By: Big Rygg
If you likes you some offense, was this ever a game for you. Pitching on both sides (for the most part) was shaky at best and (most of) the bats were nice and warm on both sides as well.
The Brewers jumped on Met starting pitcher Oliver Perez early, courtesy of a Gabe “Boom Boom” Kapler two-run home run. Perez set down the next three Brewers in order.
But therein lies the secondary story of this offensive outburst. That order was not as it had been all season prior to this game; Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun and Bill Hall. Instead, per their personal request, Fielder and Braun were swapped in the order to the configuration they hit during the majority of the 2007 season. Braun hit 3rd, Fielder cleaned up (poorly today) and Bill Hall and his 5 home runs still hit 5th in the order.
Prior to their personal request for the swap, Ned Yost had said that a switch of Braun and Fielder would simply be a “placebo”, implying that it would be completely a mental thing if it helped out. Obviously, it’s too early to tell what kind of effect it might have, but it was nice to see Ryan Braun with a couple of hits and RBI. Fielder, as I mentioned earlier, didn’t fair so well. He went 0/5 (with a walk). Ultimately, this has a chance to break both men out of their respective funks. That’s a good thing.
As for Brewer starting pitcher Jeff Suppan, he only last 4.0 innings and didn’t exactly do well in keeping the ball down. Salomon Torres pitched two innings, Brian Shouse and Guillermo Mota pitched dangerous innings, but Eric Gagne slammed the door in the 9th, recording the Brewers only 1-2-3 inning all night, for his third save overall, his second in as many nights.
Hopefully people have a little more faith in Gagne after this series.
What was noticeable was how Derrick Turnbow was not pitching in the 8th inning yet again. There was a two-run lead to protect and Yost called Mota out of the ‘pen. Mota got some help on defense highlighted by an excellent double play from Prince Fielder without which he might have given up the lead. Will Turnbow ever get the 8th inning gig back? I think it truly depends on others faltering first, to be honest, which is unfortunate in my opinion.
But, the Brewers won again, so does it really matter who pitches the 8th? Well, it does, but it didn’t tonight ultimately.
So some questions for all of you out there (if there are any of you left…):
- Is this a long-term switch with Braun and Fielder (and if so, what do you expect from it)?
- Was this just an off night for Suppan, or is his summer starting early?
- What’s your confidence level like in Eric Gagne now?
- Should Gabe Kapler start every game in centerfield (assuming Gwynn is still injured) until Mike Cameron comes off suspension?
Feel encouraged to answer any or all of these questions.