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April 8th: Milwaukee Brewers 3 Cincinnati Reds 2
April 9th: Milwaukee Brewers 4 Cincinnati Reds 12
April 10th: Milwaukee Brewers 1 Cincinnati Reds 4
While it doesn't look like Kendall was responsible for most of the Brewers eight runs, he was. He knocked in JJ Hardy in the first game and got him to third with a single in the 10th, when he was driven in by Rickie Weeks. He also called a quality game on Tuesday and Thursday.
Corey Patterson was pretty much unbelievable all series. Yes, his plate numbers were impressive, his defense was more impressive. The Brewers were smashing balls to dead center all weak and Patterson was running and jumping all over them. I can remember four vividly that are doubles with other center fielders out there. Gabe Gross has the most reasons to be upset. He ripped at least three balls near the gap that turned into routine plays. Toss in Corey's game tying home-run in game one, and you've definitely got the player of the series.
What was the difference?
On Base Percentage. This sits very badly with me. The Reds walked 19 times in three games, while only striking out 13 times. The Brewers on the other hand, walked 2 times while striking out 19 times. Throw in the fact that the Brewers were out hit in every game, I can't believe the Brewers won one game. That's kind of awkward to say isn't it? This, unfortunately, is a trend that has plagued the Brewers for the past five years. They have guys with great talent, but have poor pitch selection, which often results in them looking quite over matched, which was the case on Tuesday and Thursday versus Cueto and Harang.
To get a gauge of how important OBP can be. The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees have combined for the most regular season wins over the last 4-5 years and during that time, they are always in the top 3 in team OBP, usually between .350-.360. Where do the Brewers match up? Over the last three years the Brewers have never surpassed a .331 OBP. It's a glaring problem for this team. If they jump just 15 more points they will definitely push themselves over the top.
Causes for Concern:
See Above. I'm too frustrated to elaborate even more.
For the Reds... it was a good series overall. Nothing about their play over the last three days should concern them.
Causes for Excitement:
I can't really say I'm on the Jason Kendall band wagon since I predicted this onslaught. I never thought he'd be this good, but when they're falling, they're falling. Throw in Jason's ability to keep this young pitching crew mentally stable and you have a very invaluable player. A friend of mine who happens to be Cub fan asked me last night if we'd sign him on for another five years. I just laughed in his face and said, "Two years is enough,". Nevertheless, it's a breath of fresh air to have a guy back there who can run and is actually athletic.
The Reds can be excited about Corey Patterson while he lasts. Corey has a career OBP of .298 and he's Dusty Baker's lead-off hitter. Somehow he managed to roll and smoke Brewers pitching and walk in the process. For Reds fans who don't know, Dusty Baker has a knack for being in love with veteran players who aren't any good, including Patterson, whose best year resulted in a .298/329/.511, which a lot of people would take, but that's not who Corey is. His career numbers explain it all: .259/.298/.417. Sadly, Johnny Estrada is better at the plate: .280/.320/.406, so ride the train and put Keppinger in that lead-off spot when the ride is over.