The casual sports fan may not be too interested in this year's NBA Finals. You have Mark Cuban, the outlandish owner that isn't liked by everyone. You have the Miami Heat, one of the most villainized teams of all-time just because of how ridiculous LeBron James' announcement was that he was going there. Most people that do tune in will be rooting for the Mavericks I would assume, but that's just because of how purely hated the Miami Heat really are. I will not be one of those people, as I will be rooting for the Miami Heat.
To be honest, I'll be pleased with the outcome either way. The Mavericks deserve to win a championship - they've been so good for so long and like him or not Mark Cuban is the best owner in the game. But I do want to see LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh stick it to everyone who hates them. The thing is, the reason that most people hate the Heat is because they are good. That's about it. Some people might hate them because they are a division rival, some people might hate them because of how "The Decision" played out, some might hate them out of jealously, whatever. To hate someone or something though just because they are good, I've never really been in favor of that.
I hope, that as fans of Wisconsin sports, that you rooted with me these last two weeks as the Heat was taking on the Chicago Bulls. As a fan of Wisconsin sports, it should be a rule that you don't root for any Chicago team (possible exemptions can be given to the Chicago Blackhawks because of the whole no NHL team in Wisconsin thing, but that's still a reach for me). But now that the Heat are in the Finals I will still be rooting them on. They are good, and dynasties are good for the league. Villains, believe it or not, are good for the league. They are clutch, they have proven people wrong time after time, and they are doing what it takes to go after what they want - an NBA Championship. Yeah, The Decision was stupid, but LeBron James went to Miami because he wanted to win a championship. You can't blame a guy for wanting to win at the highest level, and you can't blame the Miami Heat for doing whatever they can to make that possible.
You can hate them if you want, but I'll be rooting for them. Let's Go Heat.
Was doing some browsing on my TV guide this morning when I found an interesting night of programming set for tonight on the NFL Network.
8:00 PM NFL'S GREATEST GAMES: 2007 NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: NYG vs. GB
'NFL's Greatest Games'' - 2007 NFC Championship Game: New York Giants vs. Green Bay Packers - The Packers fall to the Giants at frigid Lambeau Field in Brett Favre's last NFC Championship game appearance in a Packers uniform.
9:30 PM NFL'S GREATEST GAMES: 1998 NFC WILD CARD - GB vs. SF
''NFL's Greatest Games'' - 1998 NFC Wildcard: Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers - This exciting game between the 49ers and the Packers included Terrell Owens' last-minute TD catch that sealed a San Francisco 30-27 win.
We win the Super Bowl and this is how you treat us? Not cool, NFL Network, not cool.
We know that the defending Super Bowl winners, the Green Bay Packers, at 6 to 1 are going to be amongst the top choices in the league again this year. And why not? Aaron Rodgers was clearly the best quarterback in the postseason last year, his running game should be renewed with Ryan Grant getting healthy again, and Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers' defense is second to none at times in the league.
The team that could be particularly dangerous this year is the Atlanta Falcons, who are (currently listed at 16 to 1 at Diamond Sportsbook). The Falcons really didn't have that many deficiencies this past season, and that was shown by the fact that they really stormed through the regular season to have home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Matt Ryan is one of the best up and coming quarterbacks in the league, and with the addition of Julio Jones from the NFL Draft this year, he has some great targets in Jones, Roddy White, and Tony Gonzalez. His backfield is stacked with Jerious Norwood and Michael Turner as well. The defense has some holes, but you'd better believe if the team can really land free agent to be, Nnamdi Asomugha, there will be a lot of Dirty Birds flying around the Peach State this year.
In the AFC, we always have to look out for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are once again amongst the favorites to win the Super Bowl at 13 to 1. Ben Roethlisberger just keeps finding ways to win games, and this defense just never seems to take a step backwards. The offensive line can't possibly be any worse this year than it was a season ago, and if this unit improves and the rest of the team stays relatively healthy, there's a great chance for the black and gold to make it back to the Super Bowl once again.
If you're looking for a long shot to take in the AFC, this might finally be the year that the Houston Texans get their acts together. At 33 to 1, we feel as though we are getting tremendous odds to win the Super Bowl on this team even though it has never been in the playoffs. The need for a second wide receiver is still there, but aside from that, the offense is a heck of a lot of fun to watch. The defense has to be better this year with Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips joining the fold, and you can tell that there is a huge emphasis on improving this unit through the NFL Draft this year. JJ Watt is a prototypical 3-4 defensive end, while Brandon Harris should help out the worst secondary in football. Imagine if Phillips gets his hands on Asomugha in the offseason just how dangerous this team can be, especially with Mario Williams coming off of the end in the 3-4? Now look at the rest of the division. The Indianapolis Colts look beatable all of a sudden, while the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans are clearly in rebuilding mode.
Be sure to visit Bankroll Sports Picks for all your expert football picks this season along with daily free sports picks in Major League Baseball and NBA hoops in the summer months leading up to the 2012 football season. Make sure to check out their sportsbook bonuscodes page for top offers from the best books on the web.
While I like many of you would have most likely rather watched the Brewers during the hours of a hot Memorial Day afternoon on Monday, it was instead business as usual as the Brewers and Reds squared off in a night contest. I don't think it would have mattered too much what time the game started however, because the location would have been the same. The Brewers may be a robust 21-7 at Miller Park, but they are a disappointing 8-18 on the road, a record which included a 7-3 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Monday.
Milwaukee found themselves down 5-0 early on in this one, thanks in part to a 3-run shot by Jay Bruce in the fourth inning (Bruce was just a double shot of the cycle, by the way). Chris Narveson would only make it through four innings, and if the Brewers were going to win this game they would need some production from the bullpen and at the plate. Milwaukee did rally a bit in the next half inning, scoring three runs in the top of the third, and you began to think that the magic that the Brewers have had this last week and a half might be returning. The opposite happened instead, and the Reds tacked on a few more runs to get that 7-3 victory.
The loss drops the Brewers to 29-25, but they remain just 2 1/2 games back of the Cardinals as they lost today as well. At some point, Milwaukee is going to have to figure out why they struggle so much on the road, correct those problems, and then move on. They have a tough stretch of games coming up, finishing up this series in Cincinnati and then taking on the Marlins for a four game set. Realistically, I'd like to see them go 3-3 in these next six games, and then they can come back to Miller Park to take on the Mets and those aforementioned Cardinals.
The bad Narveson
Nothing was memorable
In this tough Crew loss
POTG: Eh, what the hell. Let's give it to Josh Wilson for his first home run as a Brewer.
I give kudos to the Fox Network for broadcasting the UEFA Champions League Final on their main broadcast network rather than a subsidiary like FX, Fox Sports Net, or even the actual Fox Soccer Channel. By putting the game on "big Fox", the powers that be were giving this game as much exposure as possible. To any soccer fan, this game is about as big as it gets, outside of the World Cup. The final features the two best clubs in the world, and even though I try to pimp up the MLS at every opportunity, I'm not that big of an idiot to know that, world-wide, the MLS is viewed as a second-tier league and rightfully so. For me, the expectation of the broadcast from Fox was that they would deliver a well-produced, well-package game, entertaining to die-hards and first-time viewers alike.
