Results tagged ‘ MLB ’
Maybe Zack Greinke was flying so high after Friday’s start that he didn’t know what day it was.
Called into action Saturday to pinch hit for Marco Estrada in the fifth inning, Greinke came out wearing a jersey that read “Bierbrauer”, which honors Milwaukee’s German Heritage. The team is to wear those uniforms on Sunday as a part of German Heritage Day at Miller Park.
Ron Roenicke said his star pitcher was wearing a fleece over and nobody noticed until he was called into pinch hit for Estrada, who went five scoreless innings in the Brewers 1-0 victory.
“I had no idea,” Roenicke said. “It was blue, and that’s all it looked like to me. I didn’t know until one of the guys said something. He didn’t know [either].”
Greinke laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt, if you were wondering.
- Hart (RF)
- Morgan (CF)
- Braun (LF)
- Fielder (1B)
- McGehee (3B)
- Betancourt (SS)
- Hairston (2B)
- Lucroy (C)
- Estrada (P)
Update: K-Rod is okay to pitch today
By Curt Hogg
Milwaukee- Before 2011, all Milwaukee Brewers fans knew Nyjer Morgan for was a spotted history that included charging the mound and altercations with fans. Three weeks into the season, Brewers fans knew him for running over the catcher and adding a spark to the team.
Not only did Milwaukee embrace Morgan immediately, but soon did the same with his alter ego Tony Plush. At moments notice, Morgan instantly turns into Tony Plush, a likeable, all-out baseball player with a knack for TV interviews.
As for General Manager Doug Melvin, he had no idea that he acquired two players in the Spring Training trade for Morgan.
“I wanted Nyjer Morgan,” Melvin said. “I didn’t know I was getting two people for one. I got Nyjer Morgan and an alter ego to be named later.”
The alter ego of Tony Plush, or T-Plush, had swept through Brewer Nation, or Crew Nation as Morgan refers to it. The specially designed Tony Plush shirt is a top seller in the Brewers team store at Miller Park. His Twitter account has nearly 22,000 followers, nearly double of the total when the season started.
His play, antics, and personality have won over a frenzied Brewers fanbase. Whenever “Wanna Be Startin Something” by Michael Jackson is played over the PA at Miller Park and T. Plush walks up to the plate, “Crew Nation” jumps to their feet at gives the timeout ‘T’ signal. Morgan calls this “Chuckin up tha T’s!”, and it has swept Miller Park to the point that even the youngest fans have bought in.
Nyjer was the featured correspondent earlier in August for the ESPN show “Jim Rome is Burning”, providing viewers with an insight on the Tony Plush life.
Tony Plush has drawn the love of Brewers fans with many of his antics and plays this season. Early in the season, he ran over the Braves Brian McCann and the Pirates Ryan Doumit, jarring the ball loose and scoring on both occasions. His walk-off double against the Mets in June may have been the calling point of attention to his alter ego on the field. In his hometown of San Francisco, after making a phenomenal catch, he orchestrated the Giants fans’ boos, using his glove as a band director’s wand. His multiple post game interviews have also drawn attention to T. Plush. The list goes on and on.
The namesake of this very blog, Morgan calls the fundamentals of his play Plushdamentals. Stealing bases, bunting runners over, driving runners in, and hitting triples are all under the category of Plushdamentals.
The question among many Brewers fans is as to where Nyjer’s alter ego came from. About ten years ago, Morgan and some friends created secondary names for themselves and, thus, Tony Plush was created.
Not only has he caught on with Brewers fans, but the players have embraces both Nyjer and Tony.
“That’s why we love him. It’s not fake. It really is his personality. That’s what makes it special. It might not be his real name, but T-Plush is really him. That’s what makes it not corny. Sometimes when guys try to have fun like that, it’s forced. With Nyjer, it’s not forced. It’s him being himself,” said Prince Fielder.
When a high school state baseball champion team was being honored during pre-game ceremonies, Morgan kept popping up behind each of the players when they were put on camera, startling them, much to the delight of the sellout crowd.
Being on a winning team obviously has a positive impact on Morgan. Previously, he has played for the lowly Pirates and Nationals before bringing his alter ego with him to Milwaukee. His play has been a spark plug for this closely knit Brewers team.
Nyjer Morgan has taken over Milwaukee, and is attempting to bring Playoff baseball back to the city. But now it’s game time and he has to turn into Tony Plush, so…
AHHHH! GOTTA GO!
By Curt Hogg
Ron Roenicke said after the game it was the best he’s seen Zack Greinke all season.
After witnessing the game in person, it’d be hard for me to disagree. Greinke held the Pirates scoreless for seven dominant innings before surrendering two meaningless runs in the eighth. The Brewers starter finally delivered a performance the team has been looking for all season.
“Fastball was pretty good. Curve was as good as it’s been, slider was good, changeup was good,” said Greinke, who had nine strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings. “If you’ve got three pitches going good, you should be fine. I had four.”
