Friday, July 8, 2011

Rickie Weeks Needs to Cooool Out, Brewers 5-4

We saw some more changes before the game yesterday - the starting shortstop (Janish-Yanish) and opening day starter (Volquez) both received complimentary trips to Louisville. Good for those guys. Volquez needs to learn something about pitch location and Janish just wasn't very good for about the last two months. His offense was predictably missing but he was struggling a bit with the glove too. Dusty thought a walk-about in Louisville would clear things out. Zack Cozart is your new Cincinnati Reds shortstop. My recollection from the nerds at Baseball Prospectus is they like his power, speed, and defense but predict very little in the form of average. Numbers from Louisville include a .310\.357\.467 slash line, 7 bombs and 9 bags. At the least, that's better than Janish and Renteria's combined .138/.142/.102 line with a combined 1 homer and 40 errors. He made a nice play on Corey Hart last night deep in the hole with a couple of guys on base and showed a little bit of speed scoring on Hernandez's single. So, I think he'll work out okay.

The new fifth starter is a bit of mystery. It appears as if the D-Train is going to be rolling into Cincinnati to give the big leagues a try again. He wasn't real interested in being a major league player last year, so we'll see about his interest level this year. He has good numbers in AAA, for whatever that's worth. I recall him swinging the bat well, so that, in addition to his big ol' leg kick, make the experiment worthwhile, even if he's throwing every third pitch into the Rick Ankiel portion of the backstop netting.

Onto the game from last night, Bailey had another bad inning including a three-run homer by Weeks who just dismantles Cincinnati. His bomb followed a walk to the pitcher, Narvesson. The same Narvesson who doubled to deep left center earlier in the game. Bailey was right to work around him. So, that's two subpar starts for Homeboy out of the last three. He seems to have a little trouble with pitch location as well. I think he and Volquez are on the same training regiment. Hang around for four days then go out to the mound and take forever to get on the rubber and throw a pitch. I like the term deliberate in the baseball context to mean slow as molasses. Those two boys are both deliberators.

Offense was okay last night. Bruce seems to be swinging the bat a little better which really helps the lineup, especially when Votto appears to have returned to normal and Phillips is ripping it, hitting right at .300. If only Ramon Hernandez, who has been solid against just about everyone this year, could face Axford every at bat, he'd have 200 home runs. He hit his second bomb off Axford this season to bring the score to within one. No one was terribly interested in driving in that tying run. They played 13 the night before and just wanted to get back to the hotel to watch Operation Dumbo Drop on HBO. They'll try a little harder tonight.

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