Sunday, May 31, 2009

Milwaukee Completes the Sweep

We all remember what happened on Derrick Turnbow bobblehead day a few years back, and we didn't need to see Trevor Hoffman implode in a similar fashion on Sunday afternoon. Although Hoffman came into the game with a three run lead, things got a little scary as Hoffman allowed his first walk of the season. His first walk of the season, and it's May 31st. That's pretty impressive. Either way, a baserunner was allowed to get to third base, and Miller Park was wondering if he might see the first Trevor Hoffman blown save of the season.

Nah, just kidding. We knew he'd get the save. The difference between Derrick Turnbow and Trevor Hoffman is vast, and Hoffman was able to shut down the Reds and help the Crew earn the series sweep. It was a good series by the Crew, as their bats came alive, the starters did enough to win, and the bullpen was as good as ever.

This game's starter was none other than Yovani Gallardo, who cruised through the first two innings by striking out six batters. He ended up giving up a couple of runs in the next few innings, and a high pitch count knocked him out of the game in the 6th inning, although he did finish with 9 K's.

In relief of Gallardo would first be Mitch Stetter, followed by Mark DeFelice, and then the aforementioned Hoffman. The bullpen was lights out again, once again not allowing any runs to the opposing team. Another great effort by a bullpen that has elevated it's play since the debut of Trevor Hoffman.

Only needing two runs to knock off the Reds, the Brewers offense didn't have a problem doing so. Cameron and Gamel notched an RBI a piece in the 1st inning, while Hardy added another one in the 2nd. Cameron came back in the 3rd with a two-run shot, homering for Milwaukee in back-to-back games. The Crew sweep the Reds to improve to 30-20, officially the fastest this team has ever won 30 games.

As for a Player of the Game, I'd like to just give it to the bullpen as a whole, but that's not how this works. Hoffman could be a deserving candidate as more of a cumulative thing, but I'm going to go offense and give it to Mike Cameron. He did have an error on the game, but that should have been attributed to Braun and his learning curve in left field. Cameron gets the nod.

Next up for the Crew, a trip down to Florida and Atlanta, starting with the Marlins on Monday night at 6:05pm.

Brewers vs. Reds LIVE BLOG

Offense Returns as Crew Crush Reds

After not scoring more runs in a game since May 18th, the Brewers offense finally returned to form on Saturday night. The Crew powered their way to sixteen hits and nine runs, with six of those runs coming in the 5th inning. It was more than enough to counter a rocky start by Dave Bush, as the Brewers won 9-3 to stay atop the NL Central, and win another series.

The aforementioned Bush gave up a couple of home runs in the first inning to give the Reds a 3-0 lead, but Prince Fielder erased that deficit with one swing of the bat in the bottom half of the frame when he cashed in on a 3-run shot. The Reds would tack on a couple more runs in the next few innings, but it could have been worse. The Brewers were able to gun down a runner at home plate twice in this game, including the pictured stop of Chris Dickerson via Dave Bush. The Brewers were still trailing, but at least a comeback was manageable.

The comeback then did occur in the 5th, when the Brewers offense finally went off. Ryan Braun and Mike Cameron kicked off the inning with a pair of home runs, and then Bill Hall delivered with an RBI double. The funny thing about Hall's double was that Corey Hart barely beat out a throw at home plate, as the Brewers were able to do what the Reds failed to do twice (and when I saw barely beat a throw, I mean that he was definitely out).

Mike Rivera would then cash in on a ground rule double, and Counsell added an RBI as well to conclude the scoring for the evening.

As for Dave Bush, he only did go four innings, giving up five runs. Seth McClung came in for a solid three innings and gave up no runs off two hits, and he earned the win. He also was able to get an at-bat, although his hacks missed by a long shot. Luckily, he was able to advance to first after a passed ball on strike three, which was awesome, for lack of a better word. Mitch Stetter and Carlos Villanueva were able to keep the Reds at bay as well.

McClung is a fairly good candidate for Player of the Game, but on a night like this the award has to go to the offense. Prince Fielder will get the nod tonight, as he went 3-for-4 with those 3 RBI. Without the home run in the first, the Brewers may have never found their way back into this one, so a deserving honor for Prince.

Game three of the series takes place at 1:05 on Sunday afternoon. The matchup on the hill should be a good one at the plate as well as Yovani Gallardo takes on Micah Owings. Make sure to stop by The Bucky Channel during the game for our live blog with our friends from Sports Bubbler.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Why We're Going to Cleveland

I'm part of a group of guys that have made it a mission to go to one Packers away game every season, and so far it's been a blast. Two years ago, we rocked St. Louis, and then last year had a great time in Nashville. This year, it came down to Arizona or Cleveland for where we wanted to go, and after a vote we settled on Cleveland. And if these videos are any indication, we are going to have a great time...

I can't stop laughing from about eight of those lines, unreal. The guy who made this, Mike Polk, was recently noticed by the NBA on TNT crew, and put together a nice hastily made production for them as well. It beings at the 2:03 mark of this video, courtesy of Awful Announcing.

Classic stuff. Just goes to show you that all you need is one good idea, and the internet will give you eternal fame.

See you in Cleveland!

Live Blog Announcement

You all know we here at The Bucky Channel love a good live blog, that's why we're excited about this announcement. Beginning tomorrow, many of the Brewers games will be supplemented with a Live Blog on the Sports Bubbler, a site I know you're all familiar with. I will be participating as a panelist on many of these blogs, including the initial one for Sunday's game against the Reds. When this happens, I'll post the live blog here in addition to it already being posted (as it will be every night) at

See you tomorrow.

Looper Leads Brewers Past Reds

You would think a posting with Braden Looper's name in the title would include a picture of Braden Looper, but this one of Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves and Jason Kendall was too good to ignore. More on that in a bit.

We've seen a few games this season already involving the Brewers were all the runs scored between them and their opponent come off of the long ball. That was the case again on Friday night, as we were essentially treated to a pitching duel between Braden Looper and the Reds Johnny Cueto. Prince Fielder gave the Brewers the edge in the early goings, with a two-run shot in the first. The Reds' Ramon Hernandez would bring Cincinnati back in the 4th inning however with a two-run blast of his own to tie the game.

That was really the only mistake of Braden Looper, who gave up just two hits in seven innings of work, while striking out four. Looper stepped up not only when the Brewers needed a win, but after some personal issues in his own life. On Thursday he was down in Oklahoma attending the funeral of LaVerne Looper, his grandfather, the man who got Braden into baseball.

Looper was feeling a bit upset when he left the field in the 7th inning without the win in hand, but Corey Hart stepped up to the plate and belted a rocket into the Miller Park outfield seats to give the Crew a 3-2 lead, and eventually a Looper victory.

"That home run by Corey was a gift," Looper told the Associated Press. "I got that two-run lead and I was feeling pretty good. I'm glad that mistake (in the 4th inning) didn't cost me the game."

Looper's lead was secured with an 8th inning appearance from Todd Coffey. Coffey struggled at first but then settled down and was backed by a key double play to get out of the inning. Hoffman then came in for the 9th inning, and was his usual dominant self.

It was a necessary showing from Looper, as pitching is really the only thing getting the Brewers victories these days. They are now 2-5 in their last seven, and haven't scored more than three runs in any of those contests. The absence of Rickie Weeks has definitely lead to a decrease in scoring, but the Brewers have to find a way to make up for that lost offense.

As for Castroneves, he was one of the many surprises I had as me and a couple of my brothers were able to sit just six rows behind the Brewers on-deck circle. These were some fantastic seats, certainly the best I've ever had at Miller Park, as a fan anyway. I'll be sure to brag about that experience much more during my Winks Thinks this week. 

