There have been contending teams that have gone out West in the season's final weeks and have come back buried.. Its where pennant hopes sometimes die. I remember one of my first year's covering the Brewers, in 1983, they left in late August, a half game out of first place,lost nearly every game on the trip. They were an afterthought when they returned to Milwaukee..
The Brewers start a nine game road trip tonight in San Diego. They cannot afford any 2 and 7 trip by the time they return home on September 4. They seem like a resilient team and have been able to fend off any challengers. They have survived injuries and a mid season seven game losing skid to find themselves still in control of the division. In some ways, they have been surprising that they haven't relinguished the lead yet.. Im hoping it stays that way thru these next nine games..
If the Brewers are going to go on and win the NL Central,they might be able to look back at the quality starts they received from Jimmy Nelson and Mike Fiers. Neither was counted on this year but the Marco Estrada switch to Nelson and Fiers for the injured Matt Garza have proven to be huge for the team. Both Fiers and Nelson were putting up big numbers at Triple A and thus far,they have been a boost to an already solid starting rotation.
We will see Fiers again tonight against Toronto at Miller Park. Im not hanging my hat on the Fiers train just yet and don't expect him to pitch at the extreme level that he is at,but his two outings thus far,could be two wins the Brewers could look back on, if they win the division. Just hoping Fiers is able to keep holding the fort down if and when Garza returns.
My co-host Mike Wickett and I will probably never agree on Ryan Braun's season. Its been a subject we are both at odds over with no end in sight. I expect so much more from Braun because of his talent level. Braun is having a subpar season by his standards. No longer is he driving the ball with authority and most times looks ordinary at the plate. His plate discipline seems to have slipped too. Again ,he maybe bothered by multiple injuries,then if thats the case, he's doing his best to be a productive player. But if he is healthy, hopefully, for the Brewers sake, this isnt the Ryan Braun we will see for years to come. That simply will be wasted big time money by the Brewers ,on his contract extention, which pays him like a bonafide All Star.
As I went to get my mail yesterday afternoon, my phone buzzed with a news alert Usually they are sports related. I was sad to reach into my pocket only to see the breaking news that Robin Williams had died at the age of 63. Only to find further the cause of death. I was standing in the street stunned by the news.
Obviously,I don't know Robin at all but a little piece of me sunk at the news. I hated hearing the news. Im not "movie guy" but Good Morning Vietnam is one that I could never get tired of watching.. He was much more than that movie but it was a movie that all radio people can relate to. Anyone in their 40s or older,can relate to the comedians of our time, Richard Pryor,Steve Martin, and Robin, the stand up greats of the late 70's..He had more to give to the entertainment buisness its just sad he couldnt be helped.
Just finished our four hour morning show, and I would say more than half of the callers,were critical of Ron Roenicke and his managerial skills. This amazes me. How Roenicke takes this much heat,more so than last year, when the Brewers were out of any contention by Memorial Day. They are in first place,and have thus far,held off the three teams that are breathing heavily on them.
Roenicke would be the "National League Manager of the Year" , if the season were to end today. This was a big year for Roenicke and he has responded with a likely winning season despite injuries and having to mix and match his lineups nearly daily in the last several weeks. Every coach or manager in every sport makes bad decisions. Roenicke isnt deserving any of the major criticism he attracts this season.
Im glad this whole drama is over. What took so long? Why so many calls between the Packers and Brett Favre to get his jersey retired.....and his wife getting involved.. Really? Favre buried alot of myths yesterday even if he fully didnt believe everything he said. Favre said all the politically correct things and fully realized his legacy to one of the country's iconic franchises. He brought many great moments and pleasure to many of us on Sunday afternoons. Buisness was buisness in 2008 and I understood both sides. The connection between the Packers and Favre,at least on the surface, has been reconnected.Its finally time to move forward.
I told Mike Wickett this morning that it feels like the walls are caving in. The Pirates, Cardinals and Reds are closing in on the Milwaukee Brewers,who are battling injuries to their middle infielders, a few starters and a bullpen that is leaking in the middle relief. It gets no easier having to face the likes of Lincecum, Beckett, Greinke and Kershaw in the next week at Miller Park.
If Matt Garza has to miss a start, or worse,go on the disabled list, it would be the team's biggest blow. Garza has been "vintage 2008". Argubly,their best starter among a group that has been outstanding.
The three teams behind them in them in standings have been bearing down heavily in last month,hopefully the Brewers can find a few things to keep fending them off..