Thursday, July 10, 2008

Brewers Rockies Series Recap

The Scores:
Milwaukee Brewers 3 Colorado Rockies 4
Milwaukee Brewers 7 Colorado Rockies 3
Milwaukee Brewers 3 Colorado Rockies 8
Milwaukee Brewers 11 Colorado Rockies 1

MVPs of the Series:
Ryan Braun: 6/16; 2B, HR, BB, 6 RBIs, 2 Rs
Garrett Atkins: 5/12; 2 HRs, 2 BBs, 4 RBIs, 4 Rs

Braun played pretty solid baseball all series, but he will most be remembered this series for starting the CC era off right with a three run blast in the first inning. Bill Hall also played remarkably well, but Braun was the most consistent of the bunch.

Garrett Atkins and Matt Holiday are the only reason the Rockies split this series. The two combined to score or knock in nine of the Rockies 16 runs this series. Atkins single handedly won game three for the Rox, hitting both of his bombs in that game, all while playing a solid third base.

What was the Difference?:
Defense. Every game seemed to have a very pivotal and important play. In game one it was Braun's two double plays. In game two it was CC's catch on the mound with no one out and runners on the corners. Game three was riddled with Jason Kendall catching baserunners to keep the Brewers in it. And then Brad Hawpe's bad throw in the third on Thursday got Rickie to second and started the Brewers' offensive barrage. Neither team played great defense though, as this series was marred by a number of errors.

Causes for Concern:
I'm not really sure how Clint Hurdle can keep trotting Jorge De La Rosa and Mark Redman out there week after week. Anything is better than letting those two guys ruin your team's momentum every few days. I understand Jason Hirsch and Kip Wells are on the DL, but there has to be a better option. Neither of those guys deserve a job. While the NL West is super awful, the Rockies don't stand a chance if they don't do something quick. A lot of people think that the Rox are about two seconds from shipping out Brian Fuentes, but don't be so quick to think he'll be wearing a different uniform by the trade deadline. Teams won't be willing to give up a lot for a mid-level reliever and the Rockies may be better off with him.

The Brewers should be a little concerned about one thing, and nervous as hell about another. The little concern is Guillermo Mota. Yes, he's struggled and Tom Haudricourt wants his head on a platter, but the fact of the matter is that his pitches just don't look the same. In his first 19 outings, Mota carried a 3.08 ERA, and was a solid contributor to this bullpen. But Brewers fans smell blood. Funny, they smelled blood with Gagne a month ago, but that's changing as well. It's not time for Mota to go yet, but he'll need to fix the flaw in his delivery if he thinks the Brewers fans won't let him have it. The big concern is the struggles at the plate. It was feast or famine this week, and when you famine against Glendon Rusch, a red flag pops up. These gimme games have to be won, but until they do that, they'll always be vulnerable and never way ahead.

Causes for Excitement:
Ubaldo Jimenez started the year off with high expectations. He has a live arm, throwing a nasty slider combined with a 95-98 MPH fastball. But Jimenez just couldn't deliver. His starts were inconsistent at best. In his first 11 starts, Jimenez was carring a 1-5 record and a 5.37 ERA. However, things are turning around, and fast. Jimenez's start on Monday was impressive, as was his last start against San Diego, allowing the hard throwing right hander to win three of his last four decisions. His strikeout numbers have turned him into a very serviceable pitcher for the injury prone Rockies.

The easy route for the Brewers is CC Sabathia, but I'm going to say Eric Gagne. Yes, CC is the news of the week, but hidden in all of it is Eric Gagne's three outings since returning from the DL. Eric has been as efficient as ever, needing only nine pitches in his first outing, 15 in his second and 14 in Tuesday's affair. His change-up has been downright nasty and the fastball has been down and on the corners. With the blow up of Mota, the Brewers should be thankful this $10 million set up man, may actually come through for us in a big spot. I don't think the Brewers need another reliever. I'm okay with who we have, except for Mota as of now. Nothing a Tim Dillard can't fix. Nevertheless, pitching is the strong suit of this team, and I'm going to stick to it.

1 comment:

steve said...

Here's another vote for Brewers bullpen...If I remember correctly, the one area disacussed over the winter and into spring training that has yet to be addressed is a lefty bat off the bench. We sort of increased our production against righty pitchers with Branyon, but one more lefty sure would be nice to have against Harden and Zambrano...It could be the difference in one or two or three games which could make the difference for our season.