Sunday, September 30, 2007

Padres-Brewers - Series Recap

The Brewers and the Padres split a four-game series to end the regular season. The Padres finished in a tie with the Rockies for the NL Wild Card. Those two teams will play Monday in Denver to decide the winner of the Wild Card. The Brewers finished in second place in the NL Central, two games behind the Cubs.

Thursday - Padres win 9-5: Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo gave up four runs in the top of the third inning and the Brewers could never battle all the back after that. The Padres picked up another run in the next inning to make it 5-1 after a Rickie Weeks solo homer in the half inning before. Prince Fielder had a chance to do some damage with the bases loaded down 5-2 in the fifth inning but grounded out to end the inning. That ended up being the Brewers' best chance at getting back into the game. The Padres picked up four more runs in seventh inning off Seth McClung, Ray King and Chris Spurling. The Brewer committed five errors (three by Ryan Braun, one by Fielder and one by Geoff Jenkins) and had four unearned runs.

Gallardo was charged with the loss after throwing five innings and giving up five hits and five runs, three earned. Padres rookie starter Jack Cassel threw four and two thirds innings and gave up four hits and two runs. Former Brewer minor leaguer Joe Thatcher pitched one and a third innings in relief of Cassel to get the win. Thatcher was the one who retired Fielder with the bases loaded in the fifth inning. The Brewers made a little bit of the comeback in the seventh inning with a homer from Braun and the second homer of the game from Weeks.

Friday - Padres win 6-3: The Brewers' postseason dreams ended with this loss to the Padres. The Cubs clinched the NL Central after the Padres won this game. The Brewers took the lead in this game right away in the first inning with two runs off Greg Maddux. Corey Hart and Braun picked up RBI in that inning. The Padres took the lead against Chris Capuano in the fourth inning with three runs. Brady Clark had the go ahead RBI on a single for the Padres in that inning. The Brewers answered right back with a solo homer by Corey Hart that tied the game at three. The Padres scored the winning run in the sixth inning when Adrian Gonzalez and Khalil Greene hit back to back doubles to start the inning against Claudio Vargas.

The Padres added to their lead in the eighth inning when Greene hit a two-homer off former Padre Scott Linebrink. Vargas was charged with the loss in the game. Capuano threw five innings and gave up three runs in a no-decision. Maddux got the win (his 14th of the year) by going five innings and giving up three runs. Trevor Hoffman pitched the ninth to get his 42nd save of the year.

Saturday - Brewers win 4-3: After each team scored one run in the first two innings, the Brewers took a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning when Weeks hit another home run. Gonzalez tied the game in the next inning with a solo homer of his own. The Padres took the lead in the seventh inning when Gonzalez hit a RBI single that scored pinch runner Drew Macias. Things looked dim for the Crew going into the bottom of the ninth facing Hoffman again. But, Corey Hart doubled with one out and Tony Gwynn hit an RBI triple with two outs to score Hart and tie the game at 3. The game went into extra innings after that.

Braun led off the 11th inning with a double off Thatcher. Fielder was intentionally walked to get to Hart who flied out but Braun was able to tag and get to third base on the play. Vinny Rottino was called upon to pinch hit and he did the job. Rottino hit a first pitch cutter to left field to win the game for the Brewers. He had caught Thatcher a number of times this year when they both played for the Nashville Sounds. Mitch Stetter got the last out in the top of the inning to get his first major league win. Thatcher was charged with the loss. All three of those players were with the Sounds for part of 2007. Dave Bush started the game for the Brewers and pitched six and two thirds innings and gave up three runs in a no-decision. Chris Young got the start for the Padres and pitched six innings and gave up two hits and two runs while striking out seven.

Sunday - Brewers win 11-6: The Padres got out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning against Brewers starter Jeff Suppan. The Brewers got within one in the fourth inning when Braun scored on a wild pitch and then Hart hit a solo homer. The Padres added another run in the top of the fifth but the Brewers answered right back with four in the bottom of that inning and three in the next inning to take a 9-4 lead. Gabe Gross had the big hit in the sixth inning with a three-run triple. Braun went 2-3 with three runs scored. Hart was 2-4 with three RBI and Dillon was 2-5 with a RBI.

Jeff Suppan picked up his 12th win of the year by going six innings and giving up four runs. Padres starter Brett Tomko could not get out of the fifth inning and got the loss by allowing five hits and five runs. The usually tough Padre bullpen was roughed up by the Brewers and prevented San Diego from clinching a playoff spot.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Padres (87-71) @ Brewers (81-77) - Series Preview

The end is here. The Brewers take on the Padres in a four-game series at Miller Park. The Padres swept the Brewers in a three-game series back in May in San Diego.

