Monday, April 23, 2007

Brew Crew completes 4-1 homestand

I returned home this past weekend to watch my first Miller Park series of the season and witnessed the Crew take 2 of 3 from the 2nd-place Astros. The Brewers are running on all cylinders and seem to be improving daily. What was once a concern with the defense now seems to be just a product of the cold weather, and Bill Hall is definitely making strides in Center and at the plate. The bullpen was looking a bit shaky at times, but the Wise-Turnbow-Cordero 1-2-3 punch to close out the ballgame is pretty unstoppable at this point; in fact, Coco still doesn't have an ERA, and D-Bow gave up his first runs of the season on Thursday, even though we ended up winning the game anyways.

The three heroes of the homestand were the 3 gentlemen shown above. Dave Bush kept up with 2 trends: dominating the Astros, and alternating great start, bad start. Both fell into place on Sunday, as he tossed 8 scoreless, striking out 7 (he ended up being charged with 3 ER after Coco struggled a bit and his inherited runners scored). Closer Francisco Cordero had 4 saves in 5 days, struggling only a bit on Sunday. Lastly, shortstop J.J. Hardy, coming off a horrendous series in Cincinnati in which he went 1-11 and had 3 errors, racked up 5 hits in the weekend series and hit 4 homeruns on the homestand.

All five of our starters are pitching somewhere between average and great right now. Claudio Vargas racked up 12 Ks in the win on Wednesday, and Suppan followed the 2-game sweep of the Pirates with a 6 IP, 3 ER performance. Sheets pitched well in the loss Friday, giving up 2 over 7 and striking out a season-high 4. Capuano got himself another quality start Saturday, being charged with 4 over 6+ (Villanueva gave up 2 of these 4). Lastly, as mentioned, Bush dominated in the homestand finale. Our starters average around a 4.50 ERA and there are only a handful of games in which a starter has not gone at least 6 innings. This is certainly not stellar on paper, but they keep us in the ballgame and eat innings, and that's all you can ask for in today's game, especially with the Brewers' lineup.

The Crew hits the road for 6 games now, heading to Chicago and Houston. 1st place in the NL Central baby! Note: following Greg Aquino's third straight horrific appearance Friday in which h cost us the perfect homestand, he was sent down to AAA Nashville, and the contract of Chris Spurling was purchased and he was called up to take Aquino's spot.


Twins 1-2 @ Royals (11-7, 1st AL Central)

Brewers 2-1 v. Astros (11-7, 1st NL Central)

Reds 1-2 v. Phillies (9-10, 3rd NL Central)

No comments: