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)
K-Rod Ties and Passes Fingers: Although he gave up his customary solo homerun in the process, Francisco Rodriguez earned save number 342 against the Dodgers yesterday. In doing so, K-Rod moved past Hall-of-Famer Rollie Fingers into sole possession of 11th place on the all-time saves list. Since both men have played key roles on Brewers playoff teams, it was a nice moment with a touch of historical resonance. It also reminded fans that K-Rod has been shaky as of late and we’re much more comfortable when he comes in with a three- or two-run lead as opposed to a one-run lead, but no matter – the results speak for themselves.
Buzzkill (Worst event/news of the week)
Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson Hang Out with Goddamn Cardinals: C’mon, man. What the hell is this?
The Green Bay Packers were in St. Louis for a pre-season game with the Rams, and apparently they were at the Cardinals/Padres game on Friday. Rodgers and Nelson watched the Cardinals take batting practice, signed autographs, and made kissy-faces with Adam Wainwright and a few other bastards. Sure, technically it would silly for the Packers to care about being seen with the Brewers’ hated rivals, but CHRIST. It’s like you’re rubbing it in our faces.
We all assume a big part of this public bro-mance with the Cardinals is Rodgers’ falling out with Ryan Braun, right? If he wanted to stick it to Braun, couldn’t he have done it more tastefully? Like by cryptically changing his Facebook status to “making new friends I can probably trust” or something?
Have One on the House (Brewers player who deserves a drink)
Mike Fiers: Losing three out of four to the Cubs is unacceptable. On Thursday, the Brewers needed their hitters to score some runs, but a quality start from Mike Fiers wouldn’t have hurt. Instead, Fiers turned in a dominating start, shutting the Cubs out for six innings and striking out 14.
In another era when pitch counts didn’t matter, Fiers could have struck out 20. Ultimately, he had to settle for a setting a new career-high in Ks and launching the Brewers’ on a timely four-game (at least) winning streak.
Time to Sober Up, Pal (Brewers player who made me want to drink)
Ryan Braun: His homer off of Clayton Kershaw last night demonstrated Braun is still a threat, but it has not escaped notice he’s underperformed as of late. Last week in six games Braun was 3-24 (.125) and does not look comfortable at the plate. It seems like he’s had more oh-fors than usual. (Oh-fers? O-foors? You know, games where he didn’t get a hit.) During the month of August, Braun’s batting, on-base, and slugging percentages have steadily dropped. His homeruns have obviously been down. All great players have below average years, but Braun’s PED use and suspension have put him under the microscope. Perhaps he can’t handle the negative attention? That nagging thumb injury may be playing a role. Whatever the reason, the Brewers need Braun to turn things around soon if they’re going to make a deep playoff run.
Back on the Wagon (Thoughts on the week ahead)
A two-game series against the Blue Jays is when the Brewers’ July skid began. The symbolic significance of getting that two-game sweep back one month later is huge. I think it’s fair to say we’re all looking forward to Mike Fiers’ upcoming start on Tuesday with great anticipation. How much longer can Fiers’ June 2012 keep repeating itself?
The Brewers have had the Pirates number this season (as has traditionally been the case), so it’s kind of impressive that Pittsburgh jumped ahead of St. Louis into second place for a little while there. But it looks like they’re back to being the Pirates we know and love. Today they lost their fifth game in a row in brutal fashion – they scored three runs in the ninth to take the lead against the Nationals, only to blow a save of their own in the bottom of the inning. They went on to lose in the 11th, and have fallen 5.5 games behind Milwaukee. The upcoming weekend series at Miller Park is a great time to put them firmly back in their place.
(Images: Associated Press, @dgoold)