Pitching match ups:

Thursday - 7:05 PM CDT:

RHP Jack Cassel (1-1, 4.00) vs. RHP Yovani Gallardo (9-4, 3.59)

Cassel picked up his first major league loss in his last start which was against the Rockies. He only lasted only two and two thirds innings and gave up six hits and three runs. In the start before that for Cassel, he threw six scoreless innings and got the win against the Pirates. He scattered eight hits in that start and struck out three while walking none. This will be Cassel's first career appearance against the Brewers and his fourth career start in the bigs. At Triple-A Portland this year, Cassel went 7-14 with a 3.91 ERA.

Although Gallardo's 21-inning scoreless streak came to an end in this last start, he still pitched fairly well against the Braves. Gallardo threw seven innings and gave up two runs in a no-decision. In the month of September, Gallardo is 3-0 with a 0.64 ERA in four starts. Gallardo will be making his first career start against the Padres. At Miller Park this year, Gallardo is 5-1 with a 2.50 ERA in eight appearances (seven starts).

Friday - 7:05 PM CDT:

RHP Greg Maddux (13-11, 4.10) vs. LHP Chris Capuano (5-12, 5.09)

Maddux only lasted three and two thirds innings against the Rockies in his last start. He gave up eight hits and five runs and picked up his 11th loss of the win. In his one start against the Brewers, Maddux threw five and two thirds innings and gave up nine hits and three runs in a win. In his career against the Brewers, Maddux is 14-6 with a 2.73 ERA in 25 starts. In September, Maddux is 3-2 with a 6.29 ERA in five starts. Geoff Jenkins is 23-52 with five doubles, one homer and seven RBI in his career against Maddux. Damian Miller is 15-41 with four doubles and eight RBI lifetime against Maddux

Capuano is once again filling for the injured Ben Sheets. In his last start, Capuano threw five innings and gave up just one run but could not get a win as the Brewers blew the lead later in the game. In his last four appearances, Capuano is 0-1 with an ERA of 2.40. Capuano is 3-2 with a 3.34 ERA in five career starts against the Padres. This will be Cappy's first start against the Padres in 2007. Michael Barrett is 5-16 with two doubles, two homer and three RBI in his career against Capuano.

Saturday - 2:55 PM CDT:

RHP Chris Young (9-8, 3.13) vs. RHP Dave Bush (12-10, 5.16)

Young is on a five-game losing streak that dates back to August 9th. He gave up eight hits and seven runs against the Giants in his last start which was a loss for Young. This will be Young's first career start against the Brewers. He has faced every team in the bigs expect for the Padres and Brewers in his career. Young has an ERA of 4.63 on the road compared to 1.69 ERA at home. Kevin Mench is the only active Brewer with a hit against Young.

Bush picked up win against the Cardinals in his last start. The Brewers gave Bush a ton of run support as Bush threw six and two thirds innings and gave up five runs, three earned. In his only start against the Padres this year, Bush was hit pretty well, giving up seven runs in five innings of work in a loss in San Diego. Bush is 1-1 with a 5.14 ERA in two career starts against the Padres. Adrian Gonzalez is 5-6 with a homer and two RBI in his career against Bush

Sunday - 1:05 PM CDT:

RHP Brett Tomko (4-11, 5.39) vs. RHP Jeff Suppan (11-12, 4.57)

This spot could go to Jake Peavy on short rest if the Padres need a win. Peavy gave up just two hits and no runs in seven innings in his only start against the Brewers this year. Tomko picked up a loss in his only start against the Brewers this year. As a member of the Dodgers back in May, Tomko gave up eight hits and five runs in five and a third innings of work. Tomko gave up four runs in six innings against the Giants in his last start, a no-decision. Tomko is 7-2 with a 3.70 ERA in 14 career appearances (12 starts) against the Brewers.

Suppan pitched eight strong innings against the Cardinals in his last start. He pitched eight innings and gave up just one run as the Brewers won 9-1. In September, Suppan is 3-1 with a 3.45 ERA in five starts. Suppan lost his only start against the Padres this year going six innings and giving up three runs. In his career against the Padres, Suppan is 3-3 with a 6.26 ERA in eight starts. Geoff Blum is 10-18 with three doubles and three RBI in his career against Suppan.

Cardinals-Brewers - Series Recap

The Brewers took two of three from the Cardinals at Miller Park. The Cardinals won the season series 8-7.

Monday - Brewers win 13-5: The Brewers started fast in this game with four-run first inning. J.J. Hardy got the scoring going with an RBI double that scored Rickie Weeks. Two batters later, Prince Fielder hit a long (458 feet) three-run homer to put the Brewers up by four. The Brewers picked up five more runs in the fifth inning after the Cardinals cut the Brewers lead in half the inning before. Ryan Braun, Bill Hall, Corey Hart, Damian Miller (2) each had RBI in the fifth inning. Braun homered in the sixth inning to give the Brewers two more runs. Geoff Jenkins also had an RBI single in that inning. Fielder finished the game with three hits and three RBI.

Dave Bush started the game and picked up his 12th win of the season, tying his career high for wins set last year. Bush pitched six and two thirds innings giving up five runs, three of which were earned. Cardinals Adam Wainwright was having a big second half but got knocked around pretty well by the Brewers. He gave up eight hits and nine runs but only four were earned. Wainwright picked up his 12th loss of the year.