I couldn't have been more wrong though in what to expect. In the same vein of how Fox dumbed down their college football broadcasts by showing shots of the university's bands at nearly every possible turn, Fox did even more disgrace to the game of soccer by dumbing it down as much as possible, at one point even explaining that teams in soccer and football both have eleven players on the field at the same time. Seriously. And worst of all, they had Michael Strahan enlighten us with that fact:
My goodness. Michael Strahan should be nowhere near a soccer broadcast of any kind, the same way he should be nowhere near the sitcom genre. Yet, Fox decided to bring him in and cater this broadcast to the casual sports fan rather than the die-hard soccer fan. To me, that's a huge mistake. First of all, this game was broadcast on a Saturday afternoon and in most cases you were only going to watch this game if you knew it was on. I'll venture to guess that not too many people that stumbled onto this soccer broadcast when they were channel surfing stayed with the program. You either like soccer, or you don't. That's just how it is. Trying to get Michael Strahan in there to make it appealing to fans of American football isn't doing anybody any favors.
Second, didn't people just get sucked into the World Cup last summer? Even if you are a sports fan that doesn't care too much for soccer, you at least understand the game a bit don't you? Yeah, the offsides rule can be confusing at times, but do you really need a former defensive linemen telling you that soccer players can play the ball with their heads? No! You don't, I know you don't. It's one thing to dumb down the broadcast, but it's another thing to assume that nobody has ever heard of the game of soccer before. It's not like Fox doesn't know how to package a soccer game either, as they have a little channel called the Fox Soccer Channel. And a second channel called Fox Soccer Plus! They know what they are doing, and they can do it quite well. There really was no need to give it the "let's teach soccer to the game of America" treatment.
Now as I shared with you a few weeks ago, I recently did participate in the broadcast of a high school girls soccer game at the radio station I work at, and I would say that the broadcast was a bit dumbed down, but in the way that it should have been. The game that we broadcast was aired at 5pm on a Thursday, which is typically a big time for listenership as it's a) drive time and b) our big nightly news show. The news was preempted for soccer, so for those people that did stick around I wanted to make sure that they knew exactly what was happening. Soccer is a tougher sport to describe on the radio than basketball or football in my opinion, and I wanted to make sure that people that were listening to soccer on the radio for the first time could follow with me. I have to believe that the percentage of people that listened to me by channel surfing was larger than the percentage of people that watched the game by channel surfing, just because of the different market samples and natures of the mediums.
When I say that we dumbed down the broadcast, again, I mean that in a good way. What our broadcast of the game was turned out to be the play-by-play of a soccer game mixed with explanatory details of what was happening, and why. The way I dumbed the broadcast down - and the more I keep saying "dumbed it down" the less I like that phrase - was that I took the time to explain things such as why a team would play more defensively when they are inferior, what a goalkeeper does when she isn't facing a lot of shots. Things of that nature that are beneficial to hear to both soccer fans and first time listeners alike. At no point did I ever assume that someone that was listening was so unfamiliar with soccer to the point where they have never heard of the sport. That may not have been Fox's intention, but it is how the broadcast came off. And that really isn't acceptable for a game of that magnitude in a sport that people are, in fact, familiar with to some degree.
The experience was even worse for fans of the game in the Minneapolis / St. Paul market, as the broadcast was interrupted with weather coverage, and the anchor, Tim Blotz, kind of went off on the fans that were calling the station. Here's the footage, courtesy of Awful Announcing:
As the author at AA, Matt Yoder, notes "I wonder if he would warn Vikings fans, NBA fans, or college football fans to not "cheese us off." I've never seen an anchor arrogantly dismiss a viewing audience like that, that takes some serious marbles. It's also the first time I've heard "cheese us off" since 1945". Well said.
For more on the garbage that was the coverage of the UEFA Final, make sure you check out EPL Talk's take on the matter as well as more on how insane Fox 9 was about their weather coverage.
Crew takes early lead
Against weak Giants lineup
An easier win
That's about how I would sum up the Brewers 6-0 victory over the Giants on Sunday - easy. The Brewers took a two run lead in the first inning and never really had to look back from there. As he's done all May, Yovani Gallardo pitched very well, in this game going eight innings allowing no runs off of four hits. He had five strikeouts in the matter to go along with it, but again, this was the not strongest Giants lineup that we've seen this season. Of course, Buster Posey was out of the lineup as he is done for the season, but the rest of the lineup just looked like a mess on paper. Really, I look at this Giants depth chart and have a hard time figuring out how they won a World Series last year, and the loss of Posey is really going to kill this team's chances at a repeat. Credit the Brewers for beating an opponent when they were down and out, rather than struggling and losing to a lesser lineup card.
POTG: Yovani Gallardo
The bases loaded
Tie game, one out, bottom nine
Win it on the squeeze
After dropping the first game in their series against the San Francisco Giants, the Brewers came back on Saturday and proved that they can beat teams with more than just good pitching and reliance on the long ball. Milwaukee treated fans at Miller Park to a couple of rare sights in their 3-2 victory over San Fran including an inside-the-park home run from Carlos Gomez, and a suicide squeeze play to secure the victory in the 9th inning.
With one out and the bases loaded, as the clever haiku referred to, Jonathan Lucroy was instructed to lay down a bunt. By the time he made contact, Ryan Braun was already 2/3rds of the way home from third base and was able to score easily. The squeeze is always a gutsy call, but credit Ron Roenicke for calling it and credit Jonathan Lucroy for being able to make contact. Randy Wolf pitched very well again, but we'll give the POTG honor to Lucroy for his pinch hit masterpiece.
The Brewers are now 28-24 with the win and have moved into second place in the NL Central, 2 1/2 games back of St. Louis. They're in action on Sunday after noon against a very weak looking Giants lineup, so you'd expect the Brewers to make it 8 out of 9 on this homestand. Find out for yourself this afternoon on FSN Wisconsin.
Despite the fact that I think there has only been one week in the four year history of Bucks Survivor where we've had more than 30 votes, the contest continues on if for nothing than pure stubbornness on my behalf. Can't blame a blog for trying, right? Anyway, last week was a double elimination round, and thus we say goodbye overwhelmingly to Jon Brockman. Joining the Brockness Monster is Earl Boykins, and we're down to an eight man Bucks squad. Now the fun begins. First, the results:
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (5%)
Carlos Delfino (0%)
Jon Brockman (47%)
Earl Boykins (15%)
Drew Gooden (10%)
Ersan Ilyasova (0%)
John Salmons (10%)
Larry Sanders (0%)
Andrew Bogut (5%)
Brandon Jennings (5%)
We'll go double elimination again this week, and soon we'll be able to figure out who next year's starting five and sixth man will be. The voting can be done at the top right hand side of the page, and will be open until this Friday at noon. Happy Survivoring.
