The bright spots in the 2012 Milwaukee Brewers season have been few and far between. There's Ryan Braun somehow being better without Prince Fielder or PEDs (joke!), there's George Kottaras' emergence as the premier lothario of Milwaukee, there was Jonathan Lucroy, there's Aoki and then there is... uhh.. hmm... Well, that's about it really. There is almost nothing to warm you up and think that everything is going to be okay. Nothing that makes you belive this team can turn it around. Nothing that makes you sit back and say "I love baseball. I love the Brewers." I mean, nothing besides Zack Greinke at least.
For the past month Zack Greinke has been everything we dreamed he could be two winters ago. He has been an unstoppable, sophisticated pitching robot sent from the future to strikeout batters and change the future for one lucky lady. Every fifth day has been like sex and pastrami at the same time for Brewers fans. He's already posted a 3.6 WAR (wins above replacement) compared to his 3.9 last season. He's in line for an All-Sta Game start and on the shortlist for Cy Young contenders. Zack Greinke has been surreal, god-like, amazeballs and every other word you can think of to describe extreme awesomeness. We should be absolutely living the dream right now. Strutting around town in our Zack Greinke shirseys listening to "You're The Best" by Joe Esposito on replay forever. We should be writing songs about him.
The Man they call Zack!
We robbed from the Royals and he gave us some more,
He stood up to the man and he gave him what for.
Our love for him now, aint hard to explain, The hero of Milwaukee,
The Man They Call Zack!
Unfortunately, that's not happening. Instead, Brewers fans who consider this season to be lost are calling for the Brewers to trade Zack Greinke and that gives me a sad face. See? Continue reading »
POP QUIZ HOTSHOT: Who leads the 2012 Milwaukee Brewers in OPS?
ANSWER: Ryan Braun, duh. Who else would it be?
The answer to that question is not surprising. Ryan Braun is the man. He's one of the best hitters in the league and one of the best hitters the Milwaukee Brewers franchise has ever seen. So, yeah, duh. No big surprise there.
What has surprised us though is who the Brewers second most valuable player has been because that guy is someone that we didn't see coming. That guy has always been a valuable member of the franchise, but it's never been anything quite like this. That guy has become the most popular player on the team and the new king of Milwaukee. That guy is Jonathan Lucroy.
I know, I can't believe it either. (I wanted it to be you Rickie. Sorry if the pressure got to you.)
In a season where everything seems to go wrong for the Milwaukee Brewers, everything has seemed to go right for Jonathan Lucroy. His outs come at times when the Brewers don't need him and his hits seem to come exactly when they do. Every ball he hits hard finds its way between the outfielders and every time he steps up with runners on they end up scoring. He's gritty and clutch and "a gamer" and all those other things people like to write about. (And, omg, he is so dreamy.) Jonathan Lucroy is absolutely killing it right now. I can't explain why it's happening. Baseball is a crazy game and these things just happen sometime so we should all just enjoy this while it lasts because who knows when it will end. Okay?
This isn't the part where we talk about advanced stats and do that whole thing. This is the part where we enjoy it. Continue reading »
Much like everyone else in the world I recently read Suzanne Collins' hit novel The Hunger Games. It was a pretty good read, quite the page turner actually, and I am excited to see the movie. (Woody Harrelson as Haymitch and Lenny Kravitz as Cinna is seriously inspired casting. And I'd like to give Jennifer Lawrence a Winter's Bone. #ifyouknowwhatimean) The ending left a little bit to be desired, but whatever. I'll probably read the sequels. Katniss is a badass, yo.
Now you may be wondering why I am talking about a YA novel that is soon to be a major motion picture on a Milwaukee Brewers blog. Shouldn't we be talking about spring training or something? Well, first of all I'd like to ask: is this your first time reading this site? Just be happy we're not writing about outfits. Second of all, spring training is borrrriiiiinnnnnggggggg. Thirdly, the book got me thinking about the Milwaukee Brewers and their own killing tendencies.
You see in The Hunger Games there is a tournament with 24 entrants and they must all fight to the death in order to win. The Milwaukee Brewers have 25 roster spots. 25 and 24 are only one number apart! The Hunger Games is filled with a bunch of people with weird names (Katniss, Peeta, Cinna) and so are the Brewers (Norichika, Yovani, "Ryan".) Baseball is a sport and The Hunger Games is like a sporting event. The parallels between this book and the Brewers are endless! (Okay maybe not, but roll with me here.) There are so many similarities between these two things that the question needs to be asked: Who would win the Hunger Games if it only consisted of players on the Brewers 25 man roster? Let's find out. Continue reading »
If game 1 was the game that everything went right for the Brewers then game 2 was the game that everything didn't. Zack Greinke alternated between being a good pitcher and throwing batting practice for Diamondbacks hitters. Once up 4-1 the scoreboard read 4-4 after Justin Upton's homerun to tie the game. The mood was quiet in Miller Park when the Brewers came to bat in their half of the inning and to say the crowd was nervous at this point would be an understatement as few seemed to realize the Brewers were in the middle of a tie game. The anxiety was magnified in the 6th inning when Roenicke decided he'd had enough and turned to the bullpen. The message was clear to those looking for a reason to panic: Zack Greinke, the former Cy Young winner who was supposed to save our pitching staff, couldn't make it through the sixth inning. Takashi Saito came in and did a good job keeping the game tied, but the crowd remained reserved. When Rickie Weeks led off the following inning with a groundout it did nothing to help stir the sleeping crowd. It was a tie game that felt like a 6-4 game. Then this happened:
Jerry Hairston doubled.
For the first time in recorded history a reliever was brought in to face Yuniesky Betancourt.
Brad Ziegler BALKED Hairston to third.
Yuni WALKED. (!)
Jonathan Lucroy did the sweetest squeeze bunt ever and the Brewers took the lead.
The Brewers would go on to add five more runs in the inning, but this sequence right here is what sealed it. This sequence turned the crowd from lethargic to "Miller Park is shaking right now. Should we be worried?" mode. Just like Braun throwing out Bloomquist the night before, this was the moment that you KNEW the Brewers were going to win.
There have been only two games thus far, but the numbers look so good it's hard not to mention them. Ryan Braun is hitting .750 in the playoffs. Seven fifty. The Brewers bullpen hasn't allowed a run in five innings. Jerry Hairston is the starting third baseman all of the sudden and he's hitting .500. Yuniesky Betancourt drew a walk. Everything is looking good for this team. Everything. If the playoffs are all about luck (and I'm inclined to believe that they are) then the Brewers have got to be the favorite from here on out because at this moment every single thing is going their way.
I am going to try and not get too excited. I'm going to try and not let these two games cloud my vision. I know there is a long way to go. I know these are only two games, but wow... just wow. What a weekend.
This week we all learned about Zack Greinke's basketball related injury that will keep him out for 4-6 weeks and delay his Brewers debut by a few weeks. It isn't the end of the world, but at the same it's not exactly what we had in mind for our new superstar and it sucks. What sucks even more is that Zack Greinke isn't the only Milwaukee Brewer currently experiencing an injury. In fact, there are quite a few of them and it's getting to the point where it's hard to keep up with all of them. That's why we decided to do the Milwaukee Brewers Universe a favor and create a comprehensive guide to all the aches and pains currently ailing the home town team. What can we say? We aim to please. Continue reading »