Brewers Walk to Victory.

Perhaps the most encouraging thing about the Brewers 7-1 victory today over the hapless Dodgers before the second biggest crowd ever at Miller Park (aside from Ben Sheets’ 2-hitter) (aside from Billy Hall’s defense) was that they walked 5 times. They worked the count in almost every plate appearance against Los Angeles starter Derek Lowe, and Rickie Weeks, Johnny Estrada, Prince Fielder, Geoff Jenkins (!), and J.J. Hardy all walked against Lowe, who threw a laborious 84 pitches in just 4 innings. While Bill Hall didn’t draw a walk, he worked the count well and didn’t swing at a single first pitch. He finally got his pitch to drive in the 6th and hit a line drive HR to right-center. Hall led the team in pitcher per plate appearance last with over 4 P/PA, which I’ll venture to say played a big part in his team-leading 35 bombs. This is very encouraging to see a young team have so much discipline. Prince went down 0-2 and came back to walk in the next 5 pitches, fouling one off and taking another four pitches. That he did this after striking out on a free swinging AB in the first inning is all the more impressive — it speaks to maturity perhaps. An increased OBP should help the team immensely. So should waiting for pitches to drive. Some notes about Sheets. First, he didn’t even have his curve today. He threw a few of them early on and most of them hit the dirt. He threw very few in later innings, but apparently didn’t need to — he was spotting his fastball and getting batters to pop up all the time. I think the fact that he only struck out 3 was due largely to the fact that he couldn’t rely on his curve. If we get a 2-hit complete game on an off day, what can we expect from Benny when he’s running hot enough to mix in a change-up more often as well along with that killer curve? He didn’t walk a batter, despite going to 3-ball counts on a number of occasions. Great poise. A pretty efficient 104 pitches to complete the game. Very nice. I like.

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