Shaun Marcum got his first victory as a Milwaukee Brewer yesterday, as the Crew finished off the the Braves 4-2. After losing 4 straight to start the season, the team seems to have “Got It’s Groove Back”.
Marcum looked terrific yesterday. His fastball is still lacking it’s usual velocity, but that is probably due to the shoulder tightness he has been experiencing. After giving up a 2-run single in the second inning, he retired the next 8 batters he faced. Shaun pitched 6 complete innings, only giving up 6 hits, and recording 4 strikeouts. Braves batters seemed to have a great deal of problems with his off-speed stuff. Especially slugger Jason Heyward, whom Marcum struck out twice. Marcum is going to be a huge part of our success this season, so it was nice to see him dismantle a powerful offensive team.
The Braves are a terrific offensive team, with guys like Uggla, Heyward, and the always scary Chipper Jones. That being said, the Brewers held them to only 8 runs over the 4 game series. Yo’s shutout on Tuesday really helped that number, but that is beside the point. Other than Saito’s boo-boo’s in the series opener, the bullpen has been everything we hoped it would be. Kameron Loe continues to be a machine, Mitre has looked great thus far, and John Axford has clearly bounced back from “The Opening Day Massacre of 2011″.
It’s amazing how things have flip-flopped for this team in just 3 days. A few days ago we thought this team was already doomed, but now it seems like they are figuring things out. After what Nyjer Morgan did this series, he needs to be starting in RF every single day. Nyjer is an impact player. His glove, bat, and speed are all above average , he should be an everyday player until Corey Hart returns. No need to platoon that position anymore Roenicke. Leave Kotsay, Almonte, and Reed on the bench.
Look, I am not going to lie to you…..I hate the Cubs. Growing up in Kenosha, it seemed like all of my friends and family were Cubs fans. In fact, one of my best friends in the entire world is a Cubs fan (Hi Chuck). Even my brother-in-law Snick, who I love to death, is a dirty baby bear fan. Here are the people in my life who are Brewers fans; Dad, Mom, sister (her loyalty is in questions), Grandma, Grandpa (may he rest in peace), and Colin Bennett (a handsome young sport’s writer whom you may have heard of).
The Cubs are not as threatening to me this season as they have been in the past. I think even Cubs fans are a little less optimistic than usual. Especially with the recent development of starting pitchers Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner going on the DL. The Crew knows all too well the pains of having two injured starting pitchers.
Carlos Pena had missed the last two games with a thumb sprain, but it sounds like he is expected back in the lineup for tonight.
Tonight is the Cubs best chance at beating the Brewers, Randy Wolf against Carlos Zambrano……..I will let you make of that what you will. Wolf is 5-9 against the Cubs in his career, with an ERA of 4.47. Just to give you an idea of how bad this game could be, Carlos Zambrano is batting .600 against Randy Wolf in his career.
Here are the pitching match-up’s for this series:
Carlos Zambrono vs Randy Wolf (Tonight, 7:05 CST)
Matt Garza vs Chris Narveson (Tomorrow, 6:10 CST)
Casey Coleman(tentatively) vs Yovani Gallardo (Sunday, 1:10 CST)
Brewers X-Factor – Nyjer Morgan- in the Atlanta series, he was a huge catalyst for the offense and defense. His play will dictate the Brewers success in this series.
Cubs X-Factor - Matt Garza - His performance could be the difference between a series win for the Cubs, or a sweep by the Brewers. If he can out duel Narveson, the Cubs could win this series.
My FanSided brother Joe Han, has a nice series preview up at Cubbies Crib. Check it out.
Ok Brewers fans, let’s keep the good vibes flowing instinctively like the salmon of Capistrano. It has worked three days in a row, so send out that positive energy Brewer Nation!!!!!!
To any Cubs fans I have offended……I am not sorry.
Tags: Brewers Brewers Bullpen Brewers Hitting Brewers Pitching Carlos Pena Carlos Zambrano Chipper Jones Chris Narveson Corey Hart Dan Uggla Erick Almonte Game Notes Jason Heyward Jeremy Reed John Axford Mark Kotsay Matt Garza Milwaukee Brewers Nyjer Morgan Randy Wolf Ron Roenicke Shaun Marcum Takashi Saito Yovani Gallardo