The Crew will be in action again tonight against the Reds, first pitch scheduled for 6:05pm.

Player of the Game: Loop's Troops.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bogut Claims Second Bucks Survivor Crown

It was the finals matchup we've been waiting for all along, and it certainly didn't disappoint. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute put up quite the fight, but in the end Andrew Bogut was able to defend his crown to win his 2nd Bucks Survivor title.

This was a race that was back and forth the entire time, but Bogut's 30 votes were enough to edge Mbah a Moute's 28. I know for a fact that there was some intense campaigning on both sides, and I'm already looking forward to a rematch between the two next season.

However, let's not forget about what Bucks Survivor says about our beloved Bucks. The two finalists, in a contest to determine which Buck is most valuable to this team, were a guy who didn't even play half of the season against a rookie who was on a team so notoriously bad for defense that he ended up looking like a genuine rookie of the year candidate. As I said after last year's competition, Hammond has a lot of work to do this offseason. Best of luck. 

Let's take a look back shall we...

Round 1 - Dan Gadzuric

After an early exit last season, Gadzuric tops himself by being the first one voted off this year's Bucks Survivor challenge. Unfortunately, life won't imitate art in this scenario, as Grab and Reach probably isn't going anywhere for awhile. A huge contract and a huge lack of talent will keep him on the Bucks roster - think of him as their version of Bill Hall. Untradeable.

Round 2 - Damon Jones

He was this year's Jake Voshkul as he become the Bucks' biggest cheerleader, and was eventually called upon for action when the injuries started to pile up. His second stint with the Bucks wasn't as glorious as his first one was however, and he'll be looking for work this offseason.

Round 3 - Salim Stoudamire

A very late addition to the Bucks roster this season, Stoudamire kind of threw a wrench into the game, as he had no stats or numbers with the Bucks to really contribute to the early round challenges. I would be lying if I said I wasn't happy when he left the game, I also wouldn't be lying if I said I may have purposely tried to make it happen. With all that said, he should contribute nicely for Milwaukee next season.

Round 4 - Luke Ridnour

Few people were sad when Luke Ridnour was voted off the game, quite honestly. I have nothing against the guy, I just didn't think he really fit in to what the Bucks style of play should have been this season, and $6mil for this guy is a little too much. We'll need him though next year, especially because I'm beginning to think Ramon Sessions is going to be long gone.

Round 5 - Malik Allen

How he stayed around this long, I'll never know.

Round 6 - Franciso Elson

See Malik Allen. (It's an easy joke, I know, but it saved me like five minutes of writing!)

Round 7 - Keith Bogans

Keith Bogans constantly found himself towards the bottom of the standings, but was able to make it until round seven. Bogans did what he was asked to do for the Bucks in his short time here, and I wouldn't mind him being around next season. Sympathy points for Bogans for being forced to watch his former team, the Orlando Magic, put together an impressive run towards the NBA Finals. Ouch.

Round 8 - Charlie Bell, Joe Alexander

Joe Alexander was a target from the start of this game, but he escaped death like Houdini in a treasure chest (Too soon? Maybe not, but definitely too random.) Yeah, he's a project and everything, but he was useless this year, and I don't really see a long future for him in Bucks green and red. As for Chuck Bell, he actually had a pretty decent year, and he should be happy about how much more accepting people were of him this season than they were during last year's Bucks Survivor.

Round 9 - Michael Redd

Michael Redd was the sixth last Buck remaining, but in all seriousness, he should have probably lasted a bit longer. He's more useful than Villanueva for sure, but people have just had enough of Mikey Redd. I've been screaming for him to be traded for years now, but he actually played pretty well (even on defense) in the sort time he was on the floor this season.

Round 10 - Richard Jefferson

RJ lost by one vote to Skillanueva to fall just short of the Final Four. I think Jefferson has been a great addition to this team, as he was the only Buck to play in all 82 games this season. I still remember how thrilled I was when we traded for him, but the problem is this guy just costs too much money. Not moving him at the deadline means we'll probably be unable to keep either Sessions or Villanueva, maybe both.

Round 11 - Ramon Sessions, Charlie Villanueva

It was clear that Villanueva was the next man off, followed by Sessions. There are a lot of Sessions fans that read this site, but this game was destined to be a Mbah a Moute vs. Bogut finals from the start. No matter how many assists Sessions collects in April, it wasn't going to save him in this contest.

Runner-Up: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute

A legit candidate to win Bucks Survivor, Mbah a Moute should be a player in this contest for many years to come. Expect the Fresh Prince to play a big role in whatever success the Bucks have next year.

Champion: Andrew Bogut

Say what you want about the guy, but he is the franchise. Maybe he hasn't fully lived up to number one draft pick expectations, but the Bucks were lost down low without him. I look forward to having him back next season, and seeing what he can do with another roster of mediocre talent around him.

Thanks everyone for playing, and we'll see you next year (it'd be nice if we could start the contest a little later too next year, instead of after the final day of the regular season).

Winks Thinks: The Jake Peavy Edition

For weeks now, heck, even months at this point, there have been rumors regarding Padres pitcher Jake Peavy being traded to our beloved Milwaukee Brewers. However, none of these rumors have made their way to The Bucky Channel. Why is this? Well, quite simply, I think they are a waste of time, because there is no way Peavy will be a Milwaukee Brewer anytime soon. Read about that and much more in this week's edition of Winks Thinks.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Crew Drops the Rubber Match

The Brewers had plenty of chances to win this series, but they couldn't come through with a late rally on Wednesday and were downed by the Cardinals 3-2.  The Cardinals came into this series just on fire, especially in their pitching department. They allowed just four runs the entire series, and the Brewers are now just 1-5 in their last six, and have fallen out of first place in the NL Central.

That's the baseball season for you, and it's why their are 162 games. Things ebb and flow all the time in this league, with the Brewers recent box scores being a prime example of that. The Crew had won seven out of eight at one point, but then ran into two teams that were hotter than they were in the Twins and now the Cardinals. You'd like to see Milwaukee play better in games like this, but this week it just wasn't to be.

Cardinals newbie Nick Stavinoha is having a big series against Milwaukee, and probably wishes it would have never ended. He hit his first major league bomb and last night, and then today he collected the first two RBI for St. Louis. Frank Catalanotto (who started in right field, as Braun was alright and back in left) tied the game with a 2-RBI triple in the 4th, but it would be Stavinoha who would score the winning run in the 6th innings for the redbirds. The Cardinals bullpen locked down Milwaukee after that.

Manny Parra was hung with the loss in today's outing, and has dropped to 3-6 on the season. He didn't pitch too terribly - he went 6 2/3 innings allowing three runs and had six strikeouts - but it just wasn't enough to beat St. Louis today.

While Braun was able to return to the lineup, so was J.J. Hardy, who had a pretty nice game. Hardy returned with a 3-for-5 day and scored a run, but was the last out in the 9th inning with two men on base and a chance to either tie or win the ballgame. Still, it's much better to have Hardy in the lineup than it is having him out of it. 

One other interesting fact is that, for a Wednesday afternoon game, Miller Park was packed. The stadium was up to 96% capacity as more than 40,000 saw this one live. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that it wasn't on television today, but those are some great numbers for an afternoon affair at the end of May. Keep up the good work, Wisconsin.

Player of the Game: Frank Catalanotto, welcome to the standings.

How To Turn Your Program Around: Schedule the Badgers

To the delight of nearly everyone, especially Ty Willingham, Notre Dame football sucks right now. No matter how bad they suck though, they are also going to be thought of as a "top program", if for no other reason than history. Personally, I don't really care about Notre Dame one way or another, I just think it's lame that they are still an independent.

