Milwaukee Brewers 3 Colorado Rockies 4
MVPs of the Game:
Prince Fielder: 1/3; HR, 2 RBIs, BB
Jimenez: 7 IP, 3 H, 5 BB, 7 Ks, 0 R (W)
Perhaps the Brewers thought the acquisition of CC Sabathia yesterday meant they were just going to be handed baseball games as they come. Or perhaps they simply used up all of their hits on Sunday. Or maybe, just maybe, they got outplayed. Last night's game was a bit of a debauchery for both teams, as both teams struggled in the field and at the plate. Together they combined for only thirteen hits and two errors (well, three, but that's baseball). In the end, the Brewers couldn't would be hit by some hard luck, despite given every opportunity by the Rockies.
Seth McClung toed the rubber Monday night and was lights out for the first three innings, but then a spurt of wildness hit him in the fourth. It didn't help that he was being squeezed big time by home plate umpire, Tim McClelland. But it's your job to pitch around those problems, and for the most part McClung did. In the fourth he loaded the bases on a double and two walks, but induced a sac fly from Garrett Atkins, struck out Joe Koshansky and got Jeff Baker to fly out to limit the damage. He would walk two more to lead off the fifth, one of which was the pitcher. This time, however, he lost some composure. After a sac bunt and a pop out, Matt Holliday singled in Chris Ianetta. Ned Yost couldn't take any more after he walked Brad Hawpe for his third of the inning and fifth in less than six outs.
Carlos Villanueva would take the ball and pitch extremely well even if his defense didn't show up. After giving up a one out single to Jeff Baker, Baker took off to second and was called safe on a bang bang play that could have went either way. This could be said about a number of calls all night, but maybe I'll get into that later. After Chris Iannetta struck out, Ubaldo Jimenez grounded to third softly, but Russell Branyan gave it the old ole, allowing Baker to score making it 3-0.
A mistake pitch to Matt Holliday moved that lead to four, which seemed pretty insurmountable considering the Brewers weren't hitting the ball hard at all. Even worse, they had two base running blunders, in which Corey Hart and Ryan Braun were picked off at first base with fewer than two out. But the Rockies would do their best to try and hand the Brewers the game in eighth. Kapler would start the rally by hitting a cue blooper just shy of the first base bag. First baseman Joe Koshansky's only play was to tag Kapler, but when he went to grab the ball with his glove it caromed a bit off the line of the grass and slipped by him. Craig Counsell was the next batter and he popped right up the elevator in front of the plate, but neither Chris Iannetta or Garrett Atkins could decide who deserved it more and the ball fell, putting two on with nobody out. A walk by JJ Hardy loaded the bases for Ryan Braun, who up to that point was the only person who was hitting the ball hard. Unfortunately, it had been on the ground all night.
Braun promptly drilled a ball right up the middle that looked like a for sure base hit, but it clipped the mound and the loose dirt angled it about two to three feet to the left side of the infield, turning it into a routine double play. This proved to be huge as Prince Fielder hit his 17th homerun right after to bring the game within one. Brian Fuentes would keep the Brewers quiet in the ninth, and ended the Brewers CC high. Game Changing Play:
The error by Branyan was huge. At the time the game was only a 2-0 game, and was easily within reach considering Jimenez wasn't very spot on. He did walk five Brewers after all. Instead the lead was extended to three and the Villanueva's momentum was destroyed.
- McClelland's strike zone was a joke yesterday, and for the most part favored Jimenez when calls did waver. McClung had great stuff, but this ump was just completely fooled by his outside corner curveball, and would NEVER give him the benefit of the doubt on close calls with two strikes. The same could be said for Jimenez most of the night, but as he got further into the game, the more he was given, hence Braun saying a few things when he struck out looking in the sixth.
- Don't get too down on McClung. He has the stuff and he's proved it to me every time he's been out there. I think his biggest problem is the mental aspect of the game. He gets too emotional and you can see it. After every walk he's talking to himself and he gets angry after every hit. I like that and all. You should be upset when these things happen, but you can't let it spiral out of control. Walking the pitcher in the fifth was an example where it did. - Prince finally looked good at the plate and didn't try to over swing every time at the plate. The same can be said for Braun, even if he did GIDP twice. Both of them were bullets and are base hits if no one is on base, or if the mound wasn't there.
- Two more pickoffs makes me wonder what the hell is wrong with Ed Sedar and his coaching. This has been happening all year. With a low OBP team, you cannot sacrifice outs or base runners. Perhaps they'll have a little clinic the day before the second half because something needs to be done immediately.
What's on Tap?:
The Brewers put their new acquisition, CC Sabathia, on the mound against veteran Mark Redman. If the Brewers don't give CC a ton of run support, I will be severely disappointed. Redman has never been good. If Sabathia is simply average tonight, I will be pleased. All we need out of him is six to seven innings of two to three run baseball and he should get his victory and the Brewers fans more behind him than they already are.