Brewers First “Half” Ends With Win, Sunday’s News and Notes

Brewers Defeat Astros, Final: 5-3 (10 innings)

The first “half” of the regular season came to an end for the Milwaukee Brewers this afternoon with a 5-3 Win in Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros.

Zack Greinke started the game, his second in two days (more on that later), but a rough first inning saw the former Cy Young Award winner throw 39 pitches and allow three runs to score. Greinke settled down after the first but with a reduced pitch count was only able to get through three full innings (on 66 pitches) before being lifted for the day’s scheduled starter Marco Estrada.

Why did Greinke start consecutive days? That would be the direct result of being ejected from Saturday’s game after facing two hitters, and only throwing four pitches. Greinke was tossed after arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Joe West. Something that will get you tossed every time.

Wait…what? That’s not what happened?

Then it must have been because he spat in an umpire’s face.

No?

Kicked dirt on an umpire’s shoes.

Really?

Of course I’m being facetious. Greinke was tossed because he spiked the baseball into the dirt after failing to cover first base quickly enough on a ground ball. Greinke was late getting over and the quick Jose Altuve tied him to the bag. First base umpire Sam Holbrook called Altuve safe (the right call) and Greinke, mad at himself for getting over late, threw the ball down in disgust. Holbrook, who isn’t exactly known for his patient temperament, sent Greinke to the showers.

Anyway…after such a short outing (and no scheduled plans for Tuesday), Greinke offered to come back and start Sunday’s game. He did just that, struggled through the first inning, but left on a positive note when he struck out the side in a perfect third inning.

Estrada entered and allowed only one baserunner on a walk, but who was retired on a double-play. Therefore, Estrada faced the minimum through three innings of work. He was lifted for Jose Veras who was then followed by Francisco Rodriguez, each of who worked perfect innings in the 7th and 8th respectively.

The Brewers had tied it up by the 9th inning when Manny Parra entered and worked a clean frame to send the game into extra innings.

That ended up being just “extra inning” however as the Brewers plated a pair despite leaving the bases loaded.

John Axford entered the game and, though allowing a couple of baserunners, closed the door for his 15th Save of the 2012 season.

The victory gave the Brewers a series victory and saw them end the first “half” of the year with a record of 40 Wins against 45 Losses.

Gennett Participates in Futures Game

Gennett entered the game in the 5th inning but still managed to amass four plate appearances, which is reflected in the fact that Team USA scored 17 runs in a rout of Team World.Brewers prospect Scooter Gennett didn’t start, but did finish the 2012 All-Star Futures Game which was played on Sunday night in Kaufmann Stadium which will host the All-Star Game on Tuesday night.

The final box score for “Scooter”:

AB R H RBI BB K LOB AVG
3 2 1 0 1 0 0 .333

The hit was a double, and Gennett scored both times he reached based for Team USA.

Gennett was the only Brewers representative in the Futures Game this year.

Taylor Green Optioned to Nashville

After the big league game ended, utility man Taylor Green was optioned back to Triple-A Nashville in a move designed to give the former organizational Minor League Player of the Year some playing time.

While up with the parent club, Green got chances but they came spottily at best and barely at all once Corey Hart was basically permanently moved to first base defensively.

Green needs the chance to play every day and to get some swings. He’s only had four plate appearances all month and hasn’t logged a hit since June 26th, not coincidentally his last start.

The team stated that they would call up a bat in time for Friday to replace Green on the roster, but they did not name the player who would be coming. Chances are it will be a middle infielder as they are covered quite well in the outfield and at the infield corners.

Based on 40-man roster implications, my money would be on second baseman Eric Farris who is the only infielder at Nashville currently on that roster. Farris also would offer a right-handed hitting option off the bench in games where manager Ron Roenicke starts nearly all right-handed hitters. Previously, the bench options would have been lefties Nyjer Morgan, George Kottaras, Green, and switch-hitting Cesar Izturis who is cover-your-eyes awful from the right side.

Greinke Slated to Start Friday

Zack Greinke will be making Brewers history this coming Friday, assuming he makes his scheduled start at Miller Park.

More than that, he’ll be doing something that hasn’t been done since 1917!!

If Greinke makes the start as planned, he’ll be starting three consecutive games for a team in the same season. This feat was last performed 95 years ago by Hall of Fame pitcher Red Faber who did it for the White Sox. Faber’s three games were a bit different than what Greinke’s All-Star-break-aided trio will be though.

Faber started both games of a double-header (he got shelled in both leading to short outings) and then threw a complete game, 16-hitter (only 3 runs!) the next day.

Still, starting three consecutive games in the same season is a feat unmatched since.

Leave it to Zack Greinke (credit Holbrook with the assist?) to challenge history.

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