Being an independent gives them the power to create their own schedule. And even though they refuse to join the Big Ten, they end up scheduling half their games against teams from the conference anyways. And it looks like the Wisconsin Badgers could be next.

Athletic Director Barry Alvarez has confirmed he is in talks with Notre Dame to play a series of games between 2012 and 2015. Alvarez has ties to the program, working as an assistant their under Lou Holtz, including during their 1988 championship season. The Badgers and the Fighting Irish haven't played, however, since the 1964 campaign.

I think this would be a great idea. Watching the Badgers take on Notre Dame would be a huge improvement from watching them take on Fresno State and UNLV every season, sprinkled in with the occasional Cal-Poly appearance. Say what you what about Notre Dame, but I only see this as a positive for the Badgers football program.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cardinals Get Their Revenge

I don't think Adam Wainwright intentionally threw at Ryan Braun's wrist, but with the Cardinals, I guess you never know. The Brewers already had a few runners on base when Braun got plunked, so it would have been stupid for them to throw at him on purpose. However, maybe Tony LaVodka (just heard that name today, and I'm sticking with it) is playing for the long haul, and told Wainwright to hit the Brewer they hate the most to knock him out for awhile (he was replaced in this one by Frank Catalanotto). Again, I don't think he was hit on purpose, but with the way St. Louis is whining about the Crew lately, you never know. 

As poorly as the Brewers played on Wednesday night, you have to give the Cardinals all the credit for their victory. They used the longball to take the Crew out of the game early, going deep a total of four times. One of the guys that went deep was the aforementioned Adam Wainwright. Now we've all grown used to Jeff Suppan and his giving up of solo shots, but to the pitcher? Come on, Jeff. That lead to an early outing for Soup's Troops, as he only went 3 2/3 innings, giving up five runs off of seven hits.

Wainwright was just as good on the mound for the birds, as he and the bullpen allowed just one run to Milwaukee, which was a Prince Fielder groundout RBI. For that, I might give Fielder the Player of the Game, as their really just isn't anyone deserving of the nod in this 8-1 loss to St. Louis. After further review, I'm going to give it to Craig Counsell. He was the one that scored the run, and he went 2-for-4 while leaving zero men on base. I guess that's legit, right?

As for Braun, we're still awaiting to see how serious the injury is, but we do know it's a contusion on his right wrist. Any injury more than a couple of days would be a massive blow, since we're probably without Hardy for the rest of the week, and of course the burden that is the Weeks injury.

The Crew and Cards will be back in action tomorrow with a day game set for 12:05pm. The game won't be televised, so make sure you pull up your MLB GameCast tab at work.

Eric Gagne and His Comeback Attempt

I've openly rooted for Eric Gagne's success throughout his post-Cy Young collapse, especially when he was a member of the Milwaukee Brewers last season. I applauded the signing of him to the club this season, and was disappointed when a shoulder injury kept him from making the 25-man roster. It's highly doubtful Gagne ever will pitch in a Milwaukee Brewers uniform again, but it does appear he's yet to given up on playing baseball.

The team lucky enough to sign this former saves leader? How about none other than the Quebec Capitales. The Capitales play in something called the Can-Am league. It's an independent baseball league that plays games in the northeast U.S. and well as Canada. Gagne won't be ready to go for awhile, but has said he'd rather play in this league then try to rebound somewhere in the depths of the farm system. As always, we wish him the best.

Also, our old friend Gary Glover has signed a minor-league deal with the Marlins, so it looks like things are really looking up for some of our favorite former Brewers!

Brewers Fans Proving Fan Voting is a Joke

Don't get me wrong, I want to see nine Brewers starting in the All-Star game as much as you do, but let's be serious for a moment. The NL All-Star voting totals came out today, and they are laughable at best, in large part to our efforts. I take part of the blame, I spent the better part of a full Miller Park outing doing nothing but punching holes, and will continue to do so. But still...

Some of these vote totals aren't really surprising. Cardinals slugger and whiner Albert Pujols is currently the NL's top vote-getter, and that is well-deserved. Chase Utley leads at 2nd, David Wright leads at 3rd, and our very own Ryan Braun leads in the outfield. All of these things are acceptable. But is J.J. Hardy really a better shortstop than Jose Reyes, Jimmy Rollins, or Hanley Ramirez? Apparently, yes, at least according to baseball fans. Hardy leads all NL shortstops by nearly 40,000 votes, even though he's been struggling this year (although Khalil Greene doesn't deserve being as high as 5th place, either).

Not only is that crazy, but the Brewers are 2nd place in every position they aren't in first place. Prince Fielder is second at 1st, which makes sense. But Rickie Weeks probably shouldn't be second at 2nd base, because of the whole being out for the year thing and all. And Bill Hall in second place at 3rd base? I can guarantee you every vote Bill Hall has gotten so far has come from Brewers fans, and very forgiving ones at that.

Furthermore, Jason Kendall is 2nd behind the plate, Mike Cameron is 5th in the outfield, with Corey Hart finishing in 7th place. Here are the listings of all the vote totals, it's really a sight you have to see to believe.

I'm not saying you shouldn't be voting early, voting often, voting Brewers. I'm going to head over to right after this posting. I don't care if you or I continue to stuff the ballot boxes, in fact I encourage it. But how ridiculous would it be to see Bill Hall or Jason Kendall in an All-Star game. Let's not lose sight of that.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Bucks Surivor: Season Finale

Results: Thirty-four votes were cast over the holiday weekend, and judging by the results, all but one of you wanted to see Charlie Villanueva leave the competition this week. Well, that wish has been granted, as he, along with Ramon Sessions have been kicked out of Bucks Survivor. People have been expecting a Bogut / Mbah a Moute finale from the beginning, and you've gotten your wish. The tallies...

Charlie Villanueva/Ramon Sessions - 17 votes (50 percent)
Charlie Villanueva/Andrew Bogut - 8
Charlie Villanueva/Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - 8
Andrew Bogut/Ramon Sessions - 1
Andrew Bogut/Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - 0
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute/Ramon Sessions - 0

The Finals: Well here we are folks, Andrew Bogut vs. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. The voting will be at the top right of this blog, but make sure you realize the difference this week. You will be voting for who should win Bucks Survivor rather than who you'd like to see kicked off. The winner will be announced on Thursday. Can Andrew Bogut defend his crown as the Bucks Survivor? Or will the upstart Fresh Prince truly be Bucks royalty? It's up to you, Bucks fans.

Brewers Find Unlikely Hero in Hall

It was a game that lived up to it's billing as an incredible pitchers duel, but will ultimately be remembered for the unlikely heroics of Bill Hall in the bottom of the 10th inning. After he came in for a defensive switch for Mat Gamel, Hall somehow found a way to hit a gapper off of a righty and the Brewers won in walk-off fashion (actually, it was more like a sprint-off, which was weird). Once again, the Brewers were able to knock off the Cardinals 1-0, and take sole possession of first place in the NL Central.

Yovani Gallardo pitched incredible today, taking a no-hitter through the 6th inning. However, his performance was overshadowed by the Cardinals' Chris Carpenter, who actually had a perfect game through the 7th inning. Oddly enough, you could credit Craig Counsell with breaking up both no-hitters. His arm wasn't strong enough to throw out the runner at first to keep Gallardo's going, and then he was the one that knocked the first hit off of Carpenter. (Inside joke reference: and Collin thought there was only one CC in Wisco).

There was only a total of five hits in this game, but it was one of the more exciting games of this Brewers season. Frank Catalanotto almost had the game winning hit in the 8th inning in his first appearance in a Brewers uniform, but it was not to be. Nice to have another option like him off the bench though now.

