Each Sunday evening we will review our favorite and least favorite events of the previous week, and share our perspective on how the team is doing. Please enjoy responsibly.
Cheers! (Something good that happened)
Some Guy Gets a Hit: Three weeks into the season and we’re already in “Who the hell are these guys?” mode. One positive aspect of a rebuilding season is that fans get the opportunity to see young players trying to prove themselves. Without the entertainment value of the Brewers being a competitive team, we can at least appreciate the human drama of these guys living their dream and doing what they can to make a career of it. Not quite sure who most of these dudes are, though. The Brewers promoted Alex Presley a few days ago, adding another player into the underwhelming center field mix. It’s hard to remember what he did in spring training, that seems like a lifetime ago…holy crap, Presley has played for parts of seven seasons, with more than 1,000 career major league at-bats. He’s not just some punk. Who the hell are these guys?
Then there’s Colin Walsh. Now this guy is a genuine rookie who has only had some unsuccessful pinch hit appearances and one start before this week. In his second career start in Minnesota on Tuesday, Craig Counsell put Walsh in the leadoff spot. That seems like a high-pressure situation for a player who never had a big league hit. Happily, Walsh came through.
Walsh also scored a run that inning, so he feel proud that his first hit contributed to a Brewers win. Of course, he’s 0-for-7 since that hit. That’s human drama for you.
Buzzkill (Something forgettable that happened)
This Pitching is a Real Drag: By any measure, Brewers pitching has left a lot to be desired. Going into this afternoon’s game, the Brewers had a -40 run differential through 19 games, with a league-worst 5.75 team ERA. They also rank last in hits allowed, earned runs allowed, and strikeouts. They are 14th in homeruns surrendered and 13th in walks.
Jimmy Nelson is the only starter with a sub-4.00 ERA, and he’s coming off his first non-quality start. Chase Anderson looked pretty good for a fifth starter, and now he just looks like a fifth starter. Wily Peralta and Taylor Jungmann are shadows of their former selves. In the bullpen, guys like Jeremy Jeffress, Blaine Boyer, Tyler Thornburg, and Michael Blazek are holding their own, but one wonders how long it will be before they start to wear down having to cover all these innings.
But I do have some good news. Matt Garza’s condition is improving and he is close to throwing again. Considering he has yet to make a regular season start since his worst season ever, he should be all the more motivated to come in and make an impact. Always look on the bright side of life, I always say.
Here’s to You (Standout player or play of the week)
Chris Carter: How about this big lug? After being held hitless in Minnesota, Carter has been on a nice little tear, going 8-for-20 in five games. When the Brewers broke out the bats for a big offensive showing on Wednesday, Carter contributed this sweet line drive homer.
Big fly homers are cool, but there’s something sexy about those frozen ropers that barely clear the wall.
Back on the Wagon (Thoughts on the week ahead)
The Brewers make their first trip to Wrigley Field to face a Cubs team that is living up to early expectations and dominating the league. One might assume they are going to fold without much of a fight against Chicago, but I prefer to believe they’ll put up some resistance and avoid a sweep. The Brewers will be facing Jake Arrieta for the first time since his no-hitter, and I feel pretty comfortable predicting they will get at least one hit against the Cubs ace. Book it. Pitchers frequently follow up no-hitters by laying an egg. Arrieta’s not super-human. Probably.
The Miami Marlins come to Milwaukee for the weekend, and it will be the first time Giancarlo Stanton has played against the Brewers since Mike Fiers broke his face in September 2014. I wonder if he has any hard feelings about returning to the scene of the crime. Maybe that will be in his head and keep him in his early season slump. The Brewers could use more slumping teams and players on the schedule to balance all the games they have to play against the Cubs, Cardinals, and Pirates.
(Image: Andy King/Getty Images)