Tuesday - Brewers win 9-1: Once again the Brewers started fast in the first inning. Weeks got things started with a lead off homer. Three batters later, Fielder hit a two-homer to give the Brewers a 3-0 lead after one inning. The Brewers picked another run in the second inning to go up 4-0. The Cardinals scored their only run of the game in the fourth inning. Hall answered back for the Brewers in the fifth inning with a three-run homer that put the Brewers up 7-1. Fielder then made some history in the seventh inning with his 50th homer of the season. He is now the youngest player to reach 50 runs home runs in a year. Hall was 3-4 in the game for the Brewers.

Jeff Suppan was solid for the Brewers as he pitched eight innings and gave up just one run to pick up his 11th win of the year. Braden Looper started for the Cardinals and gave up seven runs in five innings of work. Looper was charged with his 11th loss of the year.

Wednesday - Cardinals win 7-3: The Brewers were unable to finish the sweep of the Cardinals. The Crew stayed within one run of St. Louis until the eighth inning where things fell apart. The Cardinals scored four runs in the inning to take a commanding 7-2 lead over the Brewers. It took five pitchers for the Brewers to get out of the inning. All four runs scored after two outs were recorded. Derrick Turnbow came in the game with one out and one on. He struck out Ryan Ludwick but then could not find the plate after giving up a bloop single to Skip Schumaker. Turnbow walked two and was replaced by Brian Shouse who gave up a double and single.

The Brewers scored their first two runs in the first two innings. However, in both of those innings the Brewers left the bases loaded. The Cardinals took the lead for good in the third inning when Ludwick doubled home Albert Pujols and Aaron Miles. Brad Thompson, pitching on three days rest, got the win for the Cardinals. He pitched six innings and gave up two runs, none earned. Carlos Villanueva got a quality start but picked up the loss for the Brewers. He threw six innings and gave up three runs. The Brewers did not have a runner reach base in the fifth through eighth innings. Braun was 3-5 and had all three RBI for the Brewers.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Cardinals (73-82) @ Brewers (79-76) - Series Preview

The Brewers return to Miller Park to finish out the regular season with a seven-game homestand. The Cardinals lead the season series against the Brewers 7-5. Each team has sweep a series against the other at Miller Park this year. The Cubs take on the Marlins down in Florida in a three-game series also starting Monday.

Pitching match ups:

Monday - 7:05 PM CDT:

RHP Adam Wainwright (13-11, 3.60) vs. RHP Dave Bush (11-10, 5.20)

Wainwright has been the Cardinals' best starter during the 2007 season. In his last start, Wainwright threw eight innings and gave up just four hits and one run to the Phillies. He picked up a no-decision and struck out seven while walking four. Wainwright has faced the Brewers just once this season and that was in August when threw seven scoreless innings at Miller Park in pick up the win. Since the All-Star break, Wainwright has an ERA of 2.36 compared to 4.66 before the break. In his career against the Brewers, Wainwright is 1-0 with a 0.56 ERA in eight appearances (one start). No Brewer has more than one hit against Wainwright.

After back to back supbar starts, Bush had a very nice outing against the Astros in his last start. Bush pitched six innings and gave up just one run in a no-decision. The Brewers lost the game 5-4 in ten innings. In his only start against the Cardinals this year, Bush pitched seven innings and gave up three runs but picked up the loss in that game. Bush is 0-3 with a 9.00 ERA in three career starts against the Cardinals. Yadier Molina is 4-7 with three homers and five RBI in his career against Bush. The righty's ERA at home this year is 4.30 compared with 6.14 on the road.

Tuesday - 7:05 PM CDT:

RHP Braden Looper (12-11, 4.67 ERA) vs. RHP Jeff Suppan (10-12, 4.72)

Looper is coming off starting a game in which almost everyone on the Cardinals had a bad night. He gave up five runs in five and two thirds innings of work to get the loss against the Astros. The Cardinals lost the game to Houston by the score of 18-1. Looper is 1-1 with a 5.73 ERA in two starts against the Brewers this year. The loss came at Miller Park. In his career against the Brewers, Looper is 3-3 with a 3.98 ERA in 28 appearances (two starts). Looper has a 5.52 career ERA at Miller Park. Like Wainwright, Looper is in his first season as a starter. Looper's ERA on the road this year is 6.33 compared with 3.34 at home. Geoff Jenkins is 6-13 in his career against Looper. Weeks is 5-11 with two doubles lifetime against Looper.

Suppan has thrown three straight quality starts and has five in his last six starts. Last time out, Suppan got the loss after throwing six innings and giving up three runs to the Astros in Houston. Suppan is 2-0 with a 1.76 ERA in two starts against the Cardinals in 2007. That includes a complete game against the Cardinals at Miller Park back in late April. His ERA at home this year is 3.97 compared with 5.38 on the road. Suppan is 4-2 with a 3.64 ERA in eight career starts against the Cardinals. David Eckstein is 7-18 with two doubles and two RBI in his career against Suppan.