As for Gallardo, ended up going eight innings, giving up just two hits and while striking out four Cardinal batters, all while rocking the strange Brewers red Memorial Day hat. Gallardo threw 126 pitches in this one, so Macha decided to pull him in the 9th to give Trevor Hoffman a non-save appearance. Hoffman was solid again, and Villanueva then came in the 10th inning and snuck into a victory.

Despite the clear fact that Gallardo earned the Player of the Game, I think the story emerging out of this one (again, besides the weird way Milwaukee bolted off the field after the game) is the hit from Bill Hall. Hall was stuck in a 1-for-28 slide and has all but entered a platoon with Gamel at 3rd for the time being. But he responded when his number was called upon today, and it just shows to show that competition within a ballclub can only be good for that given ballclub.

The Crew will have the night to enjoy some brats and the much anticipated 2009 debut of Rays pitcher David Price, and then take on the Cardinals again tomorrow on both FSN Wisconsin and ESPN.

Some Good Holiday Packers Reading

You all remember the site Walk On Boy, a blog written by former Neenah Rocket / Minnesota Golden Gopher and current football player somewhere in Scandinavia. I'm linking to him today sort of because he wrote a good article, but mainly because I wanted to show you how awesome his new logo is. That's just some good stuff. It's not better than our Bucks Survivor logo in our opinion, but it's in the same league for sure. But I digress. 

Walk On Boy's latest piece takes a closer look at the Packers switch to the 3-4 defensive scheme this season, and he's not entirely sure how good of an idea is it. Read it first because you disagree with him, and remember that Walk On Boy has actually played the game of football and lined up in a defensive scheme, rather than being some hack who hasn't played since 6th grade flag football but still thinks his opinions are valid (me). Enjoy, and Happy Memorial Day.

Twins Sweep Leads to Changes

Yesterday I flaked out of doing a game recap, today I'm going to do the same thing. It's Memorial Day, the Brewers are almost on anyway, but again the main thing is I just don't feel like talking about a loss to the Twins. Here's the AP recap, for those of you that are interested. Can't really be too upset about this sweep, as the Twins were hot coming into this series and the Brewers are a little banged up right now.

Still, we'll give out our Player of the Game, and it's going to be Mike Cameron. Both he and Prince homered, but Cam's shot gave him 250 home runs and 250 steals for his career.

Following the loss however, the Brewers did make a change to their roster, although it was a move to be expected. Milwaukee has called up Frank Catalanotto from Huntsville, as it appears he is ready to go. That means R.J. Swindle has been sent back to Nashville after an unsuccessful weekend as our second lefty specialist. The move to bring up another pitcher ultimately didn't pay off, especially after the Hardy injury on Friday.

Speaking of Hardy, he'll be out of the lineup today as his back spasms are still bothering him, so once again it's Counsell and McGehee leading off the lineup. Mat Gamel will get another start, this time at third base, as Bill Hall is just terrible right now. Personally, I don't see anyway Gamel is getting sent down anymore. The Crew needs his bat, especially now that Bill Hall sucks again. Here's the lineup for today's game:

SS Craig Counsell
2B Case McGehee
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
CF Mike Cameron
3B Mat Gamel
RF Corey Hart
C Jason Kendall
RHP Yovani Gallardo

Thanks, Tom!

And even though it is a holiday, come back as later as we'll recap the day action against the Cards, as well as have the final episode of Bucks Survivor.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Crew Look to Salvage Series Against Twins

I'm not really old enough to remember how intense the rivalry between the Brewers and the Twins might have used to be, but I'm sure it doesn't take long for those feelings to come back after dropping two in a row in embarrassing fashion. Unfortunately, I am old enough to have friends that are Twins fans, and it didn't take long for them to start sending me text messages cocking off about how awful the Brewers are. Can't we just take these last two losses and move on without having to rub it in our face?

Because it's the day before Memorial Day and I'm apparently going out to a bonfire (lame after 9th grade), here's the Associated Press version of the recap. Enjoy. As for our take, we're going to say that as long as we're in first place, we have nothing to complain about. Also, Prince Fielder is our Player of the Game, going 2-for-3 with an RBI.

The Brewers better shape up though before tonight's game against the Twins, as they are once again back under the spotlight of Sunday Night Baseball. Here's the lineup, courtesy of Tom Haudricourt, whose expertise in bringing up the lineups two hours before anyone else makes him one of the best writers in the entire world.

SS Craig Counsell
2B Casey McGehee
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
CF Mike Cameron
RF Corey Hart
DH Mat Gamel
C Mike Rivera
3B Bill Hall

It's another thin lineup as the Brewers have one less position player on the bench because of the R.J. Swindle call-up, so this is what we're going with. The absence of Weeks is definitely evident, and have fun batting in the nine-hole Billy Hall.

First pitch at 7:05pm.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Twins Beat Up on Brewers

I'm not sure on the statistics on this, but I think it's very rare for a player to go for the cycle and not be on the winning team. Cycles are usually hit for when your team is just destroying the other team, and that's exactly what happened on Friday night as Michael Cuddyer pulled it off during the Twins 11-3 victory over the Brewers.

Manny Parra had been pitching very well lately, but that all came to a crashing halt in the Metrodome. Parra only lasted 3 1/3 innings, getting tagged for 9 runs, 8 of them earned. Even though the Brewers had the DH, they had to go through six pitchers, including call-up R.J. Swindle, who gave up the other two Twins runs in his one inning of work. Not worry Swindle, it's not likely we called you up specifically for this series or anything.

In addition to their struggles on the mound, the Brewers couldn't get anything going with their bats. Casey McGehee is going to get the Player of the Game honors for his 2 RBI, but you could argue against him because of his struggles defensively. There's just really no one else to give it to though, sans maybe Ryan Braun who had the other ribbie. We'll stick with McGehee though for now.

In other notable news, Bill Hall, who has once again gained black sheep status for the Crew, entered the game at third after Hardy left with back spasms. Hardy is currently listed as day-to-day. This game also saw the first appearance of Jody Gerut in a Brewers uniform, as he was used as a pinch runner and eventually scored. Welcome to Milwaukee, Jody!

Game two of the series gets underway tonight at 6:10pm.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Crew Wins Yet Another Series

All good things must come to an end, that's something that's been true since the dawn of time. But Trevor Hoffman's 0.00 ERA with the Milwaukee Brewers isn't ready to come to a halt just yet, even though the Astros gave us a pretty good scare that it would on Thursday night. Hoffman worked out of a jam in the 9th, earned his 11th save this season, and helped the Brewers beat the Astros 4-3 en route to another series victory.

The Crew was able to manage 13 hits in this game, but couldn't muster too many runs off Roy Oswalt in the early goings. Jeff Suppan didn't pitch too terribly, allowing three runs in five innings, with all of the scoring come off of the longball. When Jeff Suppan misses his spots, he really misses his spots, and the Astros took advantage of that twice.

Down 3-0 in the 5th inning, the Crew finally found themselves on the scoreboard after Ryan Braun scored Jeff Suppan via a fielder's choice. Milwaukee scored again in the 7th inning, with a Prince Fielder 2-RBI single, and then a Corey Hart RBI single. That put Milwaukee up 4-3, and then the bullpen took care of things from there. McClung, Villanueva, Coffey, and Hoffman all kept Houston off the board, and the Brewers have now won 8 out of 9.

Player of the Game: After long consideration, we're going Corey Hart. Hart when 3-for-5 and had the game-winning RBI. Somehow, this is Hart's first Player of the Game award of the season.

