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Game Thirteen vs. Brewers 7:05 CST


Dave Bush   Taylor Buchholz
1 - 1, 5.54    0 - 1, 3.38

So, the Brewers. I guess their plan was to rely on their pitching while all their young offensive talent works itself in. Plan or no, it's the way things have worked out so far. The Brew Crew are tenth in the NL in average, 12th in slugging, 11th in OPS, 13th in runs, and thirteenth in homers.

But third in strikeouts, yikes. Sparked by Prince Fielder's seven strikeouts in the first two games, the Brewers have three players in the NL Top Ten in whiffs, with Jenkins and Weeks joining Fielder.

To be fair, Fielder had almost as many K's in those two games as he's had since, but still, it looks like there's a hole there that a guy with a nasty curve might exploit, huh?

The Brewers won their first five games, all at home, and casual onlookers such as myself might have assumed they did it with offense, but such was not the case. Milwaukee basically rode its pitching to those five victories, and more or less can blame its pitching for the five losses in seven games since. While the Brewers currrently rank first in the league in WHIP, and third in bullpen ERA, they also gave up 7 runs, 6 runs and 8 runs respectively to close its homestand vs. the D-Backs and start its road trip vs. the Cardinals. And not-very-bolstered by the return of Ben Sheets yesterday, they gave up nine to the Mets, five of which were scored off the bullpen.

A lot of fans have pointed to this series, and Milwaukee certainly is one of the "buzz" teams in the early going, no matter what slogan the Astros have cooked up, but this looks like a beatable team to me. Let Taylor spin 5 or 6 innings worth of curveball/fastball sleight of hand, let Biggio find the Boxes now that he's back home, and Oswalt can be looking at the series victory tomorrow.

What say?

Offensive Value Over Replacement Player
VORP Astro Pos Brewer VORP
-3.3 Damian Miller C1 Brad Ausmus   0.0 x
  0.4 Chad Moeller C2 Eric Munson -2.3 x
  1.7 Prince Fielder 1B Lance Berkman 8.8 x
x   2.7 Rickie Weeks 2B Craig Biggio -1.3
x   1.5 JJ Hardy SS Adam Everett -0.5
  0.3 Corey Koskie 3B Morgan Ensberg 10.5 x
x   6.8 Carlos Lee OF1 Preston Wilson   1.4
  0.8 Geoff Jenkins OF2 Willy Taveras   0.9 x
x   0.3 Corey Hart OF3 Jason Lane -1.3
-2.8 Brady Clark OF4 Orlando Palmeiro -1.9 x
x   0.9 Bill Hall Util/PH Eric Bruntlett 0.5