Wednesday - 7:05 PM CDT:

RHP Joel Pineiro (6-4, 4.71) vs. RHP Carlos Villanueva (8-4, 3.97)

Pineiro was charged with the loss against the Astros in his last start. He gave up three runs in five and two thirds innings of work. Pineiro struck out four and walked three in that outing. He won his only career start against the Brewers last month at Miller Park. Pineiro threw seven innings and gave up two runs while striking out four and walking none. In three September starts, Pineiro is 2-1 with a 6.19 ERA. Kevin Mench is 7-25 with two homers and three RBI in his career against Pineiro.

Villanueva made another great start in his last outing which was against the Braves. He pitched six innings and gave up just one run in a no-decision. The Brewers came back to the win the game 4-1 over the Braves. Villanueva is 2-1 with a 1.50 ERA in four starts in the month of September. This after an ERA of 10.32 in eight relief appearances in August. This will be Villanueva's first start against the Cardinals in 2007. Villanueva is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in seven career appearances (two starts) against the Cardinals. Those two starts came down the stretch last season when the Cardinals were backing into the playoffs. Villanueva gave up just two runs in 15 and 1/3 innings in the two starts against the Cardinals in 2006. Albert Pujols is 5-13 with a double, a homer and four RBI in his career against Villanueva.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Brewers-Braves - Series Recap

The Braves took three of four from the Brewers in the four-game series in Atlanta. The Cubs sweep the Pirates at Wrigley Field to move three and a half games ahead of the Brewers in the NL Central.

Thursday - Braves win 3-1: Former Brewer Jeff Bennett shut down the Brewers for the most part in his first major league start. Bennett gave up just one run in five and two thirds innings of work to get the win. He struck out eight and walked just one. Rickie Weeks hit a solo homer (his third straight game with a home run) for the Brewers only run in the game. The Braves bullpen did the rest by throwing three and a third innings in which they gave up no hits and no runs. The Brewers did have their chances doing but struggled with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base.

The Braves scored all three of their runs in the first two innings against Brewers starter Jeff Suppan. Brian McCann hit an RBI single in the first inning that scored Chipper Jones to the Braves their first inning. Then in the second inning, Jones hit a two-run two-out single to put the Braves up 3-0. Suppan ended up with the loss and a quality start by pitching six innings and giving up three runs.

Friday - Brewers win 4-1: The Brewers finally broke through in the eighth inning and got on the scoreboard. Before that inning, the Brewers had scored just one run in their last 16 innings. Braves starter Tim Hudson was rolling along with seven scoreless innings to start the game. The Brewers were able to tie the game in the eighth when Corey Hart hit two-out RBI single that scored Ryan Braun. Geoff Jenkins was then intentionally walked and Hudson was pulled. Ron Mahay relieved Hudson and walked in Joe Dillon to give the Brewers the lead 2-1. Braves manager Bobby Cox did not agree with last call in the Dillon walk and was ejected from the game. Tyler Yates then came in for the Braves to face Bill Hall and Hall hit an RBI single to put the Brewers up by two. Jenkins was thrown out at home on the play to end the inning

After the Brewers picked up a manufactured insurance run in ninth, Francisco Cordero pitched the bottom of the ninth to finish off the Braves. Scott Linebrink got the win for pitching the seventh inning for the Brewers. Derrick Turnbow picked up his 33rd hold of the year by pitching a 1-2-3 eighth inning. Carlos Villanueva started the game for the Brewers and was solid once again. Villanueva threw six innings and gave up just one run which was a solo homer to Mark Teixeira. Hudson ended up as the tough luck loser.

Saturday - Braves win 4-3: The Brewers were one out away from winning this game but it didn't happen as Braves pinch hitter Scott Thorman hit a home run against Cordero to tie the game at three in the tenth inning. The Brewers took the lead in the top of the inning with a solo homer from Corey Hart. The Braves then went on to win the game in 11th inning when Teixeira singled home pinch runner Willie Harris against Brian Shouse. It looked like the Brewers had a double play the hitter before but Weeks bobbled the grounder and got no outs. That left runners on first and second with no one out.

The Brewers tied the game at two in the sixth inning when J.J. Hardy hit a two-run homer against John Smoltz who had a no-hitter going through five and two thirds innings. That homer by Hardy broke up the no-hitter. The Braves scored two runs in the first three innings against Yovani Gallardo who pitched another solid game. Gallardo threw seven innings and gave up just those two runs and struck out seven.

Sunday - Braves win 7-4: The Brewers lost another game when leading by at least three runs. However, this time the Brewers and the umpires were to blame. The umps gave the Braves five outs in the seventh inning and the Braves took lead 5-4 in that inning after scoring four runs. Martin Prado had the game-winning hit for the Braves. Claudio Vargas ended with the loss and Manny Acosta got the win.

