Monday, June 30, 2008

Open Thread of Past My Bedtime

Seriously, 9:40 start? Screw you Arizona. Just because you have the greatest independent rock band of all time does not mean you can keep me up til 1 am on a Monday. I'm an old man, this is way past my bedtime.

Lineup is the righty version, lets see if they can do better than the powerhouse AL version mustered yesterday.

2B Rickie Weeks
SS J.J. Hardy
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
RF Corey Hart
3B Bill Hall
CF Mike Cameron
C Jason Kendall
RHP Dave Bush

Doug Davis is on the mound for the DB's (interpret that abbreviation any way you'd like) and I hope he gets absolutely rocked. Sentimentality and empathy are for the weak.

The Halfway Stats

The following are the stats for the NL Central Contenders halfway through the season. Milwaukee has been hovering around the .500 mark for the Pythagorean Run Factor for most of the year. Again, it's troubling that the Cubs are actually playing so well and the stats prove it out that they may be the BRIBB, at least for now. I included the Arizona stats as the Crew starts a four game series in the Valley of the Sun tonight. BTW, if any of you guys know how to get graphs from Excel into Blogger, let me know and I'll post them up for the stats up to this point.

27-Jun-08 Cubs Cards Brewers Arizona
Games 82 83 81 82
Runs For 443 388 364 366
Runs Against 349 360 366 359
Run Differential 94.00 28.00 (2.00) 7.00
Runs Scored Per Game 5.40 4.67 4.49 4.46
Runs Allowed Per Game 4.26 4.34 4.52 4.38
Runs/Game Differential 1.15 0.34 (0.02) 0.09
Pythagorean Run Factor 0.6170 0.5374 0.4973 0.5097
Actual Wins as of Date 49 47 44 41
Actual Losses as of Date 33 36 37 41
Projected Wins as of Date 50.60 44.60 40.28 41.79
Projected Losses as of Date 31.40 38.40 40.72 40.21
Differential Wins (1.60) 2.40 3.72 (0.79)
Predicted Wins for Season 99.96 87.06 80.56 82.56
Predicted Losses for Season 62.04 74.94 81.44 79.44
Team ERA 3.88 4.08 4.10 3.90
Team WHIP 1.32 1.39 1.37 1.27

Bring out your Dead(arms) Gagne returns to the pen

Gagne back in pen Mark DiFelice who I thought had pitched pretty well since his call up was sent back to Nashville.

Gagne back on the 25 man Roster.

To Quote Obi Wan Kanobi "I sense a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced"

yes it is that bad


Even Ben Sheets has an off day

I was actually glad he picked one of the days when the Offense was already on the Charter plane waiting to go to Arizona. It would have been a shame to waste a good Sheets performance on a day when the Bats were silent. Face it the Twins did to the Brewers what Manny Parra did to them on Saturday. That is why the loss on Friday still pisses me off. But we are free of the evil and very lucky Twinkies(Brewers should have taken 4 of 6 this season)

But they are still .500 for the road trip going into a 4 game trip with the slumping Diamondbacks. Plus look at the bright side they went 1-2 over the weekend and still gained a game on the soon to no longer be The Best Team in Baseball As Per ESPN and ESK. Now that is a feat isn't it. Right now I would be very content to split the 4 games in the desert and come home with a .500 road trip.

Ok inter league play is over good back to playing real baseball. I am really looking forward to this trip to the desert, the Brewers have played AZ very well over the last couple of years. The Snakes are scuffling right now they have been for the whole month of June. If there was ever a 4 game series on the road where the Crew could go in and win 3 of 4 this is it. You have to kick teams when they are down.

Tonight's game info
Bush vs. Davis down at the park formerly known as the Bob.

First pitch in the desert is at 8:40pm CDT


Lets hope the Dry Heat of the Southwest and spicy vegan food can fire up Prince's swing. It is amazing they are at .500(for the road trip) with the funk the Big Mans Bat is in.

I am looking for the Crew to have a really good series a bunch of the guys live out there they get to sleep in their own beds and see their families.

Lets get it done.

Hurray Beer

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Open Thread of No Changes

I love when Sheets pitches. It's something I look forward to the entire time between starts. You just always figure the Crew will be competitive. They run the same lineup out there (Hall and all) to try and win another road series. A quick peak at the scoreboard tells me the Cubs have a bit of a rough match up as Marshall takes on Buehrle. Gotta win series, and when given the opportunity on the road to do so, taking the rubber match is imperative.

2B Rickie Weeks
SS JJ Hardy
LF Ryan Braun
DH Prince Fiedler
RF Corey Hart
1B Russell Branyan
3B Bill Hall
CF Mike Cameron
C Jason Kendall

Considering Branyan played a full game since the last time he went yard, I'd say he is due. I would love to see Hall/Branyan go back to back.

Hmmm That Parra kid might have a future with the Brewers Organization

Nice game last night to pull the Crew with in 4.5 of The Best Team in Baseball As Per ESPN/ESK. Hell Baseball tonight even mentioned them last night lol.

Parra does his job holding the Twins to 0 runs on 2 hits over 7 innings and the Bats backed him up with 5 runs by the end of third inning. It has to be easier to pitch when you have the lead. They gave themselves a chance to take the series today and that is all you can ask for on the road.

I have to give Ned a little credit with his line up yesterday playing Hall against Hernandez based on past history. It worked with Hall coming through with a big 2 run double with the base loaded in the 3rd. It would be great for Hall to get hot again because that only makes the 3rd base platoon that much stronger and allows Ned to make moves like yesterday when he had Hall and Branyan in the same line up.

Man is Prince Snake bit what does he have to do to get a hit? Second night in a row he was robbed of a hit by a great infield play. Give Hernandez credit he is on the Maddux level when it comes to fielding his position. Prince kept battling and did work a walk off of Hernandez not an easy task and scored along with Hart on Hall's double. A great sign when Prince can have this kind of road trip and they are 3-2 with one series win in the bag already. He will heat up we know that and when he does it will be scary to be a Brewers opponent.

Cory Hart is starting to show up on the National radar as he should be if you went by what he is doing he should be in the AS game this year along with Braun. We are blessed with some very good young corner outfielders.

Hart has to be the next guy they lock up long term face it Prince and Sheets are not going to sign deals right now But I would love to see them lock Hart up through his first or second year of Free Agency.

It is starting to get crowded at the top of the NL Central(The best division in the NL) TBTIBAPESPN/ESK is not getting the "clutch" hits to drop and the Cards and your beloved Brewers are reeling them in like a worn out Marlin. I still think that TBTIBAPESPN/ESK will not be in first place by the All-Star Break they have a head to head with the Cards before the AS in St Louis but then the schedule makers gave them another break the end the first half playing the Reds and Giants at home.

But lets not look too far ahead right, today's game info

Sheets vs. Slowery at the place with the white roof



Well this is all you can ask for a rubber match game in a road series with Ben Sheets on the mound I like our chances it would be nice to get out of town with a 4-2 record going into 4 in AZ.

I will be interested to see what Ned's Sunday Get Away Day line up is like look for Counsell Rivera Kapler to be in the line up when it is announced.

Win this one while rooting for the Royals and White Soxs plus if we win today and the Sox pull off the sweep we will be with in 3.5 of TBTIBAPESPN/ESK.

Lets get the Series today

Hurray Beer

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Everyone is at Summerfest Open Thread

Ok time to erase the bitter memory of yesterdays wasted 4 home run effort.

As I write this the Cubs are losing 5-6 on the Southside in the 7th

Branyan at first Hall at third Prince DH I guess Hall is 3 out of 10 verse Hernandez

Parra has to keep the ball down and get us the win the Offense picked him up last time out time to return the favor

Hurray Beer

A wasted days and wasted nights

Damn that one hurt how can you hit 4 home runs in a game and lose but right now this Twinkie team is riding a wave of good luck and timely hitting. Normally 6 runs for McClung is a sure win but he finally had a bad start.

