Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Series Wrap-up: Brewers-Tigers 6/19-6/21

(I know this is a couple of days late but Blogger wouldn't let me publish anything over the past couple of days.)

I've always liked the Milwaukee Brewers., and it's still weird to think of them as a National League team even though this is their ninth year in the senior circuit. I've always liked their logo and team colors, as a kid I collected somewhere between 10,000 to 15,000 Gary Sheffield Donruss Rated Rookie Cards, ( I have an equal number of Griffey's from that year along with Steve Searcy (?), I hope someone lost their job for the Searcy pick). I also like that the Brewers were moved from the AL Central to the NL Central in 1998 to make room for the Tigers who got pushed out of the AL East by the expansion Devil-Rays, not that it made much difference because the Tigers continued to finish in last place every year, but at least they didnt have to get beat by the Yankees and Red Sox 19 times a season. Also Tigers and Brewers fans can relate because the two teams went through 13 consecutive non-winning seasons, suffered through independent Phil Garner eras, and both teams are currently on the rise. That being said the Tigers opened a three game series against the Brewers in Milwaukee looking to continue their recent hot streak.

Monday night our need for a left handed bat was exposed again, (I know we need a left handed bat, but what we DON'T need is Aubrey Huff or Jeremy Burnitz, please god don't let that happen), as Doug Davis ate the Tigers lineup alive with 9 k's and three hits through 7 innings. Jeremy Bonderman was equally impressive with 12 k's for the second straight start and no runs until Prince Fielder, Cecil's son, former fat kid from the McDonald's commercials, current fat kid first baseman crushed a solo shot in the bottom of the seventh. However the Tigers responded showcasing their power hitting in the eighth inning by reaching base on two bunt singles accompanied by throwing errors. Magglio then doubled in a couple of runs to make it 3-1, before Todd Jones came in and got an amazingly stress free save.

The second game was over before it even started as Rick Helling, easily the most successful major league pitcher in the history of North Dakota took the mound. I'm amazed at how washed up guys continually get chances in the majors based on one or two successful seasons that happened over a decade ago. Really, Rick Helling is the best pitcher you have to throw out there (see also, Jose Lima, Brian Moehler, Aaron Sele, etc). What was Plan B? James Baldwin, Tommy Greene? Roger Pavlik? Anyways Helling got crushed to the tune of 7 runs over 2 1/3 innings and by the time the 4th inning was over it was 10-0 Detroit, thanks to two Magglio homeruns, his first in what seemed to be ages, as well as the triumphant return of Craig Monroe. Had this been the original R.B.I. Baseball the game would've ended in a mercy, however they continued and Zach Miner pitched masterfully. It looks as though he will be the key to the Farnsworth deal last summer and not Roman Colon, much like Robertson became the best pitcher from the Redman deal and not devil incarnate Gary Knotts.

The third and final game of the series wasn't on so I didnt get a chance to watch any of it obviously. However it did feature Chris Capuano as the starter for the Brewers and who was also pitching for my fantasy team. I actually thought about sitting him because the Tigers had been playing so well but decided against it. This was a reversal from three years ago, when I would pick guys up off the waiver wire to throw into my lineup when they were playing the Tigers because they were almost always assured a victory. Regardless Capuano and Robertson both pitched well and the game was decided on a Rickie Weeks homerun of Joel Zumaya, which won it 4-3.

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