Ryan Braun hit his 32nd home run of the year to give the Brewers a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning. The Brewers scored two more runs in sixth inning to go up 4-1. Chris Capuano started the game for the Brewers and again had no luck. He threw five innings and gave up just one run but could not get the win.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Brewers (78-73) @ Braves (79-73) - Series Preview

The Brewers travel to Atlanta for their only trip to Turner Field in 2007. The Braves took two of three from the Brewers back in May at Miller Park. The Brewers start this series one game behind the Cubs for first place in the NL Central. The Cubs start a three-game series at Wrigley Field against the Pirates on Friday.

Pitching match ups:

Thursday - 6:35 PM CDT:

RHP Jeff Suppan (10-11, 4.72) vs. RHP Jeff Bennett (0-0, 0.00)

Suppan picked up a win against the Reds in his last start. He threw six and a third innings and gave up seven hits and three runs. The Brewers are 3-0 in Suppan's last three starts. The Braves are Suppan's least common opponent in his career. He has not faced the Braves in 2007. Suppan is 0-3 with a 9.22 ERA in three career starts against the Braves. Edgar Renteria is 9-28 with a triple and five RBI in his career against Suppan.

Bennett will be making his 2007 major league debut in his start. The former Brewer pitched for Triple-A Richmond this season. Bennett missed the entire 2006 due to right elbow surgery. He made six regular season starts for Richmond with an ERA of 2.15. Also, this will be Bennett's first ever start in the bigs. Bennett made 60 appearances out of the pen for the Brewers in 2004 with an ERA of 4.79.

Friday - 6:05 PM CDT:

RHP Carlos Villanueva (8-4, 4.11) vs. RHP Tim Hudson (16-8, 3.33)

Villanueva threw seven scoreless innings against the Reds in his last start to pick a win. Since returning to the starting rotation, Villanueva is 2-1 with a 1.50 ERA in three starts. He seems to be pitching with a lot of confidence on the mound and even when he gets into trouble he works his way out of it most of the time. Villanueva will be making his first career start against the Braves. In his only career appearance against the Braves, Villanueva gave up one run in a third of an inning of work back in May.

Hudson pitched a shutout against the Nationals in his last outing. The veteran righty has now won at least 15 games in a season five times in his career. Hudson beat the Brewers back in May at Miller Park by pitching seven innings and giving up two runs. In his career against the Brewers, Hudson is 2-1 with a 3.34 ERA in four starts. Bill Hall is 6-13 with a double in his career against Hudson.

Saturday - 2:55 PM CDT:

RHP Yovani Gallardo (9-4, 3.66) vs. RHP John Smoltz (14-7, 2.97)

Gallardo extended his scoreless streak to 21 innings after throwing eight scoreless against the Astros in Houston. He picked up his ninth win of the season after scattering seven hits during his outing. All of those 21 innings have come in the month of September. Gallardo will be making his first career start against the Braves. The young righty is 5-1 with a 1.70 ERA in his last six starts.

In his third season back as as starter, Smoltz is pitching as good as ever. Smoltz picked up a win against the Marlins in his last start. He threw six innings and gave up four hits and just one run. In the month of September, Smoltz is 2-1 with a 2.42 ERA in four starts. Smoltz gave up eight hits and three runs in his only start against the Brewers this year. He left that start after three and a third innings because of a couple of injuries. Smoltz is 3-0 with a 2.97 in 13 career appearances (four starts) against the Brewers. Craig Counsell is 8-16 with three RBI in his career against Smoltz.

Sunday - 12:05 PM CDT:

RHP Ben Sheets (12-5, 3.82) vs. LHP Jo-Jo Reyes (1-2, 6.98)

This spot could change before Sunday's game actually takes place. Sheets again left his last start early. This time he left after one inning with a hamstring injury. Claudio Vargas replaced Sheets and pitched four scoreless innings to pick up the win against the Astros. If Sheets is unable to go, Vargas or Chris Capuano would be the main options for manager Ned Yost. Sheets is 8-3 with a 4.80 ERA in 11 career starts against the Braves. He beat the Braves earlier this year at Miller Park in his only start against Atlanta in 2007. Andruw Jones is 13-34 with two doubles, two homers and eight RBI in his career against Sheets.

Reyes picked up his first career win in the bigs against the Marlins in his last start. He pitched five innings and gave up just one run. Reyes will be making his first career start against the Brewers. The Braves are 1-7 in games that Reyes starts. The young southpaw has had problems with control in his first year in the majors. Reyes walked at least three batters in six of his nine appearances this year.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Brewers-Astros - Series Recap

The Brewers took two of three from the Astros at Minute Maid Field once again. It was the third time this season the Brewers won a series in Houston. The Cubs also took two of three from the Reds in Chicago to stay one game ahead of the Brewers in the NL Central.

Monday - Brewers win 6-0: Yovani Gallardo extended his scoreless streak to 21 innings after throwing eight scoreless innings against the Astros in this game. Gallardo struck out five and scattered seven hits in those eight innings. He picked up his ninth win of the season and lowered his season ERA to 3.66. Chris Spurling pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning with two strikeouts to finish off the Astros.

