Sunday, June 7, 2009

Braves Chip Away at Parra, Brewers

Well we gave that one away, didn't we? I'm not even sure where I want to begin with this game. I'm not really upset, I mean the Brewers did win the series after all, but there are just a few things going on right now that I don't understand.

I think the biggest question mark I have is why Ken Macha isn't bunting in key bunting situations. This is probably the third time in the last two weeks where a bunt could have been helpful in the late innings, but Macha chose to swing away. I know you don't really play to tie on the road, but I don't really agree with that notion in the first place.

In the 9th inning down one run with Casey McGehee on first base, I would have had Kendall bunt for sure. Especially because it's Kendall who is only a .216 hitter anyways. Macha chose to have him swing, Kendall predictably hit into a double play, and it was pretty much checkmate after that. I don't know, maybe I'm wrong, but I would like Macha to at least give a good reason for why he's not choosing to use the bunt, especially since the guys he's letting swing are absolute garbage right now (Kendall, Gerut).

But all in all, that wasn't why Milwaukee lost this game. You can blame that on the pitching, mainly Manny Parra. Parra just doesn't have his "A" stuff lately, and Chipper Jones took full advantage of that going 4-for-4 with 2 home runs on the day. When the Brewers were able to regain the lead after the five runs Parra gave up, Villanueva couldn't hold onto it as he gave up three runs in the 8th. Villanueva has been pitching well lately, but he does have outings like this every now and again. It's disappointing for sure, but I'm not going to lose sleep over him. Parra though better start making friends in Nashville, because one more bad outing from him and he could be given the Dave Bush treatment ala 2008 (sending him down did work wonders, if you remember, so let's give it a try).

Parra did have an RBI double today though, so kudos on that. Otherwise the only runs the Brewers scored came via the home run, two coming off the bat of Ryan Braun and one coming from Mike Cameron.

Not the best road trip, but the Brewers head back to Miller Park still atop the NL Central. It's going to be a fun week too. First an off day on Monday, and then a three gamer against the Rockies. That's followed by the return of Interleague Play, with the White Sox coming to town for a three game set. Looking forward to it.

Oh, by the way the Brewers lost to the Braves 8-7. Just realized I didn't say that yet.

Player of the Game: Ryan Braun.


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