Yovani Gallardo gets the call in game 1 of the NLDS. Zack Greinke will take the ball for game 2. It makes a great deal of sense considering the home/road splits. It will be his 2nd start in a row on 3 days rest. Does that remind anyone on Mr. C.C. Sabathia? Shaun Marcum will go in game 3 and Randy Wolf in game for if need be. Taylor Green grabbed the 25th spot on the first round roster beating out Wilson, Maldonado and Dillard.
AL Rookie of the Year- Ivan Nova
Ivan “Super” Nova had a breakout season for the New York Yankees. The 24 year old starter went 16-4, 3.70 in 28 starts.
NL Rookie of the Year-Craig Kimbrel
Craig Kimbrel tied for the NL lead in saves with John Axford. Although he faltered down the stretch, he had a fantastic season. He saved 46 games with an era of 2.10 and a whip of 1.039. He had 127 strikeouts in 77 innings.
AL Manager of the Year- Joe Maddon, Rays
The team lost Carl Crawford (to a big money division rival) Carlos Pena, Rafael Soriano (to the other big money division rival) 5 other quality bullpen arms and traded Matt Garza. Then proceeded to run down the Red Sox for the wild card. Bravo Mr. Maddon and company.
The other contender. Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. Despite the fact that the Sox sucked and he is a foul mouthed lunatic another team thought so much of him that they traded to prospects to get him. That and no one else compares to the job Joe Maddon did.
NL Manager of the Year- Kirk Gibson Diamondbacks
Arizona went 65-97 last season. They earned a record of 94-68 this season to go from worst to first.
Their is one other legitimate contender and that is Ron Roenicke of the Milwaukee Brewers. His team did win two extra games but he had a much more heralded roster.
AL Cy Young- Justin Verlander Tigers
Verlander put up such a dominating season that he is also being considered as an MVP candidate. He went 24-5, 2.40 with a 0.92 whip. Opponents batted just .192 against him so he essentially made the entire league turn into Craig Counsell 2011. He had an astounding 250 strikeouts.
No other legit consideration.
NL Cy Young- Clayton Kershaw Dodgers
Kershaw had the most dominating statistics of a big flock of awesome candidates. His era of 2.28 and record of 21-4 to go along with 248 strikeouts give him the nod.
Other candidates are Ian Kennedy and Cliff HallaLee
Honorable mention to John Axford and his long consecutive save streak.
AL MVP- Miguel Cabrera Detroit
Curtis Granderson is getting the press and Justin Verlander is a dumb choice, My pick is Cabrera. It seems to me that he is the obvious choice. His numbers are an impressive .340 with 30 HR and 105 RBI. He also did leading a very good team.
NL MVP- Ryan Braun Milwaukee
This was the toughest fake award to pick. Braun missed out on the batting title but he gets the nod in a close vote here. His numbers of .332 with 33 HR and 111 RBI to go with 33 SB get it done on a division winning team.
The MLB Announcer of the Year- Bob Uecker
No description is needed.
The Brewers will get this party started at 1:07 PM CST on Saturday and then 3:37 on Sunday. Very cool that their is no conflict with the big Badger game. It does suck that they are heads up against the defending Super Bowl Champ Packers on Sunday.
Here is the full announced schedule right here.
The Red Sox and the Braves completed historical choke jobs and gave away the wild cards on the last night of the regular season. Both had 9.5game leads heading into September and both finish 1 game out.
Best of 5 Series
NYY VS DET
TEX VS RAYS
PHI VS CARDS
MIL VS ARI
I will have the Brew Gritt regular season awards tomorrow. I know you can’t wait so stop in and check them out.
Ryan Braun tapped out to third in his first AB this evening. He would need to be perfect the remainder of the night to capture his coveted NL batting title.
Zack Greinke gave up two hits in the second. He was able to pitch out of it without giving up any runs.
Inning three was eventful for the Crew. Jon Lucroy and Corey “the hit man” Hart hit solo shots to make it 2-0. Ryan Braun made an out to end his batting title chase assuming this game does not go extra innings.
The Pirates scratched out a 4th inning run to make the score 2-1. Greinke as expected has passed the point that would allow him to start game 2 of the NLDS. It will probably be Gallardo and then Marcum to get it started. Carlos Gomez had the big answer as he drove an inside pitch into the Brewers bullpen to take a 5-1 lead.
A dumb/bad throw by Fielder gave Pittsburgh a 6th inning run making it 6-2.
Zack Greinke notched his 200th strikeout in the 5th. He joined Yovani Gallardo and became part of the first ever Brewers teammates to pull off that feat in the same year. The Brewers added a run in the 5th to go up 6-1. Ryan Braun added his 33rd stolen base to match it up with his HR total.
Jon Lucroy stole a base and later scored on a Hart sac fly to go back up by 5.
Greinke ended up going a solid 6 allowing two runs and improving to 16-6, 3.83. He threw only 74 pitches and the TV guys suggested that Roenicke could bring him back on Sunday. That is interesting.
Takashi Saito pitched a scoreless 7th. F-Rod gave up a run due to sloppy defense.
Gomez got hit by a pitch. While at first they tried to pick him off and he was hit in the noots. I point that out so I can explain that listening to Brian Anderson talking around that fact on TV was very funny.
John Axford pitched the 9th in a non save appearance. The Crew set the franchise record with their 96th win. St. Louis won big and Atlanta is in extra innings so the playoff opponent is still up in the air. Whoever it is they are coming to Milwaukee. WoooHoooo.
Here is the lineup for game 162. The Brewers win and clinch home field advantage for round one regardless of what Arizona does. Jose Reyes bunted for a first inning single and then requested to be removed. Karma says Braun goes 3-4 and beats him. He needs that or 3-3. Fielder is now in contention for the HR title after last nights performance. Starter Zack Greinke needs 3 strikeouts to record the 8th season in Brewers history with 200 strikeouts. Game 1 NLDS starter Yovani Gallardo completed the feat recently for the third time. Plenty of reasons to cheer on the boys tonight.
RF Corey Hart
3B Jerry Hairston Jr.
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
2B Rickie Weeks
SS Yuniesky Betancourt
C Jonathan Lucroy
CF Carlos Gomez
RHP Zack Greinke
I stayed up last night long enough to see the Dodgers score 5 runs in the 10th to break open a 1-1 extra innings game. A quick look of the box score revealed that Arizona scored 6 to win the game and stay just a game behind the Brewers in the chase for home field advantage. I guess as you grow older you continue to learn things. I have now learned why the letters W, T and F were invented.
Perhaps it is a result of being intoxicated from the Brewers first division title in 29 years, or maybe it is just true. It seems to me that this particular baseball season is one of the best ever. Both wild card races have been ridiculous and exciting. St. Louis and Tampa Bay were 8.5 games behind the leaders entering September. It is mind baffling that both of those races are tied up.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have gone from being a joke to a team that should be feared in the playoffs.
Ozzie Guillen has been traded for a couple of minor league players. That is funny.
Matt Kemp and Justin Verlander have put up dominating numbers. What might be even more amazing are the players slightly below the super star radar who have had awesome seasons. Second baseman Ian Kinsler has 32 HR and 30 SB. Jacoby Ellsbury is the one that just blows me away. The Boston CF has hit .322 with 32 HR, 105 RBI, 119 runs scored and 38 SB. One hundred and five RBI for a lead off guy? Whoa. That is just scratching the surface of the outstanding individual performances and I haven’t even mentioned what coach Kurt did this season in senior softball.
Randy Wolf was having location problems early and the Pirates took a 1-0 lead. In the third with two down the Pirates pitcher tossed up a fastball shoulder high and Prince pounded it into the second deck to tie things up. Rickie Weeks followed and made that hit look like a bunt. He hit that baby so hard and so far I almost couldn’t believe it. He hit it halfway up the glass on the Nyce Stadium Club in Miller Park. It was number 36 for Prince and 20 for Rickie.
In the 5th with a man on second the Pirates pitcher squared to bunt and the infield adjusted. He then pulled the bat back and trickled a ball through the middle of the infield to tie it at 2. They went up 3-2 when the ball went off the glove of a diving Yuniesky Betancourt. Randy Wolf airmailed one on a pick off attempt and sent the runner to second.
Ryan Braun drew a walk in the Brewers half right before Fielder hammered his second dinger of the game. (37) That made the score 4-3. Weeks got drilled with a curve ball.
Randy Wolf walked three batters in the 6th including the tie run. That was enough to run him from the game. Kam Loe came in and came up big to strand three.
With one out in the 6th George Kottaras walked and Taylor Green pinch singled. Logan Schafer pinch ran for Kottaras. Corey Hart struck out swinging. Jerry Hairston Jr. bounced out to end the threat.
Hairston Jr. saved a 7th inning run with a sweet play in center while crashing into the wall.
Ryan Braun drew his second straight walk. The dude is in a battle for the batting title and he chooses to play team ball again. This guy has team player written all over him. Prince Friggin Fielder stepped in and jacked HR number three of the night. His 38th gave the Crew a 6-4 lead and led to a deserved curtain call. Speaking of good teammates you can point your big foam finger at that big fella as well. Some question that about him but not me. All you need to see is the way he was acting when FDLC was struggling last night. His support and encouragement willed him out of trouble. He is tied for the lead league in home runs and raised his average to .299. He joins Casey McGehee and Corey “the hit man” Hart in the 3 HR/game club. McGehee smashed a ground rule double and chased the young Pittsburgh reliever.