The Brewers picked up two runs in the first inning against Astros rookie starter Matt Albers. Rickie Weeks reached base with a walk to start the game, stole second and got to third on a bad throw by Astros catcher Humberto Quintero. However, Weeks thrown out at home when Joe Dillon hit a ground ball to shortstop Mark Loretta. That put Dillon on first with Ryan Braun at the plate who was then plunked by Albers. It was payback for Braun showboating when he hit a home run against Albers earlier this month at Miller Park. It does not seem like a smart move to hit Braun with Prince Fielder coming up next and a runner already on base. Albers was able to strike out Fielder but could not get the job done against Corey Hart who doubled home Dillon and Braun with two outs. The Brewers picked up three more runs in the fourth inning with RBI from Hart, Gabe Gross and Johnny Estrada. Albers picked up the loss after giving up five runs and lasting only three and a third innings. Kevin Mench hit a pinch homer in the ninth inning to give the Brewers their last run of the game.

Tuesday - Brewers win 9-1: Ben Sheets started the game for the Brewers on three days rest, one day less than usual. Sheets gave up a first inning run to the Astros when Lance Berkman singled home Josh Anderson who reached on a double. That was as long as Sheets would last in this outing. Something wasn't right for Sheets as he warmed up for the second inning and he left the game with a hamstring injury. Claudio Vargas relieved Sheets and pitched four scoreless innings to pick up the win, his 11th of the year. Seth McClung, Derrick Turnbow and Greg Aquino pitched the final four innings to finish the game.

Astros rookie pitcher Felipe Paulino started strong against the Brewers with three scoreless innings in which he gave up just one hit. However, in the fourth inning things came apart for Paulino. Fielder hit a RBI single that scored Braun who tripled to reach base. Then after a ground-rule by Hart and an intentional walk of Gross, Estrada came to the plate. Estrada came up big for the Crew with a grand slam to right field. It was Estrada's second grand slam of the season. Paulino left after the fourth inning and was charged with his first major league loss. The Brewers picked up four more runs in the game, all coming via the home run. The home runs were from Braun, Weeks and Geoff Jenkins.

Wednesday - Astros win 5-4: Weeks hit a two-run homer against Astros closer Brad Lidge in the ninth inning to tie the game at 4. But, that would not be enough for the Brewers to pull out this game. Astros picked up the win in the bottom of the tenth inning on a Hunter Pence single to left field that scored pinch runner/pitcher Brandon Backe. Matt Wise gave up the game winning run to the Astros. Lidge also pitched the tenth for the Astros to pick up the win.

The Brewers got off to a 2-0 lead in the fourth behind a solo homer from Fielder and a sac fly from Estrada. The Astros cut the lead in half in the bottom of the inning when Carlos Lee hit his 30th homer of the season. Brewers starter Dave Bush picked up a no-decision as he went six innings and gave up just one run. Another rookie started for the Astros in this game. Juan Gutierrez pitched six innings and gave up two runs in a no-decision. The Astros tied the game in the bottom of the seventh inning when Mark Loretta singled home Ty Wigginton against Brewers reliever Brian Shouse who then started the next inning as well. He allowed allowed two base runners and was pulled for Turnbow who gave up an RBI single to Lee and a sac fly to Pence.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Brewers (76-72) @ Astros (65-84) - Series Preview

The Brewers travel to Houston to take on the Astros in a three-game series. This year against the Astros, the Brewers are 11-4 overall and 4-2 at Minute Maid Park in Houston. The Brewers start the series one game behind the Cubs for first place in the NL Central. The Cubs face the Reds at Wrigley Field for a three-game series starting Monday as well. The Reds will be throwing Bronson Arroyo, Aaron Harang and Tom Shearn while the Cubs counter with Rich Hill, Carlos Zambrano and Ted Lilly. Zambrano and Lilly will be pitching on three days rest this week like Ben Sheets on Tuesday. The Reds are 7-5 against the Cubs in 2007.

Pitching match ups:

Monday - 7:05 PM CDT:

RHP Yovani Gallardo (8-4, 3.99) vs. RHP Matt Albers (4-8, 5.79)

Gallardo has not given up a run in his last two starts. That includes Gallardo's only career start against the Astros. In that start, Gallardo pitched seven scoreless innings and gave up six hits while striking out five. No Astro player had more than one hit against Gallardo in that outing. Gallardo's ERA on the road this year is 5.85 but that number is skewed a little bit by a very bad outing against the Rockies at Coors Field. This will be Gallardo's first start at Minute Maid Field.

Albers will be the first of three rookie starters to face the Brewers in this series. He picked up a quality start against the Cubs in his last outing by pitching six innings and giving up three runs. However, Albers picked up the loss as the Astros only put up two runs on the board for him. In the start before that, Albers faced Gallardo and the Brewers and was charged with the loss. He gave up seven runs in three innings of work. Albers is 0-1 with a 8.10 ERA in three appearances (two starts) against the Brewers this year. At Minute Park Field this season, Albers has an ERA of 3.48 compared to 7.53 on the road. J.J. Hardy, Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun all have homered against Albers this year.