The Bats went dead after they pulled their starter too. Also hard to win when one of your big guns is still 0 for the road trip though he was robbed of a single and a rbi last night by a great play. And then their is the Mota Effect now there seem to be no good innings in between his bad innings.

So now the road trip record is at .500 time to wake up and start winning again this Twins team is not this good the Crew could still easily take this series with Parra and Sheets going the next two nights.

Only good new from yesterday both the Cubs and Cards lost so while we missed our chance to gain ground we did not lose any ground.

While this loss sucked it is over and already in the past on to today's game.

Parra vs. Hernandez at that abomination of a ball park in Minneapolis.

First pitch 6:10pm CDT


Crew has to put a stop to this Twinkie winning streak and do it now want some more good news Eric Gagne is going to throw a bullpen session and if he looks like he has a pulse they will activate him from the DL great just fucking great and guess when Ned said he plans on using him.

"I'm going to keep Torres as the stopper," Yost said. "[Gagne will] pitch in the seventh, eighth innings. [If] Torres needs a break, he'll get a chance to close."

But if Gagne or Mota pitch the 8th there will be no need for Torres to pitch the 9th we will not have the lead again.

Well the bats will just have to get a lead big enough that it is Mota/Gagne proof.

Two Steps Forward One Step back Brewers Baseball in a nutshell.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Time to treat them like a stale Twinkie Open Thread.

As I write this the White Soxs are 5 outs away from taking the first game of their series with the Best Team In Baseball As Per ESPN so a chance to move within 4.5 of TBTIBAPESPN/ESK with a win in Minneapolis plus a chance to catch the Cards if they lost tonight in KC.

I cannot find the line up yet so you might have to look it up yourself ;)

Lets keep this great road trip

Hurray Beer

Cubs already losing big on the South Side

Dempster just gave up a grand slam and the White Soxs are up 8-0 in the third and still batting

Nice start to the weekend.


Friday Afternoon Video for you guys about to end the work week

Rush live Working Man

I will let you in on a little secret Getty Lee is not that great of a singer live ;)

Happy end of the week


Brewers vs. Twins Stats

As the head bartender noted, The Crew will be facing a red-hot Twins team in the Metrodump.

Some stats for you going into tonight's game.

27-Jun-08 Brewers Twins
Games 78 79
Runs For 353 381
Runs Against 353 374
Run Differential 0.00 7.00
Runs Scored Per Game 4.53 4.82
Runs Allowed Per Game 4.53 4.73
Runs/Game Differential 0.00 0.09
Pythagorean Run Factor 0.5000 0.5093
Actual Wins as of Date 43 43
Actual Losses as of Date 35 36
Projected Wins as of Date 39.00 40.23
Projected Losses as of Date 39.00 38.77
Differential Wins 4.00 2.77
Predicted Wins for Season 81.00 82.50
Predicted Losses for Season 81.00 79.50

If you have MLB.TV you have to go watch this

If you are an MLB.TV subscriber you have to go watch the Third inning through Sixth inning of the The Best Team in Baseball as per ESPN vs. Baltimore game from yesterday.

Watch the TBTIBAPESPN give up 5 runs in the third after getting 2 outs. Baltimore scored 11 runs in that 4 innings on their way to thumping the TBTIBAPESPN 11-4 and taking the series 2 games to 1.

Baltimore becomes only the second team to beat the TBTIBAPESPN in a series at home joining our beloved Brewers who have won 2 series at the Dump.

So a way till kill some time till 3pm when the White Sox vs. TBTIBAPESPN starts.

Hurray Beer

Bucks Draft and Trade Post Op Open Thread

Yi was a one year mistake and is gone The Bucks add a kid from the Big East so where are you at Bucks fans are they done with moves or is this just the start of the Bucks off season whirlwind?

Are you happy, pissed or as the Brazilians say Mas y Menos which translates to So So?

I as a casual observer/Bucks fan would love to see Michael Redd shipped off to say Cleveland to be Labron's Scotty Pippen but to be honest I am pretty much in the dark when it comes to the NBA so what would like to see done with the Bucks from here on.

I know Tron did not seem to happy with what is going on I know he is a huge NBA guy

So what say yea you Bucks fans where are we at.

Lets make this the WSB Bucks forum for today.

I have no clue what I am talking about when it comes to the NBA Chris

Gaining ground while going to the mall

The Brewers had the day off in Minneapolis so while they were cruising the Mall of American scene they were gaining ground on both the Cards and the Best Team in Baseball as per ESPN. Both teams lost yesterday so the Brewers were able to buy their kids legos from Legoland and gain a half of game.

They are now one game back of the Cards even in the loss column. But to take two out of three in the Humpty Dumpty Dome(everyone do the Humpty)

They will have to bring their A game Minnesota is riding a 9 game winnings streak and destroying National League teams.(playing San Diego can do that for you)

But the Brewers are throwing McClung at them in the first game so I like our chances plus the Twins are due for a meltdown or at the very least a loss or 3 and we are just the team to do it to them. Come on this is rivalry weekend MLB said so.

It could be a great weekend if the Brewers can stick to the 2 of 3 plan both the Cubs and Cards have to play real rivals in the rivals home ball park. The Best Team in Baseball as per ESPN has to go to the Southside to face a White Sox team that will be looking for pay back after being swept in The Dump. The Cards have to travel across state to Kansas to face the on fire against the NL Royals who swept the Cards last weekend in St Louis.

The Brewers know they can play with the Twins they were 3 to 4 inches from taking 2 of 3 in Miller Park so I like our chances. Plus this is the last stupid inter league series we have to put up with this year I believe. I like the pitching match ups we have McClung Parra and Sheets going this weekend I like our chances.

So on to tonight's game.
McClung vs. Blackburn at the Humpty Dumpty Dome

First pitch is 7:10pm CDT


The Brewers face a pitcher they have never seen before in Blackburn which makes me nervous but I have faith McClung has been lights out in his last couple of starts he has not allowed more than 2 runs in his last 4 starts. So if the Crew can give him some run support things should be fine and dandy.

The Crew should be tan rested and ready to take command of the Wild Card race this weekend.

Hurray Beer

Football Outsiders Like Aaron Rodgers

and as we all know, so do I. Here is what they have to say:

Rodgers’ primary attribute is his ability to fit into the offense
around him. He can read progressions well and quickly, which is crucial
when a quarterback is making all those short throws. In 2007,
Cleveland’s Anderson was the beneficiary of an improved pass-blocking
line as a first-time starter, but he was also adept at getting rid of
the ball quickly and productively. That’s a skill in and of itself —
the guys who really can move the ball with short throws are an
evolutionary step up from the “chuck-and-duckers” who wash out in the
NFL after exploiting college defenses. Rodgers’ success could be very
much like Anderson’s, because the system is in place.

The Packers are in good hands with their new starting quarterback.
Rodgers will have his struggles, and there will be much gnashing of
teeth and rending of garments when that happens and No. 4 isn’t there
to bail the Pack out. Still, it’s important to remember that in the
Cowboys game, the offense played better with Rodgers than they did with
Favre, because Favre was having one of his “Hero Days,” when you never
knew what you were going to get. Rodgers was able to implement a game
plan, and do it well, under a lot of pressure. Add his sample-size DVOA to the equation (the best for passers with 10 to 99 attempts in 2007), and the (spoiler alert!) positive projections given to him by KUBIAK and Pro Football Prospectus 2008,
and it’s pretty clear that fans of the team that has belonged to Brett
Favre since the early 1990s will still have reason to cheer in 2008 and

It's an overwhelmingly positive look at Rodgers and a complete break down of his game against Dallas. Check out the whole thing, it's worth a read.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ok, It's Starting to Get a Bit More Serious

Jayson's Stark's latest Rumblings & Grumblings had this little nugget tucked into it:
Something brewing: Here at World Rumblings Headquarters, we're hearing the same noises that our buddy Buster Olney has been hearing -- that the Brewers loom as one of the most serious potential bidders on Sabathia, even if he's just a rent-a-starter. The Brewers have a deep system. And principal owner Mark Attanasio has made it clear to his baseball operation that it's time to go for it. So if Sabathia winds up somewhere other than Milwaukee, said one baseball man who has spoken with GM Doug Melvin, "it won't be because they're afraid to give up their prospects."
I'm a little surprised that they are looking at acquiring a front line starter like Sabathia. Next year I would have definitely seen them doing something big like this but I kinda thought that they would look to make just a small deal or two this year or stand pat all together. I wonder who Melvin is willing to give up for him. Melvin seems like a if you put the right deal together, no one is untouchable kinda guy so I guess it could be anyone.

