5/25 Brewers vs. Nats (Happy Branyan Day!)

Posted by Steve

The Sunday day game has Manny Parra against Tim Redding. More importantly, it is both the first day of the rest of our lives, and the first day in which Russell Branyan replaces Tony Gwynn on the MLB roster. Fun fact pointed out at brewerfan: Russell Branyan had more homers in his 100 minor leagues at bats than Tony Gwynn does in his professional career.

  • Today’s lineup looks extremely strange. Bill Hall, J.J. Hardy, Ryan Braun and Jason Kendall are all sitting. I don’t mind sitting guys, but why can’t Ned adjust the batting order when he does that? Kapler is playing left for Braun and hitting third! Redding isn’t even left handed! How can you not move Corey Hart up to the third spot?
  • Tim Redding allowed only an infield single and recorded two strikeouts in the first. He did have to throw 20 pitches though, so it wasn’t a total failure.
  • In Yost’s defense, Braun is sick, which is why Kapler is in left. I still would have chosen Dillon, and I definitely wouldn’t have hit Kapler third. Yuck.
  • Aaron Boone hitting cleanup may actually be more embarrassing than Kapler hitting third. Actually probably not, because at least Boone is a righty hitting against a lefty.
  • Cristian Guzman doubled, advanced to third and then scored on a wild pitch. Eh. Rivera had a pretty weak effort trying to block the pitch. Manny had a quicker inning though.
  • Bill says “Corey Hart is the guy you want up late in the game with runners in scoring position.” I looked it up. In close and late situations, Corey Hart has a .538 OPS. When will he ever do some research?
  • Branyan’s first at-bat! Here we go…
  • Laces a single to right! w00t
  • Rivera follows up with a line drive to center. In business now.
  • Bad luck. Counsell hits the ball hard on the ground, but right at Zimmerman. 5-4-3 DP.
  • After hitting a double, Lastings Milledge makes a terrible baserunning play and gets thrown out at third on a grounder to short. Manny got out of the inning unscathed.
  • Parra leads off with a bloop into center, and the Nationals defense inexplicably let it fall between three players.
  • Weeks has not looked good against Redding. Two Ks, both from swinging at bad pitches.
  • Think Lastings Milledge has his head in the game? After that terrible baserunning move, he catches the third out in center and immediately fires the ball back in to the infield. Classic.
  • Redding returns the favor with a single of his own on a grounder up the middle.
  • Felipe Lopez grounds nicely into a double play, and then Branyan makes a nice play at third. Three down, 0-0 through three.
  • Fielder with a leadoff single. Five hits now without a run. Time to get something going.
  • Hart K’d, Branyan flew out and then Rivera dumped a single into right. First and third, two down for Counsell.
  • Counsell got the ol’ uninentional intentional walk on four pitches. Loaded for Manny. Crap.
  • Parra stikes out. Six hits and no runs through four innings. They’ve had someone on base each inning.
  • Now Zimmerman and Boone lead off the inning with back-to-back singles.
  • Milledge lines a ground rule double to left. 2-0, runners on second and third and still no outs.
  • Yuck Manny. After striking out Flores, he inexplicably threw a strike to Wily Mo Pena on a 1-2 count (this was after Pena swung at a ball at his shoulders the previous pitch). Four hits and three runs in this inning.
  • Nothing like following up a near-miss inning on offense with a meltdown on the mound. Parra issues a four pitch walk, and the bullpen is busy in the fourth inning. Good grief.
  • After a sac bunt, Mike Cameron runs down a ball in the gap that would have made it a 6-0 game. At least that kept the Brewers in the game for the time being.
  • Weeks watches strike three fly by right over the plate for his third K of the game. He has looked anything but comfortable today.
  • Aaron Boone hits a two-run homer to make it 6-0, and suddenly I am dangerously close to cutting this off early to go play some GTA4.
  • DiFelice comes in to finish out the inning.
  • Hey, signs of life! Prince leads off with a single, then Hart works the count full before hitting a homer to center! That’s five homers for Haert on this road trip.
  • Now a double from Branyan, followed by a pop-out from Rivera.
  • Huge inning brewing here. Joe Dillon with a RBI pinch hit. Weeks HBP and then Cameron with a two RBI double! Then Kapler lobs one over short, scoring Cameron, and we’re suddenly tied at six! GTA4 will have to wait an hour or two.
  • Tim Dillard looking impressive so far, as he worked another quick inning.
  • Rivera hits into a double play to end the inning. On to the bottom of 7th, still 6-6.
  • Holy defense! Rivera throws out Lopez trying to steal, Kapler makes a backhanded diving catch in left and then the biggest shocker of all: Weeks ranges to his right, fields the ball on a backhand, jump-throws a strike to first and Fielder makes a great stretch to beat the runner by half a step. Amazing!
  • They have to win this game, right? After coming back from 6-0 and making all these great plays?
  • After Counsell and Braun (pinch-hitting) are retired, Weeks gets HBP’d for the second time this game.
  • With two outs in a tie game in the eighth inning, it seems like a good time for Rickie to try to swipe a bag.
  • Well he did try to steal, but Cameron grounded out on the pitch. Crap. Well if they can hold them, they have 3-4-5 coming up in the ninth. Then again, when your three hitter is Gabe Kapler, that statement becomes less exciting.
  • Stellar day for the bullpen so far. DiFelice came in for Parra in the fifth and allowed nothing. Dillard worked two scoreless innings (although the seventh was saved by defense), and Mota just worked a 1-2-3 eighth. Time to take the lead in the ninth.
  • If they are going to take the lead, they’ll have to do it against the gigantic (and good) Jon Rauch.
  • No dice. Rauch set them down in the order.
  • Freakin’ Mota and his walks. He gives Dukes the free pass, and then Dmitri young pinch hits and hits a single. Dukes got to third, and the winning run is 90 feet away. After coming back, this would be a particularly brutal loss.
  • Ha! And in a particularly brutal fashion. First-pitch wild pitch from Mota ends the game. Nice job. Weee!
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