Yesterday Yovani Gallardo pitched in what was probably his 2nd or 3rd worst start of the season for the Milwaukee Brewers. Which is funny because I never for one second thought that the game was in doubt. When Yovani hits homeruns, the Brewers win. It's just that easy, but it's more than that too. When Yovani gets the ball, we expect to win. Something is happening here. Something amazing and every time Yovani Gallardo takes the mound for the Brewers is becoming must see TV. He is the Seinfeld of the Brewers TV lineup. (Randy Wolf? The Marriage Ref.)
How good has Yovani been? Well, including yesterday's start he's been the fourth most valuable player in the National League according to WAR (Wins Above Replacement). Not pitcher, player. Think about that for a second. All season long we have heard and talked about Hart's power surge or Casey McGehee's continued success at the plate, but we haven't heard much about Yovani Gallardo. He's not only been the team's ace, but he's been the team's MVP and put himself in the conversation for best pitcher in the National League. Seriously. Thus far this season Yovani has been better than Johan Santana, Roy Halladay (not by much, but still), Tim Hudson, Roy Oswalt, Tim Lincecum, Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter. This is really happening.
And to think just under two months ago Anthony Witrado said this about him: Continue reading »
I had this friend once, we've all had this friend once or twice, that broke up with his girlfriend and it was an ugly breakup. People were put in the middle of things that they wanted no part of, friendships were lost and the whole thing was wholly un-enjoyable for everyone. After things started to blow over he started to call her at bar time, you know what for. This was a terrible decision. Sure, the reason he called her would work out in his favor, but it was the morning and the days after that would be the problem. The same old drama would bring itself back up and they'd have to have a talk. Nobody likes to have talks. I once saw a man jump out of a five story building to avoid having a talk. Still, a week later the same thing would happen all over again. Why?
Prince Fielder likes to swing at high fastballs. He does this a lot. He does this a lot with two strikes on him when you and me and everyone we know know it's coming. Hey Prince, don't swing at this pitch because it's going to be a high fastball and you can't catch up to it! And then he strikes out. This happens all the time. There is no way that the other team doesn't know that he likes to swing at high fastballs because everyone knows he likes to swing at high fastballs and they continue to be thrown at him in these types of situations. Most of the time, he strikes out. Why?
I am a regular attendant of what people like to call "after bars". The period between whenever I arrived at the bar (anywhere from 1PM to 12AM) until the time they close is just not enough for me sometimes and I need to go somewhere that I can drink more. I don't really care where it is; my place, a backyard, a hotel room, a friend of mine who still lives with his parents' basement or anywhere else. Hell, I don't care WHAT it is. I once had an after bar with a bottle of Apple Pucker. I just like to continue drinking with people long after the bar is closed. No matter what I have to do in the morning, I do this. I know it's not smart or necessary, I just do it. Why?
Manny Parra has a problem with pitch counts. It takes him a lot of pitches to get through innings. In his seven starts this season he has never made it past the sixth inning and in every game that he has made it through at least 5 he has thrown over 90 pitches. This isn't efficient. For Manny Parra to give himself and the team the best chance at winning he needs to go deeper into games, but he doesn't. Why? Continue reading »
Last night the Milwaukee Brewers won a game that they haven't won all season. A game that made you feel good about watching and supporting this particular team. A game that made you realize why you had so much optimism for this group at the beginning of the season. A game that makes the Asian groundskeepers in Major League think the Brewers are "not so shitty." Down 3-0 early the team stormed back to take the lead, then they gave up some more runs and it looked like they were going to somehow find a way to lose this thing. It seemed fated that way, only it wasn't. Our starter gave up runs and the bullpen struggled, not only that but we've never been able to beat the Twins with any sort of consistency and - God! - can we ever catch a freakin' break? We've all seen this story unfold a thousand times, this year nearly every single one of the first 40 losses of the season can be told like this, but it wasn't going to be like that on this night. Not if John Axford had anything to do with it.
We haven't written about John Axford in this space yet this season, which is strange because the rest of the blogosphere has (BrewCrewBall even has a shirt), but it makes sense if you know anything about us or this website. You see, we've been burned before. We've become attached and things happened, because things always happen and they inevitably have to happen, and we got our feelings hurt. It didn't feel good. It felt awful. Soul crushing. Last night I was overwhelmed with fear that I'd be hearing that familiar AC/DC song in the ninth and I couldn't take it. The wounds are still too fresh, seeing Trevor Hoffman enter into the game in a save situation would have been like running into your ex-girlfriend while you were on a date with the new girl you're seeing. You still have feelings, but you want it to be over. You know it's wrong. That's me right now. I want this thing with John Axford to work, more than you could ever know, he's what I've been looking for all along. I'm ready to move on. I'm ready for them to take that silly sign down and fully embrace John Axford as my new special someone. (I also think he should be the closer.) Only I wasn't ready to make the move, wasn't ready to commit and the Brewers probably weren't either, but John Axford is not the type of guy to stand idly by and wait for you to make a decision. No, John Axford knows what he wants and he's willing to take it. Last night, John Axford did something that Trevor Hoffman could not have done and he did it with relative ease. He stared down Jim Thome, Nick Punto, Jason Kubel, Denard Span, Orlando Hudson, Joe Mauer, and Justin Morneau and he took care of them. It was positively boner building. Last night, John Axford proved that he belongs, proved that the Brewers no longer have a need for Trevor Hoffman and proved that he is much more than a funny mustache. John Axford is awesome.