Marcum was rolling
But Grand Slam puts Crew behind
Prince should've stayed
Who is Brandon Crawford? I had never heard of him either until he hit a grand slam off of Shaun Marcum in the seventh inning of the Brewers/Giants game on Friday night. The shot effectively ended the Brewers six-game winning streak, as they weren't able to make a late inning comeback and lost 5-4. Milwaukee got close to doing so, but Prince Fielder was sent home during a play where he probably should have been held back at third. Not Eddie Sedar's finest moment, but we forgive him.
To be honest, I'm surprised I remember that much of the game. The wedding I was at on Friday was an incredible time, and I wanted to again say congrats to my friends Pat and Jane. Now, if I can only somehow get rid of this hangover in time to enjoy the rest of this Memorial Day weekend.
POTG: Rickie Weeks
Two of my dearest friends are getting married today, so I'll be occupied with some wedding stuff for the next couple of days. In the meantime, please enjoy this video that Gweeds shared with me earlier this morning:
Zach Greinke has not yet pitched like the Cy Young candidate we all thought he would be. But if he continues to play like this, he won't have to. Greinke was added to the long list of Brewer pitchers that know how to hit home runs when he hit a smacked a solo shot in the 5th inning off of Jason Marquis. It was a Craig Counsell type home run either, it was actually a pretty decent blast out to left field. He did some work on the mound as well, striking out ten batters and walking just one. On the season, he's struck out 39 batters while walking just three. He did give up three runs over seven innings, but I'll take a seven inning, ten strikeout, one solo shot at the plate performance from him anyday.
He'll get our POTG for the Brewers 6-4 win against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday, but the nomination doesn't come without controversy. Prince Fielder had a hell of a day at the plate as well, going 2-for-2 with a walk and four RBI. Fielder has been producing very well lately, which is good to see as it appears that his teammate Ryan Braun has seemed to cool down a bit.
Greinke and Fielder were pretty much the story in this one, with special mentions going to Yuniesky Betancourt for and added RBI and Kameron Loe for picking up his first save of this season. It's been one hell of a homestand so far for the Brewers, who improve to 27-23 on the season and have now won 14 out of their last 17 games. This is an unbelievable stretch of games that the Brewers have put together and it's a far cry from the sky is falling mentality that we were going through as early as the first week of the season.
No one can feel safe
Not even other pitchers
Here comes Zack Attack
I gotta say, it's so nice to be on the winning sides of games like this. When Mike Morse hit a grand slam in the third inning, any normal baseball fan would have thought that the Washington Nationals would likely be on their way to victory. The Brewers starting pitcher, Chris Narveson, couldn't make it out of the fourth inning, and it appeared the Brewers luck had run out after an impressive week of baseball. But this is a Brewers team that has seemed rejuvenated as of late, beginning to play like the team that we thought they could play like at the beginning of the season. They used all sorts of different methods, but they rallied back for the 7-6 victory.
A comeback seemed even more unlikely after Ryan Braun was ejected in that third inning after arguing over a call at first base. Carlos Gomez was forced to occupy the game and enter the three hole, and we all know that the phrases "three hole" and "Carlos Gomez" should never been written in the same sentence, sans perhaps Gomez's bedroom life with a lady. From early on it seemed like everything was working against the Brewers in this game, and that the Nationals were destined to tie the series at one a piece.
But then things started to turn in favor of Milwaukee. Rickie Weeks made it to second base after Danny Espinosa let a fly ball drop right out of his glove. Jonathan Lucroy turned into an offense powerhouse, hitting a solo shot in the fourth (Hart and Weeks also homered in the contest) and ripping a shot down the right-field line in the eighth inning that just hit chalk and stayed fair. On that very same play, Brandon Boggs came crashing into Wilson Ramos at the plate, and Ramos was unable to hang on the baseball, thus seeing Boggs putting Milwaukee back into the lead. Even in the ninth, when John Axford fanned three batters, things got shaky as Ian Desmond advanced to first on a strikeout turned wild pitch. Axford did actually load up the bases, but got out of the jam and the Brewers earned their fifth straight victory, still flawless on this current nine-game homestand.
With the win, the Brewers improve to 26-23 on the season, quickly climbing up the NL standings. They are still 3 1/2 games back of the Cardinals as St. Louis has been on a winning streak of their own. Clearly though, at this time of the year you have to just focus on winning games and worry about the standings once you get to August and September. Milwaukee has won 13 of their last 16 games, which is a refreshing thing to say after a rough start to this season.
Early game on Wednesday, make sure you're ready for some Brewers at 12:05pm.
POTG: Jonathan Lucroy
A game that was lost
Brewers needed a hero
Thank God for Lucroy
Oh boy, did the "Where's Bernie?" promotion get out of hand. File this under the All-Time Great Backfires Department (do people still say that phrase, cause if they do, they shouldn't). FSN Wisconsin has been hyping up this contest for weeks, the contest where you would have been able to find Bernie Brewer gnomes throughout the state of Wisconsin. The thing about a contest like this is that there are a ton of people who are what we here at The Bucky Channel like to call "douchebags". As in the people that were up at 5am Tuesday morning looking for these things in bulk, spoiling the fun for a lot of other people. Vince at Miller Park Drunk has a little stronger choice of words for these people, and Wisconsin Sports Tap has their take on what happened as well. Both are quality reads, even though it's still a shame that this little contest manage to steal the thunder on Tuesday from Corey Hart and his three home run performance.
As a native of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, I take a particular pride in my hometown as I'm sure you all do. But while the man who ate 25,000 Big Macs may have been joked about on the late night talkers and amongst your friends, I look to this fellow resident as a hero. I'm proud of you Don Gorske, I really am. The thing I like about Gorske is that he's kind of in on the joke, he's knows the habit of his is a weird one. But the guy is in great shape, has a good sense of humor about him, and Monday night George Lopez wanted to see just how much Gorske really did like Big Mac. So he gave him one.... after it was mixed with Coke in a blender. Here's the full interview.
He's been struggling for the most part so far this season, and his batting practice before Monday's game was one of the worst he's had all year. But Corey Hart is the toast of Brew City on Monday night in a game that saw him hit three home runs, the first Brewer to do so since Geoff Jenkins in 2003. It was about this time last year when Corey Hart found his stroke and went on to have a brilliant season, so hopefully tonight can be the start of that as well. For this Brewers team to succeed, they need success out of the two-hole, and while we're not going to see performances like this really ever again, it's good to see that Hart at least appears to be returning to last year's form.
Hart's night at the plate overshadowed a great outing from Yovani Gallardo who, after struggling throughout April, now has four straight quality starts. Yovani threw a solid seven innings allowing just five hits and the one run. He struck out nine along the way, and lowered his ERA to 4.35 on the season. That's still an un-Yovani like ERA from Gallardo, but it's nice to see that we're a long way away from last month when we were wondering whether or not to go into a panic attack over this guy.
