Zack Greinke took a big step toward rebuilding his trade value during his start on Tuesday.
The Tuesday Takeaway
All eyes, from fans’ to scouts’, were on Zack Greinke when the Brewers ace took the mound last night at Citizens Bank Park. His team had lost four straight and was seven games under .500 coming into the second game of the series in Philadelphia, but Greinke was pitching less for the Brewers of today and more for the Brewers of tomorrow. Apparently felled by the team’s decision to start him on back-to-back days before the All-Star break, the 28-year-old righty had only two chances to rebuild his trade value before the July 31 deadline.
Two hours and 51 minutes later, the Brewers’ losing streak had reached five and their record had dropped to 44-52. But if there are such things as moral victories for organizations, Tuesday’s 7-6 defeat certainly was one for Milwaukee.
The Monday Takeaway
Hitting three home runs in a game played at Petco Park is like acing three final exams after a night of heavy drinking. It can’t be done—unless you are Ryan Braun, that is.
The Brewers left fielder began his Monday evening with an inauspicious fly out to center in the first inning before going to work in the top of the fourth. First came this solo shot to the sandbox in right-center field, a place very few hitters are strong enough to reach at Petco. An inning later, Braun checked the Western Metal Supply Co. warehouse off his list of targets with a two-run blast. And in the seventh, Ernesto Frieri made the mistake of hanging a curveball to Braun, who deposited it just over the fence in left to complete the trifecta.
The tater trots for April 20: two inside-the-park home runs, plus an invalid trot from David Ortiz!
What do you do when two different players each hit an inside-the-park home run on the same night? Normally, one is good enough for Home Run of the Day, but how do you choose? And what if they both come on a once-in-a-century day where two storied teams are wearing fantastic uniforms from generations past while celebrating the birthday of a park like Fenway? Especially when there are six different home runs in that game? And let's not forget a pair of home runs from last year's sad sack story Adam Dunn, or home run number 631(good enough for fifth all-time) from Alex Rodriguez?
Zack Greinke's road woes continue, while the other M&M Boys team up to bash the Angels.
The Thursday Takeaway
Will the real Zack Greinke please stand up?
On April 7, in the Brewers’ second game of the season, Greinke dominated the Cardinals over seven shutout innings, allowing just four hits and no walks, and striking out seven. Yesterday, facing the Cubs’ decidedly less potent offense, Greinke was torched for eight runs in 3 2/3 innings—including a disastrous third-inning hit parade that enabled Chicago to bat around for the first time this year.
Boston's start to the season looks strangely familiar, and Yumania takes the spotlight tonight.
The Weekend Takeaway
Red Sox fans watched the 2011 season come to a close while singing a certain Green Day song, as their team suffered a historic collapse. Well, the calendar says April now, but after a weekend sweep at the hands of the Tigers, it’s as though September never ended.
Detroit walked off with a 3-2 win on Friday, routed Boston 10-0 on Saturday, and finally inflicted the deathblow on Sunday. A 10-7 Red Sox lead in the ninth inning went “poof!” with Miguel Cabrera’s three-run homer off interim closer Alfredo Aceves. A 12-10 Red Sox edge in the 11th inning turned into a 13-12 Tigers victory when Alex Avila deposited a pitch from Mark Melancon over the right-field wall.
What are some of the big questions surrounding the AL and NL Central?
Continuing what I started with the two East divisions on Friday, I've identified one nagging question I have about each team coming out of spring training, one loose thread that I can't resist tugging upon as the season nears. Today, it's the two Central divisions.
The Brewers' decision to extend Jonathan Lucroy could have a massive payoff.
An unexpected storyline has emerged over the last few weeks of the offseason, as the Royals and Brewers have agreed to long-term contracts with their catchers. The latter deal, which will pay Jonathan Lucroy either $11 million or $13 million (if he attains Super Two status) over five years and includes a club option for the 2017 season, was made official on Tuesday.
What’s interesting about the deals given to Lucroy and Salvador Perez is that neither projects to be a star-level player. The Rays’ pact with Matt Moore and the Pirates’ hitch with Andrew McCutchen were examples of teams preferring cost certainty—and the chance to strike significant bargains with potentially elite players—at the expense of some additional risk for the club. The Lucroy and Perez extensions carry less financial risk for the Brewers and Royals, respectively, but the upside is also considerably smaller.