Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun has been elected to Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game in each of his five full seasons in the big leagues.
The first three games saw Braun reach base exactly zero times in seven at-bats. He struck out three times to boot. (Braun’s fourth election resulted in him not playing in the game due to injury.)
Earlier tonight though, Braun started his fourth Midsummer Classic for the National League, playing left field, and hitting third in manager Tony La Russa’s lineup. Following a one-out single by San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera, Braun dug into the right-handed batter’s box.
On a 2-1 count, Braun took a 98-MPH fastball from American League starting pitcher Justin Verlander over the head of starting right fielder Jose Bautista for an RBI double, giving the National League a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Braun would later score from third base on Pablo Sandoval’s bases-clearing triple, but the run he drove in held up the entire way as the National League shut out the American League be a final score of 8-0!
In the fourth inning, with two outs, Ryan Braun then tripled into the right field corner. (He was stranded there when Joey Votto grounded out to end the inning.) That second hit was the first time a Milwaukee Brewer has ever recorded two hits in the same All-Star Game. A little piece of history is always a good thing.
Braun contributed on defense as well during his four innings in the field, tracking down two deep fly balls on the warning track and catching another in much shallower left. But the crowning moment was a leaping catch while running at full sprint to take away a double from Home Run Derby champion Prince Fielder to end both the fourth inning and Braun’s night of work.
Offensively, Braun finished 2-for-3 with a double, triple, RBI and run scored. Without a tremendous diving catch by Jose Bautista, Braun could have been 3-for-3 and again, his RBI was the game-winning RBI! Ryan Braun is the also only the fifth player to hit a double and triple in the same All-Star Game. He joins Earl Averill, Willie Mays, Mike Schmidt, and George Brett.
All things considered, it was an extremely positive All-Star break for the reigning National League Most Valuable Player.
Congratulations to Ryan!
Congratulations are also in order to Brewers manager Ron Roenicke who was named to Tony La Russa’s staff after the Brewers made it to the National League Championship Series in 2011.
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: Big Rygg
ays would not only win what is arguably the most top-heavy division in baseball but would then advance through the American League playoffs to win a game in the World Series?
By: Big Rygg
First of all…Happy Birthday to me!
With that out of the way, I can move on to other topics.
Do you know the old expression in baseball “Pray for rain”? For example, when a team has , for instance, two dominant starting pitchers and the others on the staff are terrible or at least sub-par, the expression is used by that team’s fans to indicate that they have supreme faith in their big two and want them to pitch every game. Like the year the Diamondbacks won the World Series, it could have easily been “(Curt) Schilling, (Randy) Johnson…and pray for rain.”
Obviously that can’t happen in baseball because there are far too many games, and everyone knows this, but it’s a fun sentiment either way.
I bring it up, not because I don’t have any faith in Jeff Suppan or Sethid McBush (the name I’ve given our hybrid 5th starter since Ned Yost has decided to try the home/road platoon with Seth McClung and Dave (David) Bush for the time being), but because I believe our opponents will start using it in a very different manner soon, if they haven’t already.
Yes, I believe that our opponents will soon be saying “Suppan, McBush, and pray for rain.” This phrase of course meaning that they’ll hope they face our pitchers that have actually been hittable from time to time and then the third game of the series will be rained out so that they don’t have to face CC Sabathia, Ben Sheets or Manny Parra.
Allow me to discuss a case-in-point…
Brewers 9, Giants 1
The Brewers opened up the second “half” of their season last night in San Francisco, California. The opposition, if you could even call them that last night, were the flu-affected Giants. Their starting second and first basemen were out sick with the same flu-like symptoms that kept Tim Lincecum from pitching in the All-Star Game.
But all that aside, Giants Manager Bruce Bochy still filled out his lineup card with nine big leaguers. One of those was young strikeout artist Matt Cain who toed the rubber for San Francisco. He lived up to his own billing for six innings before running into trouble in the 7th. He allowed two base runners in without recording an out in the frame which his relief then allowed to score. Prior to that, the only run he gave up was when Brewer starting pitcher Sabathia scored after his second hit as a Brewer (a double to right-center).
Speaking of Sabathia, he was amazing again. We all know that the Giants don’t exactly have a good offense, and they’re even worse when Cain is on the hill for some reason, but they looked foolish Friday night. Sabathia pitched a 110-pitch complete game near shutout, cruising through everyone and everything except for a bad pitch to Aaron Rowand to start off the 8th inning. 78 of his pitches were thrown for strikes, which is a strong ratio. Sabathia even helped out with his bat as I had mentioned already. He scored the Brewers first run.
Yes, the Brewers blew it open late once Cain tired and the Giant bullpen faltered, but two runs were all Sabathia needed to win his third game in three starts for Milwaukee.
Today, the Giants face Ben Sheets. Come on Sheets…how about a series win as a nice birthday present for me?
San Francisco? If I were you, I’d start praying.