Thank god for tomorrow. Baseball is cool that way. Have a bad game, let it simmer and then, go out and get them tomorrow. We hit lefties and Randy Johnson is just a shell of his former self. No excuses. We have to knock him around and win tomorrow’s game.
by South Side Rob
Just like everyone else, I will tell you that I heard this from a source I do not wish to name. Could it be true? Possibly. With Alex Rodriguez recovering from recent surgery, he is not expected back until late May at the earliest. My source told me that with all the money the Yankees have invested in this season with opening up the new Yankee stadium, they cannot risk the thought of falling too far back in the standings and they are desperately seeking an experienced 3rd baseman who can play everyday and can be had. The question now becomes, if this is even close to being true, what should Doug Melvin ask for in return?
Melvin has already lost the first hand he played with the Yankees when he wasn’t able to dump Mike Cameron for either Melky Cabrera, Phillip Hughes, or both. The Yankees walked away from Melvin with Doug holding a bloated $10 million dollar promise to Mike Cameron.
Baseball is a game of 2nd chances. Can Doug make the Yankees get really desperate? My first counter for Bill Hall is Melky Cabrera and Phillip Hughes. Maybe then, the Yankees will counter with, “Throw in Cameron”. Then, maybe Melvin comes back and says, “Ok, but now you need to throw in Nick Swisher too.”
I know, I’m out of control here but when you have the New York Yankees desperate instead of confident, you HAVE TO MAKE THEM PAY.
If they are really looking to deal for Bill Hall, would you do business with the Yankees and what would you want in return from the evil empire???
By: Big Rygg
I know that this news is a couple of days old already, but I wanted to make sure it got touched on here at the Brewer Nation.
As I’m sure you’re well aware by now (or just in case you aren’t) Bill Hall will miss the majority, if not all, of Spring Training this year with a partially torn calf muscle in his left leg. The rehab is expected to take 4-6 weeks which, if it’s the latter, take Hall’s convalesence right up to Opening Day in San Francisco.
Tim Lincecum will be on the bump for the Giants on Opening Day, barring an injury of his own of course, so maybe Ken Macha would have give the start to Mike Lamb anyway, making this a very strict platoon from the get go.
Ken Macha has stated that he will evaluate the players on their merits and performance throughout Spring Training and make his lineup and roster decisions from there.
But again, we know all that.
What we don’t know quite yet is exactly how the team will use the extra reps at the hot corner during the February and March that just became available. That is what I’d like to discuss today.
As is stands now, Mike Lamb and Bill Hall were set to platoon (at least to an extent) at third base. Hall hits right-handed and struggled greatly against right-handed pitching last year to the tune of .174 battingn average. Lamb, hits left-handed and is probably the first option to be the yang to Hall’s yin all season long.
However, now in the absence of Hall from the games and whatnot, where does the team go? Does waiver wire pick up Casey McGehee get all of Hall’s at-bats? Do they give Mat Gamel those turns at the dish which therefore would give him that many more chances in the field to show what progress he’s been able to make this past winter with his glove?
Personally, I think it’s a golden opportunity for Gamel to show what he’s made of. We know the kid can hit, that’s obvious. In fact, if not for an elbow injury that he hid from the organization last year, he might have led the prospect-rich AA team in all offensive categories in 2008.
Gamel, however, led in another category. His 30 errors while with Huntsville in 127 games played translates very poorly…heck, standing on its own merits it’s bad enough. The fact is, one error every four games isn’t nearly good enough to cut it at the big league level. Poor fielding is what led to a position switch for some guy by the of Ryan Braun. All he did was happen to win the National League’s Rookie of the Year Award based primarily, I’m sure even he would tell you, on his offensive prowess. Braun, though, had major trouble adjusting to 3B and was moved to left field where he continue to shine.
Gamel’s situation is different for two reasons. First, there isn’t anywhere else for him to go right now. Mike Cameron is still playing a good centerfield, Corey Hart isn’t going anywhere other than right field for the time being and Braun patrolls LF as previously stated. Suffice it to say, the outfield is full…not that you’d put Gamel in center anyway, but you get what I’m saying.
The only other spot to move a guy with a great bat but heavy glove is first base, but as we also all should know by now, Prince Fielder was signed to a two-year contract which locks him in as the team’s first baseman through the 2010 season.