Even from my seat (below), I could tell Greinke had great command with his fastball and was keeping hitters off balanced with his upper 60′s curve. As the game progressed, it seemed that his command improved, his curve got sharper, his fastball got faster, and his slider had greater movement. In his post-game press conference I heard coming back from Miller Park on the radio, The Greinkinator was beaming about his sharp curve.
K-Rod’s infield single in the eighth inning. The same day I posted about Chad Moeller hitting for the cycle, I witnessed possibly the second-craziest thing I’ve ever seen at Miller Park. Nevermind, make it the third, behind Moeller and Shaun Marcum’s grand slam that I almost caught in the bleachers. The stadium went wild and gave K-Rod a standing ovation, and the bullpen went even crazier.
“That was awesome. Any time we get to see one of our bullpen guys hit, it’s awesome,” reliever Kameron Loe said. “He’s faster than we thought.”
Earlier in the inning, after the Pirates had mounted a rally to cut the Brewers lead to 4-2, Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder led off with back-to-back solo homers, both to almost the exact same spot in the right field bleachers. Both jacks were no-doubters off reliever Joe Beimel, who promptly exited the game after being lit up by Braun and Prince.
As if seeing back-to-back homers from Braun and Fielder to the exact same spot and Rodriguez leg out an infield single wasn’t enough irregular happenings for one game, Casey McGehee had a two-run triple in the third. I repeat: Casey McGehee hit a triple. Now I have seen both his triples this season in person, what’re the odds?
The crowd was raucous all night long, creating an enjoyable atmosphere Nyjer Morgan calls “the 10th man!”. Sorry, LaRussa, but the Brewers win at home in part of the crowd, not the lighting.
From start to finish, it was quite an enjoyable game, possibly the best all-around I’ve seen all year. Heck, even the Polish won the Sausage Race for the first time in the ten games I’ve attended this season.
Milwaukee has definitely bought into this team, to say the least. With 41,820 in attendance, or 99.8% capacity, it was the 20th sellout of the season for a small-market team. Not only that, but Miller Park will draw at least 3,000,000 fans again. The Brewers have filled up a greater percentage of the stadium than “baseball towns” like St. Louis, Los Angeles, New York, Cincinnati, and Detroit.
Miller Park has even become so popular, that it has been named a Milwaukee landmark, see? I can’t end a post better than that.
By Kaitlyn Saugstad
The Racing Sausages have come a long way from when they started. In the early 1990’s they made their debut as a cartoon running on the scoreboard in centerfield. Right from the beginning they were a huge hit and Brat (#1), the Polish Sausage (#2), and the Italian Sausage (#3) were born. At first they were still cartoons on the scoreboard but the actual racing sausages we know and love soon made their debut. In the beginning, they only raced on select Sundays during the season while at all of the other home games they would race on the scoreboard. Right away the races became a huge success and they soon added the 4th Racing Sausage to the scoreboard, the Hot Dog (#4). The racing sausages popularity sky rocketed and it wasn’t until the year 2000 (the last season at County Stadium), when the cartoon racing sausages were no more. Now at every home game the Racing Sausages, in costumes, would race. After the season was over, the Brewers moved across the parking lot to Miller Park and the Racing Sausages moved with them. Five years later a new sausage made its debut, the Chorizo (#5) but he only raced once that season. It wasn’t until the next season when he officially became part of the pack.
At every home game they still make an appearance and run during the 7th inning stretch. On Sundays, the Racing Mini Sausages join and create a relay race to entertain and bring enjoyment to the fans at Miller Park. The next time you go to a Brewer’s game make sure you text in your vote for who will win the race! My favorite is the Chorizo, which will you choose?
I will be at the ballpark tonight for the Brewers-Pirates game! Further analysis tomorrow.
By Curt Hogg
Any of the 8,918 fans in attendance that night will always remember it. Maybe some of the 5,000 fans watching it on TV will remember it. I’m sure Chad Moeller will remember it. The night the journeyman catcher hit for the cycle was definitely one of the strangest feats in baseball.
It was April 27, 2004, or my ninth birthday, to be specific. Even with school the next day, Pops took me out to Miller Park were we joined a whole 8,916 of my compadres for a 2004 Brewers team that gave us early season hope (that didn’t last long).
I remember not too much from the game, and I had to dig the scorecard out of my folder to remember the events. I recall Doug Davis starting that night, so we all knew we were in for a loooong game and about a minute between pitches. Literally.
Looking at the scorecard, the Brewers really used the whole team. Ned Yost brought in bench players like the Aussie Trent Durrington (below) , Bill Hall, Brooks Kieschnik, Keith Ginter and Ben Grieve.
To put it simply, he had, in terms of WAR, the worst season in Brewers history, yet hit for the cycle. At -2.0, his WAR was the lowest of his career. He finished his career with a -4.0 WAR. That season, he hit .208 with 5 homers and a whole ‘lotta strikeouts. Moeller should have been a career backup catcher that lasted two years, a la Mike Rivera. Why teams kept him around, it beats me. He was slower than Eddie Perez (that’s a blast from the past), and was below-average defensively. But after one night in 2004, he managed to become my second-favorite then-Brewer, behind Scott Podsednik.
