For the uninformed, every time the Milwaukee Brewers win a game that isn’t a walk-off, they untuck their jerseys as they meet in the middle of the diamond for the post-game handshakes. It was started last season to honor Mike Cameron’s father, who would always untuck his shirt after he arrived home from a hard day’s work. It is a symbol of the blue collar attitude of a job well done – and I think it fits the personality of Milwaukee as a whole as well.
Now some people around baseball think it’s a rather brash and jackass-type thing to do that shows up the opponent. And by some people, I mean Cardinals players and fans. No other team and its fan base have complained – at least publicly, so I guess the only solution to avoid this jackassery would be to beat the Brewers. Maybe next time, Birds fans.
Friday – Mother Nature 1, Baseball 0: This game got cancelled after just two innings when Mother Nature decided to drop a deuce all over the city of St. Louis. Considering the Cards were up 2-0 and Yovani Gallardo looked awful, I’m pretty sure the Brewers got lucky.
Saturday – Brewers 1, Cardinals 0: The Crew simply got dominated by Adam Wainwright. Except for a solo home run by Corey Hart on an 0-2 pitch in the second inning, the only hit was a line drive in the 8th inning by Ryan Braun that was almost caught. Thankfully, and surprisingly, Jeff Suppan was just as dominant in the return to his old stomping grounds. He twirled seven shutout innings and Trevor Hoffman continued to be unhittable with another 1-2-3 inning. Dude has only given up three hits and no walks in ten innings so far. He’s only faced two batters above the minimum! Unreal. It was only the sixth time in franchise history the Brewers have won with two or less hits, and only the fifth time the Cards have lost while giving up two or less hits. That’s just how shit’s going for Milwaukee these days.
Sunday – Brewers 8, Cardinals 2: The Crew scored four with two outs in the top of the fourth, Prince Fielder hit a 3-run bomb in the 7th, Manny Parra gave up two runs over six innings and the bullpen salted away another win over the Redbirds. But ’twas not a good day in Brewerland. Slick Rick hurt his left wrist (a new injury – the right one had been bothering him the last two years) on a swing and miss in the first inning and it was determined on Monday that he’ll be out for the season with a torn tendon sheath. He was on a relative tear to open the year, beginning to reach the potential so many predicted after his kickass career at Southern. He was hitting .272 with nine HR, 24 RBI and a .340 OBP. Fuck this. I’ve always loved His Slickness, mostly because I was a second baseman, but also because I believed he would eventually break out and shake the haters. Here’s to hoping he comes back strong in 2010.
Monday – Brewers 8, Cardinals 4: For the second time in the series, a Cardinals castoff locked down his former team for the Crew. Braden Looper carried a 2-hit shutout into the seventh before giving up three runs (only one earned) in that 7th inning. Mat Gamel launched his first career homer, a 3-run shot, and made a ridiculous defensive play in the field. He added an atrocious throw that turned into a 2-base error but who cares – a great day for the guy in his first career start. I absolutely cannot wait for him to be with the big club full time. In other news, Jason Kendall got his 2,000th career hit, and I believe 1,940 of those are Texas Leaguer bloops into centerfield, but that’s not an official count so don’t quote me. I may hate on the guy almost as much as I do Suppan, but he’s starting to hit the ball (up to .234 on the year) and is still a legit defensive catcher, so keep it up good sir. The Crew made it scary at the end by giving up four runs in the 7th, but the offense added an insurance run and Carlos Villanueva pitched two stellar innings to finish off the sweep.
Roster notes: After Weeks’ injury, Hernan Iribarren was called up from AAA to replace him on the roster. Craig Counsell will get most of the starts at 2B against righties and Casey McGehee will finally get playing time at 2B against lefties. Mat Gamel will still only be the DH for the interleague series and then get sent back down to work on his defense. Trust me, it’s a good idea. Yes, he can stick, but we can’t turn all our bad infielders into outfielders (see: Braun, Ryan.) because you’re only allowed to have three of those guys. Let him work out his defense and come up for good as the third baseman of the future in 2010.
Hot Fire Player of the Series: Former Cardinals pitchers. Two guys, Suppan and Looper, combine for this award as an “Eff You” to the Lou. While I don’t think it was a mistake for the Redbirds to get rid of these guys, it’s nice to them stick it to them as members of the Brewers. Suppan ruins Wainwright’s great outing and Looper dominates for six innings to finish off the sweep. Sure, these guys are mostly around for veteran leadership and the occasional strong outing, but we’ll take as many of these as we can.
Weak Sauce Player of the Series: Rickie Weeks’ wrists. Partially because no one really played poorly over the weekend, and partially because this is really annoying. Not only was Rick playing quite well, but it also hurts my fantasy team, “Manny Being Tranny”, because everyone else on my team is hurt, too. I was so hype when I grabbed Weeks off the waiver wire a few weeks ago, and now it’s for naught. Not sweet.
Records: 24-14 overall, first place in the NL Central, 2 games clear of the Cubbies. 12-7 on the road and on a 6-game winning streak. Boo-ya-ka-sha.
Next up: The road trip continues in Houston against the Astros for tres partidos. (Get it? Because there’s Mexicans in Texas. You’re welcome, bilingual fanbase.) Bush throws Tuesday, Gallardo Wednesday and Suppan Thursday.