Results tagged ‘ Ryan Braun ’
Catching up on some items I haven’t blogged about but had more to say about them than just tweeting the blurbs, and then some thoughts about tonight’s lineup in Pittsburgh and what its impact could be.
Cue the puns. Puns for the win!
Stoking the Fiers -or- Tom’s Not Feeling So Terrific
Mike Fiers was recalled from the minor leagues — where he had been optioned on April 18th — to fill a spot in the bullpen vacated by LHP Tom Gorzelanny who succumbed to shoulder tendinitis in his pitching arm. Gorzelanny has been working a lot so far this year as he has been used in everything from LOOGy-friendly spots to straight set up duties. Gorzelanny had pitched 18 times in the first 31 team games, including back-to-back days on four occasions, but never three-in-a-row.
Fiers came back amid a sad familial situation which was documented in numerous places (including here by Brewers.com’s Adam McCalvy) and needn’t be rehashed here, though you should read it if you haven’t already. Fiers returned to a bullpen in desperate need of some innings covereage after consecutive short starts by Yovani Gallardo and Hiram Burgos in Cincinnati. He was stretched back out in the minors pitching for both Nashville and Brevard County and offers immediate relief in the long-man division.
Gorzelanny’s injury leaves Michael Gonzalez as the lone healthy left-handed pitcher in the Brewers’ bullpen, after they began the year with three (also Chris Narveson).
Konclusion Soon for K-Rod
Francisco Rodriguez was signed to a minor-league contract back on April 17th (read more on that here) and, as part of the agreement, began a 30-day evaluation period after which the Brewers would have to make a determination on whether they will add him to the 25-man roster.
Well, that deadline is rapidly approaching and to that end, Brewers general manager Doug Melvin is in Nashville tonight and tomorrow to watch K-Rod pitch. He’ll be looking for a return to something more closely resembling Rodriguez’ 2011 form rather than what he brought to the mound far too often in 2012.
The question though is simple. Can Rodriguez help this team win?
If he can, he’ll be here soon and then the decision is who heads back down to the minors. Given the situation, it wouldn’t shock me if it was Fiers so long as Figaro is rested between now and then and there are no more critically short starts between now and then. But in order to maintain length in the ‘pen and utilize options available, it could be Kintzler down for a short stint if necessary.
Braun and Weeks Sit, Probably Discuss Love, Life, Longballs
Ryan Braun is apparently dealing with a bit of a stiff neck again, similar to the injury that kept him out of the entire Arizona Diamondbacks series the first week of April. Though while it’s a similar injury, it’s not nearly to the severity now as it was then. Braun has been playing with it for a few games and just needed a day off to help rest it.
I would have to certainly hope he didn’t tweak it while helping several others in lifting a wall during a Habitat For Humanity “Blitz Build” event last week. Manager Ron Roenicke stated that Braun didn’t injure himself on the field though, so the charitable activity remains a possible cause.
As for Weeks, fans and media alike have been clamoring for Weeks to get (at least) a day to clear his head and hopefully allow him to get back to doing what his talent says he should be able to do. Weeks though is the kind of guy who will never go the manager and ask for a day off or accept if Roenicke offers a day off. Weeks told the media today that Roenicke has to just sit him if Roenicke thinks Weeks needs a break. Roenicke wanted to get Weeks out yesterday against long-time nemesis Bronson Arroyo but couldn’t. Weeks isn’t significantly better against A.J. Burnett, who pitched for Pittsburgh tonight, so it was another opportunity which Roenicke utilized.
Hopefully Weeks can make the most of it and break back out at the dish. In a pinch-hitting appearance tonight, Weeks struck out swinging off of a left-handed reliever.
As for filling out the lineup without Weeks and Braun, as I stated on my Monday segment on The Mike Heller Show on The Big 920 & The Big 1070 AM radio stations in Milwaukee and Madison, I liked moving Gomez up to 3 as it kept him in an RBI role. Beyond that, the bottom half of the lineup was a crapshoot. Betancourt and Lucroy both finished without a hit so the order mattered even less tonight than it otherwise would.
Still, the Brewers look to continue their success against Pittsburgh regardless of where they play as they work to get back into the win column and make something out of this road trip.
Milwaukee – (That’s how I start these things, right?)
Tonight at Miller Park, the Milwaukee Brewers hosted the NL Central Division-leading St. Louis Cardinals in the first of a four-game set.
