Home runs are only bad when you’re trying to come back

Posted by Steve

Cecil Cooper was obviously an awesome player – one of the most popular Brewers ever – but I’m sure glad he isn’t managing the Crew. Check out this amazingly real quote from Coop after Friday’s game. From Yahoo Sports:

1B Lance Berkman, a threat to win the National League Triple Crown as one of the hottest hitters in baseball this season, resorted to dropping a bunt single in the eighth inning while down by four. It was only the second bunt single of his career and first since 2002. “That’s a good play,” Cecil Cooper said of Berkman’s decision to bunt with the third baseman playing him deep. “That’s a baseball player’s play. It’s a nice job. We need base runners. If you hit a ball out of a ballpark, I call them rally killers when you get down like that. We need to keep a rally going, and that was a nice play to me.”

Apparently, bunting for a single is worse than hitting a home run in that situation. Yikes. The Astros followed up that game by getting thrown out trying to steal like 13 times on Saturday. It helps to put things in perspective a bit; Yost is not the only manager to say/do incredibly strange things.

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Is it too early to name Russell Branyan as the frontrunner for NL MVP? His call-up has worked incredibly well so far. In nine games and 20 ABs he has a 1.14 OPS. He already has two full Three True Outcome games (homer, walk, K). I believe he now holds spots # 1, 3 and 5 for the longest home runs in Miller Park history. And not only has his bat been amazing, but his defense has been flawless at third base. Bill Hall better get used to part-time duty; right-handers are Branyan’s until further notice. I’m honestly angry it took this long to call him up.

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Great all-around series against Houston. Some awesome individual performances, but one that could be the biggest lift is Dave Bush. He now has back to back good outings and is starting to drop his numbers back below “embarrassing.” His velocity has been in the low 90s in his last couple starts; before that he was pretty much in the upper-eighties. It sure would be swell to get Bush going, because that means there would only be one hole in the rotation instead of two. Speaking of that…

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McClung is not going to be the answer as the fifth starter. After a pretty solid outing against Washington, the superior Braves offense picked him apart. I imagine he’ll get another start or two, but that’s more because there are not really any other options. The pitching staff is still in trouble, as a whole.

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On the bright side, Ben Sheets is still awesome. If the Brewers were waiting to see whether he’s healthy/effective this year, they’ve seen all they need. It’s time to start working at an extension yesterday.

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Last year in fantasy baseball, I traded Fausto Carmona and another player (can’t remember) for Josh Beckett about halfway into the season. I got burned big time, as Carmona completely dominated in the second half. I remembered that very well, and as a result, drafted Fausto in just about every league I’m in this season. Well I got burned again, as his numbers are bafflingly awful this season. 58 innings, 23 strikeouts, 38 walks. Yep, a sweet 0.6 k/bb ratio. To top it off, he recently went on the DL.

In my one league I joined for money, the first three pitchers I selected were C.C. Sabathia, Fausto Carmona and Matt Cain. To this point, none of the three have been able to crack Yahoo’s elusive “Top 700 Players” list. Keep your fingers crossed. I’m confident at least one will by the end of the season.

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The Cubs are making me very annoyed these days, especially when the Rockies blew that 8-0 lead day. If you’re looking for signs of encouragement, note that the Cubs’ bullpen, particularly Carlos Marmol, is logging a ton of innings. A poster at BF noted that three Cubs relievers are already over 30 innings, while Torres is the only one for the Brewers. Marmol burned out last year, and he’s easily on pace to exceed last year’s innings total.

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I know Gabe Kapler had a double and a triple today, but I’m torn as to whether I should post a beefcake pic. I mean, he didn’t exactly do more to win than Braun, Branyan, etc. Eh, what the heck. I never thought he’d last with the big league team this long, anyway.

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