Friday, May 30, 2008

Braun, Parra, Lead Crew over Astros

These were the kind of games I expected the Brewers to be playing when I pondered how the season would turn out. A good pitching performance by one of our young guys, and effective new bullpen, some good offensive outpower, and displays of power by Braun and Fielder. And hey, even Cameron. Games where when the pitching excelled, the hitting did too. Games like the one's we haven't been having all year. Needless to say, I'm pretty happy with the way things went tonight.

Last year, the Brewers played much better at home than on the road, and the Astros were one of their favorite teams to beat up on while at Miller Park. Tonight was no different, as the Brewers cruised to a 5-1 victory, to find themselves 1 game under even once again. Leading the Crew from the pound was Manny Parra, who seemed locked in with Kendall tonight. Even though it wasn't the smoothest of outings, Parra made the big pitches when he had to. Manny went 6 innings, striking out four, allowing just one run.

In relief of Parra was Carlos Villanueva, who pitched two scoreless innings himself. Is Villanueva ready to move back into the rotation, should McClung struggle in his next start? I'm not quite sure, I'm starting to really enjoy him in the long relief role. He's had a hard time going through the lineup more than two times, so I wouldn't mind seeing him come out of the pen for a little longer. Guillermo Mota came in to close the game out, also allowing no runs.

Normally, when the pitching shines, the offense sputters. That was anything but the case tonight, as the Crew brought home five runs on nine hits, including three long balls. Things got started in the first when Cameron and Braun went back to back. Braun hit his in that little restaurant area over in right, which so many of us were screaming to be removed after a home run there cost us a game earlier in the season. Things will work out for both teams the same way, and I'd rather have a dining area out in right then a inclined hill and a flagpole out in center.

Braun wasn't done, as he went on to tie a career-high with four hits, including a single that scored Rickie Weeks in the 3rd. Prince Fielder almost fell over when he hit a two run shot in the 5th, but I was just glad to see the big guy still has some power left in him.

The other note of interest in this game is Branyan got another start as the Brewers faced a righty, but went 0-3. Ned's been calling it a "soft" platoon, but right now it looks like straight up Branyan vs. righties / Hall vs. lefties. We'll see how long that stays in effect.

Thank you Brewers, for playing the way I know you're capable of.

Box Score.

TBC's Player of the Game: Ryan Braun

(AP Photo/Darren Hauck)


Anonymous said...

dude branyan sucks, can kapler play third?

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