In other words, what this all means is that 3B is Gamel’s position and to make it to the show with the roster the way it currently is constructed, that’s where he’ll have to play. The good news is that Gamel is committed to becoming a serviceable 3B at worst. He wants to play there which is an important factor in all this.
So, the question needs to be asked, Brewer Nation…
If you were Ken Macha, how would you handle it?
By South Side Rob:
There are a few things that fit for this to actually become reality over pure fantasy. 1st, Ichiro is a professional lead-off hitter. 2nd, he’s left-handed. 3rd, he’s stuck on a team that has a new manager in Don Wakamatsu and a new general manager by the name of Jack Zduriencik. Zduriencik, has already signed former Milwaukee Brewer Russell Branyan and is expected to play everyday at 3rd base.
I know, the Brewers outfield is set with Braun, Cameron, and Hart. If I’m Doug Melvin, I protect Gallardo, Braun, and Fielder. Just about any other major-league player could be included in this deal in order to bring back the best hitter over the last several years.
I got this idea from watching the new cable station called the MLB Network which is on my DirecTV 24 hours, 7 days a week. It’s official, I’M HOOKED ON THIS CHANNEL. Both, Harold Reynolds and Al Leiter believe the Mariners will look to shop Ichiro in order to start the re-building. Why not the Brewers who are in desparate need for a quality lead-off hitter?
I like Corey Hart but late last year, proved why he wasn’t a 1st round draft pick. In fact, towards the end of the 2008 season, he started to show signs of a undiciplined, below-average hitter and defender. Even if Ichiro becomes just a 2-year band-aid in right field, that may be enough time to bridge the gap we have in our lineup.
Zduriencik gets all the credit (from me) for re-building the Brewer farm system. I don’t believe Melvin will fall apart as a GM but if he does, I’ll be mad that we let Zduriencik go without offering him some sort of promotion or more money to stay one more year just in case both Melvin and Ashe start to consider retirement.
The relationship is there. Maybe a Rickey Weeks/Corey Hart for Ichiro deal could be discussed between Melvin and Zduriencik. I believe Zduriencik drafted both players, that might be enough to lure Ichiro from Seattle to Milwaukee’s right-field spot.
Two things could be accomplished with one player. Adding another lefty, one of the best hitters and a lead-off hitter to boot. The more I think about it, the more sense it makes. Mike Lamb can play 3rd and then, if we can’t find a suitable 2nd baseman (I say, bring back Ray Durham and hit him 2nd), then, let Bill Hall play 2nd base and see if his Lasix surgery has any improvement over his dismal offense approach in 2008…
By: Big Rygg
Wasn’t there a guy on the Milwaukee Brewers a few years back that we traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks? I think we got, like, six players for him or something like that…
Sounds familiar…let’s see, I think it was Junior Spivey, Craig Counsell, Jorge De La Rosa, Chad Moeller-cycle, Chris Capuano and Lyle Overbay (that’s six, right?). Yeah, we’ve spun a few of those guys off in the years since and released another. Only Chris Capuano is still with the team, but that trade happened, right?
That guy is currently hitting in the teen-range of the .200s with nine home runs, 60+ strikeouts, 20 something RBIs. He also beats the snot out of southpaw pitchers and sucks hard against righties.
We traded that guy, right?
Then why do I see him on the Milwaukee Brewers’ 25-man roster right now?
Confused? Allow me to clarify…
A buddy of mine at work is a Seattle Mariners fan. I feel bad for him too. When I see news about the Mariners on the internet, I’ll pass him along a link from time to time. I broke him the news about Bill Bavasi’s firing which he was ecstatic about. “About (EXPLETIVE DELTED) time.” was his response.
I saw an article today about one Richmond Lockwood Sexson and the fact that he might simply be cut by the Mariners and their new GM. He’s in the last season of his contract anyway and since he’s played fairly horribly for them over the past two seasons, he isn’t going to be resigned. Also, since he’s playing terribly this year so far, nobody is going to give the Mariners anything in trade at this point.
Well, in that article over about our affiliate site MLB.com (maybe you’ve heard of it), there was some dialogue about his statistics to this point in the year. He said “man, those sound familiar”. He checked into the Brewers players’ statistics and lo and behold but who does he find on the Brewer roster? Richie Sexson masquerading as a part-time third baseman!!! He’s slouching about 8 inches, and somehow hiding about 60 lbs, but that’s him!
