The Week In Review: May 16 – May 22

Okay, the review was missed last week and late today – my apologies, things got pretty crazy with the end of school and such. But no excuses. Onto the previous week…

Shaun Marcum - focused on tearing up the National League.

The Brewers finished the week with a pretty big sense of accomplishment and optimism. Milwaukee had a pretty strange trip out to the West Coast, playing Monday and Tuesday in Los Angeles against the Dodgers and Wednesday and Thursday in San Diego. After splitting each of those series, the Crew returned home and swept a dangerous Colorado team, highlighted by a thrilling 14 inning victory on Friday night. Back above .500, here’s to hoping it keeps improving…

Who’s Hot?

NL co-Pitcher of the week Shaun Marcum. At this point, Marcum has to be considered among the candidates for NL Cy Young Award winner. As evidenced by Ubaldo Jimenez last year, part of the year is not the whole year. However, Marcum has been incredible for the Brewers, and they have needed it all year. For a guy who many expected to be the third best pitcher on the team, not bad. In the NL this year, there are eight pitchers with a higher WAR than Marcum. He is tied for the NL lead in wins (yes, I know wins don’t matter much), sixth in ERA, and eighth in FIP. In two starts this week, Marcum was 2-0 with 12 strikeouts, 3 walks, and just two earned runs in 15 innings.

Speaking of FIP, guess who is second on the team in that category? If you said Chris Narveson, you would be correct. Narveson took a tough no decision on Thursday, and the team lost, but you couldn’t blame him. 7.1 shutout innings for Narveson, with just one walk and four hits. On the season thus far, Narveson has been spectacular out of the fifth spot in the rotation: just a 2-3 record, but he is sporting a 3.44 ERA and a 2.92 FIP.

The Brewer bats have still been having their problems on the road, but they did enough this week to go 5-2. Kudos to Prince Fielder for the huge walkoff homer on Friday night.

Who’s Not?

Zack Greinke is starting to cause some people worry. With Shaun Marcum performing so well, and Yovani Gallardo turning the ship around, people can now focus all of their attention on the lack of production from Greinke. Personally, I would really like to see Greinke string together a few good outings before people start questioning whether or not the trade was a good idea (it was). Alex Remington of Big League Stew has a post about why we shouldn’t be worrying about Greinke, and I agree with him, even if Greinke had another subpar outing after that article was written. I’m not panicking yet.

Yuniesky Betancourt has been a little disappointing. He almost cost the Brewers the game with a bad error on Friday night, and he hit only .217 for the week. He has been a little better than any of us had hoped in the field this season, but offensively he is hitting just .224/.254/.333. Not good.

Another poor week was turned in by Casey McGehee. He finally broke his big home run slump last Sunday, and he hit another (admittedly huge) one on Friday night, but that was his only RBI for the entire week, in which he hit just .148/.258/.259. On the season, Mcgehee is hitting .257/.325/.389, so it’s not a dire situation, but it would be nice to see him get out of this slump.

Carlos Gomez continued to contribute nothing on offense. It isn’t surprising anymore, but over the week Gomez hit .158/.238/.211 with 6 strikeouts in 19 at bats.

Injury Update:

Ryan Braun left a game on Thursday with some shoulder soreness, but he returned and there is nothing to worry about.

Erick Almonte apparently needs to re-learn how to play catch. He was hit in the face with a ball for the second time this season, a potentially serious setback in his comeback from a concussion.

Zach Braddock was due to make his second rehab appearance on Monday, but was scratched due to a cracked fingernail.

Brandon Kintzler doesn’t appear to be anywhere near a return from his triceps injury. He felt pain near his elbow and was shut down.

Takashi Saito is progressing. He played catch at Miller Park on Monday, and is still aiming for a mid-June return.

Nyjer Morgan should be off to a rehab assignment on Tuesday and could return to the club by the weekend.

Manny Parra doesn’t appear near a return, as he had a setback and is off to seek a second opinion on his injured elbow.

Mitch Stetter was placed on the 15-Day DL on May 17 with a hip injury. His return is unclear.

What to look for:

The Brewers stay at home all week, with three against the Nationals, a day off on Thursday, and then three against the Giants. At this point, the Brewers project to get Tim Lincecum, Jonathan Sanchez, and Matt Cain. Don’t want anything to be too easy. Seriously though, if the Brewers keep playing this well at home, they could catch up to the Reds and Cardinals very soon.

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