The Week In Review, April 11 – April 17

Each Sunday night throughout the season I’ll be looking back at the previous week – who performed well, who wasn’t so good, what to look for next week and other points of interest from the week.

The Wolf.

A strange week that started in optimism ended in disappointment as Milwaukee came in on a tear, having won four of their last five games. After they swept a rain-shortened series in Pittsburgh, it looked like it was a matter of time before Milwaukee caught up to the Reds atop the NL Central, but a sweep at the hands of the lowly Nationals later, and bad feelings are back in Milwaukee.

Who’s Hot?

Rickie Weeks has swung a pretty hot bat in the past week, and leaves play today sitting on a ten game hitting streak. Through five games this week, Weeks batted .368 with a home run. He provided most of the teams offense in their Friday night loss to Washington, and though he wasn’t great today, he did have a hit in each game.

He may not have gotten the win today, but Marco Estrada certainly pitched well enough to. Estrada did more than you can ask for from a spot-fifth-starter, holding the Nationals to one run on five hits to go along with seven strikeouts in six innings this evening.

Randy Wolf, kind of the forgotten man the first couple times through the rotation, delivered an excellent start on Thursday, striking out ten Pirates and giving up no runs through 6.2 innings, being pulled due to a fairly high pitch count.

Who’s Not?
I mentioned in last week’s review Yovani Gallardo’s last start, where he was uncharacteristically wild and gave up four runs in an inefficient five innings. Today, Gallardo (pitching on seven days rest) looked good for the first three innings, and appeared to have his strikeouts back, but fell apart, giving up a run in the fourth, and three run homers in the fifth and sixth innings en route to picking up a loss while giving up seven runs on ten hits in 5.1 innings. Not what you want out of your ace. Hopefully, Gallardo is just pressing and putting too much pressure on himself while Greinke is out, and there is nothing mechanically wrong with him, because the Brewers will need him to recover from back to back rough outings.

I will also, perhaps unfairly, mention Kameron Loe. Loe has been doing a very good job out of the bullpen all season, but he suffered his first big meltdown today in the nightcap and gave up three runs in the seventh just after Marco Estrada delivered a big spot start. Those three runs proved to be the difference. Hopefully Kameron just shakes this one off and keeps doing what he’s been doing.

Injury Update:

Corey Hart is pretty close to a return to the Brewers, but it probably won’t be this week. Hart has been taking batting practice with the team, an important step, and is probably going to go to Nashville on Tuesday. Hart says there is a possibility that he could make it to Milwaukee for one of the games at the end of the homestand (which starts next weekend), but more likely will join the team for their April 29 game at Houston.

Zack Greinke is also nearing a return, but he hasn’t yet reported for a rehab assignment either. However, Greinke is expected to start for Brevard County on Tuesday. Greinke is then expected to start on April 24th and April 29th at Nashville, and then, barring any setbacks, he would likely start for the Brewers on May 4th in Atlanta.

LaTroy Hawkins has been pitching in Nashville, and according to Adam McCalvy, his next appearance could be as a Brewer.

Manny Parra is also in Nashville, but he appears to be a little further away than Hawkins, but expect Parra in the next week or two.

I haven’t heard any news lately on Takashi Saito, but he remains on the DL with a strained hamstring.

Nyjer Morgan was unavailable to play the field today in the double header against the Nationals, and there were a couple times when it was clear that Morgan would have gotten balls that game two starter Erick Almonte didn’t. Unfortunately, Morgan has been diagnosed with a thigh bruise that he suffered when crashing into (through) Ryan Doumit earlier this week. He plays recklessly, and we love that, but it will lead to injuries like this.

What to watch for:

The return of LaTroy Hawkins, for one. Also, the return of Yovani Gallardo’s command. Gallardo will pitch next on Friday versus Houston. The Brewers are in Philadelphia tomorrow through Wednesday, and had the misfortune of drawing Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt. Milwaukee will match up with Shaun Marcum, Randy Wolf and Chris Narveson. The weekend series is against the Houston Astros, back in Milwaukee.

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One Response

  1. Correction: The Phillies decided not to skip Joe Blanton, so Blanton will pitch today with Halladay on Tuesday and Lee on Wednesday.

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