It's a lot easy to pitch well though when the pressure is off, and Corey Hart took off all of the pressure with his seven RBI performance as the Brewers picked up the 11-3 victory over the Nationals. Many websites and blogs had poll questions up this weekend asking if the Brewers were for real after the sweep or if their successful weekend was just an illusion. For that reason, it was nice to see the Brewers not only follow up their impressive sweep with a victory, but with a victory of this magnitude. Clearly, Hart is the player of the game, and I'm looking forward to what the Brewers have in store for Tuesday night's game.
Three home runs, wear 'em Corey.
Sunglasses at Night!
As a bachelor party trip found me in the Wisconsin Dells this weekend, catching portions of the Brewers games this weekend was tough to do. Between the drinking, the golfing, the gambling, the horrendous experience of Dells cab services, the strip clubs (a column focusing on why I hate strip clubs and why the Dells is overrated is definitely in the works) I admittedly didn't see much of the Brewers three-game sweep over the Colorado Rockies. I definitely saw the highlight of the weekend however, Prince's 14th inning blast on Friday night, but this is the kind of series where I wish I would have been able to soak in every moment. Let's catch up on the games that we missed with a round of haikus and some POTG awards.
Friday - Brewers 7, Rockies 6
The Crew tied things late
But the Rockies would not quit
Enter Prince. Game Over.
POTG: Prince Fielder
Saturday - Brewers 3, Rockies 2
Crew takes the quick lead
Marcum in control from there
How good is this guy?
POTG: Shaun Marcum
Sunday - Brewers 3, Rockies 1
Going for the sweep
Crew struggle batting, two hits
Still manage to win
POTG: Randy Wolf
We should also give special love to John Axford, who earned both Saturday and Sunday. What a great overall weekend for this team. They were able to win when they were outhit. They were able to get spectacular performances off the mound. And they were able to fit back and win the one late on Friday. What a sensational series it was, and with it, Milwaukee is now back over .500 at 24-23, 3 1/2 games back in the NL Central.
We did miss the Thursday 1-0 loss to the Padres in our Player of the Game standings, but Chris Narveson picked up the honors for that game.
The Crew is back in action Monday night for a three game set against the Washington Nationals.
I love the internet. It's incredible. And now that I have unlimited access to it once again as my computer has been returned to me, I'm falling back in love with things all over again. But for as great as the internet is, it's also pretty terrible. Tonight's example: The Internet creates and accelerates rumors when they shouldn't have been created in the first place.
Sometime in the next 24 hours, you may hear that the Bucks are looking to trade Brandon Jennings. That sentence isn't even close to being accurate, but the chance that you hear the claim is strong. Why? Because ProBasketballTalk.com posted an article titled "Is Brandon Jennings on the Block?" The answer, again, is no, and Matt Moore's article never says that he is on the block. What Moore does do however is reference an article from the Cleveland Plain Dealer that suggests he may be.
If you follow the link to that article, you'll see that the story is centered around the Cleveland Cavaliers and whether they may or may not look to Europe with the number four pick in this summer's draft. Separate from the article, there is a little sub-article with snippets under the heading "overheard at the combine". One of those such snippets is this - The Milwaukee Bucks reportedly would be open to listening to offers for guard Brandon Jennings.
Let's analyze that for a little bit. The Bucks reportedly... The word reportedly in journalism is really nothing more than an synonym for maybe. So already this story is a non-story. Secondly, no shit they'd be open to listening to offers for Jennings. If you're a general manager, what good does it do to say that someone is untradeable? The fact that you will listen to offers doesn't mean that you are looking to trade someone, and I feel like that's the connection that some people will be making. And it shouldn't be so.
Now that I got that off of my chest, it's time for you to keep deciding who you would like to see continue to be kicked off this Bucks squad. Let's take a look at the results from this last week's Bucks Survivor:
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (0%)
Earl Boykins (0%)
Keyon Dooling (35%)
John Salmons (15%)
Larry Sanders (0%)
Andrew Bogut (0%)
Brandon Jennings (5%)
Ersan Illyasova (0%)
Drew Gooden (15%)
Jon Brockman (30%)
Carlos Delfino (0%)
So while Jennings is definitely sticking around, it looks like we're ready to get rid of one of his backups, as Keyon Dooling has been eliminated from Bucks Survivor. That leaves us now with ten guys left in the contest. Since we've fallen behind a little bit week-to-week, the next two weeks are going to be double elimination. You can vote for one player on the top right hand side of the page and then the two guys with the highest vote totals will be booted.
My Computer is Finally Back in My Possession - It's been two months since I've been able to post from my own laptop, having to resort to the laptops of friends and family members and the work computers instead of scribbling thoughts down via the keys of my Sony Vaio. But Best Buy has finally decided to return to me what's rightfully mine, and I couldn't be happier. This will mean more time that I have internet access, which will mean more posting. That's a good thing.
No, this isn't a way to promote the TCU mascot, rather that is fellow Wisconsin native Jerry Kelly. He made a bet with fellow golfer J.J. Henry, who graduated from TCU, on the Rose Bowl. Which ever team won the game, the other guy had to tee off wearing the Mascot outfit. Unfortunately for Jerry Kelly, and fellow Wisconsin fans, TCU was able to defeat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. This seems like years ago, even though it has only been five months. I think it seems a long time ago, because well the Packers won the Super Bowl and that threw my whole understanding of time for a loop.
As a guy who loves to get out and swing the clubs. I can't imagine how hard it is to hit a ball with a huge Horned Frog head on your head. It is hard enough just golfing normal. They have clip of the video, so chcek it out. Maybe someday someone will have to tee off wearing the Badger Mascot outfit.
So, it's my birthday
Sweep the Padres as a gift?
Now, time to go drink!
Brewers 5, Padres 2
POTG: Mark Kotsay
I want to take this time to share with you how diehard I am about the certain teams that I root for. Of course, I like to think that overall I'm a diehard fan for all Wisconsin sports, but as we all know it's impossible to catch every single game of every single team that you like. So here is my chart of the teams I actively root for, and at what lengths I will go to watch a game.
Green Bay Packers: At all costs. Will go to games whenever opportunity is presented, both at home and on the road. Radio is unacceptable, I must have TV access if not at the stadium. If for some reason, I have to work during game, the only acceptable situation is working as a reporter covering the team, which I haven't had to do for a long time. If working during the game at another job, I will actively phone in my duties and try to find updates as quickly as possible, while complaining the entire time until I am allowed to go home.
Milwaukee Bucks: Will go to the game if tickets are cheap, or I get them for free. Will catch as many games as possible, but will also resort to checking score periodically online if something else is on or if I am busy. Try to watch as much as I can, but do not panic if I have to miss a game.
Wisconsin Badgers Football: Have had to work Saturdays for a long time, looking forward to not having to work Saturdays this upcoming fall. Will watch every game I can, not as intently as Packer games. Enjoy the game on the radio, as I think Matt Lepay has the best voice. Often will miss the start of 11am games, as I am sleeping through a hangover, but will being watching by second quarter. Can be interrupted easily if game is against lesser opponents, or if Badgers don't have shot at a good bowl later in the season.
