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)
Wily Peralta Heads to Colorado Springs on a High Note: With Matt Garza due to return on Tuesday, Peralta’s days in the starting rotation were numbered. He had the worst ERA of all major league starters, on only two occasions did he get through the sixth inning, and his RAR was a staggering -17. (Runs Above Replacement is a stat I only just found out existed.) It was more of a relief than a surprise when the Brewers announced this morning that Peralta was being demoted. Craig Counsell called it a “tough conversation” and everyone seems to agree Colorado Springs is a difficult place for pitchers to work things out. Still, Peralta wasn’t getting anything out of being knocked around every five days, so this might be the best thing in the long run.
The news of Peralta’s demotion itself isn’t anything to be happy about, but we can take heart in the fact he had a memorable last game. On more than one occasion, broadcasters Brian Anderson and Bill Schroeder have talked about how Peralta hits homers in batting practice, and it was just a matter of time before he did it for real. He got it in just in time.
Not only was that a pretty fabulous shot, Peralta already has a veteran bat flip.
From what I understand, Peralta will have plenty of chances to practice that move in hitter-friendly Colorado Springs.
Buzzkill (Something forgettable that happened)
MLB Still Not Doing Replay Right: This is the fourth season that MLB has had some form of instant replay, so it’s fair to say they need to start doing a better job. Friday’s game against the Mets was a prime example of how MLB does not have its act together when it comes to replay. In the third inning there was a close play at home plate that the Mets challenged and were ultimately successful in overturning. The challenge took a painful three-and-a-half minutes to come to resolution. I’m certainly not the first person to make this obvious point: if the review takes more than 90 seconds, the call should stand. MLB seems to be trying to differentiate itself from the NFL and other sports by taking the extra time to make sure they get the call right. The league is differentiating itself, but not in a good way.
If it wasn’t enough that the review took bloody ages, Counsell came out to double-challenge if the Mets catcher had blocked the plate. We had to sit through another challenge of a play that had already been challenged. That second challenge took nearly three minutes. Ridiculous.
Another source of replay irritation is there doesn’t seem to be any limits on challenges, even though the rules themselves say that a manager can run out of challenges. Also, the manager is not supposed to have any challenges after the sixth inning. The umpires can initiate reviews if they choose, but managers can only ask for, not demand, a review. The Crew Chief supposedly has the option to say no. But has any umpire ever denied a manager a review after the sixth inning? In the tenth inning of Friday’s game, Counsell asked for a review of a play at third, which the broadcasters referred to as a challenge. What the hell?
If manager challenges are essentially unlimited, just change the rule to say they are unlimited. And for the love of god, please limit them to 90 seconds. This is an easy fix. MLB just has to be brave enough to do the thing that will obviously work.
Here’s to You (Standout player(s) or play(s) of the week)
Kirk Nieuwenhuis Pulls One Back: When Carlos Gomez has moved on, it was unclear if anyone would step into his role as happy go lucky home run thief. Nieuwenhuis has made a couple of plays so far that haven’t necessarily been in the Gomez league, but they are much appreciated. He stole something from Kris Bryant last month – definitely an extra base hit, maybe a home run.
His great catch Friday on a Kelly Johnson fly ball appears to have been a legit home run saver.
It’s a nice touch that Nieuwenhuis immediately looked up to the big screen to watch the replay of his catch. Ballplayers are regular people, too!
Back on the Wagon (Thoughts on the week ahead)
Some late night games are on the TV viewing schedule this week as the Brewers head to San Francisco and Los Angeles to face the top two teams in the NL West. The Brewers avoided a sweep by the Giants in the first series of the year, setting the tone for what has been a not totally disappointing season. The way the pitchers are lined up, the Brewers will see Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, and Johnny Cueto. Not sure where the win will come this time, but there has to be one in there somewhere.
Then our heroes head to Los Angeles for the third four-game series in a row. I’d say these guys are overworked but they have two off days coming up the following week, so it all evens out.
(Image: Morry Gash/AP)