The third inning was particularly hospitable to the redbirds as they brought 11 men to the plate and scored six times. It was a rough and often unlucky inning for Wily Peralta who broke multiple bats, and was blooped, flared, and papercut to death by the Cards. There were a couple of hard hit balls as well but the majority of safe strokes would qualify for the “Punch & Judy” Hall of Fame. The six runs that the Cardinals scored in the inning would be all they got for the night, which added even more to the feelings of frustration.
After the game, Roenicke talked about the troublesome inning for Peralta.
“You see weird things and it’s not always fair,” said Roenicke. “(Peralta was) okay. It was definitely not as bad as what those numbers look like.”
As for Peralta’s repertoire, Roenicke admitted that, “his offspeed stuff wasn’t as sharp as I think he needs to get it to. He needs to be able to throw a slider for a strike when he needs to and he needs to be able to bounce it when he needs to. His change ups he’s got to mix in more. His sinker is still really good. I thought it was down most of the night.”
Peralta would eventually get out of the third and pitch into the fifth before putting two on in the fifth. Alfredo Figaro entered and only allowed one hit over the next 2.2 innings.
Peralta for his part understood that he made a bunch of good pitches in the third inning getting a couple of broken bats and suffering several weak hits but that it was obviously the difference in the game.
“This inning (was) the difference in the game”, said Peralta. He said it was particularly upsetting to give up so many consecutive hits with two outs.
He credited the bullpen for allowing the offense a chance to win. “The bullpen did a good job and (held) there.”
As for St. Louis, Jake Westbrook did what Jake Westbrook does on the mound and allowed some baserunners, but only three consecutive fourth inning singles from Weeks, Gomez, and Maldonado were able to scratch a run across off of the Cardinal veteran.
Luckily, “veteran” in this case also means “old” and Westbrook was lifted after 6.0 innings pitched for Joe Kelly. All Kelly did was get charged with two runs in 0.2 IP (raising the 8.31 ERA he entered the game with), and force Cardinal manager Mike Matheny to call on Mitchell Boggs. The new right-hander walked two — the first loaded the bases, the second scored the second run off Kelly — without recording an out. Matheny had to go get Trevor Rosenthal then who struck out Martin Maldonado to end the threat.
Tom Gorzelanny continued the quality work out of the bullpen this evening with a quick and clean 8th inning.
Rosenthal stayed in for the 8th inning. He got the scuffling Alex Gonzalez to pop out in foul territory to Yadier Molina, but then Blake Lalli scalded one what had to be a good 25 feet between a bewildered Molina and Rosenthal. Norichika Aoki reached on an error with one down, but resident hero Jean Segura could not come through on this night as he struck out swinging, chasing a high fastball.
That brought Ryan Braun to the plate as the new tying run, and he singled up the middle to plate Lalli and put Aoki on third. The legend of Yuni B 2013 took a hit though as he struck out swinging to end the inning. Still, that made the score 6-4 in favor of the Cardinals heading to the 9th.
The 9th saw Burke Badenhop get Carlos Beltran to bounce back to him, strike out Matt Holliday, and break the bat of Allen Craig on a soft liner to Segura.
The last of the ninth, and the game, belonged to Edward Mujica and the Cardinals though. Weeks attempted to cut the lead in half but his deep drive to RF was hit about 30 feet too far left. Gomez singled and eventually would steal second. After Maldonado struck out looking, Gonzalez came through with an RBI single to CF.
That allowed Ron Roenicke to send up Jonathan Lucroy to pinch-hit. Unfortunately, Lucroy would strike out to end the game with the Brewers falling a run short.
After the game, Josh Prince was optioned down to the Nashville Sounds where he will get a chance to play every day. He admitted that at least a part of him was excited to play regularly again.
“That’s what I love to do is play the game. But there’s no better place to play than (the big leagues).”
Prince will work defensively at multiple positions in preparation for his eventual return.
The move opens up a spot on the roster for the returning Aramis Ramirez. Ramirez will rejoin the team officially on Friday and be active for that evening’s game.
Bad news, h8rz.
In a recent New York Daily News article, it was reported that the former owner of the now-defunct Biogenesis Wellness Clinic, Anthony Bosch, “backed up” the assertion of Ryan Braun from earlier this year.
That assertion was that the reason Braun’s name appeared in records of the clinic was simply and only because Braun’s legal team reached out to Bosch for consultation while preparing their successful appeal — through arbitration — of a suspension.
In an interview reported by ESPN Monday night, Bosch is quoted as saying:
“I just answered a few questions from his legal team, not from Braun or any other ballplayer.”
