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The Week In Review: April 25 – May 1

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 day is finally here (almost).

Sorry guys – the review is a little late today – but here it goes.

Milwaukee had a somewhat rough week – after failing to capitalize on an opportunity to avenge their season-opening sweep at the hands of the Reds, the Brewers then went on the road and dropped two out of three to the NL Central caboose, the Houston Astros.

Who’s Hot?

Randy Wolf pitched his fourth straight excellent game on Saturday. He struggled in the first inning, but escaped after giving up only one run – after that, he was lights out. Wolf finished the game with 7 innings pitched, four hits, two walks, four strikeouts, and one run. Unfortunately, the Brewer offense was nonexistent. Wolf took a no-decision in 2-1 loss. Over his last four outings, Wolf is 3-0 with a 0.65 ERA and a 3.29 K:BB ratio.

Ryan Braun continued to have his home run stroke. Braun added three more homers to his 2011 total, and now has an MLB leading (with Alfonso Soriano) 10 home runs and 23 RBIs on the season. Additionally, he kept his streak of reaching base in every game this year going – Braun’s new franchise record is at 27 and counting. Braun hit .292/.346/.750 this week.

Milwaukee has been getting a bit of an offensive spark from an unlikely source: after hitting .313/.421/.375 this week, Jonathan Lucroy is doing what he’s been saying all offseason – contributing more on offense. Lucroy is now hitting .340 on the season.

The last guy I’ll mention is John Axford. Axford pitched only twice this week, but has looked very good his last four outings. In those outings, Axford has pitched four scoreless innings with five strikeouts, one hit, and most importantly, no walks. His command has looked like the command that earned him 24 saves in his rookie season.

Who’s Not?

With Nyjer Morgan returning to the Brewers on Tuesday, Carlos Gomez will, hopefully, see a pretty sharp decline in playing time. Gomez has played good defense this year, for the most part, but his hitting has shown very little improvement. Gomez finished the week with a .182/.240/.227 line, and is hitting just .233/.277/.311 on the season. With Corey Hart back in the fold, it will be interesting to see how the Brewers handle the situation with Gomez and Morgan.

Casey McGehee is having a bit of a rough time at the plate this season. He’s shown flashes, but in the last week McGehee went just 4-for-21 (.190) with no RBIs. His line for the season still sits at a reasonably effective .267/.324/.386.

We are still waiting for Yovani Gallardo to get out of his funk. In Gallardo’s last start, he gave up six runs and three walks in five innings. Milwaukee came back to force extra innings, so Gallardo didn’t factor into the decision, but Gallardo has been pretty bad for four consecutive starts since pitching a complete game shutout April 5th. Gallardo pitches Monday in Atlanta, so here’s to hoping he turns it around.

After suffering an oblique injury while trying to work his way back from a hamstring injury, Takashi Saito is looking like the next in a recent trend of injured free agent relievers for Milwaukee. David Riske and LaTroy Hawkins both missed serious time due to injury after signing free agent contracts with the Brewers, and now it looks like Saito is going to do the same. The early reports are saying 4-6 weeks before Saito will be back.

Injury Update:

Greinke! He’s back. Well, almost. Greinke will make his season debut on Wednesday in Atlanta. Brewer nation is excited.

Corey Hart also returned to active duty this week. Hart came in as a pinch hitter on Tuesday, and then started Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Ron Roenicke has said he will give him more frequent days off for a little while, as Hart is still basically in spring training mode. In perhaps a week, however, expect Hart to see almost all of the playing time in right field.

Erick Almonte became the first player in MLB history to be placed on the 7 day DL for concussions. He was hit in the head by a throw from Craig Counsell in batting practice on Tuesday, and Corey Hart was activated before Tuesday’s game. Almonte should be back soon – but he also might find that he no longer has a place on the 25 man roster.

Nyjer Morgan, as mentioned before, has rejoined the team after doing a short rehab assignment after suffering a deep thigh bruise. He will be activated Tuesday.

You’ve already read about Takashi Saito.

Manny Parra remains in Triple A building up arm strength. It’s unclear how soon Parra will be back with the team.

What to watch for:

All eyes are on Greinke, Wednesday at 6:10 pm central time, as he faces off against Tim Hudson.

Also look for the Brewers to rebound from a disappointing week that saw their record drop below .500. It won’t be an easy week, as the Brewers first play a four game set in Atlanta and then play the weekend series in St. Louis against the division rival (and NL Central leading) Cardinals.


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