We'll have to wait and see if anything does come of this but it looks as though the Crew are serious players in this thing.

Yi for Jefferson

According to ESPN this is all but a done deal. The Bucks ship Bobby Simmons and Yi to the Nets for small forward Richard Jefferson. There may be more trade shenanigans in the works tonight as this is expected to be a very volatile draft.

I have no opinion yet, except to say that Jefferson is an excellent player.

(H/T to both Joe H and B-town Rob)

RE: NBA Draft

The Bucks will get whoever David Stern wants them to get.



While a Sweep would have been nice.......

I will take 2 out every 3 games in a series the rest of season. Soup pitched better but 2 runs will usually not be enough when Soup is taking the mound.

While we gave a game back to the Best Team in Baseball as per ESPN but the Tigers helped us out by keeping us with in a game and a half of the Cards.

Remember while catching the Best Team in Baseball as per ESPN is the long term goal but the near term goal is to run the Cards down.

Now we have an off day so we could actually be within a game of the Cards if the Tigers win again today.

Enjoy the day off but man be ready for Friday the Twins are playing very good baseball right now riding a 8 game winning streak into today's game. Which just means they are ready for a nice losing streak at the hands of the Brewers.

2 of 3 that is all I want the rest of the season.

You know what when they are playing well off days suck lol.

Hurray Beer

NBA Draft Tonight

The NBA Draft is tonight at 6 pm on the East Sports Programming Network and as of right now the Milwaukee Bucks select # 8.

There is some craziness over at RealGM where a rumor is floating around that the Bucks would trade their 8th pick, Desmond Mason, and Charlie Villanueva for Kirk Hinrich of the Bulls. While I like Hinrich I'd rather the Bucks would get rid of Gadzuric in the deal instead of Mason.

There's also other rumors floating around by a guy named "cauley" that the Bucks are sending smoke screens out so they can trade up to get Kevin Love and/or Beasley/Mayo is they both fall. I'd be ecstatic is these rumors came true, but again, have no idea how true they are.

One thing I know for sure is the Bucks will either trade their pick and move up or down or for a veteran player and by the end of the night we'll have our answers :)

So, with the Brewers off day consider this your open thread for the Bucks draft. Unfortunately I'll be gone all day and night so I can't do any immediate updates but I'l give my reactions afterwards.

Here's hoping for Love, Mayo, or Beasley and Hinrich for less than the rumor above.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

When This Guy Sneezes He Looks Like A Party Favor

Jason Giambi:

Clue Haywood:

And there's no way that Jason Giambi would have thrown Willie out at home either.

Open Thread of Who Is That Masked Man?

Did you realize the Brewers actually have a back up catcher? His name is Mike Rivera. He has played well when given the opportunity. He better, since he's about as common as a herpes outbreak.

2B Rickie Weeks
SS Craig Counsell
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
RF Corey Hart
3B Russell Branyan
CF Mike Cameron
C Mike Rivera
RHP Jeff Suppan

I have no complaints with this lineup, except it seems whenever Hardy flashes a bit of power, he finds himself on the bench. Sad.

Game starts in 40 minutes

Gypsies in the Palace last Friday

Quick funny story from last Fridays trip to Miller Park

On the Club level they have a silent auction of baseball pictures out in the concourse

Well I bid on a Yankees one for my oldest son It was Mantel and Maris standing in front of a photo of Babe Ruth and it has a engraving with all of their home run totals it looks great in his room(he is hard core evil empire at the moment) well I won and went back to pay for it and get it wrapped up and boxed to take home. While I was waiting I wondered back out to the seats but on the left field side(my seats are on the right base side) When you first come down the steps on the club level you are actually between the outside seats of two sky boxes so the people in the box are above you looking down on you. While I am standing there leaning against the wall drinking my beer watching the Brewers at bat. When a couple of 20 something in the box to my left start giving me shit typical too much free beer stuff I ignored them for the most part then when the inning ended I looked up at them and said "First time in a sky box I bet" they both looked at me and just shut up I got the last laugh and went back in to get my picture.

Gypsies in the Palace for sure.


And you thought ESPN did not give the Brewers any respect...*

ESPN at least knows that the Brewers exist. Check out this screenshot of CBS Sportsline:

*I'm just plagiarizing my brother on this post. He did all of the work.
** Actually, apparently BrewCrewBall did all fo the work. They're cool, so I wouldn't want to cheat them.

Well good bye Ben Sheets it has been nice to know you

So Ben Sheets has basically said this is his last season with the Milwaukee Brewers because they did not offer him a contract extension after last season.

Nice coming from a guy who has not pitched a full season in what 2 or 3 seasons, Yes Sheets is having the kind of year guys who are Free Agents dream about but you know what I will not shed a tear when he is pitching for the Yankees or sitting on the bench on the DL because he has some bizarro injury.

How much do you want to bet that if Sheets was not such a China Doll he would have been offered a deal last season. But how can you risk that kind of money on a player with Sheets DL track record?

So lets get what we can out of him this season lets get into the playoff and see what happens then we can make him a nice scrap book thank him for his time in Milwaukee and move on. Not being bitter just realizing that Sheets did the Crew a favor by coming out and saying this now it takes the pressure off of the club now.

They can say "See he intends to leave and we cannot stop him" Then go spend the money on other parts of the team. Hell Sheets tender with Brewers has proved having one kick ass pitcher will not win you anything if the team sucks ass. The Brewers will survive Sheets leaving.

So I hope Ben has a monster year wins the NL Cy Young and gets the Crew into the playoffs then goes off and makes himself a oil tanker full of money in the off season he will have earned it. Thanks for you time in Milwaukee and be ready to be booed when you come back

Mentally moving on

Hurray Beer

Who are you and what have you done with Dave Bush?

Two Starts ago Dave Bush got beat like a drum by the Twins now he is channeling Cy Young. Bush has been damn near unhittable over his last 15 innings of work having gave up 2 earned runs and winning both games.

Of course both times he has left the game with a comfortable lead and had to sweat out bull pen implosions to see if he would hold on to his victories.

Man getting this kind of pitching out of the number 5 spot is such a treat.

Well how about this start to the road trip they have already won the first series of the trip with a nice 4-3 win last night. They go for the sweep this afternoon.

They ran their record to 9 game over .500 and picked up another game on the so called "Best Team In Baseball" as per ESPN They also have gotten their road record up to where they are only 3 games under .500 on the road. This year that is pretty damn good. If they go 6-2 the rest of the trip they will actually have a winning road record.

I am starting to get the feeling this could be a special road trip for the Crew we might look back at this point of the season and say this road trip was the launching pad for the Crew.

You have to remember historically the Brewers have sucked ass in Atlanta so jumping out and winning the first two games is a big deal well at least to me.

So on to today's game.

Suppan vs. Campillo at Crazy Ass Rich Guy Field aka Turner Field.

First Pitch 12:00pm CDT


Ok time for Jeff Suppan to have a Dave Bush like turn around, Suppan was terrible in his last start I know I saw it in person it was his worst start as a Brewer(lucky me I got to see a little history lol) So I am looking for him to bounce back and give us a much better effort. Soup strikes me as the type of guy who has been bouncing off the walls waiting for his chance to get back out there and erase the memory of that last bad game.

How nice would it be to head into the off day and the trip to Minneapolis with a sweep.