Certainly sounds like everything lines up with what Ryan Braun had to say about it. You remember, that entirely plausible explanation that the Brewers All-Star gave? The one that people who already didn’t believe Braun just dismissed with a hand wave and “isn’t that just perfectly convenient” diatribes?
Yeah, this one here.
So can we all return to giving Ryan Braun the benefit of the doubt which the system in place is supposed to allow him? He won his appeal and his explanation of his presence in Biogenesis documentation lines up.
Or isn’t that enough for you?
THE 2013 “VOTE BREWERS!” CAMPAIGN IS UNDERWAY
Online Brewers.com Fan Balloting Begins Tomorrow, Miller Park Firestone Balloting Begins April 29; Participating Entrants will have Opportunity to Win Incredible Prizes
MILWAUKEE – Brewers fans have the well-earned reputation for filling the ballot boxes with All-Star votes for Milwaukee Brewers players year in and year out. With at least one Brewers player elected to start in five of the last six All-Star Games since 2007, Milwaukee fans demonstrated that it doesn’t take the largest market to be heard as they voted for their favorite Brewers in almost unheard of numbers.
And while it may still be April, it’s time to ramp up and Vote Brewers! This season, eight Milwaukee Brewers players are featured on the ballot for the 84th Major League Baseball All-Star Game to be held on Tuesday, July 16 at Citi Field in New York City. Brewers fans will again have the opportunity to show their overwhelming fan support by helping decide which players will be named to the Midsummer Classic through the 2013 MLB In-Stadium All-Star Balloting Program and the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot.
Brewers players on this year’s All-Star ballot include C Jonathan Lucroy, 1B Corey Hart, 2B Rickie Weeks, 3B Aramis Ramirez, SS Jean Segura, OF Ryan Braun, OF Carlos Gomez and OF Norichika Aoki.
Beginning Wednesday, fans are able to vote online at brewers.com and beginning Monday, April 29, fans will be able to vote through in-park balloting at Miller Park.
At brewers.com, all fans voting 21 or more times for their favorite Brewers will be entered into a drawing to win Ryan Braun’s Miller Park Suite for a night, complete with tickets, food and a personal visit from the 2011 National League MVP. There is a maximum of 25 votes per email address. More information and rules may be found at brewers.com. Additionally, fans voting online will be eligible to purchase Field Outfield and Club Outfield seats for select Brewers games at a savings of up to 50% (details available after voting at Brewers.com).
Those visiting Miller Park are encouraged to vote early and often via paper ballot at the All-Star Polling District, set up during Brewers home games along the first base concourse. In-park balloting at Miller Park begins on Monday, April 29 and continues through Friday, June 21, comprising 25 home dates. The Vote Brewers! campaign will feature event staff decked out at home games in promotional t-shirts, and signage along the Miller Park fascia and behind the plate. In addition, media partners FS Wisconsin and Newsradio 620 WTMJ will be promoting the initiative on broadcasts, and the World Famous Klement’s Racing Sausages will help distribute voting information around the city. There will also be voting parties staged during the balloting period.
With every 10 ballots turned in to the All-Star Polling District, fans will receive one raffle ticket that will enter them in a drawing for the opportunity to win a collector’s item daily, ranging from game-used memorabilia to player autographs. A drawing will be held during every home game through June 21 and the winning ticket will be announced during the game. Rules will be available at the Polling District.
Ryan Braun narrowly missed being elected a starter for the 2012 MLB All-Star Game after finishing fourth in voting among National League outfielders to Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers by just over 100,000 votes. Braun was later named a starter to replace the injured Kemp.
In 2011, Braun led National League outfielders in voting for the fourth straight season and led all NL players in voting for the first time (5,928,004). He is the only Brewers player to ever be elected to start in four consecutive All-Star Games (did not play in 2011 due to injury). Rickie Weeks was selected to his first All-Star Game as the NL’s starting second baseman and Prince Fielder started and made his third All-Star appearance in 2011. In 2010, Braun and Corey Hart started for the Brewers (Hart was named as a starter after an injury to Atlanta’s Jason Heyward).
In 2009, Braun and Fielder joined Trevor Hoffman as All-Stars. In addition to Braun in 2008, Hart was named that year to the National League All-Star team via the Monster All-Star Final Vote. In 2007, Fielder received the second-most votes in the National League en route to his first career All-Star team, becoming the first Brewers player to be voted to the All-Star Game since Paul Molitor was selected at third base in 1988. A complete list of All-Stars in franchise history can be found on page 277 of the 2013 Brewers media guide.
