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Yes, I know. I'm slacking, but it's not easy working, having a life and writing in this thing. This one usually gets the shaft since it has the least priority, but don't fret I won't miss terribly often. After all, I am a bit obsessed with the Milwaukee Brewers and writing about them does give me some solace when they're doing so poorly. I'll try to recap yesterday's game which was an atrocity, but let me get this out of the way first.
Who's on tap?
April 11th: Manny Parra vs. Nelson Figueroa
April 12th: Ben Sheets (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Johan Santana (1-1, 1.93 ERA)
April 13th: Jeff Suppan (1-0, 2.03 ERA) vs. Oliver Perez (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
Who should you watch?
Duh! Unless you're not a baseball fan, you should realize this afternoon's pitching matchup between Ben Sheets and Johan Santana is going to be utterly ridiculous, and will probably only last for only about an hour and a half. These two guys work quickly, have nasty stuff and don't throw for a lot of strikes. It's going to be fun to watch. So much so, that I will be driving home at a 20 minute quip just to get some of the game in. Basically, it's changup versus curveball, with the Brewers having a slight edge because Santana is a left handed pitcher and the Brewers are right handed heavy.
What are the keys to victory?
Ugh. After watching the Reds series I had intended on suggesting the Brewers needed to get on base any way possible, but more importantly by way of the walk. Considering the only two runs scored by the Brewers yesterday were by way of walk, it seems like I'm cheating the system, but a least I have it on record that this team needs to work on it. Additionally, the Brewers need to stay aggressive on the base paths. Yesterday was a good example of a stolen base leading to a run, but there's something to be said about the fast guys getting on the base. Braun, Hart and Weeks had a terrible series against the Reds and if they don't get on base, the Brewers can't be aggressive. It looks like these three guys will be the key to success the entire season.
For the Mets, it's not as readily apparent. It had to be begin with a solid start from Figueroa yesterday because you know Santana and Perez are going to deal. But after that, it's finding their power stroke again. The Mets have combined for a total of three homeruns this season, one coming from Ryan Church, Carlos Delgado, and David Wright. That means Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran are still broke, but Beltran can get away with it with his .425 OBP. Reyes', on the other hand, has a .238 OBP and is hosing the Mets right now, who rely on him to score well over 100 runs a year. While the bullpen has been shakey, you know Johan will go 7 or 8 innings as will Oliver Perez, so they will only be relied on for a few innings and Aaron Heilman will probably get most of them.
I thought for sure the Brewers would have won last night, but a pitiful performance by every single guy on the team resulted in an absurd 4-2 loss. Parra ened up having to get 5 outs in the fourth and was pulled in the top half of the next inning because the Brewers could not figure out Jerry Layne's absurd strike zone, which I'll go off about if I find time for a recap this morning.
In today's game, I actually like the Brewers. I think both Aces will live up to their names, but Rickie Weeks and Ryan Braun find a couple of changeups in the warmer weather of the afternoon. Sheets will give up his first run of the year, and it will likely come from Reyes who will get a stolen base following an infield single. In game three, Suppan likely gets tossed around a bit and the Brewers lose the series, but you can't complain too much, since they floundered so badly in Friday's game. As a fan, i hope my predictions are wrong. My ego hopes they're right.