Wisconsin Badgers Hoops: Rarely will catch games at the beginning of the season unless it's the ACC / Big Ten Challenge, against a formidable opponent, or if I have nothing else to do. Watch as many conference games as possible, but missing them isn't a big deal. Must watch all March Madness games, will adjust schedule to do so.
Marquette Golden Eagles: Will watch game if nothing else is on. Follow scores intently, but rarely do I find the time to sit down and watch a full game. Would rather watch Badgers or Bucks. During tournament, and in cases where tournament bid is on the line, will do whatever is necessary to be able to watch a game.
Buffalo Sabres: Will watch regular season games when possible. Will make a strong effort to watch meaningful and playoff games. Am content with checking scores on my phone if necessary.
Milwaukee Iron, Milwaukee Admirals, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, Milwaukee Wave, the rest of the rest: Keep an eye on teams, but more or less on accident. Will go to the game if I get credentialed or if is part of bachelor party.
Tampa Bay Rays, Memphis Grizzlies: Teams I like outside of Wisconsin, which is allowed as they are in different conferences than Brewers, Bucks. Will follow throughout the season, and then watch as many playoff games as possible. This is able to be done because Wisconsin team is usually eliminated by then. Rays will be liked casually for a long time, as they are just one of those teams I like. Grizzlies fever will die when brother stops working for them.
Milwaukee Brewers: Must stay actively updated during every game, realize that not all games can be watched, but I must also know updates if unable to watch. Will watch game as much as possible when given the opportunity. Will go to games when possible as much as I can. Will do whatever it takes to watch, go to, playoff games. Quit job in La Crosse to come back closer to Milwaukee so that I could go to 2008 playoff games (only half-joking there). Lose interest late in the season if their playoff hopes are shot and the Packers season starts. My second favorite team behind the Packers. Will not go to bed, however, if game is still being played.
So there you have it. And yes, I did just write that whole description just for the final sentence. No matter what is going on for me the next morning, I just can not go to bed if the Brewers are still on. I was tired as hell last night, but I was actively rooting for the Crew to tie things up, force extras, and then that would allow me to stay up until three. But it didn't happen, because the Brewers couldn't get anything done offensively. They had their best chance probably in the eighth, but the power hitters couldn't deliver. Randy Wolf didn't pitch great, but he did throw well enough that we should have earned a victory out of the deal. I'll give him the POTG by default.
The Crew is back in action again tonight, late, as they travel south to San Diego. Milwaukee is 20-22 right now, so I'd love to see a two game series sweep to put them back at .500, but realistically I am hoping for a series split. Something about these West Coast trips just make our bats get limp, hopefully that can turn around tonight.
Another late night
Did not mind, I got to see
Death Cab on Fallon
Get ready to see Nick Gilbert get shoved down our throats. The son of Cavaliers' owner Dan Gilbert was the good luck charm for the Cavs as they had two chances at the number one pick in the NBA Draft Lottery - and they got it. One summer after LeBron James took his talents to Souf Beach, the Cavs are in prime position to rebuild with the numbers one and four picks.
Look, Nick Gilbert is a good kid. I just don't want to see him ever again. But his presence is a story that ESPN is going to eat up for the next 24 news cycle, so be prepared to see a lot of him. If you watched the lottery, you'll remember that the phrase "What's not to like?" was said about twenty times. First, in reference to the story that is Nick Gilbert (Ambassador for the Children's Tumor Foundation), and then in reference to the fact that the Cavs hit the jackpot during this lottery. The robot that is Heather Cox probably said the phrase so much that she's going to try and trademark it, while the Cavaliers are about 90 percent likely to use it as their slogan for the 2011-2012 basketball season.
Oh, and I almost forgot. The Bucks got the ten pick in a terribly weak draft class. The wish, obviously, is that the Bucks find someone that can help this team now rather than draft another project. Not the best night for the Bucks, but what can you do.
At least Josh Cribbs looked like he was having a nice time.
This is the day that I have been waiting for. It was announced that the Wisconsin Badgers men's basketball team will play at North Carolina in the 2011 ACC/Big Ten Challenge. If you don't know I'm a huge UNC fan, and this should mean that in 2012 the Tar Heels will come to the Kohl Center. And that would be very awesome. North Carolina will have it's starting front court back, and also starting PG Kendall Marshall. Harrison Barnes, Tyler Zeller, and John Henson all decided to come back to play another year. I don't need to tell you that it's going to be a tall order for Wisconsin.
It will be a Badgers team that has lost Jon Leuer, which it will be hard to replace him. They will get Jordan Taylor back, who I see being a top 10 player next year in college basketball. John Gosser and Mike Bruesewitz who will also be solid players for the Badgers. This will be the fist time the Badgers will play in the Dean Smith Center. The last time these two teams met was in the 2005 Elite 8, when North Carolina went on to win the game and win the National Championship.
Both teams are ranked in the Rivals.com preseason top 25. North Carolina is number 1, and the Badgers come in at 14. The game is scheduled for Wednesday November 30th. I would guess this might be the last game of the event, so this could decide which conference wins the challenge. Either way it should be a good game, and I would guess the Wisconsin players are excited to get a chance to play in the Dean Smith Center. Both Wisconsin and UNC will be looking for their 7th win in the challenge, as they both have a record of 6-6 as it stands right now. The full lineup:
Miami at Purdue
Illinois at Maryland
Michigan at Virginia
Clemson at Iowa
Duke at Ohio State
Wednesday November 30th
Florida State at Michigan State
Virginia Tech at Minnesota
Wake Forest at Nebraska
Wisconsin at North Carolina
Another game on the docket that interests me is the Wake Forest at Nebraska matchup. This will be Nebraska's first game in the challenge as they join the Big Ten this season. Another good game should be the Duke at Ohio State game. Ohio State was undefeated until they went into the Kohl Center last year, but Duke could give them an early loss.
Nine o'clock start times have always been a challenge for Brewers fans. Unless you're unemployed or work afternoons, it's not too often that you'll be awake by the end of the ninth inning. If you do make that decision to stay up a little later than normal, you want to be rewarded for it with a Brewers victory. Nobody likes staying up later than they wanted to only to go to bed disappointed.
If that was you on Monday Night, then you were rewarded with not only a Brewers victory, but a kind of victory you're just not used to seeing. A road victory, for one. Also, it feels like the Brewers never win on the West Coast trips. Not only that, but John Axford picked up a road save, his first of the year. Your decision was rewarded, as you went to bed knowing that the Brewers earned a solid 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Offensively, yeah, this game was a bit frustrating. The Brewers left 14-some runners on base, with Carlos Gomez having quite an affinity for the cause. But what was lacking on offense was made up for in the field, including by the aforementioned Gomez who robbed Juan Uribe of a home run in the second. Behind some solid defense and a great night out of Shaun Marcum (7IP, 5H, 1ER, 4K) the Brewers were able to grab the first game of the two game set and improve to 20-21 on the season. Not the best record, but a hell of a lot better than where they were last week. The Crew has been playing quite well lately, winning seven of their last nine and back to within four of the NL Central leading Cincinnati Reds.