The 2013 American League and National League All-Star Teams will be unveiled on Sunday, July 7 on the 2013 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show on TBS. Both the National League and American League teams will have eight fan-elected starters. The pitchers and reserves for both will be determined through a combination of “Player Ballot” choices and selections made by the two All-Star managers.
Fans can vote for the Major League All-Stars online at brewers.com through Thursday, July 4 at 10:59 p.m. CT.
Following today’s final exhibition game (a victory over the Chicago White Sox), the Milwaukee Brewers announced their 25-man roster for Opening Day.
Here is the breakdown by position.
- John Axford
- Burke Badenhop
- Marco Estrada
- Mike Fiers
- Alfredo Figaro
- Yovani Gallardo
- Michael Gonzalez
- Tom Gorzelanny
- Jim Henderson
- Brandon Kintzler
- Kyle Lohse
- Chris Narveson
- Wily Peralta
- Jonathan Lucroy
- Martin Maldonado
- Alex Gonzalez
- Yuniesky Betancourt
- Aramis Ramirez
- Jean Segura
- Rickie Weeks
- Norichika Aoki
- Ryan Braun
- Khris Davis
- Carlos Gomez
- Logan Schafer
The Brewers will also be carrying four (4) players on the big league 15-day disabled list to begin the season (Jeff Bianchi, Taylor Green, Corey Hart, Mark Rogers) and one (1) on the 60-day DL (Mat Gamel).
Special congratulations go out to Alfredo Figaro, Mike Fiers, Jim Henderson, Jean Segura, Khris Davis, Wily Peralta, Martin Maldonado, and Logan Schafer who are all making their first Opening Day MLB roster!
Recorded last night over dinner and during a fantasy baseball draft, my podcast partner Cary Kostka and I get you ready for Opening Day!
We discuss the 25-man roster projection, lineup for Opening Day, rotation, Kyle Lohse, Yuniesky Betancourt and more!
Click here to download the podcast: Brewer Nation Podcast – 2013 Opening Day Preparedness
The Beatles once sang about a universe which had eight days in a week. Unfortunately for us, we’re still a day and a week away from Opening Day at Miller Park, but regardless of how you quantify the number, it is eight days away.
That means that it’s time to take a look back at 2012 and forward to 2013 for the face of the franchise and national lightning rod…
Let’s tranquilize the elephant first.
Ryan Braun has been in the headlines again this off-season after his name surfaced in documents belonging to the owner of a “wellness clinic” in Florida. I’ve said what I have to say about that topic when it first came up and I’m simply not going to rewrite it all here now. Suffice it to say that the reasons Braun gave as to why his name appeared in the records of Tony Bosch are plausible and with that they reinforce that the burden of proof belongs to those who would have you believe that Braun is guilty of wrongdoing. Nothing that was “uncovered” in relation to Biogenesis as it applies to Braun should have been enough to change your opinion of what you believe about Braun from his successful appeal back in the spring of 2012.
As the 2012 season got underway — with Braun starting on Opening Day in left field — there were questions swirling. The biggest of which was how Braun’s offensive output might be affected by the loss of his lineup “protection” after Prince Fielder skipped town for the dilapidated and trash-filled pastures of Detroit. That’s a knock on the city itself, not Prince’s signing there. After all, they made it to the World Series in his first season as a Motor City Kitty.
Well, not only did the Brewers fill two holes (one in the lineup and one defensively at third base) by signing Aramis Ramirez as a free agent, but during Ramirez’ customary slow start, Braun proved that he doesn’t need lineup protection to put up numbers. Braun hit 14 home runs by May 31st, drove in 36 RBI, stole 10 bases, walked 22 times, and tallied eight doubles and two triples. Those numbers, in 210 plates appearances, resulted in a .309/.395/.608 line at the end of May.
All told for 2012, Braun posted a .319/.391/.595 (.987 OPS) line with 191 hits, 36 doubles, three triples, 41 home runs, and 112 runs batted in. He scored 108 runs and stole 30 bases against seven caught stealings to post a 40/30 season for just the 11th time in the history of Major League Baseball.
Don’t let that slip past you. Eleven times. Eleven. That’s some elite company. As a result despite the Brewers 83-79 record and third-place division finish, Braun’s historical campaign, excellence down the stretch (August: .312/.367/.642, Sep/Oct: .355/.407/.554), and presence of a viable alternative were great enough to allow many voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of America to not hold anything against Braun when voting for the Most Valuable Player in the National League. Braun was still somehow voted only fourth-best by a couple of scribes who have refused to defend their vote, but people love to hold a baseless grudge.
