Milwaukee Brewers 3 Arizona D'Backs 6
Dave Bush reverted to the mean and the Brewers' offense fell quiet to Doug Davis and the Arizona bullpen, sending game one of the four game series to the home team. The first inning made this game look like it was going to be a high scoring affair, as both teams took advantage of mistake pitches and scored twice. But both pitchers would settle down until the fifth when Dave Bush, who pitched from behind all night, finally broke and tossed in a mental error for good measure allowing the D'backs to score three. Their bullpen, as it has all year, refused to break and Brandon Lyon finished the game with his 17th save of the year.
The game started in dramatic fashion, with Rickie Weeks battling Doug Davis and being rewarded with an eight pitch walk. Three pitches later he would score on a JJ Hardy double to dead center. After Ryan Braun, who really has me questioning his superstar talent, grounded out, Prince Fielder singled to score JJ. Unfortunately for the Brewers, Dave Bush would struggle just as badly, and get knocked around just as hard. After working the count full, Augie Ojeda tripled over Mike Cameron's head. It should have been a double with an error because Cameron bobbled the bounce off the wall, but I digress. Upton would drive in Ojeda with an RBI groundout. Stephen Drew would then double immediately after and score on a Mark Reynolds double, tying the game up at 2-2.
Things would quiet down then, as both pitchers settled in and pitched their game for three innings. However, the Dave Bush big inning struck again. On his third time through the lineup, Bush's pitches straightened out, and the top of the lineup attacked again. Augie Ojeda, who has been an incredible fill in this year for Orlando Hudson, led off with a single. After a harmless fly out, Stephen Drew would double to left on a little blooper over Bill Hall, leaving runners at second and third for Conor Jackson. Jackson would follow suit and bloop one one to right. Corey Hart played it perfectly, making a phantom catch to hold the runners and charging the blooper. The play at the plate was a close one, but was a foot down the third base line, which prevented Kendall from handling it. But things got worse. Dave Bush, who clearly is just not mentally there and gets down on himself, was still standing on the mound watching the play progress. As a result, there was no back up behind Kendall, allowing Drew to score and sending Jackson to second. Mark Reynolds would double in Jackson, making the score 5-2.
The Brewers were given only one more chance to make a come back and it followed in the very next inning. Interestingly the Brewers would do it without a hit. Fielder was hit by a pitch and Cameron and Kendall would walk, bringing up Gabe Kapler with the bases loaded and two outs. Kapler would take the count full and walk himself to make it a two run game. But Weeks was fooled by a nasty sinker to end the threat. Reynolds would get that run back an inning later and the game would finish 6-3.
Game Changing Play:
Dave Bush has a propensity for giving up flyballs, with a .90 GO/AO ratio this season. As a result, the two bloop hits, which my friends and I refer to as Cardinals' hits because of David Eckstein, in the fifth happen more often for him than other pitchers. The big one, however, was Jackson's. Corey should have had the guy easily. He was only 15-20 feet beyond the dirt of the infield and could have easily put the ball on a line to home. Instead he tossed a one hopper that tailed away and Dave Bush's laziness (But he's a 'competitor') allowed another run to cross.
- I don't know if Eric Byrnes should stick around much longer. After a solid double down the left field line, Byrnes tried to steal third. Byrnes got a great jump, no matter what the unintelligible Bill Schroeder may think, but slowed down considerably and ultimately tried to jump slide way too early. He got up limping considerably, obviously destroying his hamstrings yet again. Shut it down Eric. The West is so awful this year, you can wait till September and actually be of use to your squad. Note: Byrnes was just placed on the DL. I caught it upon finishing this.
- Speaking of Bill Schroeder. I'm fully convinced this guy has very little legitimate baseball knowledge or he's just terrible on the fly. Ultimately, I think he just really isn't watching the game. He keeps telling me balls are catching too much of the plate, but are of or that balls are up and they're at the knees. Sinkers are four seamers and cutters and sliders. The guy just angers me. The kicker was when he told me that Dave Bush threw two pitches that were pretty good on the outside corner, but both were cock shots right down the middle of the plate. If it wasn't for the fact that Uecker has a 10 second delay on the radio, I would mute those two idiots. At least Brian Anderson has gotten a little more tolerable, but sometimes I think Trenni has a better concept of the game than either of them.
- People need to stop harping on Rickie Weeks considering he's had a better OBP than Ryan Braun practically all season. All these people at JS just whine about the guy, but they won't go after the prodigal son who took a discount so he could get paid now. Braun's OBP has dropped to .317. Now that's a rally killer. Somebody get the Cardinals batting coach in here to teach this kid about the strike zone. He and Bill Hall really gave the D'Backs nine free outs last night. You won't win many games if you only get 18 outs.
What's on Tap?:
Jeff Suppan toes the rubber tonight, taking on future HOFer Randy Johnson. Johnson has been pretty darn good this year, but struggled in the late innings against the Brewers at Miller Park on June 3rd. Soup was typical Soup against the D'Backs at Miller Park, going seven innings and giving up three despite seven hits and two walks. Thank God Doug Davis is off the mound though. That guy is just as deliberate as Steve Trachsel. West coast games are a struggle as it is when you're in a different time zone, but when they go three hours, it's hard to stay interested. Things should be a little different tonight.