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.
Apparently today was "everyone is freaking out about the Phillies series so Brewers bloggers write posts about how it's going to be okay" day and if there is one thing I never want to miss out on it's a good "everything is going to be okay" post.
Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker tried to give everyone a little context today by looking at the Brewers record against their likely playoff opponents and even points out that, despite this weekend, the Brewers have a positive run differential in their season series against the Phillies. He also points out that the last time the Brewers played their most likely first round opponent, the Braves, they took three out of four games at Miller Park and that the team's record over 162 is more indicative of their talent than these games and those are all good points that give you something to think about, sure, but Moore stops short of admitting that this is a small sample size that says absolutely nothing about the Brewers' playoff fates.
The Brewers Bar took some time out this weekend to tell us that math was still on the Brewers side. This should seem obvious, but just seeing it on the page that the Cardinals would have to go 12-5 just to tie a 5-10 Brewers team puts a smile on my face. I'd give him more credit, but then he had to go and write this:
There's still a lot of baseball left to decide seeding, but there isn't enough left for the Brewers to realistically choke away a playoff appearance... even if it seems like they're trying.
Thankfully we have Adam McCalvy to point out that any team facing Chris Carpenter, Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee on consecutive days is going to struggle at the plate. He also points out that the Brewers don't play another winning team for the rest of the season, much less a team like the Phillies. Which is honestly all that really needs to be said about the weekend, but if you are one of the people who is worried about the Brewers let me ask you this. Continue reading »
I just read this. So I wrote this awesomeawfulaverage? come on give me average poem.
It's my site, I do what I want.
It is coming and it is loud.
It is strong and it is proud.
It is coming, it has vowed.
It is not a call that can be dropped.
More like a train that will not be stopped.
Or a bubble that just won't pop.
Like a tornado, throwing things around.
Like an earthquake, tearing up the ground.
He is both and he is none.
He's like a hurricane that makes you run.
He is your hopes and your dreams.
Your tears and your screams.
You love him, but he don't love you too.
It doesn't matter because he'll make your dreams come true.
He'll be back soon in a limited role,
but the whole he will fill,
Could fill my soul.
Rickie's on his way so you better get ready.
Weeks is coming back, it's time to rock steady?
"Steady rockin' all night long"?
That is a song by the Whispers,
But Rickie Weeks won't be quiet.
His return is much more likely to cause a riot.
We don't know much right now. We don't know exactly what's wrong. We don't know how long he'll be gone. We don't know who will replace him. All that we know is that Rickie Weeks got hurt tonight and the sky started falling.
Maybe it's just a sprain. Maybe he won't be out for long. Maybe his 15-day DL stint is just that and the Brewers won't skip a beat. I want to think these things. I want to believe these things. Yet I can't shake the image I saw tonight. Rickie Weeks, the man who takes fastballs to the face and laughs it off, the man who stands in the middle of the plate like Happy Gilmore at the batting cages just for kicks, the toughest of all the Brewers; laying on the ground unable to get up and stand on his own feet. His season flashed before my eyes and with his season went the Brewers season. There will be no playoffs for this team. The Brewers' season is over.
(Hang on a second. How am I doing? Does it sound like I'm really shaken up? Do you think I'm giving up on the season because Weeks got hurt? Are you buying this?) Continue reading »
We've reached the halfway point of the season (not really, but MLB likes to pretend that the All-Star Game is the midway point of the season so we're going to go with it) and the good news is the Milwaukee Brewers are currently tied for first place. The bad news is everything else. After years of hoping for success the Brewers are finally experiencing some and we've found there are a lot more problems at the top. It's just like the plot of every movie ever.
It's been a very strange first half of the season. There are so many things to be happy about (Prince, Braun, Weeks) and so many things to make you angry (Greinke, Yuni, McGehee, Greinke again, Yuni again, Greinke) that you end up looking at the day's boxscore and the result tells you how you feel about them. Outside of being busy (and lazy) (and drunk), the unpredictable nature of this season has limited my writing the most. I didn't know what to write.
There has been ups and downs, but the Brewers are in a good spot. They're in first place. (Hey, have I mentioned they're in first place!?) Let's take a look at how things stands at the end of the first half. You know, cover all the bases (see what I did there?) and just for fun we're going to do it "Best and Worst" style (without permission) like Brandon Stroud does at With Leather every Tuesday for WWE Raw. Continue reading »