The bottom line about 2012 for Braun is that even with all of the boos, doubters, haters, and naysayers … even with the loss of Prince Fielder in the lineup behind him … even through tabloid rumors of engagements … through it all, Ryan Joseph Braun still posted one of the best statistical seasons in Milwaukee Brewers history and in league history.
Looking ahead to 2013, Braun enters with a modicum of doubt swirling above his head. There’s clearly a vendetta against him in the commissioner’s office of MLB, despite their claims to the contrary. They are appearing desperate to find cause to suspend Braun, and we simply have to hope that they are above inducing false testimony by offering immunity to others. It certainly appears that nobody is cooperating with MLB’s investigation which has led them to filing suit in Florida against the clinic at the center of all of this in a weakly veiled effort to gain access to the documents which they haven’t been able to otherwise acquire. It’s certainly an interesting way to go about things.
But for the play on the field itself, which I would expect Braun to participate in between 145 and 162 times in 2013, things are looking like the normally do. Braun isn’t usually a tremendous spring training hitter (though he was something else in 2011), but despite his .231 batting average, he’s slugging .692 entering play today and “OPS-ing” over 1.000 so far.
Braun has said numerous times that Spring Training is about “the process” for him. Things were a little thrown off this year due to Braun’s participation in the World Baseball Classic, but for the most part he’s where he needs to be to start the year.
Ultimately, there’s nothing to suggest that Braun will do anything other than post another stellar season both at the plate and in the field where he’s become a quality defender. He improves every year on defense, and has really learned to utilize his speed and throwing while taking better routes to the ball and covering ground much more efficiently.
Could another top two finish in MVP voting be on the horizon? Perhaps, but as has been proven many times over the course of baseball history, team success often factors in when considering individual awards.
Time will tell how the Brewers do as a whole in 2013, but I think counting on Braun to produce is something we can rely on happening.
Miss anyone along the way? Catch up on the Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers profiles to this point:
- #9 Jean Segura
- #11 Alex Gonzalez
- #12 Martin Maldonado
- #14 Jeff Bianchi
- #15 Caleb Gindl
- #16 Aramis Ramirez
- #20 Jonathan Lucroy
- #21 Donnie Murphy
- #22 Logan Schafer
- #23 Rickie Weeks
- #24 Mat Gamel
- #27 Carlos Gomez
- #29 Jim Henderson
- #31 Burke Badenhop
- #32 Tom Gorzelanny
- #37 Mark Rogers
- #38 Chris Narveson
- #41 Marco Estrada
- #45 Kelvim Escobar
- #46 Hiram Burgos
- #48 Donovan Hand
- #49 Yovani Gallardo
- #51 Michael Gonzalez
- #53 Brandon Kintzler
- #54 Josh Stinson
- #57 Khris Davis
- #58 Josh Prince
- #59 John Axford
- #60 Wily Peralta
- #61 Darren Byrd
- #63 Tyler Thornburg
- #64 Mike Fiers
- #65 Miguel De Los Santos
- #67 Santo Manzanillo
- #68 Jesus Sanchez
- #70 Nick Bucci
- #71 Johnny Hellweg
- #73 Ariel Peña
- #74 Michael Olmsted
- #75 Travis Webb
- #77 Jed Bradley
- #78 Taylor Jungmann
- BONUS ARTICLE: #91-94 Adam Weisenberger, Hunter Morris, Kentrail Davis, Rafael Neda
The Brewers had 12 total participants on six teams in this year’s World Baseball Classic, down from the projected 15 on eight teams just before the tournament started.
As the second half of the tournament moves into its double-elimination second round, three teams containing players from the Brewers organization have now been eliminated. As a result, the seven players on those three teams will be returning to Brewers camp, if they haven’t already.
Mike Walker, who rejoined the Brewers earlier this week, led Team Australia in hitting, going 5-for-11 (.455), but didn’t score nor did he drive a run in. Australia had a thin lineup overall and was simply outmatched by the strong teams in their Pool. Australia’s early departure actually allowed Walker to report to Brewers minor league camp right on time and with a worthwhile experience in tow.
Next up to be eliminated with Brewers implications was Team Mexico. They were officially eliminated Saturday night once Team USA defeated Team Italy in Pool play. That set up the winner of Sunday’s Team USA vs Team Canada game joining Team Italy in Florida for the start of Pool 2. Returning to the Brewers already today were starting pitchers Yovani Gallardo and Marco Estrada. They each made one start in the World Baseball Classic.