Shocked? My friend is out of his mind? Here’s the stat line comparison for 2008:
Sexson: 201 ABs, 44 H, .219 AVG, .295 OBP, 21 R, 9 HR, 23 RBI, 22 BB, 65 K
Hall: 213 ABs, 46 H, .216 AVG, .285 OBP, 22 R, 9 HR, 25 RBI, 18 BB, 60 K
Need more convincing that it’s a Sexson in Hall clothing? Here are the righty-lefty splits for 2008:
Sexson (vs. lefties): 43 AB, 15 H, .349 AVG, .417 OBP, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 9 K
Hall (vs. lefties): 60 AB, 22 H, .367 AVG, .435 OBP, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 13 K
Sexson (vs. righties): 158 AB, 29 H, .184 AVG, .261 OBP, 6 HR, 17 RBI, 56 K
Hall (vs. righties): 153 AB, 24 H, .157 AVG, .223 OBP, 6 HR, 17 RBI, 47 K
That’s eerie folks.
But allow me to get back to the onus of this post…Sexson might be cut outright by the Seattle Mariners, the team with the worst record in the majors. The team with the worst record in the majors and nothing really to gain by cutting Sexson might swallow the remainder of his contract and just cut bait. Oh, and before you think they have some top prospect knocking on the door at AAA? Their starting catcher Kenji Johjima has been taking ground balls at first base.
And yet…here the Milwaukee Brewers sit with one William Hall on their roster. Believe me, Hall has more value than Sexson does as he can play 3B, SS, 2B, CF and probably 1B and either corner OF spot in a pinch. He has his share of errors, but Bill Hall is no Jose Oquendo, okay?
But is the offensive deficiency enough to warrant some sort of off-the-wall move like the Mariners are considering with Sexson?
Personally, I’m a Brewer supporter and that includes the players as individuals. I think Hall offers more to us on our roster than off of it, but I’m putting the question out there to Brewer Nation to get your thoughts on it.
Should the Brewers follow suit (assuming the Mariners go through with it) and cut Bill Hall from the roster outright?
By: Big Rygg
In what is hopefully the first of 9 victories on this homestand, the Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Atlanta Braves by a score of 3-2 courtesy of a Mike Cameron walk-off sacrifice fly. It was one hell of an ending to an exciting game, if at times frustrating, game.
J.J. Hardy had a 3/4 night with two huge RBIs and recently maligned Bill Hall scored the winning run on the aforementioned sac fly. Pretty much every one contributed in some way, but probably the biggest story of the night goes to starting pitcher Dave Bush.
The night started out seemingly on a powder keg as Bush allowed a solo home run in each of the first two innings, one being a rookie’s first career homer. Those two runs, though, would be all the Braves would get off of Bush or any other Brewer pitcher for that matter. Recently acquired Julian Tavarez pitched a perfect 8th inning on 8 pitches and Salomon Torres worked around one hit in the 9th and earned the victory on Cameron’s walk-off.
All in all, a good night for the Brewers and hopefully the jumping off point for a strong homestand. The Brewers are, after tonight, a mere 3 games over .500 at home. Granted, they’ve only played a MLB-lowest 21 games at home, but even still, the Crew needs to pick it up. I’m very encouraged by the face that the Brewers now sit 2 games under .500 overall after having played 31 games on the road so far. That being said, if we pick up the pace on this homestand, we stand to be a few games over .500 by the end of it.
The Braves have won 6 games on the road all year. We need to exploit that. Houston is only one game over .500 on the road, so we can hopefully use that to our advantage. Arizona, who had the majors’ best record at one point this year, did most of that work at home where they are 19-9. Away from Chase Field, they are 11-13.
After the beginning of the year where we ran into everyone’s aces, things have turned a bit, at least during this homestand. We avoid Roy Oswalt when Houston comes to town (even though he’s been getting hit way above average so far this year). We avoid Brandon Webb when the Diamondbacks come to town. We’re going to avoid Tom Glavine while the Braves are here…
The point is, all nine of these games are winnable. We won one…let’s see how far we can take these next eight games.