The Sunday Cycle: A collection of four of my thoughts from the prior week of Brewers baseball
Current Record- 30-21, First Place- NL Central
Single- The Brewers completed their longest road trip of the year posting a 4-6 record in ten games away from Miller Park, topped off by a solid win today against former Brewer Randy Wolf and the Miami Marlins. While at times they were not playing their best baseball, two of the losses in particular could have easily gone the Brewer’s way were it not for some key mistakes. Without going into too much detail, the managerial blunder of calling in Will Smith to pitch without tossing any warm up pitches was definitely a low point of the season thus far (the story, which caught national attention for all the wrong reasons, can be found here: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/brewers-call-for-relief-pitcher-with-nobody-warming-up-150822929.html). That being said, I was pleased to see Roenicke take full responsibility for the miscommunications in his press conference, and was even more pleased to see the Brewers come back the following day and knock in nine runs. For as much grief as Roenicke takes for his in-game management and composed coaching style, it was nice to see his team bail him out the next day with a solid win.
Double- Jonathan Lucroy went on an absolute tear this past week and is showing no signs of slowing down. The Brewers catcher has been so successful at the plate that he earned his second start in ten games at first base today, simply to keep his bat in the lineup. Over the past seven games, Lucroy has gone 13-25 with 8 doubles and 5 RBIs. His 20 doubles tie him for best in the majors, and put him on pace to smash the Brewers single season franchise record of 53 held by Lyle Overbay. With Martin Maldonado proving to be a capable bat as well, I would not be surprised to see Lucroy get a couple more starts at first should Ramirez stay on the DL.
Triple- Two weeks ago, I wrote about Jimmy Nelson’s league leading pitching statistics in triple A and mentioned that it wouldn’t be long before he would get his call to the majors. Today he made his first major league start of the year and was impressive. The righty tossed 5 2/3 innings of scoreless ball en route to a victory before being sent back down to Nashville. While he didn’t have his best stuff command wise, he was able to get out of a couple jams by striking out some big name hitters. With Nelson, resolving his command issues will be the key to him having success in the major leagues. All he’s missing at this point is experience, and at 24-years old, he’s got plenty of time to get used to the big league stage. Overall, it was an encouraging performance by the youngster who will almost certainly be a factor when he’s called up for good in September.
HR- The Brewers may have something going with the new look to the batting order that features Jean Segura leading off, followed by Braun, Lucroy, and Gomez in the clean-up spot. The success has been almost immediate, as the Brewers have garnered 10+ hits in their past five consecutive games. Carlos Gomez, a man of many on field emotions, seems to be the most pleased with the change, stating that it’s “a sexy feeling” to be batting cleanup. A number of callers into talk radio and internet keyboard warriors have been spelling doomsday for the Brewers as the 10-game road trip did not result in as much success as many would have hoped for. It is those people that need to be reminded that this year’s Brewers have gotten to 30 wins quicker than any team in franchise history (previous record was May 30th in 2011). With a two game lead in one of baseball’s more competitive divisions, the Brewers are right where they need to be as they cross the 50-game mark in this marathon 162-game season.