Marco Estrada, the Reds Killer
By Lou Olsen
Who would have imagined that through the month of April, Marco Estrada and Randy Wolf would have 2 of the 3 lowest ERA’s of the Brewers starting rotation? Certainly not me, probably not you either. I can not believe that Marco Estrada was the one to finally slay our giant, the Cincinnati Reds. Estrada pitched a career high 7 innings, while only giving up 2 hits and 2 runs. This amazing effort enabled the only 3 Brewers hitters (Braun, Fielder, Weeks) to each have a solo home run in a stunning 3-2 victory at Miller Park last night.
Now, offensively this team is starting to turn into a broken record. Braun, Fielder, and Weeks combined have 19 of the Crews 27 long balls this season. Yo Gallardo has 1 home run, which is one bettter than Counsell, Betancourt, Kotsay, and Wil Nieves(how is this guy still on the team?). Brandon Boggs has one home run in his 8 AB’s, so at least he is contributing. With almost one full month of the season out of the way, this team has some real offensive problems that need to be addressed.
1) Craig Counsell needs to be forced into retirement
2) Mark Kotsay needs to go……away
3) When Nyjer Morgan returns, he should be starting in CF
However, this article is about Marco Estrada……these three topics are open for debate, but not right now. This is what I want to talk about today:
What should the Brewers do with Marco Estrada come next week?
Here is what I would like to see happen. Marco Estrada and Chris Narveson platoon as long relief and the 5th starter. Why? Neither one of them are head and shoulders above the other in any aspect of the game. They both have major strengths and glaring problems with their games. Narveson walks way to many batters, but makes up for it in his ability to make guys swing and miss. Estrada is a contact pitcher. He pounds the zone and forces batters to put the ball in play, but does not strike out many batters. To that same result he walks very few batters as well. I honestly believe that each of these young pitchers will match up very well against certain opponents and poorly against others. By having each of them available, you allow yourself a great deal of comfortable flexibility.
Here is what will probably happen. Marco Estrada will be optioned back to Nashville. Why? The team seems to really love Chris Narveson. Until Narveson proves that he can not do the job, the Brewers will continue to throw him out there. Estrada does need a little more seasoning, but then again so does popcorn at the movie’s and I still love that. Greinke’s return will doom Marco for the time being. Fortunately, the kid is young and he could still find himself back in Brewers blue before the season is over.
Last night Estrada looked amazing on the mound. His command was spot on (except for the one boo-boo to Brandon Phillips) and velocity was solid. I really like Estrada and see a very bright future for him in this organization. Am I alone? Do you all see what I see?
Ok, well the game is goint to start any minute now so I better get this article up quick. For those of you who have not heard Corey Hart WILL be in the starting lineup this afternoon. Let’s send out those good vibes. I want to win this series real real bad, so let’s get it done Brewskies and Brewskettes!!!!