Tuesday - 7:05 PM CDT:

RHP Ben Sheets (12-5, 3.78) vs. RHP Felipe Paulino (0-0, 11.25)

Sheets is being moved one up because he only threw 50 pitches against the Reds in his last start. The Brewers' ace gave up four runs in the first inning and only lasted three innings while giving up five runs. This year against the Astros, Sheets is 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA in three starts. Sheets is 10-8 with a 3.74 ERA in 23 career starts against the Astros including three complete games. Ty Wigginton is 9-20 with two homers and seven RBI in his career against Sheets.

Paulino will making be his first major league start. He has made two relief appearances in the bigs, one of which was against the Brewers at Miller Park. In that appearance, Paulino gave up six hits and five runs including three homers in three innings of work. Bill Hall, Corey Hart and Geoff Jenkins hit those home runs. Jenkins had two hits against Paulino during that outing. Paulino was called up from Double-A earlier this month.

Wednesday - 7:05 PM CDT:

RHP Dave Bush (11-10, 5.34) vs. RHP Juan Gutierrez (1-1, 6.10)

Bush has been knocked around pretty hard in his last two outings. He has given up a total of 12 runs in five innings of work in his last two starts which were against the Reds and Pirates. In 2007 against the Astros, Bush is 2-1 with a 5.91 ERA in four appearances (three starts). Bush is 4-1 with a 3.75 ERA in eight career appearances (seven starts) against the Astros. Lance Berkman is 9-23 with two doubles and three RBI in his career against Bush

Gutierrez will making his second career start and first appearance against the Brewers. In his only other start in the bigs, Gutierrez pitched five innings and gave up 11 hits and six runs in a loss to the Nationals in that outing. In his last appearance, Gutierrez picked up a win against the Pirates out of the bullpen by pitching two scoreless and hitless innings in relief of Wandy Rodriguez.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Reds-Brewers - Series Recap

The Brewers took two of three from the Reds at Miller Park this past weekend. The Cubs took three of four in their series with the Cardinals in St. Louis.

Friday - Reds win 6-5: The Reds knocked around Brewers starter Ben Sheets right from the get go. Brandon Phillips knocked in Norris Hopper and Jeff Keppinger to make the score 2-0 Reds. Keppinger and Hopper ended up at second and third for Phillips after a double steal attempt was successful. Adam Dunn batted next and hit a two-run homer to right field to make it 4-0 Reds with one out. The Reds stole a total of four bases in the first inning. All five stolen bases by the Reds in the game came when Sheets was pitching. Johnny Estrada has struggled this year throwing out base runners but in this case Estrada made a few good throws but Sheets was too slow to the plate. The Reds picked up another run in the second inning and Sheets would only last three innings. He was charged with the loss as he gave up five runs on six hits and threw just 50 pitches.

The Brewers tried to battle back against Reds starter Tom Shearn. Prince Fielder tied the team record for homers in a season in the fourth inning with a two-run blast. Estrada picked an RBI single in the seventh to bring the Brewers within two. Shearn got the win by going six and two thirds innings and giving up four hits and three runs. The Reds picked up what turned out to be a very important insurance run against Brewers reliever Mitch Stetter in the eighth inning. That's because Mike Rivera hit a two-run homer in the ninth to make it 6-5 Reds. But, the Brewers would get no closer as Kevin Mench fouled out to end the game.

Saturday - Brewers win 5-3: The Brewers picked up two runs in the first inning against Reds starter Kirk Saarloos. Ryan Braun had an RBI ground out and Geoff Jenkins picked up an RBI single in the inning. The Reds cut the lead in half in the second inning with a RBI single from Joey Votto. Prince Fielder then set the single season record for homers in the third inning with a solo shot. Fielder passed Gorman Thomas and Richie Sexson (he did it twice) who had 45 home runs in seasons for the Brewers. Damian Miller picked up an RBI single in the fifth inning to make 4-1 Brewers.

Hopper brought the Reds within two in the seventh inning with a RBI double that scored Buck Coats who reached on a walk. Jeff Suppan left the game with Hopper on third base and one out in the inning. Brian Shouse came in face to Ken Griffey Jr. and got him to pop out. Scott Linebrink relieved Shouse and gave up an RBI single to Phillips that scored Hopper. Ray King was called on to face Dunn and struck him out to end the inning. Derrick Turnbow started the top of the eighth inning with two outs but then walked two batters and was pulled for Francisco Cordero who finished the inning with a strikeout of Hopper. J.J. Hardy hit a solo homer to give the Brewers an insurance run going into the ninth inning. Cordero pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to finish off his save and the win for the Crew. Suppan got the win for the Brewers, his tenth of the season.