I wanted the Brewers to go 6-3 on their current road trip, I figured that would be a best case scenario. But Milwaukee is 5-1 on this latest trek away from home, and will have a decent following behind them when they travel to Minnesota for the next three games. 

We only see the Twins six times every season, but that is six times too many for me. I usually hate all things Minnesota sports, much of which has to do with the fact that I lived in La Crosse for six years. Here's an article I wrote about the so-called rivalry about a year ago, although I don't know how much I agree with my own writing. While this series isn't really a rivalry, I do still hate the Twins.

The Brewers wanted another left-handed arm for the series, so they've called up R.J. Swindle from Nashville. To make room on the roster for Swindle, Hernan Irribarren has already been sent back down. Thanks for playing, Hernan, although I'm sure the Brewers will either activate him again or Catalanatto after they send Swindle back down. In addition, a move activated Gerut for Duffy should happen any time now.

The entire Twins series is a night series, as they take them on tonight at 7:10pm, tomorrow at 6:10pm, and then at 7:05pm on Sunday, with the series finale being broadcast on ESPN.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bucks Survivor: Semi-Finals

Results: The further into this contest we get, the closer the races are becoming. This week's round was extended a few hours to break the tie between Richard Jefferson and Charlie Villanueva, and it looks like RJ and the worst tattoo in sports have been kicked out of Bucks Survivor. The results:

Richard Jefferson - 15 votes (39 percent)
Charlie Skillanueva - 14
Andrew Bogut - 4
Ramon Sessions - 4
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - 1

This Week: Ladies and Gentlemen, your Bucks Survivor 2009 Final Four is Charlie Villanueva, Andrew Bogut, Ramon Sessions, and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. Personally, I'm a bit surprised that CV31 snuck into the Final Four, but the other three don't surprise me. Just so you know, last year's Final Four was Ramon Sessions, Andrew Bogut, Yi Jianlian, and Desmond Mason. What!

As we head into the final two, we're going to do so via a double elimination round. What will happen is that instead of just voting for one Buck to be eliminated, you'll vote for a pair of them to exit. It makes more sense if you just look at the voting, which is at the top right of this blog. 

Archives: Archives.

Brewers Trade Gwynn For Jody Gerut

That's the report. Sort of anti-climatic, but whatever. Tony Gwynn Jr. was never going to find big league success with the Brewers, and I still contest that he'll never hit a major league home run. You think the Brewers would have kept Gwynn as trade bait for if they ever went after Jake Peavy, but I guess not. Jody Gerut is better than Gwynn, but he's not doing that great this season, only hitting .223.

Honestly, I like the trade, but I don't really see the point. I guess this means Duffy is getting sent back down to Nashville. Also, Frank Catalanotto should be ready to go within in a week, so that would be another move (Iribarren?) What I gather from this trade is that Doug Melvin must have been very unhappy with the pinch hitting at the beginning of this season, and wasn't going to stand for it. Can't argue with that.

Winks Thinks: The Birthday Edition

Although my birthday wasn't as glamorous as the picture would indicate, it wasn't a bad way to turn 25 this week, and I thank everyone for the well wishes. That being said, the birthday did give me some fodder for this week's column, and you can consider that my present back to you. Also in this week's edition of Winks Thinks are thoughts on the NBA and NHL Playoffs, the WWE vs. the Denver Nuggets, and comments regarding graduations. Please enjoy.

Can't Win 'Em All

Okay first off, let me just tell you that Tom Haudricourt is reporting the Brewers have made a trade of some kind, and although the details aren't specific, the trade doesn't appear to be a major one. Some people think it's for Jake Peavy, but TH is not one of them. Either way, I'm kind of mad about this because the only way TH knows that something is brewing (pardon the pun) is because of a post that was made on Gord Ash's Twitter. Seriously, is this what the world is coming to? How are we embracing the dumbest form of communication ever, and why hasn't it gone away yet. I will never conform to this crap, unless I was forced to do it for work or something. Even then, I'd put up a fight. I hate Twitter so much, typing it makes my fingers bleed.

Anyways, on to something less weird, let's talk about the Brewers on-field actions for a second. Their winning streak of seven came to an end on Wednesday night as they fell to the Astros 6-4. Houston found a way to collect some runs off of Yovani Gallardo early, and he ended up getting tagged for six runs. McClung and Julio then pitched three combined scoreless innings, but by then it was too late.

Up until the 9th inning, the only run the Crew could muster was a Mike Cameron home run in the 4th inning. Cameron has been kind of quiet lately, so it's good to see him back in the mix. The Brewers tried to put a rally together in the 9th, with a 2 RBI pinch-hit double from Mat Gamel and another RBI from Corey Hart, but it wasn't enough, and the streak was broken. Even though he appeared only as a pinch-hitter, I'm giving Gamel the Player of the Game. He made the most impact in this one, and if the Brewers would have won, it would have been because of his rally starter. It's nice to have that kind of weapon off the bench for situations like that, isn't it?

Finally, if there is one site you go to today (besides this one), I want you to check out Miller Park Drunk. They do these things called Brewers Flow Charts, and I don't know where they came up with the idea, but they are hilarious.

More on the trade when we hear something, unless it turns out that Gord Ash's Twitter is really run by some 19 year-old college kid. God I hate that site.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Brewers Winning Streak Improves to Seven

Despite giving up a home run to Astros relief pitcher Russ Ortiz, and letting Michael Bourn run his way out of a pickle (something I've never seen before), the Brewers still found a way to beat Houston on Tuesday night. The Brewers probably shouldn't have won this game, but when you find yourself on a winning streak, you start to think that maybe you can't lose. That's how the Brewers played en route to their 4-2 victory in game one of this series.

Dave Bush did pitch well in this one however, getting himself out of the jams he did find himself in. He gave up seven hits over six innings, but allowed just two runs and struck out a pair of batters. From there, Villanueva, Coffey, and Trevor Time allowed just one hit over the next three innings, and Trevor Hoffman got another save, this time on just eight pitches. Incredible.

Prince Fielder continued to stay hot with his bat with an RBI double in the 4th inning, and crossed the plate himself via a J.J. Hardy single. Hardy notched another RBI in the 6th inning, as did Casey McGehee who got the start at second base.

This win not only gives the Brewers their seventh straight win, but also their 13th win in their last 15 games. Despite their success, the Brewers still have some problems to work out especially the situation at 2nd base. I think that the mix of Counsell, McGehee, Iribarren, and even Hall can do a decent job of filling the void if the Brewers don't look elsewhere for options, but the Brewers will also have to figure out who to bat in the leadoff spot, with Corey Hart looking like the top candidate so far. The loss of Weeks is major, but I think this team has it in them to work around it and make a return trip to the postseason. I know it's only May, but so far, so good.

Player of the Game: I could go with Bush, but I'm liking Hardy and his two RBI tonight.

Bucks Get the Ten Pick

Well that was no fun. Hoping to have the same kind of good fortune that the Bulls did last year when they shot up the board to acquire the number one pick, the Bucks instead were slotted in the position they were expected to be in, and will have the 10th pick in the 2009 NBA Draft this summer. John Hammond was the Bucks representative in New York this time around, and some may speculate that maybe if Hammond shook a little more, or appeared Larry Harris nervous, the Bucks would have had a better chance at a higher pick.

With the ten pick, the Bucks have no shot at getting the guy I wanted, Spain's Ricky Rubio. I only like the kid because of how well Spain did in the Olympics last year, and think that we should get as many of those guys as possible. There's a reason I overvalued Rudy Fernandez is my fantasy draft last year, I just love these kids from Spain.'s Chad Ford currently has the Bucks picking Jrue Holliday, an 18-year old point guard from UCLA. Pittsburgh's PF DeJuan Blair is another possibility, but they could just as easily trade out of the position. Either way, here's hoping they pick a guy that can actually be productive next season, and not another Mandarin speaking project.

