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.
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.
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.
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 sportsbubbler.com.
See you tomorrow.
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.
"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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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...
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.
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.
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.
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
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?
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
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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.
Player of the Game: Mother Nature
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.
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).
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...
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.
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.
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 homers....watch 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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