Well it's another day, another series as the Brewers are spending the next 4 days playing the NL's surprise team, the San Diego Padres. The last series proved back-to-back losses, blown saves and a conflict of interest scenario between real and fantasy baseball (the same type that kept me away from fantasy ball for several years (Ryan Doumit pretty much owned owned Hoffman and I happen to own Doumit on one of my teams...grrhhhhhh.
Tonight has a NL West oriented theme as the Brewers playing in San Diego is firing away on my laptop and the Pirates-Dodgers game is going in the background.........ahhhh to live on the West Coast........it is weird to come home and have to wait an hour or so for the Brewers game to start.....the 2 normal scenarios are a) the played during the day and the game is long over by the time I get home or b) they play a night game and the game is in the middle innings by the time I come home from the gym.
Now would be a lovely time to congratulate Carlos Gomez for getting picked off and costing the Brewers a run....with the Brewers losing 5 of their last 6 and a closer that's singlehandedly dropped them into a tie for fourth.....not the best way to start a game.....
That base-running blunder not withstanding, it may be time to re-evaluate my take on the Gomez-Hardy trade. For pretty much the entire off-season, I was not feeling the trade at all. I saw Gomez as just another fast light-hitter along the lines of a Bourn, Taveras, etc. While 70 plate appearances isn't the greatest sample size, the early returns seem at least somewhat encouraging. So far his average is up 45 points his slugging average has gone from .337 to .468 and his OPS+ has gone from 64 to 108.....his BABIP is .319....so he's getting a little lucky but still leaves some proof that maybe his hitting game has turned a corner.
Speaking of off-season acquisitions, Doug Davis is in a bit of early trouble with runners on 1st and 2nd no outs and A-Gon at the plate, ouch. Not the best way to improve on an 8+ ERA. In Davis' case part of this high ERA can be explained by some extreme bad luck.......opposing hitters have a .450 BABIP against Davis.....there is no way that BABIP is sustainable and is going to remain at .450 all year and gives a silver lining of hope that Davis is not as bad as his current ERA indicates.
Not even an inning into the game, and the FS Wisconsin crew is having the mandatory conversation about Petco Park being a hitter's graveyard (it's almost like there was a law passed in 2004 making it mandatory for announcers to point this out within the first three innings).....or not.
Gotta give credit where credit is due....Doug Davis may have pitched his way into a sticky situation but he got out of it just as easily.
In terms of other stuff going on in the baseball world, this article from the Wall Street Journal is interesting. At first glance a bit surprising that the Yankees are only the fifth most hated team in baseball (somehow the Indians get this "honor") a bit surprising since the Indians probably haven't prompted any strong feelings one way or another since the late 1990s. But on second glance I can't escape the feeling that some New York bias is in there. Think about it, a newspaper based in NYC is trying to convince us that there are four other teams more hated than the Yankees.....it would seem given that the Red Sox would be high on this list considering the New York basis.....and the (possible) poor cover-up of said bias by placing a random AL Central team at the top of the list.......i'm probably horribly wrong about this assesment....maybe the Indians are really hated but nobody admits....but with the Yankees being hated by everyone outside of ESPN and New York City.....it does seem a bit odd to say the least......having a favorite team hanging out in the NL Central that happened to play in the AL Central against the Indians during their hey-day.........in 2010 i definitely have stronger negative feelings about the Yankees than the Indians
Could this be people that don't think the team name is PC? Maybe, maybe not........maybe they surveyed a bunch of people that don't like bloggers. This article from Walk Off Walk discusses the Indians reaching out to the Social Media world by inviting bloggers and local prominent twitter users to sit in the new section at Progressive Field. For reaching out to bloggers and that someone working for the Indians recognizing the existence of the blog/social media world as being relevant and here to stay. For that, the Indians do not get my vote for most hated team in baseball
And Doug Davis pitches himself out of trouble again........gotta say between his start against the Cubs and the first couple innings tonight, Doug Davis is looking pretty sharp and may be on the cusp of getting past his early struggles.
On the Padres side, Wade LeBlanc is also looking very impressive......looks like we could be in for an extended pitchers duel........while I like the results so far.....its a bit discomforting that Doug Davis' pitch count is in the 60s and its only the third innings.....with the bullpen being stretched out for 9 innings yesterday (5 of those after Hoffman failed to get a save).....this could make things interesting in a bad way towards the late innings.
Speaking of this closing situation, it seems reasonable to speculate on who should replace Hoffman as closer (assuming Macha ever notices that continuing to bring out Hoffman has the potential to derail the 2010 season. There has been some limited speculation about who should/would get a chance at closer usually involving Villaneuva, Hawkins and/or Coffey. While I see 2 of these 3 pitchers as relievers that can be relied on.......not sure what it is just a hunch i'm not sold on them being the best internal option.
I know i'm probably going outside the box a little bit.......i'm not sure if this option has been brought up elsewhere and I haven't read about it but my gut instinct says Manny Parra should be given a chance to pitch the 9th inning.
While Parra has been on the starting pitching path for most of his career, it seems as though the Brewers are planning not to place Parra in the rotation as he has been passed over for Jeff Suppan (bad decision) and Chris Narveson (defensible toss-up decision....Narveson had the better spring/better 2009.....Parra was off to a stronger start in 2010).
Beyond that I could see Parra having a good chance to excel in this role as a) thus far he has improved control-wise (11 2/3 innings is a small sample size but a BB/9 rate dropping from 5 to 1.5 indicates Parra deserves a chance at something beyond middle-relief and he's proven more than capable of ringing up strikeouts (7.9/9 IP for his career) that would make him an asset being handed the ball in the 9th inning.
As with the current game, Doug Davis is in another jam......the Brewers committing miscues with the glove and on the base-paths......this seems to not bode well for the next 5-plus innings, especially with the Padres getting on the board in the middle of typing this paragraph.
Ahh....Brewers down 2-0 and now for something that is a lot less depressing. I was stumbling around the internets and stumbled across a new website that is being rolled out on 5/1 that is blended the addictive powers of gambling and fantasy baseball. This new concoction, Rosterslots.com allows users to build a fantasy baseball team by spinning a slot machine........Just heard the words Jeff Suppan warming up in the bullpen from the FS Wisconsin crew.......not gonna lie those words don't do much for comfort.
Anyways, back to the Rosterslots....this thing gives you 20 spins in which to get a fantasy team to your liking (you can field a new team every day if you wanted to).....between probable starters, bullpens, middle infielders/catchers, corner infielders/dhs and outfielders.....the best part is you can get this done through your Facebook account as well........
Well....that time of the night....time to get some shut eye.