Milwaukee Brewers 7 Colorado Rockies 3
MVPs of the Game:
Rickie Weeks: 3/5; 2B, 3 Rs
Garrett Atkins: 2/2; 2 BBs, 2 Rs
Miller Park sold out for the 16th time this year, all in response to the trade for reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, CC Sabathia. Sabathia was not sharp at all and was clearly trying to over throw, but the Brewers offense took advantage of four walks and a very good night from Rickie Weeks to take an early three run lead that they would never relinquish. The thunder and lightning still surrounds CC, though. He received his fair share of standing ovations, from the announcement of the starting lineups to his final strike out in the sixth.
The excitement in the ball park was palpable to say the very least. When Sabathia came out of the dugout, the crowd erupted and as they rose tho their feet, you couldn't find a section that wasn't littered with CC signs or the newly printed CC t-shirt jersey (Which I will not buy to have for three months. If he signs, I'll buy it in a heartbeat). Unfortunately, when CC started pitching, the results weren't very pretty, but they weren't ugly either. Taveras led the game off with a seven pitch walk, which was followed by a Clint Barmes sacrifice bunt. I was immediately confused here. Clint Hurdle, the Rockies manager, was scared of CC in the FIRST inning. After eight pitches, CC as clearly not going to be that overwhelming. There's situations to bunt and there ones where you don't, but I digress. After a soft ground out to second CC walked another batter before getting Spilborghs to strike out.
And then the real question about whether or not this team can be successful came up. Is this offense good enough to get the job done even if the pitching is elite. Last night it was. The inning started it off with two solid back to back singles by Weeks and JJ Hardy to bring up Ryan Braun. Did I ever say that Mark Redman is bad? Well he's bad and after battling Braun for a few pitches, he challenged Braun with a slider low and in. It didn't move much and Braun destroyed it for a three run bomb, giving CC his first lead as a Brewer.
Sabathia would calm down for a few innings, giving up only one hit over the next two innings, and the Brewers tacked on an insurance run after a Rickie Weeks double. Weeks was moved to third by a Hardy groundout and Braun was intentionally walked to bring up Fielder, who delivered again. Fielder hit a soft chopper to the hole at third. Barmes picked it up and tried to go for two, but his flip was off the bag. The turn to get Prince wasn't in time either, meaning no outs and another run scored.
The Rockies would get to the newly acquired ace in the fourth though, reaching on two solid singles and a tough error by JJ Hardy, who couldn't get the ball out of his glove. With the bases loaded, rookie Jayson Nix came to the plate an smoked a ball. Unfortunately for the Rockies, he smoked it on the ground to JJ Hardy flipped to Rickie and turned the double play, limiting the damage to just one run.
They would challenge Sabathia again in the sixth, loading the bases with no one out. This time, though, Torrealba would hit a double down the line that plated two. It could have plated three, but Spilborghs strained his oblique rounding second and couldn't turn to home. That turned out to hurt a lot as the next pitch was lined right back at Sabathia, who caught it and tossed to third for an easy double play. After another walk, Sabathia struck out Brad Hawpe to end his first outing as a Brewer (6 IP, 5 H, 5 BB, 5 K: W)
The Brewers' bullpen would hang on the rest of the way, and the Brewers offense added three insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh with an RBI walk from Corey Hart and a 2-RBI double from Bill Hall. It was a fun game to be at, and if the fans continue to show this much excitement, they may be able to pick up this team when they start to go flat.
Game Changing Play:
With nobody out and runners at first and third in the sixth, the Brewers one run lead looked like it was in real trouble. But Jayson Nix's tough night struck again as he lined to Sabathia, which turned into double play a third. There was nothing the runner could do, and that's baseball.
- Both Riske and Gagne looked very very solid last night. Riske came in a one run game and didn't allow a base runner. Gagne gave up a soft line drive hit that Weeks almost came up with, but induced a cake job double to get out of his inning unscathed as well. If the Brewers can get these guys to live up to their potential, their bullpen gets really really scary. Any and all trade rumors would be shifted to getting a high OBP centerfielder.
- Who could that CFer be? How about Kenny Lofton? Look, I love Tony Gwynn Jr. Love him! But the thing is, Lofton in a Brewers uniform could be a phenomenal platoon. I'm not saying we should do it just yet, but it's something to consider down the line. Last year he batting .313/.386/.452 against righties. Yes, he's 41, but he stole 23 bases when he was 40. Cameron is a career .265/.364/.480 hitter against lefties. Wowsa... fans keep calling for Rickie to get moved back in the lineup. Well the arrival of a Kenny Lofton could do that against righties. Just a thought folks.
- My apologies for not getting an analysis out yet on the CC trade. No excuses this time. I've just been lazy. I might be upset with the trade if they lost Brantley as well. The Cubs practically gave up nothing to get Harden and Gaudin. Murton, Patterson and Gallagher were not even considered thoughts in their plans for the next four seasons. LaPorta and Brantley would have been.
- Jeff Suppan was placed on the DL yesterday with elbow irritation that happened on a swing almost a month ago. A lot of people keep saying he's just faking it, but think about it folks. If Suppan were to go on the DL, Shapiro and the Indians would have had a lot more leverage as far as the CC trade went because the Brewers would have went from interested to desperate.
- I failed to mention yesterday that Manny Parra's spot was skipped in the rotation this week to make room for Sabathia, so he will pitch Friday and Bush will pitch tomorrow afternoon. The thought is that the Brewers will get two aces in each series. This is why Parra pitched an inning of relief in Monday night's game. It was essentially an in between bullpen session to keep Parra sharp. Look for the rotation to be Sabathia, Sheets, Parra, McClung Bush when the All-Star break is over. This will split the lefties. Not to mention Sheets will be pitching in the All-Star game an should get an extra day of rest.
What's on Tap?:
With the series tied, Ben Sheets will take the mound to face off against Greg Reynolds. In in his last outing against the Rox, Reynolds pitched very well, giving up only two runs on four hits in six innings. But he did not strike out a batter, which means thing to get interesting if the Crew stays patient.
UPDATE 3:15 PM: Greg Reynolds has been scratched from tonight's start and is being replaced by former Brewer and Cub, Geldon Rusch. Looks like Bill Hall is going to get another start and the Brewers are going to bring some more offense tonight. Russell 'the Muscle' is looking real rusty with all this time off.