F-Rod pitched a scoreless 8th. John Axford knocked down his 46th save which tie him for the NL lead.
The victory was the 95th of the season which ties the franchise record and give them the chance to break it tomorrow. Why not?
The Braves rolled over in Philadelphia again, losing 7-1. Meanwhile St. Louis spotted lowly Houston 5 runs before storming back to tie it up at 5. Houston took a one run lead and St. Louis answered back and ran away from them. As I type they are moments away from the win. Let’s pretend this is geometry class and call that a given. (holy crap Mr. Tennie you were correct I did use it, once. By the way I hope the weed is treating you well) They are tied for the wild card. The Rays won and the Red Sox inched out a victory. Both wild cards are knotted up with one to play. What a baseball season my friends. Wow.
The Brewers have announced that Zack Greinke will start tomorrow. He will only go a few innings as he will probably start game two of the NLDS. Here is today’s lineup as the Crew tries to protect their one game lead as the second seed.
RF Corey Hart
CF Jerry Hairston
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
2B Rickie Weeks
3B Casey McGehee
SS Yuniesky Betancourt
C George Kottaras
P Randy Wolf
The Pirates sent young Alex Presley up to start the game. After looking at a strike he drove one out of the park to take the early lead. A Mark Kotsay double drove in Corey Hart to answer in the bottom of the first.
The Crew then loaded the bases with no one out. They failed to plate any more runs. Wow. That was a bummer.
The Pirates flexed up and scored three times in he 2nd to take a 4-1 lead.
In the 4th doubles by Jerry Hairston Jr., Yuniesky Bettancourt and Hart put two on the board to make it 4-3. The Brewers were swinging the bats really well against Charlie Morton who has been called a “poor man’s Roy Halladay.” I would call him a “very poor man’s Roy Halladay” but I guess I can see the comparison.
In the 5th Shaun Marcum loaded the bases with just one out. By this point he had given up 9 hits and 3 walks. He popped a guy up in the infield to take the first step towards getting out of the muck. Pedro Alvarez stepped in and distributed muck all over the place. His double scored two to make it 6-3. The 10th hit allowed got Marcum yanked. FDLC came in to relieve him. A pitch in the dirt trickled through Jon Lucroy’s legs to make it 7-3. He then struck the dude out.
With two on and two down in the 5th the Yuni Bomber smoked another double to score two and pull the Brewers closer at 7-5.
With two outs in the 6th a pirate “stole” 2nd base. However, the real “crime” was that the umpire blew the call badly. You will find many people complaining about how bad the umps have been. Those people are correct. A run scored when the next guy singled to make it 8-5. The tool bag ump was staring right at it just a few feet away. Umpires are the punchline way to often. FDLC proceeded to walk a guy and then hit one to load them up again. The nine days off seem to have impacted his control. He struck out a man to keep the Brewers in this game.
With two outs in the 6th a little Brewers magic started. Nyker Morgan singled and Kotsay walked. Prince Fielder drilled a double to score one. Ryan Braun came in for a pinch hit appearance and calmly smoked one off the wall to score another and make it 8-7. Both of the MVP candidates beast moded their asses off. It was pretty awesome. Hairston Jr. walked to load the bags and keep the rally alive. The Yuni Bomber then worked a walk to tie this baby up. The crowd went crazy. That was his 4th RBI and 68th of the season. Lucroy hit a ball hard in an attempt to take the lead but it was snagged by the SS.
Takashi Saito pitched the 7th inning. He had two down with a runner on and the Miller Park DJ was playing “Ice Ice Baby” when Presley smoked one over Morgan’s head to make it 9-8.
Marco Estrada delivered a scoreless 8th. Logan Schafer drew a lead off walk in the Brewers half. Fielder struck out. Braun got drilled on the hip. Hairston Jr. got drilled in the arm. He looked like he was hurt. What a douche. A major league pitcher? They both stayed in the game. Betancourt popped up on the first pitch. Lucroy grounded out.
Estrada continued and provided a scoreless 9th. Craig Counsell singled on a 97 MPH pitch to get it started. Carlos Gomez came in to pinch run and went to 2nd on a wild pitch. Another wild pitch put Gomez on 3rd. Hart struck out swinging. Casey McGehee came in to pinch hit. He it a grounder and Gomez was out at the plate as he was running on contact. George Kottaras pinch hit and grounded out.
In other news. The Rays have run down the big money Red Sox in the wild card race with two game to play. The Cards had a chance to do the same with the Braves but they choked one away in extra innings against Houston.