So go Brewers Tigers and Orioles today

Hurray Beer

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Open Thread of We Missed You So...

The Muscle is back!

2B Rickie Weeks
SS J.J. Hardy
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
RF Corey Hart
3B Russell Branyan
CF Mike Cameron
C Jason Kendall
RHP Dave Bush

I am very very interested to see how Dave Bush responds to his fantastic outing last go round. I'll take 6 good innings Mr. Bush, just give the Crew six.

Brewer Pitchers By VORP

Eric Gagne is back soon. Who should we send down? Here is a list of Brewer pitchers by VORP:

Ben Sheets - 35.2
Solomon Torres - 13.3
Seth McLung - 11.4
Brian Shouse - 9.4
Manny Parra - 9.4
Yovanni Gallardo - 8.7
Jeff Suppan - 6.6
Mitch Stetter - 3.9
Guillermo Moto - 3.5
Mark DiFelice - 1.6
Dave Bush - 1.1
David Riske - 0.8
Zach Jackson - 0.3
Carlos Villanueva - -0.4
Eric Gagne - -2.8

I think we should send down Gagne when Gagne is ready.

Sheets gets the road trip off to a great start

Last night Ben Sheets made getting a hit off of him harder than finding a Pepsi in Atlanta you can find the but it isn't easy. He spread 4 hits and one earned run over a 9 inning complete game. Right now please tell me who should be the starting pitcher in the All Star if it is not Big Ben?

It was a nice start to the road trip giving them the chance to lock the series up tonight with a win. The only thing that was not great last night was the fact that they got a runner to 3rd a couple of time with less than one out and they did not get the run across. That is something they will have to do a better job in the coming games.

Man, Rickie Weeks is just scorching the ball since coming off the DL he hit two balls really hard in his first game back but they were right at outfielders so he got nothing for them. Well he fixed that last night going 3-4 and was on base 4 times he hit a couple of frozen ropes to the gaps. Man think of what it would be like to have a hot Rickie Weeks at the top of the line up.

It was a very light night in baseball last evening so the Crew gained a .5 game on both the Cubs and the Cards who were off. So the Crew is now with in 1.5 of the Cards for the WC lead. The Crew is also at a season high 8 games over .500 getting closer and closer to the short term goal of 10 games over.

Cool side note from yesterdays game it was the Armed Forces game of the day so the Brewers were on around the world on the Armed Forces Network.

On to tonight's game
Bush vs. Morton down at Crazy Rich Guy Field aka Turner Field.

First Pitch 6:00pm CDT


Can David Bush follow his nearly perfect performance possible the best outing of his baseball career with something remotely close to that effort.

It would be nice if they can get him 8 runs in support again. I know Bush is not all that good away from Miller Park so he might need 8 runs of support lol.

The Brewers seem to be finding their way, they have for sure found their home run stroke they seem to be picking up steam as we cruise into the half way mark of the season. Lets just keep on keeping on.

Lets get the Series win tonight

Hurray Beer

Sorry this is so late on summer hours here the boys and I slept in ;) We become the Lost Boys during the summer "Party all Night Sleep All Day Never Get Old Never Die Its fun to be a Vampire" lol

The Crooked NBA

I always believed that the NBA was rigged (which was confirmed in my mind in the 2001 Eastern Conference Finals in which the refs basically handed the series to the Philadelphia 76ers). However, I have always referred to this belief publicly as "my one crackpot theory." Then it was revealed that an NBA ref was in debt to the mob, fixed a bunch of games, and knows about a playoff series that was rigged last year.

I now refer to my theory as "my prescient theory that is obviously true."

Anyway, since the Tim Donaghy story broke last year economists have taken up the task trying to locate anything out of the ordinary about how games are called. The most recent study was done by Kevin Hassett of the American Enterprise Institute. He found that:

Since the 2002 regular season, home teams won a little more than 60 percent of the time. In the playoffs, when a series might be extended by referees favoring the home team, the winning percentage skyrockets.

If the true odds of the home team winning were six in 10, as in the regular season, then the odds of observing 34 home victories in 42 games simply by chance are close to zero.

As may have been evident in the NBA Finals, home teams tend to get more calls. This would affect the outcome because foul calls lead to free throws; what's more, the home team can play more aggressive defense once it's aware that the officials are being kind to them.

He believes that refs intentionally try to extend playoff series. If all home games are won by the home team, the series will go 7 games. But what happens if a visiting team is on the brink of elimination?

Later in the series, a home victory might be necessary for the games to be extended. In that case, the officiating bias might be greater. Sometimes a series might end before seven games if the home team wins. In those cases, the favoritism may be less. In the seventh game, the bias might disappear, as it no longer would serve any purpose. The series will end no matter what.

First let's look at Game 5. In the 2007 and 2008 playoffs, 25 series extended to at least five games. At times when the home team was leading three games to one, and another win meant the end of the series, the visiting team shot 1.1 percentage points better than the home team. When a home-team win doesn't end the series, the home team's field-goal percentage is 5.4 points higher on average than the away team's.

Let's turn to Game 6: In the 2007 and 2008 playoffs, in games where the home team was behind in the series, it was called for 4.1 fewer fouls on average than the away team.

And what about in "Game 7" where no further extension of the series is possible? If the refs are motivated by extending the series to make the NBA more money, you would expect game 7 to see none of the shenanigans listed above. And...

In the seventh game the foul differential drops to just one during the past two years. That's little more than the regular season average.

All the data suggest there have been movements in the number of calls that are consistent with the suspicion that the NBA sought to extend series.

Read the whole thing. Here is more.

Hat tip to Marginal Revolution, where Tyler Cowen points out that:

Note that fouls called on a team are often a measure of how tired that team is or how sloppy it is on defense. So if teams play better with their back to the wall, at home, or if stamina matters more toward the end of the year, these correlations could potentially arise through natural means.

Oh, and don't forget that in addition to being crooked, mob-indentured idiots, NBA refs also appear to be racists.

Ah, the NBA. Where Rigging Games Happens!

Explanation Please

We've had the discussion some in the thread, but I figured today we would try and figure out why Yost brings Hall in late when Branyan starts, but does not do the same when Hall starts?

Yesterday, JoJo started, went 2.1 innings, and Cox went the rest of the game (save one out) with righties. This may be the Water Boy method of keeping the ball away from Branyan. Teams trot out their LOOGY to start the game just to make sure Branyan doesn't start, then promptly go to the real starter after an inning or two. (Not what happened, but it would be awesome).

Seriously though, Branyan gets subbbed out practically every close game late for defensive reasons, never mind that he is a better 3rd basemen than Hall, while the same never happens in reverse.

There are many more right handed bullpen arms than left, so I would think you would want to have your left handed platoon bat (especially since, ya know, he is better defensively) in the game late?

What am I missing?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Pythagorean Runs

I've got some numbers on the Pyth. Runs in a graph form. I'm putting them in the comments sections for easier formatting. Just expand the comments section for a full page.

Here's the raw numbers through the 1st game of the Atlanta series.

Date 23-Jun-08
Games 76
Runs For 347
Runs Against 346
Run Differential 1.00
Runs Scored Per Game 4.57
Runs Allowed Per Game 4.55
Runs/Game Differential 0.01
Pythagorean Run Factor 0.5014
Actual Wins as of Date 42
Actual Losses as of Date 34
Projected Wins as of Date 38.11
Projected Losses as of Date 37.89
Differential Wins 3.89
Predicted Wins for Season 81.23
Predicted Losses for Season 80.77

So the Crew is still on pace for a .500 season and are about 4 games "ahead" of where they should be. I took the 19-5 blowout by the dogass cubs out and gave the dogass cubs a 1-0 win. The stats didn't change that much.

Graphs in the comment section for easier formatting.

EDIT: Couldn't get the graphs in. I'm going to try something else and post it separately if it works. Anyway...raw numbers after the Atlanta game, above.

Open Thread of Cameron Returns

But not in the two spot. See, an old Yost can learn new tricks.