After the performance last night, will you take the risk again of staying up late to watch another game? I know I will be.
POTG: Shaun Marcum
Tuck yourself in tight
Crew burning midnight oil
Worth staying up for
This was the scene at a Fond du Lac McDonald's when my fellow citizen Don "Are Those Starburns?" Gorske ate Big Mac number 20,000 in 2004, so I can only imagine what the scene will be on Tuesday when he puts his chompers into number 25,000. It's a ridiculous story. The guy at his first Big Mac in 1972, and really hasn't eaten anything else since. It's more than just a favorite meal though, it's a way of life for this guy. Because Big Macs are 90% of his solid diet - as he'll explain to Morgan Spurlock in the video below - he's about as skinny as they come and his cholesterol is just fine. However, his taste buds are kind of shot, so that sucks.
Now, despite living in the same city as this guy for roughly my entire life, I have not had the pleasure of meeting him. Perhaps I'll try to get him on my radio show soon, but I have the feeling that he's going to be in high demand for awhile. Say what you want about how legit of an accomplishment this is, but people seem to love him. I did see him mowing his lawn the other day though, and I was a bit star struck. And he ate number 18,000 at my high school during some big press conference during my senior year. So there's that.
Either way, congrats Don. You have a level of fame and anonymity that we all can only dream about.
In a game that featured the worst bench clearing in the history of the game (Rickie Weeks and Ronny Cedeno collided a bit while Weeks was in a rundown, it's seriously not even worth looking up), the Brewers were able to come out on top with the 5-2 victory. After I did a little trashing of Ron Roenicke (a post which was conveniently deleted due to the Blogger failure), his boys responded the way you'd want them to, and Milwaukee was able to send the Miller Park crowd home happy.
A big reason for the victory on Friday was the work of Yovani Gallardo, who pitched well in back-to-back starts for the first time since early April. Gallardo went six innings, striking out five batters while giving up only a pair of runs. The bullpen held their own afterwards as well, thanks to Marco Estrada and John Axford. It was refreshing to see the pitching staff get things done, especially after they allowed 20 plus hits the other night to one of the worst hitting teams in baseball, the San Diego Padres.
The guys at the plate held their own as well, including Jonathan Lucroy who hit his second home run of the season. Ryan Braun seemed just fine after roughing up his ankle on Wednesday, and he collected three RBI in the contest. Yovani had the other run batted in, as he was 2-for-3 from the plate. He undoubtedly is getting my POTG, even without his offense. After the terrible game on Wednesday, the Brewers needed a solid performance from their starting pitching, and that's what they got. I was especially impressed with him in the third inning, as the umpires clearly botched a call that should have resulted in a Pittsburgh out, but the umpires didn't see what we all saw in that Yuniesky Betancourt tagged Jose Tabata on a stolen base attempt. Gallardo didn't let the controversy get to him, and he went right back out and got out of the inning.
The Brewers move to 17-21 with the victory, and are at least showing signs of recovery after that dreadful road trip last week. Hopefully they can pick up another win this weekend, and maybe even a sweep.
So good at the plate
Even better on the mound
Gallardo, the man
Besides one mention of Brandon Jennings, this video really has nothing to do with sports. But this video was sent to me and I wanted to share it with the world. Simply titled, "Milwaukee", it's the anthem for a new generation of Brew City. There are plenty of words in here that I wouldn't want your children to hear (and the old NSFW disclaimer applies), but have a listen if you please.
Larry Sanders (0%)
Andrew Bogut (0%)
Earl Boykins (6%)
John Salmons (6%)
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (6%)
Brandon Jennings (6%)
Ersan Ilyasova (0%)
Jon Brockman (9%)
Drew Gooden (0%)
Carlos Delfino (0%)
The next round begins now, and we'll move the voting to last until Friday. Remember, you can vote in the poll at the right hand side of the blog. Vote for the Bucks player who you would like to see get kicked off of the team before any other. Things have been going pretty much to script so far, although there are a few people that seem to have an agenda to vote Brandon Jennings out right away, which I find interesting.
Thanks to the duties of the new job, I was able to once again try my hand a little play-by-play on Thursday. I'm going to post the link to the podcast, but if you don't want to listen to it I understand. I've already received a lot of correspondence that I push soccer down your throats much too often. And that's exactly what I did play for. Only this is high school soccer. Girls high school soccer. I was able to do this two years ago before I earned full-time employment on the Fond du Lac station, and I was thrilled for the chance to post it again. So either sit back, relax, and enjoy eighty minutes of high school soccer, or skip this post and continue reading. Either way.
For once, the fact that there hasn't been a new post on the site in two days isn't our fault! As you may or may not have noticed (and due to our sporadic posting patterns, maybe you haven't), the entire Blogger network has been down since Wednesday evening. Everything looks like it's back to normal now, although the one post we did make on Wednesday afternoon has been deleted. Actually, it was a post where I kind of ripped on Brewers manager Ron Roenicke a little bit, so if he does manage to turn things around then there will be no evidence that I doubted him. Unless Blogger reposts that article somehow. Basically, I'm not sure what has happening to the networking site that we use day in and day out, but as long as they'll allow me, we'll continue to run business as usual.
This post was initially posted on May 11th, and then removed after Blogger crashed. Then it popped up again in my queue, so I am reposting the article in it's entirety on the original date.
Where to begin? Randy Wolf imploded. The bullpen was even worse. Ryan Braun roughed up his ankle. Most disgustingly of all, the Brewers gave up 23 hits to arguably the worst team in baseball. A team that even after Wednesday still doesn't have a regular starter batting better than .260. The Brewers lost 13-6 to a terrible Padres team, but who is to blame?
Unfortunately, I think that the blame in the locker room might have to start at the top with manager Ron Roenicke. I don't know what he was thinking today, and I'm not sure he does either. I'm not going to call for his head quite yet like my colleague Huffy at Sheboygan's 950 The Game, but I'm also never going to take Ron Roenicke at his word ever again, because he is going against everything he is saying. I hate to be an armchair quarterback, but I have the feeling that a majority of fans right now want to know what's going on in Roenicke's head.
What Fans Hear: In the early stages of the season, Roenicke stated that their would be no use of a personal catcher. Jonathan Lucroy was the starter, and he would get off days when they were needed.
What Roenicke Does: He caves into Randy Wolf and assigns Will Nieves as his personal catcher. Nieves is batting a solid .162 at the plate compared to a meager .324 out of Lucroy, who just happens to be one of the hottest hitters on the team. I might have mixed up some adjectives in there, but I'm sure Roenicke didn't notice. Lucroy is a young kid, and the Brewers have off on Thursday. I think he'd be able to handle the day game after the night game situation if he really needed to. Perhaps Ron thought that Wolf would have a strong outing? Perhaps he overlooked the Padres weak offense? Perhaps he figured that winning the series was good enough and that a sweep would just be icing on the cake? I don't know, but I'd like to see Lucroy out there as much as possible. As much as he can possibly handle anyway. If the Brewers organization was content with having old balls Jason Kendall play 150 games each season while batting .200, then I think it's at least worth a try.
