Series Recap: Reds at Brewers
Jeff Suppan pitched seven great innings on Tuesday night. Soup gave up only one run on six hits and was in line to pick up the win until Eric Gagne blew his second save of the season.
Jason Kendall continued to absolutely kill the ball. He went 7-11 in the series raising his average to .538 after the first nine games. The Lasik eye surgery Kendall had in the off season seems to be having great early returns.
As mentioned earlier, Eric Gagne blew the save on Tuesday night. Gagne came on in the ninth and quickly retired the first two batters, but Corey Patterson hit the game-tying home run with two strikes on him. Gagne is lacking the pop on his fastball and seems to be depending on it way too much at the moment.
The bullpen, which has looked good so far this year, fell off the tracks on Wednesday night. In three innings, David Riske, Derrick Turnbow and Seth McClung gave up seven runs, eight hits, six walks and two home runs. Turnbow and McClung appear to be the 'junk' pitchers of the staff and one of them could be on the chopping block when Yovani Gallardo returns. Riske, in my opinion, should be used as the eighth inning guy and nothing else to maximize his value.
Prince Fielder is off to a terrible start. I find it ironic after all his talk about being disrespected in Spring Training. Against the Reds, Prince went 0-11 with two strikeouts. Fielder is batting .242 for the season with only five RBI but six strikeouts. He still has yet to homer and he has admitted that he is pressing at the plate. I'm done calling for Prince to eat a steak. He's in a horrible slump right now and he needs to battle his way out of it as soon as possible.
It's tough losing any series, let alone against a division rival at Miller Park. The low rotation starters need to pick up their game. Ben Sheets and Suppan have pitched well thus far but Bush, Villanueva and Parra must pitch deeper into games to rest the bullpen. Gagne must lean more on his off speed pitches and not use his fastball too much.
The Brewers now face a nine game, ten day road trip against the Mets, Cardinals and Reds. I would gladly take a 4-5 record on the trip if you offered it to me right now. Barring bad weather on Saturday, the highlight of the trip could be Ben Sheets against Johan Santana in Shea. It's time for the young Brewers to come of age.
I thought waiting a day to talk about this series would take away some of the sting but it hasn't. It's simply inexcusable to lose a series to the Reds at home. I'm not trying to take away from anything that they did because they played some really good ball, but the Brewers need to win series at home as much as possible. I'll try not to be too negative, but it may be hard.