After last Saturday’s win over the Cubs, the Brewers hit the halfway mark of their 2009 season with a 43-38 mark, or on pace for 86 wins on the year. Now at 43-39, they’re season boils down to just 80 games.
The big question? Can the Brewers win the NL Central with their current starting rotation…or is another piece needed?
Ryan Braun shared his opinion on the matter while throwing his teammates under the bus, declaring Cubs’ pitching to be “a lot better than ours.” Remember last year Braun irked his teammates after a losing road trip to Boston by telling the media that some of his teammates lacked the confidence before a game that they could actually win the game. This year, after a dismal 1-3 series in Chicago, Braun trumped his earlier complaints of poor hitting conditions for batters in day games at Miller Park and came out and said the Brewers need more pitching.
Naturally, this ticked off GM Doug Melvin, and rightly so. Had Braun been in Milwaukee, he could have aired his frustration in the privacy of Melvin’s office or in the clubhouse without media present. Instead, Braun played to the big city media and dissed his teammates. Melvin is probably going to talk to him and, hopefully, fine him. Macha should also tear him a new one.
That said, Braun is stating what the media around Wisconsin have been talking about for a long time–“Can/Should Melvin acquire another starter?” As Melvin has pointed out numerous times, there currently aren’t many sellers and, for those who might, their asking price is too high.
But…what is not being talked about…”will one starter be enough?” Replacing either Seth McClung or Mike Burns’ spot in the rotation still leaves the other one still in the rotation…not to mention Jeff Suppan and Braden Looper. Melvin swears he won’t deal Mat Gamel or Alcides Escobar–two guys that could lead to several division titles over the next few years–for a chance at slightly improving the odds this year.
That said, I don’t see how the current rotation will remain in tact…the 5th starter won’t be needed again until Saturday. Nobody is going to believe it, but I think Parra will regain his spot then. Parra has averaged over 6 innings per start in Nashville, and has a respectable 2.92 ERA with the Sounds. As Macha seems to be ready to give up on McClung and Burns, the only other two possibilities, really, are Mark DiFelice or Chris Cody…or somebody from outside the organization. That start will be against the Dodgers, the team with the best record in the NL. Melvin is aware of this deadline…and also is aware that every game counts from here on in…so a deal may be imminent.