Search the Site

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Brewers Secure Series Win in Philly, Move Into First Place

Brandon Kinztler earned his first Major League win on Monday
After dropping three straight to the Nationals this weekend the Brewers won the first two games of their series in Philadelphia against the NL East leading Phillies. Combined with a Reds loss to the Diamondbacks, the win puts the Brewers in first place for the first time this season (shared with Cincinnati). The Nationals entered this weekend's series with a record of 5-7 while the Phillies were sitting at 10-4 before Monday's contest. The assumption before the road trip began was that the Brewers should be able to win series against the Pirates (which they did) and the Nationals (needless to say, they didn't), and would probably only win one while facing the Phillies and dual-aces Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee. Baseball is an unpredictable sport, and one thing is certain about the 2011 Brewers: like any team, they're going to have their ups and downs, but when they play well, they are a force to be reckoned with.

Highlights from Monday include Shaun Marcum's performance on Monday (6 IP, 5 H, 1 R [unearned], 5 K), Yuniesky Betancourt's excellent diving catch off of the arm of Sergio Mitre (which unfortunately landed Mitre on the DL), and Ryan Braun, Carlos Gomez, and Jonathan Lucroy sporting multiple hits. The star of the game had to be Brandon Kintzler, entering in the eleventh and pitching two scoreless innings to give the Brewers offense another chance and secure the win after a three-run top of the twelfth.

Craig Counsell downplayed tuesday's matchup against reigning Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay, saying, "It's not like it's an out of body experience to face him." His words proved prescient, as the Brewers got to Halladay early and Randy Wolf, so far inconsistent in his starts, put together six scoreless innings. The Brewers offense finally scored runs like we know they can, winning 9-0 with six earned runs charged to Hallday. Carlos Gomez and Ryan Braun played excellent defense in the outfield, including this run-saving catch by Braun. Home runs by Braun and Casey McGehee contributed to Halladay's line, while McGehee added a nice defensive play in the ninth. To top it all, Craig Counsell played in the outfield for the first time in his career, giving Braun a couple of innings off.

With a series sweep in Philly a real possibility, the Brewers can now declare this road trip a success (4-3 record before today's game). Chris Narveson hopes to rebound from his last outing, Brewers bats try to prove that they can do some damage against another of the NL's best, Cliff Lee, and the team tries to make sure they remain in first place for at least another day (Reds play every day this week while the Crew gets another day off on Thursday).

A robot throws out today's first pitch in a game set for 12:05 CST. Here's the lineup:

2B Rickie Weeks
CF Carlos Gomez
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
3B Casey McGehee
SS Yuniesky Betancourt
RF Erick Almonte
C Jonathan Lucroy
P Chris Narveson

No comments:

Post a Comment