You may have noticed a lack of Spring Training updates so far this season, that is mostly due to the fact that there was not much to talk about. The pitching had been average and the offense had been the worst in Cactus League play. So, since it was early I just sort of stayed away from it. Then today, the team seemed to come alive. Thank Bernie Brewer I was able to listen to it at work. My boss is a pretty good dude when it comes to me and the Brewers.
This afternoon we got our second look at Randy Wolf. And, for the second time, Randy did not disappoint. Wolf threw 2.2 innings, no hits, 2 walks, and 2 strikeouts. That paired with his two shutout innings earlier this week…that puts him just shy of 5 scoreless innings to start ST. Randy must be playing for one last contract, I guess. Might as well try to dominate all season. I have found that it never hurts to be good at what you do, so I encourage this behavior. We have had our ups and downs together, but I would like to see you have another season like 2011. If you do that, you will be off my S-list.
Speaking of my S-List…I really did not want to like Brooks Conrad. Primarily, because I did not want him to take away the roster spot for Taylor Green. Truth is, that old guy has got some game. Their is no doubt that he can play defense. Those 3 errors in the playoffs a few years ago must have been a fluke. Conrad has made some big time plays at 2nd base so far this spring for the Crew. Then today, we got to see why he is known as one of the best power pinch-hitters in baseball. In the bottom of the 4th inning, Brooks launched a solo-shot to the opposite field. I have not seen it, but it didn’t sound like there was any concern about it clearing the fence. He also had a single in his first at-bat. In the end, he will be the new Mark Kotsay. Let’s just hope that he is better…than Mark Kotsay. I can still loathe Mark Kotsay, even if he is in San Diego. He can run, but he can’t hide from my dislike of him. And for the record, I like Conrad more than I like Kotsay, but it is early….
Conrad was not the only home run hitter today. Nyjer Morgan hit a home-run. I am not joking, that happened. Mat Gamel hit a home run for the second day in a row. Never going to complain about that. Last, but certainly not least, was Jon Lucroy. By far the hottest batter on the team, Lucroy went 3 for 4 today, including that homer. He also caught 6 innings of no-hit baseball.
Randy Wolf no hit 2.2, Juan Perez no-hit 1.1, Francisco Rodriguez no-hit 1 inning, Manny Parra no-hit 1…but then gave up a hit to the first batter of the 7th inning. That aside, Parra only allowed that one hit in two full innings. Amaury Rivas also threw a very nice inning. At this point, I honestly thought they were going to shutout the Indians. It helped relieve my anxiety, knowing that the score was 12-0. Zach Braddock came out for the 9th…and…well, he got pimp slapped (couldn’t think of a better way to say it, is pimp slapping still relevant?). Walked the first batter, got an out, walked the next batter, got another out, and then Adam LaRoche doubled. 12-2 was the final. Finally, some signs of life from this team.
Great game to listen to. The Brewers scored in every inning accept the 1st. Everyone hit…accept Ryan Braun, but I am not worried. Not while Jonathan Lucroy is on the team. That little Tasmanian Devil is batting .636 on the spring. Logan Schafer and Caleb Gindl continue to hit with relative ease. Every Brewers batter who had at least 2 AB’s had a hit (accept Braun). Things seemed to be clicking today. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come, but if nothing else it was nice to see them score runs.
In closing, I read a very amusing story on Brew Crew Ball today about Wayne Franklin. That is not a joke. It is a birthday article for Wayne Franklin. Wayne Franklin was Jeff Suppan before we had Jeff Suppan. Kyle Lobner does a nice job of not focusing on how awful Franklin was in Milwaukee. It is worth a read, if you are in the mood for a trip down horrible nightmare lane.