Posted by Steve
Yikes, what a painful game. About as painful as a win can get, I’d say. The most exciting moment for me was not the game-winning play, mainly because if they didn’t score that inning after having so many chances I probably would have cried and watched more Season 1 of Flight of the Conchords. No, it was when Brian Shouse, King of the One-Pitch Victory, came in and induced another double play to get the Brewers out of a big-time jam. Shouse has put together another very good season for the Crew, and right now I feel better when he’s in the game over anyone else (unless he’s due to face more than one righty in an inning). Anyway, this is one of those wins that is probably bigger for the fans than the team. They’d have still had a decent three-game lead, but fans would be in all-out panic mode if they lost a game in which Sabathia faced a no-name pitcher to push their losing streak to five games.
CC was his usual awesome self again tonight. Pretty soon these “seven inning, one earned run” outings are going to actually raise his ERA. What a freak. I don’t care if he’s a free agent. I wanna keep him. I wanna I wanna.
After a period of solid outings, Gagne is on another bad stretch. Tonight was maybe not as bad as it seemed. Giles made a great swing on a low fastball for a homer, but after the double Gagne did a good job getting out of the inning with the score tied. Truth is, though, that he’s been getting hit pretty hard again lately and I’m honestly surprised that Yost is still using him in high-leverage situations. At this point, I’d put him behind Torres, Shouse, Villanueva, Mota (be honest–who saw THAT turnaround coming?), DiFelice and probably Riske. Maybe even Stetter and Dillard too, which means that I probably wouldn’t mind if they DFA’d Gagne.
Speaking of, I want to see DiFelice get in some games. He pitched very well in his earlier stint with the Brewers and did the same in the minors all year. He doesn’t walk people, and he manages to not get crushed in the process. I’d like to see him in Villanueva’s current long-relief type role with Carlos moving to more seventh and eighth inning assignments.
Prince Fielder is driving me bonkers. No, not with his hitting slump, but with his defense. Namely his overaggressive pursuit of balls that would otherwise be routine grounders to the second baseman, but instead result in infield singles because nobody can get to first base in time. I’m not just saying this now because he did it twice today and once last night, either. He’s been doing it his entire career, and I’ve been calling it “pulling a Prince.” As in, “Oh, the first baseman just pulled a Prince.” That, or “OMG OMG I CAN FIELD IT OMG.”
The Brewers signed Mike Lamb today. He won’t set the world on fire or anything, but I wouldn’t mind seeing him start at third against righties occasionally, mainly because it will keep Counsell’s starts at third to a minimum.
Here’s why I’m trying not to get excited about the Cubs continuing to lose: Their lead on the Brewers is currently four games. On the other hand, the Brewers’ lead on the Phillies for the wildcard is also four games. I’ve been saying that the Brewers have a great chance of the playoffs because of this four-ish game lead they’ve had for awhile. Well, how can I say that the Brewers have a solid shot of catching the Cubs, yet say they have a great chance of holding off the Phillies? I will say that if I was a Cubs fan, I’d ask you to punch me for becoming a Cubs fan. Then I’d start to panic. Not because they might blow a playoff spot – they’re a virtual lock for that – but because if they don’t have Zambrano and Harden for the playoffs they’re not going anywhere.
Sheets-Peavy tomorrow. Man, Sheets seems to get the raw end of the deal when it comes to opposing pitchers, doesn’t he? This season, Ben has faced Carlos Zambrano twice, Johan Santana twice, Jake Peavy twice, Chad Billingsley, Shawn Marcum, Kevin Slowey and Todd Wellemeyer twice (Yeah, yeah, but he’s had a good season). That’s pretty brutal.