As for the rest of the draft, Blake Griffin is heading to Los Angeles to become a Clipper. Can't wait to see how the Clips screw that up.

MacGruber to the Big Screen?

I'm trying to settle in for an hour or two of blogging, but the birthday celebrations were pretty rough, so let's start with something light. One of my favorite SNL sketches right now, MacGruber, could be heading to the big screen. As you probably know, the sketches are little knockoffs of McGyver, and I find them hilarious. Some people don't like them however, and it's kind of a love it or hate it sketch. 

In fact, of all the news articles I've seen regarding this little tidbit of news, none of them think a MacGruber movie would be a good idea. It'd be interesting to see how they'd take one joke and turn it into a 90 minute film, but that's the challenge SNL has with all it's sketches turned movies. Sometimes it works (Wayne's World), sometimes it fails miserably (Night at the Roxbury). If the idea of a MacGruber movie did take shape though, I'd be there on opening night for sure. What do you guys think? Would you pay 10 bucks to watch MacGruber dominate the big screen for two hours?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Gamel Gets in on the Party As Crew Sweeps Cards

Well that didn't take long. In his first major league league start, Mat Gamel made quite the entrance by jacking a three run shot in the 3rd inning against the Cardinals on Monday night. His bomb was part of an eight run output by the Crew, who backed by the pitching of Braden Looper went on to beat the Cards 8-4, sweeping them in St. Louis for the first time since 2003. The Crew have now won six straight, and look awesome. Here's some quick hits before I treat myself to a birthday round of golf (and take the rest of the day off from blogging, understandably).

* Congrats to Jason Kendall, who collected his 2000th hit last night.
* How good are the Brewers? Number three in the CBS power rankings good.
* Casey McGehee gets the start tonight at second against Houston.
* Hernan Iribarren takes Weeks spot on the roster, but will mostly pinch hit for the time being.
* Brad Nelson signs with the Mariners
* This kid is a douche, and the reason why YouTube can really suck sometimes:

I thank God everynight YouTube wasn't around when I was a kid, who knows what kind of crap I would have uploaded. See you tomorrow!

Player of the Gamel: See what I did there?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Weeks Likely Out For Season

Whether you like the guy or not this is not a good thing for the Brewers. Rickie Weeks has already endured thumb and wrist injuries on his right hand, and now he will have to have surgery on the sheath muscle in his left wrist. I don't really know what the sheath muscle does. But with it torn, you apparently cannot play baseball.

Rickie was hitting .272 with a team high 9 home runs and 24 RBI's. His OBP was near .340 and his SLG% was .517, great for a 2nd baseman and a leadoff hitter. The Brewers offense is potent with or without Rickie in the lineup but now it forces our lone competent bench player to this point of the season to move in to a starting role at 2nd.

This could adversely affect the brewers in many ways. Not only obvious as in missed production. But now the Brewers must find a leadoff hitter. Counsell will most likely stay in the two spot because Manager Ken Macha likes his patience there. Corey Hart is the next likely candidate. Or if Escobar is brought up from AAA Nashville, he could be inserted there. Also don't rule out Jason Kendall, for some reason Macha likes him up there and had him bat leadoff when they were in Oakland together and several times this spring. Next is whether this hinders the clear downhill momentum this team had. Hopefully, its a rallying point that allows this close team to stay focused. What now happens down the road with Weeks. I definitely think he has shown enough for the Brewers to make him a Brewer for many more years.

The silver lining in all of this is that Mat Gamel will most likely be the right handed platoon hitter with Bill Hall now. More Mat Gamel could be a good thing for the Brewers, or they could bring up sleak fielding prospect Alcides Escobar.

Mat Gamel is getting the start at third base tonight.

Good luck Rickie, as a huge advocate of yours, I hope you get healthy and comeback and continue your success.

Bucks Survivor: Round Ten

Results: I think it's about time to put this round out of its misery and end it once an for all. It's been a long time coming, but Michael Redd has finally been eliminated from Bucks Survivor to claim the title of "Bucks Survivor Sixth Man". Redd's landslide defeat was the biggest was one of the bigger ones this season. Although judging by how the rest of the voting shook out, this week could be the biggest blowout of them all. The results:

Michael Redd - 32 votes (60 percent)
Charlie Villanueva - 15
Andrew Bogut - 3
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - 1
Richard Jefferson - 1
Ramon Sessions - 1 

This Week: Well, we're down to five Bucks, and you can essentially say these guys are the starters. With this lineup, Sessions would run the point, Mbah a Moute might have to be the two guard, with Jefferson as the SF, Villanueva the PF, and Bogut at center. Not the worst team, I guess. For this week, we'll have one more single elimination round before another double-elimination round next week, and then it's down to the final two.

Voting: Top right. Archives

A Nation Rejoices

It's safe to watch Monday Night Football with the volume on again, sports fans. ESPN has announced a move that has really been two years in the making, ever since Tony Kornheiser debuted on the program. Kornheiser has been removed from the MNF booth starting this season, and will be replaced by former Bucs coach / Raiders coach / Packers assistant Jon Gruden, who had a marvelous TV debut for the NFL Network during the draft this season.

Kornheiser provides a few comments to the article, and makes it seem like it was a mutual decision for him to leave the booth, but we all know that's not the case. Despite random flashes of not sucking, Kornheiser ultimately just didn't click with what the fans wanted to hear. Too many of his attempts at humor fell flat, and took away from the broadcast. Also, and this is the big one, he talked about Brett Favre way too much (I know, I know, who doesn't these days, but he was beyond obsessive about it).

Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, and Jon Gruden sounds like a much better team than what we've been used to. Jaws does a great job in the booth, but is often overshadowed by Kornheiser's antics. Gruden has been known to make a joke or two, but at least he's a smart football guy, and not some over-the-top writer turned TV personality. This is the right move at the right time for ESPN, and I'm looking forward to hearing the new team.

The Packers will play on Monday Night Football twice this season. First on October 5th at Minnesota, and then they'll host the Ravens on December 7th.

Who Wants to Listen to Some Soccer? (Don't Answer That)

I know the answer to that question is probably zero, but for those of you that might be interested (aka family members of mine), the podcast from the soccer game I announced last week has been posted online. The podcast starts with the pregame and an interview from the Fond du Lac High School girls soccer coach (my dad), and then I jump in with the play-by-play. There are a few bumps along the way, but overall I think it went very well, especially considering this is my first play-by-play call for anything. However, it is soccer, so I'd be surprised if most of you even made it this far through the posting. 

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Team Effort Gives Brewers Series Victory

The Brewers used a little bit of everything, and a little bit of everyone, in one of the more complete team victories you'll see this season. The pitching staff did well, the hitters got the job done, and Todd Coffey laid down another sacrifice bunt. Like I said, they went with a little bit of every thing, and their plan worked, as the Brewers beat the Cardinas 8-2 to ensure a series victory. With the win, the Crew now have one of the best records in baseball at 23-14 and have a 1 1/2 game lead in the NL Central. I don't know what got into this team lately, but I'm glad it's working (sidenote: I'm pretty sure it's Ken Macha).

The Crew used a four-run first inning to take the early lead in this one and then never looked back. J.J. Hardy had a two-run single with two outs, which was followed by the exact same thing from Jason Kendall. Manny Parra then took that lead and cruised with it until the 6th inning when he got into a bit of trouble, giving up two runs. Macha decided to let him finish the frame, and Parra was able to leave the game with 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, and 3 K. Our decision to trade for him recently in a fantasy league that Bear and I are in together is sure looking good after two really good starts from Manny this week (and right away I'm sorry I brought up my fantasy team, I know you could care less).

