The Sunday Cycle

Current Record- 61-51, First Place- NL Central

Single- Stealing the single for some exciting non baseball related news: the Sunday Cycle has been picked up by a local blog in Milwaukee that covers a number of different topics related to the city and the people and businesses that make it thrive. The blog will be launching in the next week, at which point I’ll share links and some more information about the new home for my weekly recap. I’ll post links every week so we can keep the discussions going on Facebook (seriously, guys, I love the comments). Thanks to everyone who reads my ramblings- you make me feel better about my borderline unhealthy obsession with baseball.

Double- Series losses to both the Rays and the Cardinals this week have the Brewers hanging on to first place in the NL Central by just one game. While these losses could be dissected any number of ways, and doomsday sayers are already throwing in their metaphorical towels on the season, I believe there is still reason for optimism. Game one in Tampa Bay featured some very questionable calls on balls and strikes that extended some innings long enough for the Rays to go ahead.  Yesterday’s loss to the Cardinals came at the hands of the Brewer’s most consistent starter this year, Kyle Lohse, who imploded for his worst outing of the year. Even though Lohse gave up nine runs, the Brewers still managed to stay in the game up to their very last at bat, and showed some real fight after going down 6-1 in the second inning. Today’s loss can be pinned on the early exit of Matt Garza, discussed in depth later in today’s Cycle. All in all, the 2-4 record could have easily been 4-2 has some things gone the Brewers way, and the team didn’t look all that bad. I may be eternally optimistic about this club, but they’re starting to swing the bat better and I think they’re due for a couple series wins this week against some tough NL West teams.

Triple- I could not be more thrilled with the Brewer’s trade deadline acquisition of Gerardo Parra. Giving up a former first round pick is never easy, but I believe the Brewers needed to make the move to give a boost to one of the worst benches in the majors. With Parra you get a two-time gold glove outfielder who can play all three outfield positions. He brings a lifetime .274 batting average to the table, and adds a left handed bat to this lineup that is full of righties. Parra is batting about 40 points better against Righties this year than Khris Davis, which will lead to some situational pinch hitting appearances down the stretch. His debut yesterday was a bit shaky- you could tell he was trying to do too much defensively with a couple wild throws, and he went 0 for 4 at the plate. I see him settling down, though, and bringing some healthy competition into the mix for the left field spot, especially if Davis’s bat goes cold down the stretch. I also don’t think the Brewers are done making moves- I see them adding a right handed reliever who clears waivers this month. As far as the deadline deals are concerned, I think Doug Melvin made a solid move that made the Brewers a stronger team without costing them any of their top prospects.

HR- One of the worst case scenarios for the Brewers may be playing itself out after today’s game in Saint Louis. After limiting the Cardinals to just one hit over six innings, Matt Garza was forced to leave the game with a left oblique injury, and Ron Roenicke hinted during his post-game press conference that Garza may miss some time. Garza has been injury prone throughout his career, and missed seven weeks at the start of the 2013 season with the Cubs, also due to oblique issues. At this point, all Brewers fans can do is hope that the injury does not land him on the DL for a significant amount of time. Garza has been lights out lately, turning in six quality starts in his last nine outings. In his two starts prior to today, Garza allowed just one run over eight and seven innings respectively, and he looked well on his way to another complete game today based on his pitch count. If Garza misses time, look for the Brewers to move Marco Estrada back into the mix, which is absolutely a blow to this rotation that has been strong as of late.