I love Friday night fireworks. They are either a celebration of a win or a consolation prize for a loss and tonight, they sure were a sign of luuuvvvv for Roy-O.
And Roy-O surely needed it, he surely did. Roy managed to last for 6 innings – gutted it out with a mediocre FB and a curve that wouldn’t go near the plate. Here’s the breakdown: 6 IP, 6 K, 6 H (2 homers) 3 BB, 1 IBB
41 balls/71 strikes/112 pitches.
Checking with MLB’s pitchFX (as well as my scorecard), here’s how the pitches break down: (subtracting the 2 intent balls and the 2 hit balls that allowed a ROE)
- FB for called strikes or outs -31; FB balls – 21; FB fouled off (in or out of the zone) – 15
- Sliders called for strikes or outs – 6; sliders fouled off – 1
- Curve called for strikes – 4; hit for an out whether in the zone or not – 4; curves fouled off (whether or not in zone) 4; curve balls – 18.
So WHY on earth did Roy keep throwing curves when he couldn’t get them near the strike zone and not use his slider, which he was throwing for strikes and the hitters weren’t touching? Made things tough.
Kaz Matsui, not Wiggy, was the butterfingers tonight – made a 2 base error (bobble, then throw into the stands) on Weeks, which led to an unearned run, and another error in the 9th (another wild throw, screwing up the GIDP.) Miggy ALSO made an error, although for some reason, it was called a single, bobbling a ball by trying to barehand it – and this led to a run scoring. (Remember I talked about plays not made not being a good thing???)
Wiggy made all 4 plays on all 4 chances tonight – one of them was a close throw too, to get a speedy runner at first. So far, he’s trying to make me eat my words.
Geoff Geary barely made it through the 7th, facing the meat of the lineup, giving up a hit and 2 walks and somehow managing not to allow a run.
As for the hitters, my hero Brad Ausmus has managed to pull his average over the Mendoza line by bunting for hits and beating out IF singles. Hey, reaching base and not making out(s) is a great thing. And he hit a ball about 400′ in the 3rd – unfortunately it was to straightaway CF, where balls go to die.
Michael Bourn hit 3 out of 4 balls well, but unfortunately they had a little too much hang time. Dude needs to learn how to bunt for a hit. Matsui managed an IF hit, but otherwise, looked bad.
Carlos Villanueva looked absolutely unhittable for 4 innings – Miggy did hit a clean single to break up the nono in the 4th, and after that, either he started tipping pitches or the guys figured out how to time him, because they hit him all OVAH the place starting in the 5th. Carlos hit a clean double to left. Then Villanueva threw 2 sliders to Pence, who looked VERY bad swinging and missing them, Then a ball outside in the dirt, which he laid off. Then, for some reason, instead of finishing him off with another slider, he threw a fat FB, which Hunter hit 350′ to opposite field for a homer. Then Wiggy singled, Ausmus hit a screaming liner that Weeks grabbed and he would have picked Wiggy off if he had made a decent throw to Fielder (who sure does look skinny for a wide man.) Then Roy misses a bunt, then he singles to left. His BA is now greater than his weight – how KEWL is that??? Then Bourn Ks on ball 4.
Swinging at Ball 4 very seldom does any good and is never a better idea than NOT swinging at ball 4.
Anyway, The bats didn’t slow down in the 6th. Kaz beat out a bunt for a single. Then Miggy hit a hanging curve over the Crawford Boxes into the hallway. Tie game – at least Roy won’t lose. Then Lance hits a belt high mid plate FB opposite field. Then Carlos takes a couple balls and fouls off 5 pitches before hitting a hanging slider to the same place.
The Box goes absolutely INSANE. Incredible. Poor Villanueva – I haven’t seen a pitcher look that stunned and shellshocked since Wandy Rodriguez faced the Cards in his 3rd ML start and gave up like 8 runs – 2 homers and a granny to Reggie Sanders.
Man, a trifecta. Seems to me the last time we had one of those, Lance was one of the Musketeers, and, not sure if I remember exactly when, but I swear it was during one of those late in the year miracle runs for the Wild Card.
With the fans STILL screaming, Yost, a lil too late, came to guide the poor guy off the mound. Salomon Torres (sure looks weird not to see him in a Pirates uni) came in, gave up a bunt single to Ausmus and a walk to pinch hitter junior Cruz (it’s the only way THAT dude gonna get on base) but escaped without giving up more runs.
David Riske got 1,2,3 outs in the 7th, but then faced Pence in the 8th. And I am so proud of that boy. He laid off a slider juuuuust a little outside, but hit the next hanging slider to just below the Conoco pump. (See, Uncle is NOT the only hitter who knows what to do with hanging sliders. Which reminds me – Lidge STILL has a zero ERA and a WHIP under 1 after 13 IP with 6/6 saves and no BS. But I digress.) Pence making up for those runs he let score in the past 2 games, misplaying fly balls.
Valverde did just fine in the 9th. He hit Prince just above the knee on an 0-2 count. Looked to me as if he apologised to him right there – Prince knew it CERTAINLY wasn’t a purpose pitch – and it hurt, too. Hart Kd on a vicious splitter. Then Hall hit into what should have been a 4-3 DP, but Matsui, after getting the ball and tagging Prince (Hall can run VERY well) again overthrew the ball and Hall ended up on second. Valverde didn’t even notice and just Kd Hardy. Good for him keeping emotions under control.
So I guess Roy can chalk this game up to one he got, even though he didn’t exactly have good stuff, to repayment for all the Clemensings he’s taken over the years.
Smile. Fireworks were the icing on the cake fer SHER.
The Brewers had bad news today – their #2 pitcher, Yovani Gallardo, is going to miss the rest of the year with a torn ACL (what Biggio had when he missed half of the 2000 season.) They also DFA’d Derrick Turnbow, who we DO NOT want. The guy needs to get his head together for a while and he’s not in any mental shape to face ML pitching for any other team. For quite a while, he’s been looking like a deer in the headlights any time he goes on the mound and if a guy gets on base, he looks like he’s trying not to throw up.
The RR Express also released Lance Niekro, who can’t hit AAA pitching, but also released Victor Diaz, hitting .296/.398/.366/.764 – and he was the best hitting OF there.
Quintero, by the way, who some fans want on the ML team instead of Ausmus, has a .436 OPS.
Tonight, it’s Manny Parra vs Brandon Backe.
Brandon better get his stuff together tonight and freaking throw strikes – just not down the middle kind of strikes, because the walks and homers are killing him. He’s 1-3 in 6 GS – 31 IP – 35 H (5 HR) 20 BB, 25 K; 4.65 ERA, 1.77 WHIP and a .280 ERA. He’s had 2 QS, both of which he should have won, but the bullpen did him in.
Manny Parra is a 24 yo lefty, who was picked by the Brewers out of a California JuCo in the 26th round of the 01 draft. He was called up to the majors for a cup of coffee last year, starting twice and relieving in 7 games. in 26.1 IP – 25 H, 1 HR, 11 BB, 26K; 3.74 ERA, 1.41 WHIP and a .255 BAA.
This year, he’s 1-1 in 5 GS (no QS – has not exceeded 5.1 IP in any start) – 23.2 IP – 29 H, 1 HR, 13 BB, 19 K; 4.94 ERA, 1.77 WHIP, .302 BAA. He’s never faced Houston.