The Cardinals were within two at that point, but Prince Fielder took care of any concern with a three run bomb in the 7th inning (also on that fantasy team!.... sorry). Craig Counsell had an RBI ground rule double in the 8th, and Coffey and McClung were able to close out the game to allow the Brewers to once again untuck their shirts at Busch Stadium. 

The only real bad news out of today's contest was the wrist injury Rickie Weeks suffered during his first at-bat. After the game, Weeks didn't want to talk about the injury too much, but did reveal he's headed to Arizona to see a wrist specialist. The Brewers will likely get word sometime tomorrow about how serious the injury is, and how much time he'll need to miss, if any. It could be a tough injury for the Brewers during what is shaping up to be an incredible month for the Crew, but as they say, every rose has it's thorn.

Player of the Game: This really could go to anyone. Prince for the home run wouldn't be a bad choice, Kendall had a decent game, as did Craiggers. But I think I'm going to go pitching staff today and give it to Parra. Because he pitched well today, and I'm still pretty pumped about my trade this week.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Stop Making Me Like You, Jeff Suppan!

Look Jeff, I know you're a great person and you give a ton of money to charity, but I have still stuck to the notion that you are my least favorite Brewer. That statement is only true because of how bad you've pitched for the money you're making, money I feel could be used towards bringing in more capable bodies (and honestly has nothing to do with the time you made fun of me for how sunburn I was... God do I miss the player access I once had, single tear). 

But then I watch the game against your former Cardinals on Saturday, and see you just pound the strike zone and ending with a line of 7 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, and 2 K. That's a quality line, Jeff, something I only dreamed you were still capable of. Actually, you've pitched pretty well lately, and your turnaround is a key reason why the Brewers are first place in the NL Central right now. Keep this up, and I'm buying a Jeff Suppan jersey by the All-Star break.

Even though Suppan and the Brewers allowed a total of just six hits, the Brewers offense was able to only muster up two hits themselves. But because of a Corey Hart home run in the 2nd inning, Adam Wainwright's best outing of the season was tainted with a loss, and the Brewers escaped the official game one of this series with a 1-0 victory. Trevor Hoffman earned his 9th save of the season, but did have a brief scare when Yadier Molina took one to the warning track, but our beloved hero Corey Hart was there, crisis averted.

The best part of this game? This:

I still can't believe how much it bugs St. Louis when the Brewers untuck their shirts after a victory. The Cardinals think it's in poor sportsmanship, but if that's the case they've apparently never seen the show Albert Pujols puts on when he hits a home run. This is something the Brewers do because it's a way for Mike Cameron to honor his father! Cameron has been doing this throughout his career, and it speaks volumes about how tight this team is that they would adopt Cam's honor and take part in it together. I can't believe how sensitive the Cardinals are, I really can't. 

The hilarious part in all this is that they hate the Brewers a hell of a lot more than we hate them. For both us and the Cardinals, the number one rival is the Cubs, no question. But after that, St. Louis doesn't like us. No, they hate us. No, they loathe us (that was a very random WWE reference, my apologies). Personally, I hate the Astros and probably the Reds a lot more than I worry about the Cardinals. The imbalance could also be due to the fact that we've had their number for the most part lately as well. Kind of like how the Pirates hate us, when we don't even really give them a second thought.

The Cards have to be pretty bitter about the loss, especially after their 2-0 lead before yesterday's cancellation was wiped clean from the record books. Too bad, so sad. The Cards will have a chance at redemption on Sunday at 1:15pm, and again during the makeup game at 7:15pm on Monday night, a game which will be televised on FSN Wisconsin. Despite rumblings that Gallardo could come back to pitch that one, it will be another former Cardinal in Braden Looper on the hill that night.

Player of the Game: Can I really do this? What the hell, he deserved it. Jeff Suppan!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Crew Rained Out, Game Postponed Until Monday

Massive winds, an eventual downpour, and the threat of tornadoes may be the perfect recipe for Bear's Best Night Ever, but they are not a good combination when you're trying to play a baseball game. Because of these three things, the 2-0 deficit the Brewers found themselves in during the 2nd inning of Friday's game against the Cardinals has been erased, and the Brewers will start this one from scratch on Monday.

Both teams had the day off Monday, so instead of waiting until the next possible day, August 31st, the Brewers can Cardinals will make up this game on Monday night at 7:15pm. There's no word yet on whether or not this game will be televised, but if it is it will be during an already action packed night of Monday night TV (24 finale and another episode of WWE RAW!).

That means the series will officially start on Saturday, with a 12:10 game to be televised on WMLW. The Sunday game will take place at 1:15pm on FSN Wisconsin, and the series finale will be the Monday night make-up. Yovani Gallardo could be back on the mound for that one, but that will be a decision left up to Ken Macha.

So sorry Colby Rasmus and the St. Louis Cardinals, your 2-0 lead meant nothing. Hopefully the Brewers can take advantage of their second life, and do some good work throughout the entire series.

Player of the Game: Mother Nature

Tulsa Talons Crush Our Beloved Iron

We here at The Bucky Channel have somehow been given press credentials for the Milwaukee Iron this season, something we're very appreciative of. However, because of our various commitments (and nights we've chosen to stay in Fondy to chase around girls that have boyfriends... gulp), we've yet to be able to get to a game. That's why when the Iron media guy emails us with a game summary, we're more than happy to post it here for you in an effort to a) get the Iron more exposure but more importantly b) make it seem as if we have more content. So here is the Iron recap, via Joe LaBarbera...

MILWAUKEE – The Tulsa Talons made it six wins in a row by easily handling an offensively challenged Milwaukee Iron team 53-19 before 3,126 fans at the Bradley Center Friday night. Milwaukee quarterback Shane Adler threw two first quarter interceptions. Pierre Thomas returned one for a touchdown. Justin Allgood fired two touchdown passes en route to a 21-3 Tulsa lead after the first quarter. The Tulsa offense scored two touchdowns in the second quarter, but it was their defense that helped build a dominating 37-6 halftime lead. The Talons scored a safety and limited Milwaukee to just 24 yards of total offense in the quarter. Milwaukee’s only offensive production in the second quarter came on kicker Alex Walls’ 41-yard field goal as time expired.

Talon lineman Kamau Jackson sacked Shane Adler, the only Iron Quarterback on the active roster knocking him out of the game. Adler remained down after banging his head on the turf, but fortunately walked off the field with some help from teammates. He did not return to the sidelines. Without another quarterback, wide receiver Scott Burnoski got behind center. Burnoski ran for one TD and threw for another, but his efforts were overshadowed by Tulsa’s insurmountable lead and tenacious defense. Tulsa held a 53-12 lead until Burnoski found Antoine Burns in the end zone with 41 seconds remaining.

Milwaukee’s Antoine Burns had nine catches for 72 yards and a touchdown. The Iron head into the bye week with a 2-6 record and may need to find a healthy quarterback quickly. The Iron play at Albany on May 30. The next home game is June 5 against Mahoning Valley at the Bradley Center. 

As for us here at The Bucky Channel, we can't wait to get to that game on June 5th. Seriously...

Farewell, Brad Nelson

Well, Brad Nelson won't have too much time to continue his hitless streak for the Nashville Sounds, because he's not going to be reporting to Triple-A after all. That's right folks, Brad Nelson's days in the Brewers organization are over, and he's going to be heading to free agency (thanks to Walsh for the tip, although not sure what he's doing on the phone at 4:30am).