Gallardo defeated the powerful Americans in his start, despite being limited to just 49 pitches per request of the Milwaukee Brewers. Yo was sharp and stymied the USA bats throughout his 3.1 official innings pitched. Gallardo called the experience of defeating Team USA something he’ll always remember. After there being some doubt about whether he would even pitch in the Classic — after developing some tightness in his groin before joining Team Mexico — that he was able to perform well must feel good.
In quotes to Jose Romero of MLB.com, when Gallardo was asked about the atmosphere and intensity of the WBC he had this to say: “That’s the way baseball should be. The fans locked into the game just as much as the players, rooting for their country. There were a lot of fans of Mexico from all over the place who might have come in for it, and we wanted to have a good game. Show them what they came for.”
Also to Romero, Marco Estrada commented on his WBC experience which was less fortuitous than that of his rotation-mate. Said Estrada, “It was awesome. I got to meet a lot of guys, a lot of people I never knew before. There’s a lot of good players on our team, and just getting a chance to meet some of those guys … I only played with them for a week, but you become friends with a lot of them. That’s the one thing I’m going to take from this, that I got to meet a lot of nice people.”
As for the relatively early hook? “The thing about the Classic is that you get one opportunity to show what you’ve got, and like in my case, it didn’t go so well. So that was it for me,” Estrada said. “The first thing, honestly I felt pretty good. I thought I was locating well. Wasn’t getting a couple of calls and then I started elevating. I think I started trying way too hard and that’s when I got knocked around. Once I got out of that first inning, I settled in and it was fine after that. But it was too late by that time.”
For his part, Roenicke is understandably happy to get his pitchers back to Maryvale. He was talking about getting Gallardo and Estrada back in line for their eventual turns in the Brewers rotation once the regular season begins.
Finally then, we come to the losing team in Sunday afternoon’s Pool D tilt, Team Canada.
The Canadians had the highest number of Brewers players involved (shocking, I know) as four players were participating on their behalf. Pitchers Jim Henderson and John Axford both saw action today, with Henderson bearing the brunt of the late USA rally to assume the lead.
All told, the numbers may end up being forgettable for Henderson and even Axford, but the chance to represent your country simply cannot be quantified in numbers alone.
Someone who will be pleased with the opportunity to represent country along with pretty good results on the field is Brewers infielder Taylor Green who ended up starting at third base in all three games for Canada after Brett Lawrie was injured. Green ended up at .286 after an 0-for-5 final game, but he hit very well in the two other games, going 4-for-9 between the two. It was a rough finish, sure, with the goose egg at the dish and a couple of defensive miscues (neither of which were really his fault), but overall the experience should be viewed positively. Now Green returns to camp in a battle to win the starting first baseman’s job entering the 2013 regular season.
As for Rene Tosoni, he never got an official at-bat, though his one plate appearance was certainly memorable as it was his being plunked by Mexico that incited the brawl which will be replayed for years to come.
So for the Brewers now back at Maryvale Baseball Park, the experience was a good one despite a lack of overall team success. Kudos to them for participating, for wanting to participate. Kudos to the Brewers organization for understanding what it means to represent country and countrymen and allowing them all the opportunity to make their own decisions regarding the tournament.
There will be five Brewers players whose teams play in the second round. Ryan Braun and Jonathan Lucroy are with Team USA of course. Martin Maldonado and Hiram Burgos will move on with Team Puerto Rico. And with Team Netherlands, infielder Hainley Statia has only gotten two ABs coming into today, but his team has enjoyed some success advancing into the second round and having an opportunity to advance again to the Semifinal Round in San Francisco if they can beat Team Cuba, something they’ve already done once in this year’s tournament.
Brewers participants and their teams were in action again all over the World Baseball Classic tournament on Saturday.
Here is a recap of the performances by those who saw action Saturday:
Green had a great day at the plate for Canada on Saturday. Starting at 3B and once again hitting second, Green finished the day 3-for-4 with a walk and three runs scored. That included two head-to-head match ups against Marco Estrada. Green singled in the first inning and grounded back to Estrada in the third. Green’s other two base hits and his walk all came against left-handed pitching.
Green also had one outstanding defensive pick at third when a ball short-hopped him on a ground ball. Otherwise, solid play in the field again from Green. Team Canada is missing nothing defensively with Brett Lawrie out. In fact, they’re probably better off.