2B Rickie Weeks
SS J.J. Hardy
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
RF Corey Hart
CF Mike Cameron
3B Bill Hall
C Jason Kendall
RHP Ben Sheets

I'm always sad when the Crew faces a lefty. I miss Russell.

Little League All Stars

This time of year your local Little League is concluding regular season play and gearing up for Tournament play. Each league in a district submits at least one team, sometimes two teams, per age group to compete for the District Championship. District Champions proceed to State competition where the winner will proceed to Regionals and finally Nationals and the Little League World Series on ESPN.

South Milwaukee Little League, part of District 6 in Wisconsin, is proud to host the state Senior Softball division this year. Three of my kids are all stars but the eldest could have home field advantage if they survive district play. Oh yeah, the youngest kids didn't make all stars but only becasue she's 2 and a half. Someday though...

anyway, for excellent youth baseball and softball, visit your local league park during tournament play.

Holding the line while on the road.

A home stand that started out 0-2 ends at 6-3 you have to be happy with that and it should have been even better, The Brewers used this great home stand to pull into second in the WC race and are now only 2 games back of the Cards. They have also kept the Cubs with in sight but they are not the goal at the moment the Cards are.

The Brewers are having a great June having gone 12-6 so far while pushing their record to a season high 7 games over .500. Now they just have to keep building on that.

If they just keep winning 2 game out of every 3 game they will finish the year with 99 wins I think 99 will take the WC and most likely the Division. They are starting to hit the long ball consistently and the pitching has been good enough.

Now the hard part they head out to Atlanta to start another fraking 3 city road trip. And as bad as Atlanta is on the road they as good at home with a 27-12 record at home. So the Crew will have to work to get this done. Then on to Minneapolis to try and get their revenge at what should sound like Miller Park West. Then finally 4 games at Arizona. So a 10 game road trip before the final home stand leading into the All- Star Break, if this was home stand I would be calling for 7-3 at the least but I will take 6-4 or even 5-5. Normally I would not accept 5-5 but look at the teams they get on the last home stand Pittsburgh Colorado and Cincinnati so if they return to Milwaukee still 7 game over .500 they can build on that on the home stand.

The key on this road trip in the year of everyone losing on the road is to not lose ground maintain at minimum being 7 game over .500.

So on to tonight's game

Sheets vs. Reyes at the former Olympic Stadium now known as Crazy Ass Rich Guy Field(Turner Field)



A chance to get the road trip off to a good start with Sheets on the mound and a chance to beat on of the teams we are fighting for the WC.

Lets hope they can exercise the demons from last years trip to Hotlanta where Neddy Baseball went nuts and pissed off the whole umpiring crew and most likely cost us the series as Umps took their revenge on the team the whole series. But we are not going to dwell on the past "FORWARD" is the motto of the great state of Wisconsin and we are only going to look forward.

So lets look forward to a Brewers win tonight.

Hurray Beer

The Three True Outcomes

My brother dug out this old BP post by Rany Jazayerli from 2000. I'll give you the first bit and the last bit:

For this week’s article, I’d like to look at the amazing hot streak of Johnny Damon, who is hitting .477 since th-...hey, who let you guys in here? And what’s with the funny-looking helmets? Hey! Put me down! STOP THA...

Do not adjust your computer screen. We are in control now. Do not be alarmed. Do not panic.

But do not ignore us.

My identity is not important. What is important is that, if you ever want to see The Good Doctor again, you will listen to what we have to say.

We are members of the Rob Deer Fan Club. And we are here to tell you that the Revolution has begun. The Revolution that will spread the Gospel of the Three True Outcomes to every man, woman and child on Earth.

What are the Three True Outcomes, you ask? They are:

The Home Run, the weapon with which we fight the evil legions of Little Ball.

The Strikeout, a symbol of our refusal to compromise.

The Base on Balls, which brings balance to our cause.

Together, the Three True Outcomes distill the game to its essence, the battle of pitcher against hitter, free from the distractions of the defense, the distortion of foot speed or the corruption of managerial tactics like the bunt and his wicked brother, the hit-and-run.

And the last part:

But just as the darkest hour is followed by the dawn, so has the deep despair of last season been followed by the true breakthrough for our hero, Russell Branyan. In his first extended opportunity to play in the major leagues, Branyan has answered the call. In 122 at-bats, Prophet Branyan has hit 13 homers, drawn 17 walks and struck out 55 times. His TTO% this season is 61.2%. The greatest single-season TTO percentages of all time (minimum: 100 at-bats) are:

Name Year AB HR BB K TTO%

Russ Branyan 2000 122 13 17 55 61.2%
Dave Nicholson 1960 113 5 20 55 60.2%
Tony Phillips 1996 104 7 11 51 60.0%
Mark McGwire 1998 509 70 162 155 57.8%
Billy Ashley 1996 110 9 21 44 56.5%
Dave Duncan 1967 101 5 4 50 56.2%
Dave Nicholson 1962 173 9 27 76 56.0%
Jack Clark 1987 419 35 136 139 55.9%
Dave Nicholson 1964 294 13 52 126 55.2%
Rob Deer 1985 162 8 23 71 55.1%

For his career, Branyan has a TTO% of 59.8% in 164 at-bats. No position player is even close; the next-highest career TTO (minimum: 150 at-bats) is 53.4% by Rob Nelson, who as all members of the RDFC know, was the man who started at first base for the Oakland Athletics on Opening Day 1987--ahead of Mark McGwire. Maybe the A’s had a reason to start Nelson after all.

Prophet Branyan has again been exiled to Triple-A Buffalo by an intolerant regime in Cleveland, which is why we have had to take such desperate measures. We will hold Dr. Jazayerli hostage until our demand is met: Russ Branyan must be allowed to practice his beliefs freely. He must be allowed to spread the Gospel of the Three True Outcomes to fans at major-league parks everywhere. He must be granted the privilege of rendering the opposing defense utterly irrelevant more than half the time. We will not rest until this is so.

We leave with a message for all loyal members of the RDFC: a great and glorious new era is upon us. Rejoice! A great man is here to lead us, and a new movement has been born.

The Russ Branyan Fan Club lives!

George Carlin Is Dead

Here's Baseball and Football:

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Good Sunday

Good news item #1 - Brewers win another series. Yes, Mota coughed up another 9th-inning lung, but Yost recognized it before things got out of hand.

Good news item #2 - It probably ripped ESK's heart, but Boston pulled one out against St. Louis, so the Brewers gained a game on them.

Good news item #3 - The official NASCAR driver of the Bar, Matt Kenseth, tied his best road-course finish ever (8th, done twice previously at Watkins Glen), which moved him into 12th in points, 2 ahead of Kevin Harvick.

HOORAY BEER AND POWER TOOLS! Now, if the South Siders would stop giving up runs and start scoring them,....

Open Thread of Weeks Back on Top

2B Rickie Weeks
SS JJ Hardy
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
RF Corey Hart
3B Bill Hall
CF Gabe Kapler
C Jason Kendall
P Manny Parra

Here's hoping the rest did Rickie good and he begins that break out season everyone was talking about this Spring.

Keeping up with the Jones

And the Cubs Cards and Marlins for that matter.

What can you say the biggest pitcher on the Brewers staff comes up big once again. Seth McClung wins his 3rd game in his last 4 starts. Be honest none of you thought McClung would be the shot in the arm the starting line needed when he was inserted into it.

What was also nice was seeing the Crew win a close low scoring game after losing the shoot out on Friday.

They go back to 6 over .500 and lose no ground on the division leading Cubs who are pretty damn good inside that dump they play in and the Cards who are surprisingly handing the Red Soxs an ass whooping. Both the Cards and Cubs are going for sweeps today so there is a good chance both will lose, we all know how hard it is to sweep in this league that means if the Crew can TCB today and win their series they will gain a game on both teams. And looking ahead the Cubs have to leave the Dump and head to the Cell to play a White Soxs team that will most likely be pretty fired up after this series.

