Thursday, July 28, 2011

Brewers Start NL Central Stretch With Sweep

While the Milwaukee Brewers fanbase was still trying to cope with the news that Rickie Weeks will miss a minimum of a few weeks with an ankle sprain, the Brewers team was focused on assembling a squad that could go out and sweep the Cubs at Miller Park for the first time since 2005 (I still can't believe that). Back by solid pitching as they have been all series, the Brewers were able to do just that and pick up a 4-2 win to get that sweep. It was another game where you have to give major kudos to the pitching staff, including starting pitcher Shaun Marcum who went six innings allowing two runs and striking out four. LaTroy Hawkins, Francisco Rodriguez, and John Axford paved the way to a win from there, and the Brewers take three from the Cubs in a series where they allowed just four runs.

It was good to see the Brewers come out and get a win, actually all three of these wins, as they kick off an 18-game stretch against all NL Central teams. This could be a crucial part of the schedule where they either start to pull away a bit or begin to fall back. With the Rickie Weeks injury, you'd be nervous that they might do the latter, but they'll obviously need some guys to step up in his absence. One such guy who does not appear to be ready for that role is Craig Counsell, who went 0-for-3 today and is now hitting just .150 on the season. It pains me to write those words, but even Craig Counsell knows he is garbage at the plate, you could  see the "how much longer are they going to let me do this shit" look of his he had after the plate after he hit a ball directly into the ground in front of home plate and was tagged out.

Apparently not too long, as the wheels are in motion to get a guy to not only replace Rickie Weeks in the interim, but to be his backup come September. As mentioned previously, the Brewers are looking at both Rafael Furcal and Jamey Carroll of the Dodgers, but it sounds like the Dodgers aren't willing to get rid of both guys. Keep in mind, I'm not really sure what the Brewers have in terms of prospects to give away, so trading for a need is going to be that much more difficult. One move that the Brewers did make on Thursday was reacquiring Felipe Lopez from the Tampa Bay Rays organization for cash. Lopez had a stint with Milwaukee in 2009 after a previous Weeks injury, but as of now he's been assigned to Nashville. We may never even see him with the big league club, but I don't have a problem with Doug Melvin for making sure that he has options down the road.

So we'll see what happens on the trade front, but in the meantime the Brewers have some games to play, 15 straight more against NL Central clubs. As of this posting, the Brewers are a game ahead of the Cardinals and two ahead of the Pirates for the division lead. They're also 22 games ahead of the Houston Astros, the team they'll matchup against next.

Time to cut Counsell
Please please please cut Craig Counsell
Seriously, cut him

POTG: Ryan Braun (triple away from the cycle)


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