Sunday - Brewers win 5-2: The Brewers got on top first in this game as well with two runs in the third inning. Joe Dillon hit a two-run two-out double that scored Rickie Weeks and Craig Counsell. Then in the fifth inning, Dillon came up with another two-out two-run double that scored Bill Hall and Counsell. Fielder came up next with an RBI opposite field single that scored Dillon to make it 5-0 Brewers. Matt Belisle struck out nine for the Reds but gave up five runs in six innings of work to get the loss. Carlos Villanueva pitched seven scoreless innings to pick up his eighth win of the year. Cordero had to make another four-out save as Matt Wise and Shouse could get out of the eighth inning. He did the job and picked up his 43rd save of the season.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Reds (67-79) @ Brewers (74-71) - Series Preview

The Brewers return home for a quick three-game homestand against the Reds. The Reds are 7-5 against the Brewers this season. Cincinnati took two of three from the Brewers at Miller Park back in August. The Reds are coming off a three-game sweep of the Cardinals. The Brewers start this series a half game behind the Cubs for first place in the NL Central. The Cubs start a four-game series Friday against the Cardinals in St. Louis. The Cardinals stand five games behind the Cubs.

Pitching match ups:

Friday - 7:05 PM CT:

RHP Tom Shearn (2-0, 4.19) vs. RHP Ben Sheets (12-4, 3.54)

Shearn gave up four hits and three runs in two innings of work against the Brewers in his last outing which was out of the bullpen. Ryan Braun hit a two-run homer against Shearn in that game last Sunday. His last start was against the Mets and he pitched six scoreless innings and gave up just three hits to pick up the win. Shearn has pitched just one game away from home in the bigs this year. That was against the Cardinals and he gave up three runs in four and a third innings of work.

Sheets was not at his best against the Reds in his last start but he was able to earn a victory. He pitched six innings and gave up five runs. Three of those runs came in the sixth inning when Edwin Encarnacion hit a three-run homer. That was Sheets' first start this year against the Reds. Sheets is being moved ahead of Suppan in order to set up the rotation for the rest of the regular season. He will be looking to set a career high in wins in this start. Sheets also won 12 games in 2004. In his career against the Reds, Sheets is 7-3 with a 2.69 ERA in 14 starts. Ken Griffey Jr. is 4-15 with three homers and seven RBI in his career against Sheets.

Saturday - 6:05 PM CDT:
RHP Kirk Saarloos (1-4, 7.39) vs. RHP Jeff Suppan (9-11, 4.74)

This will be Saarloos' first start in the bigs since May 27th against the Pirates. In that start, Saarloos did not record an out and gave up five runs while picking up the loss. His last outing was against the Brewers last Sunday. Saarloos pitched three innings and gave up one run in that appearance. In four appearances against the Brewers this year, Saarloss has an ERA of 5.79. In his career against the Brewers, Saarloos is 0-2 with a 6.05 ERA in ten appearances (three starts). At Miller Park, Saarloos is 0-2 with an ERA of 8.18 in three appearances (two starts).

Suppan gave up three runs in six innings against the Reds in his last outing. All three runs came on a home run by Reds first baseman Joey Votto. Suppan picked up a no-decision as the Brewers came back and won the game 4-3. He will pitching on two days of extra rest. In his career in September/October regular season starts, Suppan is 21-18 with a 4.07 ERA, his best month for ERA in his career. So far this month, Suppan has made that stat stand up. This year against the Reds, Suppan is 0-2 with a 5.94 ERA in three starts. Suppan is 2-2 with a 6.24 ERA in ten career starts against the Reds. At Miller Park in 2007, Suppan is 6-3 with a 3.95 ERA in 14 starts. Griffey is 12-28 with two doubles, five homers and 12 RBI in his career against Suppan. Adam Dunn is 9-18 with three doubles, one homer and three RBI against Suppan.

Sunday - 1:05 PM CDT:
RHP Matt Belisle (8-8, 5.31) vs. RHP Carlos Villanueva (7-4, 4.42)

Belisle gave up six hits and five runs in five and a third innings of work against the Mets in his last start. He did not strike out a batter and walked one. Belisle is 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in two starts against the Brewers this year. Both of those starts were in Cincinnati. In his career against the Brewers, Belisle is 1-3 with a 8.38 ERA in 11 appearances (two starts). Belise will be making his first start at Miller Park where he is 1-1 with a 7.04 ERA in five relief appearances. Bill Hall is 4-7 with a homer in his career against Belisle.

Villanueva gave up two runs in five innings against the Pirates in his last outing. He was charged with the loss because the Brewers could not muster any run support for Villanueva. The Brewers lost the game 9-0 after the bullpen gave up seven more runs. Villanueva will be making his third career start against the Reds. In his career against the Reds, Villanueva is 2-0 with a 3.31 ERA in seven appearances (two starts). Villanueva made those two starts against the Reds in 2006 and gave up three runs in 11 and 1/3 innings of work. He has made four relief appearances against the Reds in 2007 with a 6.75 ERA. Scott Hatteberg is 4-6 with a double and three RBI in his career against Villanueva.