Monday, June 9, 2008
A Dominant Homestand
The Brewers finished the most recent homestand 8-1 to improve to 4 games over .500, and after winning only one against the Rockies in Denver are now at 33-30, which is sadly only good for 3rd in the division since the Cubs are also red-hot right now. I'll let Erik chime in on his views on the Rockies series since he was there. With a huge series against the 4th place Astros looming, the biggest story as of late has been the third base platoon and subsequent trade demands of Billy Hall. He was no doubt going to earn himself a trade next year with a decent season because of the impending promotions of Mat Gamel, Matt LaPorta, and possibly even Tony Gwynn Jr. Now with his .225 batting average and whining about playing time, his stock has lowered significantly and I don't see him being shipped anytime soon, although a Greg Maddux-Bill Hall trade is becoming more and more appealing.
The other big stories are our all-of-a-sudden dominant pitching (with a couple exceptions) in the last 3+ weeks, and the re-emergence of Gabe Kapler, who is out to prove that his hot April hitting was not a fluke. Gabe has a legitimate chance to at the very least earn a platoon with Mike Cameron, if not the starting job. He has raised his average about 40 points in the past two weeks and has made many spectacular plays in the outfield, and "the Hebrew Hammer" is slowly emerging as the new fan "cult favorite," following in the footsteps of such recent players as Brooks Kieschnick, Jeff Bennett, Derrick Turnbow, and Jeff Cirillo in his latest stint with the team.
Lastly, news on the injury front. Neither Eric Gagne nor David Riske are close to returning to action, even though both are throwing off of flat ground at about 80% and their 15 days both expired a while ago. Rickie Weeks tweaked his knee covering the bag on a hard slide in Friday night's game and was replaced by Joe Dillon in the lineup for Saturday and Sunday's games. Weeks is flying back to Milwaukee this morning to have his knee scoped and hopefully he'll be alright in a few days.
- There were two notable brawls last week, both involving the Rays. One occurred when newly-emerging douchebag Coco Crisp of the Red Sox charged the mound after being hit with a pitch as retaliation for his dangerous slide the night before. Lucky for Shields (and for Crisp), he didn't land his attempted roundhouse punch with his pitching hand. The other "brawl" happened yesterday when Rays C Dioner Navarro had a few words with Matt Garza after he gave up a an RBI single in the 4th inning and the two proceeded to get into a shoving match in the dugout. Many suspensions handed out from the brawl with the BoSox; no word if Joe Madden has suspended any of his own players for the latter incident.
- The Los Angeles Angels have been awarded the 2010 All-Star Game for some reason, when newer ballparks Great American Ballpark, PETCO Park, and Chase Field have not yet hosted one, and Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City has NEVER had one.
- 10 DAYS UNTIL OUR TRIP TO NEW NATIONALS PARK!!!
STANDINGS AND UPCOMING SERIES AS OF 06.09:
Brewers 33-30, -6.5 (3 @ Astros, 3 v. Twins)
Reds 30-34, -10.0 (3 v. Cardinals, 3 v. Red Sox)
Twins 31-32, -5.5 (3 @ Indians, 3 @ Brewers)
RACE FOR 2008 "MOST GAMES ATTENDED" TITLE:
Erik - 10
Peter - 19