John Axford – Canada - @JohnAxford
Axford worked the ninth inning for the Canadian contingent, shutting the door on Team Mexico and helping to keep his team alive in WBC for at least another night. That work came after the fireworks on the field which were ignited when Brewers farmhand Rene Tosoni was hit by a pitch late in the game. More on this in Tosoni’s section.
Axford’s line: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 K, 0.00 ERA.
Rene Tosoni – Canada – @Tosoni08
Tosoni entered the game late as a pinch-runner and was stranded right away. He stayed in the game defensively in left field and would come to the plate again before the day was done. Tosoni was the target of some anger by Team Mexico. Already up pretty big late in the game, Canadian catcher Chris Robinson bunted for a base hit. This breaks an unwritten rule in regular baseball, but in the WBC one of the tie-breakers is based on run differential. After Canada was mercy ruled by Italy earlier in the tournament, Canada realized that they needed every run they could get. Tosoni was up next, got hit, and took offense to it. The catcher for Mexico kind of suggested physically that Tosoni should just go to first base and when Tosoni pushed back the benches cleared and a handful of individual skirmishes broke out. Luckily no Brewers were hurt and even though Tosoni’s plunking incited the brawl (where actual punches were thrown by more than one player) and Tosoni was ejected, none of the Brewers on either team did anything over the top.
Martin Maldonado – Puerto Rico - @Machete1224
Maldonado started this ballgame for Puerto Rico at first base, hitting seventh. Defensively, his night was uneventful. At the plate, Maldonado got two plate appearances before being pinch-hit for. In his first AB against Carlos Zambrano and Team Venezuela, Maldonado struck out. His second trip to the plate was against a relief pitcher and he worked a walked. Maldy would come around to score after being bunted to second base. He was driven home on a single by Angel Pagan.
Puerto Rico would defeat Venezuela and advance to the second round of the tournament with play in Florida. Also already moving to that Pool for sure are the Dominican Republic and Italy. Hiram Burgos will be eligible to pitch for Puerto Rico again in Florida.
Started in left field and hit third in the batting order once again. Braun came up in the first inning with Jimmy Rollins and Brandon Phillips on base ahead of him but grounded into a double play. Braun led off the fourth inning with a single to left field. He then scored from first base on cleanup hitter Joe Mauer’s double to the wall. It was Team USA’s first run of the night and at the time cut the deficit in half.
Braun came up in the 5th inning with runners on first and third and only one out. He hammered a ball that just pulled foul past the left field foul pole, and then struck out a couple of pitches later. Braun singled in his fourth at-bat and flew out in his final plate appearance of the day. He finished 2-for-5 with 1 R scored.
Jonathan Lucroy – USA - @JLucroy20
Lucroy started the game on Saturday night for Team USA behind the plate and was ninth in the batting order for Joe Torre. In the bottom of the first inning, starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong threw a wild pitch past Lucroy which led to Italy’s first run of the night.
Lucroy’s first trip to the plate was a simple fly ball out to the center fielder. He would single past a diving shortstop in his second AB and eventually score on a David Wright grand slam. His third AB was a fly out to deep center and he finished his night with a walk. All told, Lucroy was 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.
Estrada started the game for Team Mexico a day after his Brewers teammate Yovani Gallardo effectively shut down Team USA over 3+ innings. Estrada was not as sharp out of the gate and he surrendered four runs in his first inning of work. He faced Brewers teammate Taylor Green twice, allowing a first inning single and a inducing a groundball comebacker to himself.
After the first inning, Estrada pitched well. He only allowed two more hits the rest of his day which ended after three innings and at 53 pitches thrown.
Estrada’s final line: 3.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R (all earned), 2 K, 0 BB, 12.00 ERA
Teams containing 10 of the 12 players which the Milwaukee Brewers have loaned out to team across the Pools for the World Baseball Classic were in action Friday. (The Netherlands, with Hainley Statia, didn’t play today. Mike Walker’s Team Australia has already been eliminated from the tournament.)
Here is a recap of the performances by those who saw action:
Thrust into the starting third baseman role following an injury to Toronto’s Brett Lawrie, Green hit second in the lineup today against Team Italy. Green was 1-for-4 on the day with a double in the 5th inning off of Chris Cooper. Unfortunately, rare was the occasion where Green had someone on base in front of him.
Green is the starting 3B for Team Canada for as long as they remain in the tournament though so he’ll have a few more chances to make good.
