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Players of the Game:
No one of note for Brewers
Matt Treanor: 2/3; HR, 3 RBIs
The Marlins struck early and then often as they swept the Brewers out of Florida and sent them packing with their tail between their legs with a six-game losing. Jorge Cantu homered in the first inning after a Hanley Ramirez single, and Matt Treanor hit a tough pitch for a 3-run blast in the 5th to put the game out of reach. While the offense was great for Marlins, the anemic offense of the Brewers continues to be the story.
The Brewers only had nine hits in the game, which brings their series total to 16 and their overall series total to 34 in six games. Even worse, the Brewers couldn't put back to back hits on the board if their life depended on it. The only offensive positive was sub Joe Dillon who went 2/4 with a walk, as well as Carlos Villanueva who went 2/2 with an RBI to try and give himself a little help. But ultimately the Brewers offense has failed to ever bring its pitching up. This is never more apparent when you consider the Brewers have only three wins which are by more than three runs, and all three of those were in the first week of play.
As a result, pitchers have been pitching in close games from beginning to end. This has been showing all across the rotation. Carlos Villanueva was pitching pretty well following the Cantu homerun, but for the second start in a row, he was mangled by the long ball. The pitch that really put him on the hook was an inside fastball against Matt Treanor, who somehow pulled the ball fair, hitting the foul pole to make it 7-1. But Villanueva was right in saying that the 7 runs on the scoreboard might be a bit confusing. Ramirez's single should have been gobbled up and right before Treanor's homerun, Luis Gonzalez managed a check swing single to extend the inning. The only difference between Bush's start and Carlos' is that the big ball that put the game out of reach was a good pitch, not a BP fastball.
On the upside, the Brewers' bullpen held the Marlins offense scoreless over the eight innings they were asked to pick up, allowing only four hits and three walks. At what point do you send Bush, Villanueva and Manny Parra before you let Seth McClung have a crack at the rotation? It would be nice to have an overpowering guy in there, and he's pitched well enough to deserve a spot.
Predictions and Notes:
After the Wednesday's ugly performance, you ultimately knew this team was going to come out and look pitiful, which they did. There was nothing impressive about their performance over the last six games, and I can't help but wonder if they'll ever break out of this funk. Almost every aspect of the game is a cause for concern right now, but obviously the biggest concern is the offense. I fully expect the pitching to live up to its potential, which isn't very high, but they can't keep having to press in close games because the offense can't put any runs on the board. If a pitcher doesn't have any time to relax, mistakes will start to happen, it's the frustrating mental aspect of this game.
Who's on Tap?:
The Brewers push off back home to play a series that ultimately may reflect the rest of their season, as they take on the first-place St. Louis Cardinals in a four game series. While the season is still young, there's no question the Brewers need to at least split if they plan on contending this season. Parra will get the start tomorrow, taking on Todd Wellemeyer who has resurrected his career with St. Louis over the last season or so. I'll be there and let you know how bad or good it looked in person.