Moeller looked more like a construction worker or the quiet guy who never talks to you at the office. And he hit like the bullpen catcher, but don’t tell that to Cory Lidle.
Lidle was the starter for the Reds that day, and this is the only time I’ve ever heard his name come into play. Moeller put the Brewers on the board in the second with a homer to right center, off the ivy that used to serve as Miller Park’s batting eye. Next time up, Moeller doubled to left and was stranded. Then came the apocalypse.
Moeller took a pitch inside-out to right field where the lumbering Willy Mo Pena misplayed the ball and it ricocheted past him off the fence. Everyone that was no one was at the game that night, and we all collectively wondered “why the hell is Moeller still running?”. Chad galloped his way to third for an insane triple, something I would never see again. He only hit seven triples in his eleven-year career.
Then in the bottom of the seventh, with the Brewers down one and reliever Ryan Wagner in the game, Moeller laced a grounder up the middle that Barry Larkin couldn’t get to to complete the shocking cycle. Shocking is probably an understatement, but all the fans remaining gave Moeller a standing ovation that was probably so quiet he couldn’t hear.
In the end, Milwaukee won on a Bill Hall walk off home run after a Reds error kept the game alive. It was one of the most exciting games I’ve ever attended, and it reserved Moeller’s place in baseball lore.
The fact that Willie Mays, Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth, Tony Gwynn, Hank Aaron, Al Kaline, Albert Pujols, Ichiro, and so on never accomplished the feat makes it all the more amusing. A .204 hitter in three seasons in Milwaukee made one of the most surprising feats of all-time with the cycle. I guess there was something mystical in the Milwaukee air that night, and Chad Moeller took advantage of it.
Moeller didn’t even start for three days when he went 0-4 against Pittsburgh.
ESPN and everyone will tell you he was the fifth Brewer to do so, I say different. Abner Dalrymple of the American Association Milwaukee Brewers hit for the cylce in 1891. Jody Gerut also hit for the cycle as a Brewer in 2010.
By Curt Hogg
Coming off of a 5-1 road trip that included a sweep against Houston and an encouraging two-win series versus the Cardinals, the Brewers return to Miller Park to face the Pirates in a weekend series.
Probables: Friday: Maholm (6-12) vs. Greinke (10-4), Saturday: Correia (12-10) vs. Estrada (2-7), Sunday: Morton (9-6) vs. Marcum (10-3)
-As of just over two weeks ago, Pittsburgh was tied for first place with Milwaukee and St. Louis. Then the Brewers got hot and the Pirates couldn’t win a game, and now the Buccos are 10 games back along with Cincinnati.
-Marco Estrada is expected to spot start for Chris Narveson, who is on the DL with a cut thumb.
-The Brewers recently called up Frankie De La Cruz, who pitched a scoreless inning in his Major League debut Thursday.
It’s not the lighting, Mr. LaRussa, but the Brewers seem to be a much different team at the confines of Miller Park.
Their 41-15 mark is the best in all of baseball, ahead of the powerhouse Phillies by three games. Even though the team has turned things on the road around recently, it is clear they play better at home.
As if Miller Park hasn’t been good enough to the Brewers this year, it has been even better to them against the Pirates. Until the streak was broken last season, Milwaukee beat the Pirates at home in19 consecutive attempts. This season, Milwaukee is 5-0 against Pittsburgh, with two of those wins coming at PNC Park.
If the Brew Crew can continue their successes at home and against Pittsburgh, they have a chance to pull away from the Cardinals over the homestand.
Filling in For Narv-Dog
Yeah, I just made a reference to The Office. Get at me.
Back to baseball. As aforementioned, the Brewers will be without Chris Narveson for 2-3 weeks, and Marco Estrada is expected to fill in his starts. Ron Roenicke has listed Estrada as the probable starter for Saturday against Pittsburgh’s best starter in Kevin Correia.
There will be a few things that will be crucial to winning Saturday’s game, aside from the obvious; a solid five or six innings from Estrada.
Zack Greinke’s Friday start will be critical for Saturday’s game, as the bullpen will be needed in more than regular amounts in the latter of the two games. If Greinke can go seven or eight innings and rest the bullpen further (Axford, Saito, Hawkins, and K-Rod have only thrown one combined inning in two days), the group will be in good shape for Estrada’s start.
Roenicke expects a “solid five or six innings” from Marco, and if he can deliver the Brewers might be in a position for the sweep.
Throughout bot the Houston and St. Louis series, Milwaukee won games because of timely hitting. Coming through with runners in scoring position is often the difference in the game, and the Brewers were successful in those situations during the road trip. With a lack of home runs (Fielder and Hart were the only two that hit any over the trip), this is the key way to scoring runs.
The three starters the Brewers will face all have low HR/9 rates, with Charlie Morton’s being the lowest in the National League at 0.4. While this may have something to do with their home ballpark, it is safe to say the Brew Crew may not be hitting a ton of gopher balls over the weekend, which makes hitting with RISP all the more important.