Jim Henderson – Canada – @JimHenderson29
“Jimmy” Henderson, as he is known on the Canadian circuit, ended up throwing in this game which was wound up as a Mercy Rule blowout for Team Italy. Henderson came on with two outs in the 7th inning, inheriting a base runner in Drew Butera who had just doubled home two runs. Henderson retired his first hitter and came back out for the 8th inning as well. He gave up consecutive hits to open the 8th though and was lifted for another reliever, R.J. Swindle, who would go on to allow Henderson’s second baserunner to score. Swindle wouldn’t record an out at all, in fact, as he allowed enough runs for the Mercy Rule to be invoked.
Henderson’s final line for the day was an ugly one: 0.1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 0 K, 54.00 ERA.
Hiram Burgos – Puerto Rico – @Burgos196
Burgos came on in relief to begin the fifth inning at his team’s home field, Hiram Bithorn Stadium in Puerto Rico. Over 4.2 scoreless innings pitches, Burgos allowed only four hits but zero runs. He struck out three, and walked the final hitter of his evening. It was at that point he had reached 64 pitches and while he could have legally started the next batter, he was lifted in favor of a left-handed reliever who recorded the final out of the game via strikeout looking. Puerto Rico moved to 1-0 in Pool C play.
Having thrown 64 pitches tonight, Burgos is not allowed to pitch again until he’s had four days off.
Officially: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 K, 1 BB, 0.00 ERA, 64 pitches
Martin Maldonado – Puerto Rico – @Machete1224
The backup catcher for Puerto Rico, Maldonado was used in this game as a pinch-hitter in the 8th inning. Following a Yadier Molina steal of third base (yes, you read that correctly), Maldonado had a man on third with only one out but struck out swinging on a high fastball. Officially, Maldonado remained in the game as the Designated Hitter, but his turn in the batting order did not come back around.
Started in left field and hit third in the batting order for Joe Torre and Team USA. In his first inning match up against Brewers teammate Yovani Gallardo, Braun drove one deep to the right-center gap but it was hauled in on the run for an out. Braun then worked a walk in the fourth inning, still against Gallardo. He reached third on an RBI single by David Wright but was stranded there. In the sixth inning Braun was struck out looking. And in his final plate appearance of the game in the bottom of the 8th inning, Braun finally broke through in the hit column, reaching base for the second time. He dropped a hit in the Bermuda Triangle between the second baseman and center- and right-fielders. He would come around to score Team USA’s second run of the game on a single by Eric Hosmer.
Defensively, Braun had a diving play coming in on a ball that short-hopped him but he was able to keep it in front of him in the 3rd inning. Other than that? A couple of routine put outs including fly balls in the 4th and 5th, and a running basket catch in the 8th to keep the deficit at three, at the time.
Jonathan Lucroy – USA – @JLucroy20
As one of three catchers on the Team USA roster, Lucroy didn’t start this game in part because the Toronto Blue Jays wanted their catcher, J.P. Arencibia, to catch their new starting pitcher, reigning National League Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey.
Lucroy would get into the game defensively in the 8th inning after starting catcher J.P. Arencibia was pinch-hit for in the bottom of the 7th inning. Lucroy’s first turn at the dish came in the bottom of the 9th with the USA down to their final two outs, trailing by three. Lucroy fell behind 0-2 to Mexico (and San Francisco Giants) closer Sergio Romo before harmlessly grounding out to short.
The Brewers resident staff ace started Team Mexico’s second Pool D game following their loss to Italy yesterday. Gallardo squared off against Brewers teammate Ryan Braun and the United States’ potent lineup. Gallardo started off the game with a 1-2-3 first inning including a strikeout of Jimmy Rollins. He was greeted in the second inning by a Joe Mauer single back up the middle but got out of the inning on just seven pitches after a GIDP and a fly ball out. Gallardo’s third inning included a strikeout of Giancarlo Stanton, a ground out by Adam Jones, and a strikeout of J.P. Arencibia. 16 pitches, three outs, and back to the dugout.
Through three, Gallardo had thrown 37 pitches. Gallardo was limited to 50 pitches tonight by request of the Milwaukee Brewers. He had missed some work prior to joining Team Mexico and coupled with recently overcome groin tightness, he wasn’t stretched out enough to go a full WBC-allowed 65.
Gallardo’s fourth inning began by allowing a single to Rollins. He struck out Phillips but then walked Braun, bringing him up to 49 pitches thrown and to the end of his evening. The relief pitcher, Luis Mendoza, allowed one of the inherited runners to score, which makes Gallardo’s line look worse than he actually pitched.
Gallardo’s final line: 3.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 4 K, 1 BB, 2.70 ERA, 49 pitches. He was credited with the Win in the Friday night victory over USA as well.