What Fans Hear: Roenicke said on Wednesday that Kameron Loe was unavailable because of how often he has been pitching. He needs a day off.
What Roenicke Does: With a one-run lead in the 8th inning, look who comes into the ballgame. It's Kameron Loe. Stat line for Kameron Loe on a day where Roenicke said he was out of gas? How about 0.1IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 1 BB. Not that anyone after him did a better job though, as Gweeds' boy Mike McClendon came in and was equally as rocked. Meanwhile, earlier in the game LaTroy Hawkins threw a 14-pitch, 1-2-3 inning but was lifted in favor of Mitch Stetter and then Loe. A little better bullpen management would go a long way. (Apparently Loe talked his way into the game, but as Roenicke later noted, "Sometimes, you need to make a decision before the game and stay with it.")
What Fans See: Carlos Gomez has been playing some of the best baseball of his career in the past week. Keep him in while he's hot, because this won't happen often.
What Roenicke Does: What was your swear word of choice when you found out Mark Kotsay was starting in center?
Look, you know I don't want to jump on the anti-manager campaign this early in the season, but 16-21 is not acceptable considering how much hype this team was given coming into the season. I think part of us knew that the hype was too good to be true, but that didn't stop us from quickly buying into it. Great offense. New pitching staff. A manager cut from the Mike Scioscia cloth? What's not to like? Sadly, none of that really matters when your manager is acting more like he's cut from the Ned Yost / Ken Macha cloth than that of a World Series champion. And none of it really matters when you drop a 13-6 game to the worst team in baseball, a game that your stud Ryan Braun injured his ankle no less (still waiting to hear the severity on that).
Exhale with me after this one.
POTG: Hawkins would have been an option had he been allowed to pitch longer. The offense is irrelevant when you give up 13 runs, so I'll give it to Sergio Mitre. He relieved a struggling Wolf and threw 2.2 scoreless innings while the Brewers climbed back into this one.
Wolf struggled, Loe worse
Questioning Roenicke's moves
That game really sucked
The man that the Bucks traded the rights of Dirk Nowitzki for has been found dead. Tractor Traylor, 34, was found dead in his Puerto Rican apartment on Wednesday. From CNN.com:
Robert "Tractor" Traylor, known for his size during the short time he played in the NBA, was found dead in his apartment in Puerto Rico where he had been playing basketball, according to the Bayamon Vaqueros team site.
Calling him “the strength of the Bayamón Vaqueros," the team said Traylor had not been seen for a few days and so they went to his apartment, where he was found dead.
Traylor, 34, is presumed to have died of a heart attack, according to Bayamon Vaqueros. The star struggled due to his size - but also heart problems when he tried to make it in the NBA. He had a heart operation in 2005.
Traylor, who graduated from Michigan, was taken by the Dallas Mavericks as the sixth pick in the NBA draft in 1998 but was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks for Dirk Nowitzki.
Always sad to see anyone lose their life, especially a member of the Bucks family. Makes you want to re-evaluate just how healthy we are in our own lives. A life taken far too young.
Hey! This is fun! Shaun Marcum is pitching well, and the Brewers have an 8-0 lead! This game is surely in the books, what an excellent time to be a Brewers fan! What's that? The Padres are mounting a comeback? They scored four runs in the seventh inning? The Brewers need to use Kameron Loe and John Axford despite being up eight runs? Thankfully, they got the 8-6 win, but that kind of performance can't sit too well with the manager.
"To tell you the truth, I'm not very happy about this game," Roenicke explained to Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "We're winning, 8-0, and we've got our setup guy (Kameron Loe) in there who we didn't really want to bring in again, and we had to use our closer (John Axford) again.
"I'm not very happy about it. I'm real happy about the offense. After three, four innings, I'm feeling real good. But I just think we finally score a bunch of runs, we need to hold them down so we're not using our guys again."
Roenicke also had to be pretty upset about a play that killed a rally in the second inning. Jonathan Lucroy hit a 2-RBI single that saw Corey Hart advancing to third, but Hart got caught in the early stages of a rundown and was out at the hot corner. Perhaps thinking that Hart was going to be caught in a pickle, Lucroy then tried to move from first to second and was out by a mile. So the play that started with Lucroy at the plate with the bases loaded ended with Hart and Lucroy being thrown out at the bases due to nothing more than bad baserunning. Despite his shortcomings on the bases though, Lucroy does get the POTG for his 3-for-4, two RBI night.
No Lucroy in the lineup on Wednesday however, as Will Nieves gets the nod to be paired up with Randy Wolf, even though Roenicke has said that there would be no personal catchers this year. Roenicke is also sitting another hot Brewers hitter in Carlos Gomez, as Mark Kotsay of all people is getting the start in center. So far, not so good, because as of this posting Randy Wolf just had a horrendous first inning and the Brewers are trailing 3-0. Let's go get 'em, Ron!
Brewers bats wake up
Crew rolling, then Padres turn
The Brewers debut for Zach Greinke didn't go exactly according to plan last week against the Atlanta Braves, but his first appearance at Miller Park had to be crowd pleasing enough for the Milwaukee faithful. Greinke only went six innings and was lifted after a pitch count of 89, but he did enough to earn our POTG honors for the night. He struck out nine batters, allowed two runs on five hits, and had zero walks. Give him a couple more starts before we truly see some ace-like performances, but until then it was good to see him come out and have a quality start on Monday.
It should go without saying that he had a little better of a support structure behind him in this one, as the last time he threw for Milwaukee, the defense had three errors while he was on the mound. Although it was long after Greinke was pulled from the contest, Yuniesky Betancourt helped preserve Greinke's win in the eighth inning with a backhanded flip to Rickie Weeks to start a brilliant double play. It was the kind of defensive play you don't see too often out of the Brewers, especially ones named Yuniesky Betancourt. Good on him.
Offensively, the Brewers earned the 4-3 win thanks to a couple of RBI from Rickie Weeks (one via a solo homer), an RBI from Jonathan Lucroy, and a Mat Latos wild pitch that scored Carlos Gomez. The Brewers improve to 15-20 with the win, and you'd like to see this homestand against the Padres and Pirates give them a 4-2 clip at the very least. I'd like to see the Brewers back to .500 by the end of May, if not sooner. A nice homestand, and wins like this one, will help.
Back home for the Crew
Road trip is over at last
Welcome Home, Greinke
Tough week for the Brew
Getting owned by pitchers, but...
POTG: We'll give it to Narveson. He pitched well enough. Just no support from the offense. Could have been Counsell for the RBI, but I think he needs to retire. So, Narveson.
Winks is out of town trying to relive his college life this weekend, so I will try to keep everyone updated with some news. No it will not be good news, because the Crew lost it's seventh straight game Friday night. This is getting a little out of hand, because it is not just one thing that is killing this team. They cant hit, cant field, and the pitching isn't perfect either.