Now that they are back above .500 by more than a game or two it is time to get back into win every series mode. we are about to enter the long July through August grind that comes every baseball season, and if they can grind 2 out of every 3 games they will be looking down at the Cards and Cubs by September.

I stayed true to my vow yesterday I did not watch one minute of the game on WMLW and I will not watch a minute the rest of the season I will listen to the radio on the nights they are on that joke of a station.

So is everyone ready to panic? Russell Branyan has not hit a home run in the last two game oh my god he is starting to slump ;) lol

Rickie Weeks returns to the line up today lets see if the time off helped his eye at the plate. To be honest did anyone miss Rickie? Other than the injury to Yo the Brewers seem to be shrugging off every injury they have had someone has stepped up and filled the void. Actually with the way McClung has been pitching they have even picked a lot of the Gallardo slack. And the Gagne injury has made the team so much better I am scared to death that he will come back and mess the team up.

So on to today's game and the drive to 7 games over .500

Parra vs. Olson at baseball will be played under bright blue skies Miller Park.

First pitch is at 1:05pm CDT


It is simple they have to win to win the series and give themselves a 6-3 home stand which could have easily have been 7-2 or 8-1 with a little luck.

Parra has been pitching very well of late and hopefully he will keep it going tonight. The Crew was pretty quiet yesterday at the plate lets hope that with the roof and panels open today the ball is jumping off the Brewers bats. Lets bash out a big lead and let Manny cruise to victory number 6.

And lets root for wins by the White Sox, Red Soxs and Oakland today.

The Brewers have to run the Cubs down just so we can shut up this disgusting never ending rim job that the Four Letter Network is giving the Cubs. Someone anyone has to stop them be it us or the Cards no Cubs in the playoffs I cannot take what ESPN turn a Cubs playoff run into.

So everyone enjoy Brewers baseball today

Hurray Beer

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Open Thread of Holding Firm

The Cubs already won today, so in order to not erase most of the good work done during the week, Seth McClung and the Crew are going to have to win this evening. F'in Cubs.

2B Craig Counsell
SS J.J. Hardy
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
RF Corey Hart
3B Russell Branyan
CF Gabe Kapler
C Jason Kendall
RHP Seth McClung

Same lineup, here's hoping for different results. Game time in twenty minutes or so.

No Soup For You

Wow that is the worst I have seen Jeff Suppan pitch in a while he just did not have his a stuff last night hell he did not have his c stuff last night. He dug a pretty big hole and the Brewers bats could not quite dig their way out of it. You know why those damn retro uniforms they are cursed.

Soup was awful Paul and I kept looking at each other in shock as Soup got belted around he is usually so good at Miller Park

Yes yesterday was boys night out at Miller Park Paul came up from Chicago and Mike from Spring City was there and my buddy Neil that is why Paul and I were not in the OT last night I did not get to talk to Mike all that much since he was on the other end of our little group which was a bummer but all and all it was a very good time.

Before we rip Billy Hall to shreds Braun and Fielder and Branyan and Kappler also all had chances during the game to get the comeback over the top. Oh and do not forget Cory Hart getting picked off of first in the first inning when they had a chance for a big come back inning against Liz who was not all that good either. I really thought they would get it done in the 9th inning but what can you say Hall was the right call since they had brought in a lefty and Kappler was up with the bases loaded and only one out so he still could have gotten it done.

All in all a long hot weird game where we kept saying "they can come back from this and for a little while it looked like we were right then the bats just started to sputter. Shame is a lot night with Soup on the mound 2 home runs and 5 runs would have been enough.

So they lose a game to both the Cards and Cubs but since I was only looking for one game a week I can live with that we are still up 2 game for this week. The key is to now buckle down and win the next two and take the series any chance at a 7-2 home stand is over but 6-3 is still very doable.

Tonight's game info
McClung vs. Caberea at hot and sticky Miller Park

First pitch is at 6:05pm CDT

The TV broadcast is on WMLW so you know what that means I am going to listen to it on the radio screw watching the terrible 1960esk picture of WMLW sister station to the worst CBS station in America Channel 58

So tonight turn off your TV listen to the game on WTMJ AM620 or your local BRN station do not give WMLW the rating show the Brewers that having games on that joke of a channel is a huge mistake.

One last thought about last nights game a couple of Brewers drives were caught just in front of the picnic area fence in right both times all I could think of was the abuse I was going to get here if a Brewers game winning home run was hit into the picnic area lol.

Ok lets win the next two and close out a good home stand

There really is no such thing as a bad trip to the ball park is there?


Switch hitter vs switch pitcher

(H/T - Bugs & Cranks via Ace of Spades HQ)

From a recent Staten Island Yankees vs Brooklyn Cyclones (short-season A-ball New York-Penn League) game...

The fun starts at 0:48.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Bill Hall is the Worst Player on This Team

Unquestionably so.

Open Thread of Keep Rollin'

2B Craig Counsell
SS JJ Hardy
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
RF Corey Hart
3B Russell Branyan
CF Gabe Kapler
C Jason Kendall
P Jeff Suppan

The big guns are back on a Friday night. Lets hope they can get some runs for Soup and keep pace with the Cubs who won on a Ramirez bomb in the ninth.

A Few Stats Before the O's Series

Here's some numbers before the O's series with the pythagorean run factor. Oddly enough, the O's have played 72 games but only have a 37-34 record. Was a game suspended due to weather somewhere? Anyway, here it is:


Brewers Orioles
Games 72 72
Runs For 328 316
Runs Against 332 328
Pythagorean Run Factor 0.4939 0.4814
Predicted Wins 80.02 77.98
Predicted Losses 81.98 84.02
Runs Scored Per Game 4.56 4.39
Runs Allowed Per Game 4.61 4.56
Run Differential (4.00) (12.00)
Runs/Game Differential (0.06) (0.17)

Projected vs. Actual
72 games 72 games
Actual Wins 39 37
Actual Losses 33 34
Projected Wins 35.56 34.66
Projected Losses 36.44 37.34
Differential Wins 3.44 2.34

Up comes the lefty, down goes the righty.

Mitch Stetter has been recalled from Nashville, while Dillard has been sent back down. No doubt Dillard's performance yesterday cost him, he will get another shot eventually though. Mitch gives us another lefty to use for now, hopefully he pitches like he did before he kinda blew up for that stretch.

I wonder if they had pulled out yesterdays game if he would have been fired?

After suffering a sweep at the hands of the might Brewers the Toronto Blue Jays gassed their manager John Gibbions. I wonder if they finish off that spectacular come back yesterday you know the one that fell one run short and by doing so saved countless lives from being taken in Milwaukee.

The loss might have cost Gibbions his job but think of the Greater good John think of all the dogs that did not get kicked in Wisconsin thanks to you guys coming up just a little short(the WSB does not advocate kicking any living thing in anger unless it is wearing Cubs gear if you are that made hit an inanimate object like a door or a wall or if you are really smart a pillow)

Gibbions becomes the third manager to walk the plank this week in major league baseball.

the Jay are going back to the future bringing back former skipper Cito Gaston since Bobbie Cox already has a gig. Former Brewers base coach Nick Leyva will be joining Gaston's staff


NL Central Fact of the Day

Every team in the NL central except the Brewers has lost at least 3 games in a row:

1. Chicago - 3
2. St. Louis - 3
3. Pitt - 3
4. Houston - 8
5. Cinci - 5

The Brewers have a 4-game winning streak.

Hurray for the Rays. aka sometimes baseball brings me so much happiness

As many long term readers of the blog know that while I am a Brewers fanatic I have been quietly following the Tampa Bay Rays since my first trip to Tropicana Field back in 2005. They are my American League team I wear a Rays hat around town when we vacation in Tampa my sons have D-Rays gear they still wear my 5 years old can tell you that number 13 is Carl Crawford. I have been in the Trop when there were 7000 people tops I have been in there last year when they had close to 18,000 so it made me really happy last night to realize that even though the usual Cubs Locus were in the crowd it was a Tampa Bay crowd last night they damn near blew the roof off the Trop when Carl Crawford hit that grand slam to give the Rays the lead and sweep.

