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)
No-Hitter Busters: The Brewers were the first team to face Jake Arrieta after his no-hitter against the Reds, and although it’s extraordinarily unlikely a pitcher could throw back-to-back no-hitters…if one were to make a list of underperforming MLB teams that could be shut down by a decent pitcher, the Brewers would be near the top. They had the fewest hits in the National League going into today’s game, after all. Something no one in the baseball world would say: “I’m surprised the Brewers got no-hit.”
So it was a relief that Jonathan Villar delivered on the fifth pitch of the game.
Naturally, Arrieta and the Cubs beat the Brewers, but at least they made him work. He was out after five innings – Arrieta’s first non-quality start of the year. The Crew also ended Arrieta’s 52.2 scoreless inning streak at Wrigley thanks to Alex Presley’s RBI double. It’s safe to say the Brewers are the toughest team Arrieta has faced this year. Woot.
The next day, no one was expecting the Brewers would be no-hit by Adam Conley. He came bloody close. Everyone watching that game was disappointed when Conley was taken out in the eighth inning, but even if the home crowd appreciated his effort, we still didn’t want to see our team get no-hit. Especially by more than one pitcher. No one remembers combined no-hitters except the opposing team’s exasperated fans.
Thank you, Jonathan Lucroy, for mercifully relieving our anxiety.
And thank you, Dee Gordon, for not being there when we needed you.
Buzzkill (Something forgettable that happened)
Jungmann Demoted: One of the bright spots in the dismal 2015 campaign was the emergence of Taylor Jungmann. He faded down the stretch, but not before authoring Milwaukee’s only complete game of that year. Jungmann’s poor performance in September 2015 was universally attributed to him wearing down toward the end of his first full season. That wouldn’t be a problem at the beginning of the season.
Alas, Jungmann was not able to get it going, losing four straight decisions on his way to a 9.15 ERA with no quality starts. After his latest lopsided defeat to the Cubs, Jungmann was optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs. This may ultimately just be a minor setback at the start of what will be an illustrious big league career. Right now it’s a bummer.
Here’s to You (Standout player or play of the week)
Hey, They Turned a Triple Play: With Conley dominating the Brewers on Friday, fans needed something to make them believe their home team had a pulse. What better way to take your mind off a possible no-hitter than a triple play?
At first blush, that’s about as routine as a triple play gets. Actually, it’s fairly routine on repeated viewings, but everyone has to execute for it to work. Yadiel Rivera’s turn at second was the key to the whole thing being so smooth.
Another nice thing about Friday’s triple play is it gives us the opportunity to reminisce about the Brewers’ previous triple play in 2011, which was way more slick.
Back on the Wagon (Thoughts on the week ahead)
The home stand continues against the Los Angeles Angels, including that odd Monday start time to promote 620 WTMJ. As a fan of a National League team, I know very little about American League teams in general, except for the Twins. The first thing that comes to mind when I think of the Angels is Mike Trout. He’s good. Plus, I just realized this will be Albert Pujols’ first time in Milwaukee as an Angel. According to Baseball-Reference, Pujols has a career 1.043 OPS at Miller Park. He also has a negative WAR in 2016, so maybe he’s not as much of a threat anymore.
Then it’s on the road to Cincinnati for the first four-game series of the season (in one location). Like the Brewers, the Reds are a team that most fans can safely bet against. As of this writing, the Reds only lead the Brewers by half a game. Somebody has to win these games. Tune in for a race to the bottom in Cincinnati!
(Image: Morry Gash/AP)