Crew lost seven in a row
The Brewers are back at it in St. Louis Saturday at 3:10 central time. Yovani will be looking to get his ERA below 6.00. Yeah you read that right below 6.00. Hey Yo thanks for helping out my fantasy team.
We're trying to pump out quality content as much as we can. We're trying to bring good analysis with a dash of humor day in and day out. We're trying to provide an entertaining blog that you can kill time with at work. But so some people, we'll always just be the "dumb Bucky Channel".
We need to find this kid. Interview!!!
You don't need to read this article to know that things are not going well for the Milwaukee Brewers. With their current six-game losing streak, this team is being buried faster than bin Laden (too soon? too lame?). The team is now 13-18, viciously falling behind in the race for the NL Central crown. I know it's still early, I feel like you have to say that this time of the year, but I still think that we're going to look back at this six-game losing streak, or however long it gets, and think that this was either the moment that the team turned it around and overcame adversity or the moment that sunk this team for good. Seriously, it's hard to say something like that in baseball in the first week of May, but every game is as important as the rest of them. You have to win games all throughout the year to become a playoff team. Losing games early counts just as much as losing them late.
Sadly, at no point tonight did I think the Brewers were going to win this ballgame, and ultimately they didn't losing to Atlanta 2-1. It's not that I'm a pessimist - I think my blind optimism during the Packers push to the Super Bowl proves otherwise - but rather you can just get the feel that this isn't the time where things are going to go the Brewers way right now. Shaun Marcum pitched another gem on Thursday, but when your offense is working on six runs in five days you're not going to get too many wins as a pitcher. Nyjer Morgan, just days after coming off of the DL will be placed back on with a fractured left middle finger (silver lining - it could keep Brandon Boggs as a member of this ballclub and their affiliates). This team just isn't clicking right now, and when you're in baseball's largest division (six teams), you don't have a lot of room to wiggle while you're figuring it out.
By no means is this a Chicken Little post, but it's just a statement that this club is vastly underperforming right now. This is gut check time for Milwaukee. Do they continue this road trip by limping into St. Louis and getting embarrassed by the Cardinals? Or do they figure it out a bit and win two, maybe even sweep the series and somewhat salvage this road trip. Again, it's early, but I think we're going to find out what kind of team we have this year in the next couple of days, and more importantly, I think we're going to find out what kind of manager we have in Ron Roenicke over the weekend as well.
Best of luck.
POTG: Shaun Marcum
Marcum throws beauty
Season spiraling away?
Rally those boys, Ron
Andrew Bogut (3%)
Earl Boykins (0%)
Jon Brockman (7%)
Carlos Delfino (0%)
Keyon Dooling (11%)
Chris Douglas-Roberts (18%)
Drew Gooden (3%)
Ersan Ilyasova (0%)
Brandon Jennings (7%)
Corey Maggette (25%)
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (3%)
John Salmons (14%)
Larry Sanders (3%)
We have every intention in dragging this contest out as long as we can, so keep on voting! You can of course do that on the right hand side of the page here at The Bucky Channel. Polls close next Wednesday.
Sean Green was sent down!
Hooray, Sean Green was sent down!
Sean Green was sent down!
Well, that was lame. The Brewers struggling ways continued on Wednesday, as once again the Brewers were losers on both sides of a doubleheader. The offense struggled. Marco Estrada struggled. Even our new prize Zack Greinke struggled. That's without mentioning the plethora of errors Milwaukee had, including three behind the former Cy Young winner. After all was said and done, the Braves beat Milwaukee by scores of 8-3 and then 8-0. It was nearly a no-hitter in that second game, as Tim Hudson allowed just one hit, that to Rickie Weeks. That puts Milwaukee's current losing streak to five, and it's been a frustrating five games indeed.
It's early, no question. But after all the changes this team has made you begin to wonder if this team can ever find that magic again. It seems like year after year, no matter what lineup we trot out there, the team is going to underperform. We'll have great individual seasons - Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, CC Sabathia, etc... - but we won't ever figure things out as a team. That's the fear I have this first week of May as we sit at 13-17. Still, again, it's so extremely early, but we're a bit behind where I thought I'd be this season. Then again, I thought we'd be wire to wire first place, and there could have been some homerism in play there.
So we'll keep it short and sweet tonight - I have American Idol on DVR to watch mind you - and let's salvage this series with a win tomorrow.
Game 1 POTG - Prince Fielder
Crew take early lead
Counsell RBI? Looks good!
And then the collapse.
Game 2 POTG - Rickie Weeks
Zach Greinke's debut!
High expectations not lived
No help from the D
I've got a great rain out post for you all. I've been holding this one for a while. It's actually from my brothers baseball card blog. I can't really preface it at all. Just know that it is hilarious and definitely worth a read - http://thorzul.blogspot.com/2009/02/1982-topps-melodrama.html
After reading it, you will clearly see who has all the creativity in the family.
There was no Brewers game on this Tuesday night, but there is plenty of news to report regarding this Brewers club. First off, it should be known that the Brewers are scheduled for a traditional doubleheader, with the first game set for Wednesday at 3:00pm and the second to follow 30 minutes after. Marco Estrada is going to pitch game one, and then Zack Greinke will debut in game two. According to our boy Haudricourt, it's very likely that Estrada is going to be sent down after the first game to clear the spot for Zack. If so, hopefully Estrada can find a spot with our big league club again soon.
This move will be in addition to the many moves Milwaukee made on Tuesday. Nyjer Morgan was activated from the DL, and was slated to start in center on Tuesday if the game would have been played. To activate him, Zach Braddock was placed on the DL with a sleeping disorder of all things. Meanwhile, down in Nashville, Mark Rogers has been sent to the DL with a viral infection while the Brewers acquired 1B/OF Jordan Brown from Cleveland for cash.
Interesting day for not having a game. Looking forward to two on Wednesday.
Yovani Gallardo's last four starts:
Apr 10 - vs. Chicago - 5 IP, 7 H, 4 ER
Apr 17 - at Washington - 5.1 IP, 10 H, 7 ER
Apr 22 - vs. Houston - 6 IP, 8 H, 4 ER
Apr 27 - vs. Cincinnati - 5 IP, 10 H, 6 ER
After each one of those starts, we started to become more and more worried. Still, it's Yovani Gallardo, the ace of this team. Plus, before he started struggling he threw that nine inning, two-hit gem against the Cubs. But then it continued into Monday night against the Braves.
May 2 - at Atlanta - 5 IP, 9 H, 5 ER
We often joke here about how sometimes we go into panic mode a bit too quickly, but I think those last five guys leave cause to be legitimately worried. Gallardo actually started the game out decently, but things unraveled for him in the sixth and the next thing you knew it was a 6-2 loss for Milwaukee. It's frustrating that the man who really has been the foundation of this pitching staff lately has been pitching more like the weakest link. He doesn't appear to be hurt, just struggling, and there's nothing we can really do until he figures things out. Sigh.
Til next time, Brewers fans!
POTG: Yuniesky Betancourt, double sigh.
Offense still missing as well
Step up, Zach Greinke
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