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! (Best event/news of the week)
Brewers and Pirates Put Easter Brawl Behind Them: When Carlos Gomez dropped the appeal of his suspension, it’s not like he did it out of the goodness of his heart. He waited until the last minute, and Gomez was likely going to miss games anyway due to his sore back. So it’s not like we can give Gomez credit for stepping up and accepting responsibility for his actions, but at least it’s over with. A more positive aspect of this story was the public burying of the hatchet by Travis Snider and Martin Maldonado.
Forgiveness is healthy.
Buzzkill (Worst event/news of the week)
Ryan Braun Third Most Disliked? A couple days ago, Sports Illustrated published one of those easily readable lists that’s all the rage with the kids these days, “The Most Disliked People in Sports.” Not surprisingly, L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling came in at number one. Braun ranked third. I don’t mean to be a homer, but doesn’t that seem unkind? SI puts Braun in between A-Rod and Richie Incognito. That’s really high for a guy who has never said anything derogatory about black people (as far as I know). Braun’s never killed dogs for sport, and he’s ahead of Michael Vick. Lance Armstrong is ranked 11th and he lied about PED use even more brazenly than Braun did. Meanwhile, Skip Bayless is all the way down at 30. If Dino Laurenzi could forgive Braun, I don’t understand how he could be more disliked than Richie Incognito.
Maybe it’s anti-Semitism?
Have One on the House (Brewers player who deserves a drink)
Matt Garza: To this point, the Brewers’ big off season free agent acquisition has been the weakest link in the starting rotation. He seems to have trouble with a big inning, which happened in his start against the Cubs. But after giving up three first inning runs yesterday, Garza went six shutout and kept his team in the game. Too bad the Brewers ran into one of Edwin Jackson’s best performances. Garza deserved a better fate after putting that bad inning behind him and putting up zeroes the rest of the way.
Time to Sober Up, Pal (Brewers player who made me want to drink)
Marco Estrada: Estrada didn’t actually have that bad of a week, winning his start against the Pirates before losing to the Cubs today. It’s just that the homeruns are getting hard to watch. Estrada gave up another two today, bringing his total to 12 in nine starts. He’s only had one start without surrendering a long ball. We’re getting into Braden Looper territory, where you know Estrada is going to give up at least one homer – all you can hope is that it’s a solo shot, preferably early in the game so he gets it out of the way. Estrada has been really good overall, but this flaw has become hard to ignore.
Back on the Wagon (Thoughts on the week ahead)
It seems like a four-game series in Atlanta could be trouble. The Brewers won two of three in Atlanta last year, but before that they had lost eight in a row at Turner Field. Going into Sunday, the Braves were leading the league in ERA with 2.84. Given how the Brewers have struggled to score runs lately, this road trip could get ugly in no time. Another bit of drama is this will be Gomez’ first game in Atlanta since last year’s unpleasantness with Paul Maholm and Brian McCann. Maholm and McCann have since moved on from the Braves, but presumably the fans haven’t forgotten. Who will get more boos – Gomez or Braun?
It wasn’t long ago that the Miami Marlins could be mentioned in the same breath as the Houston Astros in terms of triple-A caliber ball clubs. They’ve gotten off to a surprisingly hot start in 2014, and in a bunched up NL East, they’ve got as much a chance as anybody to make a run. Although the Brewers are 16-5 against the Marlins in the last three seasons, I wouldn’t look past these guys the way I ordinarily look past the Cubs (ahem). Also, it will be nice to see Casey McGehee again. It won’t be so nice to watch those games in an empty stadium. That’s always a bummer.
(Image: Associated Press)