It had to be a wonderful series for the Rays fans the Cubs fans were out in force like I said they are like Locus and we all know how polite and friendly Cubs fans can be when visiting the other teams park. So I took a ton of pleasure every time they showed the Cubs fans sitting there watching their best reliever gack up the lead. To know that if it was not for the Kansas City Royals the Best Team in Baseball as ESPN has anointed them would be in second place in the Division.

I really hope the Rays fans are enjoying their first taste of not being the division doormat this is a young franchise they are only 11 or 12 years old they are still raising the first generation of true Rays fans the ones who have never rooted for another team. They have put up with the Yankees and Boston and even some national league teams like the Cubs having "home" games in their park but I really believe those days are over. They have swept Boston at home they have swept the Cubs at home yes I think the Rays are coming of age.

I ask you is there anything more funny to look at than a glum pathetic sad sack Cubs fan when it all falls apart.

Yes baseball has broken my heart a number of times but there are times like this last 3 days where it has given me a lot of joy and just plain good times

Congrats to the Rays for helping the Brewers gain 3 games on the "Best Team in Baseball"

Hey Cubs fans did you think you were going to get to play the Pirates the whole season. I hope the White Soxs wipe their ass with your team this weekend and I hope you enjoy cowering from all the scary South Siders that will be invading your park bwahahahahahahahaha.

Man I love this game

Correction the best the Cards could have done over the last 3 days would have been to pull with in .5 games of the Best Team in Baseball. Oops when I looked last night at the standings the Cubs game was not officially over. My Bad

Keep those write-in votes coming!

And read this Brew Crew Ball post on The Muscle.

A Strange Day of Baseball

The rarest home runs are, of course, grand slams, and inside-the-park home runs. Yesterday there were 3 (that I know of) grand slams and one inside-the-park HR. All involved teams from either Milwaukee or Chicago.

Jermaine Dye hit a grand slam (and another HR) to help the White Sox pound the Pirates for a series sweep.

Carl Crawford helped the Rays sweep the Cubs by hitting one after an uncharacteristically wild performance by Cubs reliever Carlos Marmol loaded the bases on two walks and two hit-batsmen.

Joe Inglett's third career HR was a Grand Slam for the Blue Jays, but it wasn't enough to beat the Brewers who got a 3-run bomb from Russell Branyan and an inside-the-park HR from Prince Fielder.

Strange days.

By the way, Russell Branyan now leads all NL position players in VORPr (that's VORP Rate, minimum 65 PAs):

1. Russell Branyan - .803
2. Lance Berkman - .781
3. Chipper Jones - .736
4. Rafael Furcal - .728
5. Albert Pujols - .656

Objects in Mirror are closer than they appear

That is what the Cubs and Cards are seeing in their rear view mirror. The Brewers have gained 3 games in the last 3 days on both of those clubs.

But before we talk about the future we have to talk about the past. What a bizarro day at the ball park. Going into the 8th inning the game was a laugher and we were thinking possible no hitter. By the middle of the 9th inning the 8 run lead was down to one run and I know a lot of you were reaching for your rosaries. To once again quote Anchorman "That got out of hand in a hurry, yeah it really jumped up a notch"

Way for the bullpen to be a huge giant buzz kill I am going to chalk Riskie's bad outing to rust. Lets never speak of that game again.

So it has been a pretty decent home stand so far, they are now 4-2(they should be 5-1 looking at you Mota) Right now they have a very good chance to have a 6-3 or a 7-2 home stand. Baltimore comes in riding a 3 game winning streak but they were playing Houston. They are like most MLB teams this year terrible on the road so the Brewers could continue to make noise at home.

The Brewers get another break from the schedule maker the Cards are playing Boston and the Cubs have to play the crosstown White Soxs. If things go well the Crew could be leading the Wild Card by Sunday. That is if the Crew Takes Care of Business.

If you want to have fun go over to Bizarro BCB and watch the fans of the Best Team in Baseball(based on record)lose their minds after being swept by the Might Tampa Bay Rays. They are already getting a bit nervous and it is not July. Heavy is the head that wears the crown.

I am attending the game tonight with Paul and two former posters here Mike from the Spring City Chronicles blog and my buddy Neil(dude who owns the comic book store in Oconomowoc still open during the downtown construction) So it should be a fun time at the Ball Park. It is going to be weird I am going to see Baltimore play twice this season since that is the team the Yankees are playing when I am going to Yankee Stadium in July.

So on to tonight's game info.

Suppan vs. Liz at always something exciting happening Miller Park

First pitch 7:05pm CDT


Talk about a Retro Friday the Brewers wearing those ugly throw back uniforms with the stupid old logo playing an American league team, you cannot get much more old school than that can you.

Well I am looking forward to the game tonight now I have to go do my bills so I can see how much money I have bring to the park(Paul can drink beer like a fish lol)

So lets start the road to another series win tonight

Hurray Beer

Thursday, June 19, 2008

It was a good day.

Dave Bush had a solid performance today in the Brewers' win going 8 innings while giving up only 1 run. Carlos Marmol had a horrible performance in the still-in-progress game against the Rays, walking two and hitting two while only facing four. Da Cubs are losing 8-3 in the bottom of the 8th and if they lose the Brewers will have made up 3 games in 3 days. Zambrano is going to miss his start next Tuesday. They still don't know what's wrong with him, he is going to have a different type of MRI done and will be done tomorrow.

And to top it off it wasn't raining today. What a nice day.

Update: The Cards lost today as well and in doing so they got swept by the Royals, the Royals!

Update2: The Cubs lost, we now sit just 5.5 games out of 1st and 2 games back in the Wild Card.

What it must have been like to be Dave Riskie today

Damn that was a close one


Open Thread Of Sweep!!....please?

Your lineup, I was waaaaaaaay off, but it wasn't a guess, it's just what I wanted to see. Here is the real:

2B Craig Counsell
SS J.J. Hardy
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
RF Corey Hart
3B Russell Branyan
CF Gabe Kapler
C Jason Kendall
RHP Dave Bush

Game on in an hour, it'd be nice to see Bush have a game. Think Riske's return and Mota's blowup mean the Bullpen God's have shifted their gaze towards the flavor-savored one and Riske will be seeing the 8th?

Riske In Tavares Gone

Oh well, he plugged the gap well enough I suppose.

WSB Watercooler: Download Edition

Usually I do these link dumps when I have one thing I really like but no real reason to do a full blown post...this is no different.

Download this link, listen to the piece, and enjoy it. Description:
Baseball may be the United States' national sport - but this year,
2008, almost half of all its professional players come from overseas -
and some 40 per cent of them from the Dominican Republic, which shares
the Caribbean island of Hispaniola with Haiti. For Assignment David
Goldblatt visits Haiti to report on what has become a significant
export industry for this country of nine million people.

If you have a 360/PS3, free NCAA09 demo is out today. If you download it let me know, I assume there is at least some multiplayer on the demo. I'll have both versions. I will option you to death.

Packers going after Jason Taylor?

Last night's Brewers post-game audio

Is this a case of working relationship being more important than integrity? I don't think so, but his between the lines begging for Brewer forgiveness is unbecoming.

Celtics, classless as the Patriots?

Mark Rogers, official bust.

I swear to God, I was going to write this exact article last week when I watched Volquez shut down the Red Sox.

Brewers 3 back of the wild card and pitching's a good day.

. Thanks Paul. Consider this the open thread.

So Far So Good

The Brewers played a game of tit for tat last night with the Toronto Blue Jays, it sure seemed that once the Crew got a lead that they scored every time to answer a Jays score.

I am sure Sheets was nervous that the pen was going to blow another game that he had left with a lead but Shouse and Torres picked up Villanueva and Mota who both did not have their best nights last night.