According to the Sports Bubbler, there are at least four teams interested in the services of Brad Nelson, and a decision should be made later today. The speculation is that he'll end up on the West Coast, and I think with Jack Z running the show in Seattle, that would be a natural fit. 

It's unfortunate that Nelson couldn't turn his Spring Training success into success in the big leagues this season, but we wish him well wherever he lands. Despite his inability to but a bat on the ball, Nelson was well liked by many Brewers fans, and we were all rooting for him. Good luck on your second chance, Brad.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bucks Survivor: Round Nine

Results: Wow. That's my reaction to what almost happened in this week's edition of Bucks Survivor. While it wasn't a surprise that Charlie Bell lost this week, the race for who would join him in the double elimination round was. Joe Alexander and Michael Redd were tied with 11 votes when I checked the site 30 minutes before the deadline, and in that time someone pulled through and voted Joe Alexander off of Bucks Island. Whoever you are, thank you. I'd give you a Bucky Channel shirt for your efforts, but predictably, they haven't been made yet. The results...

Charlie Bell - 15 votes (34 percent)
Joe Alexander - 12 
Michael Redd - 11
Charlie Villanueva - 2
Richard Jefferson - 2
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - 1
Ramon Sessions - 1
Andrew Bogut - 0

This Week: And just like that, we're down to six men left standing in the Bucks Survivor competition. Here's how the rest of the game is going to play out. I've scrapped the idea of voting someone back into the game that has already been kicked off. I feel that if I did do that Gweeds might finally figure out a way to scam Salim Stoudamire into the finals, so we'll just go with the notion that when you're voted off, you're voted off for good. When we get to the Final Four though, we'll have different kind of double elimination round, and then we'll be down to the Final Two. But for now, we off who will be the next person eliminated, and they will be crowned the Bucks Survivor "Sixth Man". 

Voting: You have the whole weekend to vote for who you want eliminated, which you can do at the top right of the blog, so make sure you do so. I want a record turnout this week, so tell your friends! And as always, here's the recaps for the whole year.

Brewers Sweep Marlins, This is Getting Awesome

This is just some good stuff right now, Brewers fans. After a rocky start that had much of Wisconsin thinking Packers season already, the Brewers have stormed back while playing some of the best baseball in the league. At 21-14, the Brewers are currently in first place in the NL Central, and if they keep playing like this, they are going to be there for a long time.

The latest game in a series of awesome games was the Brewers 5-3 victory over the Marlins on Thursday afternoon, as they completed the series sweep. As with every game this series, the Marlins took the lead first, but then the Brewers would rally back and then secure the victory. 

Facing a 1-0 deficit in the bottom of the 2nd, Bill Hall gave the Brewers their first lead of the game with a 2-run shot off Josh Johnson. Hall is one of the Brewers that are playing very well right now, and this seems like a much more focused version of Hall than what we saw a year ago. The Crew tacked on another run in the 3rd when J.J. Hardy scored on a throwing error, although the Marlins would come back to tie it at 3-3. At least until Prince Fielder had his next at-bat.

Fielder, like the Brewers, started very slowly but has rebounded and is just going on a tear. Prince Fielder gave the Brewers the lead for good with his 8th home run of the season in the 5th inning. Hardy then notched an RBI single an inning later, Bush pitched seven good innings (again), and then Trevor Time was automatic as usual, and the Crew won 5-3. Even though the game wasn't on TV - which is always a huge bummer - I can just tell by the Morry Gash picture above that this was one hell of a game.

Despite the Brewers dominating right now, they are still making some changes. Mike Rivera got the start at catcher today as he came back from the DL and went 2-for-3. Chris Duffy started for Corey Hart in right field, and actually improved his average to .125, so that's a plus. And I know I'm burying the lead with this one, but Mat Gamel was in fact called up and had a pinch hit appearance today, but struck out. 

Next up for the Crew is a three game set in St. Louis, followed by one in Houston and another in Minnesota. Normally, I look for the Crew to go 5-4 on road trips, but I'm feeling pretty good about them right now. Who's up for 6-3?

Player of the Game: Mat Gamel. Nah, but that'd be awesome. I'm gonna give it to Bush (7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 7 K).

Winks Thinks: The Showmanship Edition

I must admit, writer's block hit me pretty hard this week. I probably texted half of the people in my phone last night looking for something to really focus on, and in retrospect, none of them were really that helpful! What I did come up with though, was a short rant about how much I like the way Ryan Braun plays, and showmanship in general. Also covered in the latest edition is a potential smoking ban in Wisconsin, the new Quiznos commercial, and Susan Saradon. It's pretty random this week, but here is the latest edition of Winks Thinks.

In other news, if you live in Fond du Lac or any of the surrounding area, be sure to check out KFIZ 1450 AM tonight. Alongside Wade Bates, I'll be broadcasting a Fond du Lac High School girls soccer game in my play-by-play debut. I know it's girls, and I know it's soccer, but the Brewers are playing a day game so why not have a listen?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wednesday Night Fish Fry

Tonight was just all around awesome. Not only did the Crew get an 8-6 victory, but the game was a joy ride the whole way through. Also the Brewers claimed a share of first place in the NL central due to the Cardinal loss. Add in the fact that there were some great shots of the lightning around the ballpark and because of the roof there was no rain delay... just a great night. The whole storm factor probably pumped me up more because of the fact I graduated with a degree in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and I have a weird obsession with severe weather but I digress.

In case you missed the game or you are just looking for a recap here is a little run down of things that occured tonight:

1.) Trevor time again in Brewville as Hoffman came in for the 3 out save, which now gives him 7 on the year.

2.) Rickie Weeks hit another lead-off, first pitch homerun tonight to get him 9 homers on the season and 13 career leadoff out Paulie, he's coming for ya. Weeks gets player of the game.

3.) Speaking of Weeks he went 3-5 with a triple, homer and a single, while scoring 3 runs and driving in 2.

4.) Braden Looper was a little bit shell-shocked tonight giving up 5 runs in 6 innings but striking out 6, he would still earn the victory.

5.) The Crew scored a run an inning until the 4th in which they batted around and knocked in 5 runs, all with 2-outs, cannot remember the last time I've seen the Brewers do that. Looper clutched up with a 'looping' single to shallow right field during that sequence.

6.) Stop having a boring tuna, stop having a boring life...

7.) The Brewers, at 20-14 are now a top the NL central tied with the St. Louis Cardinals, we will see them for a Friday-Sunday swing. The Reds currently sit at 19-14 and the Cubs are at 18-14 and both were still in there games and leading. It a tight one folks.

8.) A homerun by Marlins pinch hitter Ross Gload was called back tonight, using instant replay. The shot went down the right field line just to the right of the foul pole. Oddly enough, it was not the only homer called back tonight, Adam LaRoache of the Pirates also had a homer called back due to instant replay.

9.) J.J. Hardy left the game in the 6th inning due to a headache. He did look to be having some visual problems pointing at his eyes to Macha right after being taken out.

10.) No new news on Mat Gamel. I think its a good move if he is brought up. He has nothing left to prove with his bat in the minors. Bringing up to DH gives him major league hitting experience and helps the Crew in the process. Plus I have a feeling he'll be shuffled back down to the minors once the road interleague games subside. I don't think the 20-30 games he gets in the majors will be that detrimental to his fielding adventure either. I would assume Nelson would get sent down with Corporan if Rivera is activated as well.

11.) The Brewers play a day game tomorrow with Dave Bush getting start against Marlins stud pitcher Josh Johnson, its a noon tilt.

12.) Enjoy tonight's subtle theme.

13.) AP photo by Morry Gash

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