Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Brewers Get to Halladay, Phillies

Alright, well I didn't see this coming. After dropping three to the Nationals, the Brewers could have held their heads in shame and limped through the rest of their road trip, especially as they were set to go into the home of the Philadelphia Phillies. That may have been the mantra of the Brewers teams of the past, but not this current version. Milwaukee not only took care of business in game one of this series, but on Tuesday night they then took it to Roy Halladay of all people, outlasting the Phillies 9-0. Of the nine Brewers victories this season, four of them have been shutouts. Looks like the upgrades in the pitching staff have paid off quite a bit, no?

Even though the Brewers did go out and get Shaun Marcum and Zach Greinke (who pitched well in a rehab start on Tuesday), credit a guy like Randy Wolf for stepping up to the occasion and making sure he's just as much of a factor in this rotation. Wolf tossed six innings in this one, striking out five batters along the way and allowing just two hits. In fact, those two hits were the only two that the Phillies mustered, as Sean Green, Zach Braddock, and Mike McClendon each all pitched a hitless inning.

Despite my tendency to give the POTG to the pitcher with a performance like that, I have to change course and give it to Ryan Braun tonight. Braun brought it with his bat, going 2-for-3 with a pair of walks, and one of those hits being a home run. He also scored a total of three times, but the difference for his POTG nomination tonight was the catch he made in the third inning that robbed Jimmy Rollins of extra bases and also a couple of RBI. The catch was just a nice extension of his arm as he ran backwards, but it was good enough to get him the top Web Gem on Baseball Tonight. Top Web Gem usually trumps solid pitching performance in my unofficial POTG rankings.

I'm really impressed that not only were the Brewers able to get the victory tonight, but more impressed how they got it. Even when things were still close, Casey McGehee sealed it with a three run shot that shut up Phillies Nation pretty good, which is always nice to hear. They've won the series and are looking for the sweep tomorrow afternoon, when Chris Narveson faces off against Cliff Lee. Either way, the Brewers are coming back to Miller Park on Friday at .500 or better, and then it's time for some of that home cooking. And hey, as of now, the Brewers are tied for first in the NL Central!


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