The win gave the Brewers the series win and a chance to go for the sweep this afternoon. They need the sweep if they want to be able to reach the goal of an 6-3 home stand. The rest of the division lost so the Crew made up ground on both the Cubs and the Cards they are now only 6.5 games back of the Cubs for the division and more importantly they have pulled with in 3 games of the Cards for the Wild Card slot. The Cubs also got more bad news with Carlos(Big Zero)Zambrano left yesterdays game in Tampa with shoulder soreness and will be getting an MRI today.

You had to like the way the Crew mixed it up yesterday while they made a couple offering at the Earl Weaver alter one of them another one that Branyan hit with his driver 440+ feet off the center field score board but they also small balled out a couple of runs taking what they were given.

Seriously the thing that impressed me the most was how they answered every run Toronto scored with a run of their own. They never took their foot off the gas look at the line score in the box score every time you see a run for the Jays the next inning you see a run for the Crew. The final Toronto run was the only exception to that last night. The really cool thing is they won a 5-4 game with Braun and Fielder combining to go 0-8 with 4 K's but I am willing to forgive them both Prince has bigger issues on his mind than baseball and Braun's beloved Miami Hurricanes were knocked out of the College World Series so I am sure he was blue ;) but back to my original point the rest of the line up picked up the big guns when they were having an off night.

Now for the hard part winning the final game with Dave Bush on the mound.

Todays Game Info

Bush vs. Burnett at baseball played under blue skies Miller Park

First pitch is at 1:05pm CDT


Its simple if they are going to go 6-3 or better on this home stand they will have to win a game that Dave Bush pitches and that game is this afternoon.

That will be coupled with what every weird wacky day game after a night game line up Neddy Baseball throws out there. Right now they have the Jays down last night might have been their best shot so if they can come out and jump on Toronto early they might pack it in early. The only question is can Bush get back on track after a couple of rocky starts?

We will find out in a few hours.

Lets get a sweep

Hurray Beer

Rob Neyer Thinks the Brewers REALLY Suck

Well, not just the Brewers, but the entire NL Central:
I'm writing this early Thursday morning, with zero information about the severity of Zambrano's injury. But unless Zambrano's out for at least a couple of months, this is not devastating to the Cubs' pennant push. Thanks to a nifty new (color-coded!) feature on our standings page, we find that the Cubs have the best run differential in the National League, and easily the best in their division. Also, I know Rich Hill is still fighting his control at Triple-A, but the guy finished fifth in the NL in strikeouts last year, and I have to think he's going to give the Cubs some good innings this year. And if not Hill, then Sean Marshall may do quite nicely in the rotation. Obviously, the Cubs are better with Zambrano than without him. But when I look at what the Cubs have done this season, and when I look at their competition, and when I look at the options available if they have to replace Zambrano in the rotation, I'm led to conclude that if there's one team in the majors for which the loss of their ace is not devastating, it's the Cubs.

I think that's a bit of a joke. While run differential can be an important indicator, the Cubs have played shitty teams, and often at home. Does it make up the chasm between them and the Brewers, well no, of course not. However, a tougher schedule, more road games, and a lack of Zambrano certainly might.

Zambrano is averaging 6 and 2/3 innings per start. 3 starts with 0 earned runs. 9 starts with three or fewer runs. Rich Hill has started 6 games this year, going deep into em too, averaging 3.84 innings per start. He was much better in 2007 but has been pretty bad in AAA (31/24 k/bb, 1.7 WHIP) this season. Marshall had 20 starts in 2007, going more than 6 innings only 5 times, and those all came in April and June. The rest of the season he wore down quickly.

Marmol has already thrown 43 innings (last year, when he was dominant, he threw a total of 69.3. 2007, throwing more innings (77), he was shit). Wood has hit 38 innings and is fragile as it is. The rest of the bullpen is hit or miss, and I don't believe it can handle the extra innings losing Zambrano would bring.

While I agree that the Cubs can clearly afford to miss a few starts, if it gets into the 4-6 week territory I think Chicago has something to seriously worry about.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Pythagorean Record in the N.L. Central Tweaked

Here's the same spreadsheet I posted here with a tweak...let's take a look. Note...this is not updated after the Sheets start against the Jays.


Milwaukee Cubs St. Louis
Games 70 70 71
Runs For 313 387 334
Runs Against 321 279 310
Pythagorean Run Factor 0.4874 0.6580 0.5372
Predicted Wins 78.96 106.60 87.03
Predicted Losses 83.04 55.40 74.97
Runs Scored Per Game 4.47 5.53 4.70
Runs Allowed Per Game 4.59 3.99 4.37
Runs/Game Differential (0.11) 1.54 0.34

Projected vs. Actual

70 games 70 games 71 games
Actual Wins 37 45 42
Actual Losses 33 26 30
Projected Wins 34.12 46.06 38.14
Projected Losses 35.88 23.94 32.86
Differential Wins 2.88 (1.06) 3.86

The tweak is in the actual games played. I got the "Differential Wins" from a post by Silverwolf.

According to the Pythagarean Formula, the Crew has won three more than they "should" win and the Cards are almost 4 games "ahead". Troubling is the fact that the Cubs should have one more win.

Before you get all stats on me, let me say this. I'm doing this for fun and comparison. If you go all stats on me, I'll unleash my staff, consisting of retired Gurkahs on you.

Anyway, this is fun least to me. Hope it is for you, too.

Toronto vs. Brew Crew Open Thread

Here's the thread for the game.....sorry, no has started.

Early impressions.

Sheets has the Curve aka "The Yellow Hammer" (any of you guys know where that first appeared in the public lexicon? was in a book by a pitcher.)

1-2-3 easy first for Sheets.

Vote For The Muscle!

When you are casting your All-Star votes, you'd better be writing in Russell Branyan, King of the Three True Outcomes. Sure, Chipper should be there, but don't sell Russ short.

He's currently 8th in VORP (remember, VORP is a counting stat and Russ only has 67 PAs) among national league 3rd basemen with 11.4 (or more than a full win). Here's the thing though; while Chipper leads with 50.0 (50!), 2nd is Aramis Ramirez with 20.4. In fact, positions 2-7 are between 11.9 and 20.5. That's a lot of compression. Here are some more interesting numbers:

1. 288
2. 295
3. 325
4. 298
5. 268
6. 286
7. 291
8. 67
9. 153
10. 226

Those are the PA numbers for the top 10 3rd basemen in VORP so far. Russell in somewhere between 1/4 and 1/5 a many PAs has put up more than 50% of the value of all 3rd basemen between 2 (Ramirez) and 7 (Garrett Atkins).

In fact, if you use BP's VORP Rate stat (Runs/game contributed beyond what a replacement level player would produce) the numbers look like this:

1. Chipper Jones - .758
2. Russell Branyan - .728
3. Aramis Ramirez - .309

The difference is huge.

I grant you that Russ is likely benefitting from a small smaple explosion to some extent, and he's certainly benefitting from the platoon which screens out a bunch of bad 0-fer games that he would otherwise have, but his production in this limited time is off-the-charts good, so much so that if he just plays average for the next month he'll probably still be ahead of Ramirez.

If Russell Branyan was a hot young prospect (Ryan Braun, for instance) instead of a 32-year-old take-n-raker, he would certainly be getting All-Star consideration, but that is a pretty arbitrary distinction to make.

When you get cast your 25 All-Star ballots online, please, write in Russell Branyan for third base.

It's the write thing to do.

(Paid for by the committee to get Russell Branyan into the All-Star game, Paul Noona treasurer.)

Also, a H/T both to my brother, and to this thread at, which has turned into a Chuck Norris-style list of Russell Branyan accomplishments.

Ryan Braun is on Rome this very hour.

Those who can listen please report back.

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I'm Gettin' Real Tired of You Duckin' Me Man!

Prince Fielder owes the IRS a lot of money, a lot by our standards anyways. He owes them $409,149 to be exact. Maybe this is why he wanted more money to play this year, so he could pay the man.

Hopefully the IRS doesn't do this to our 1B.

From Crackle: Where's my money

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