Friday, August 17, 2012

Braun bombs, Hart slams, Jim Henderson saves, Brewers win 7-4

The Brewers' performance last night against the Phucking Phillies of Philadelphia is generally something we're used to seeing happen against us, not for us. After coughing up a lead in the middle innings, the Brewers started a two-out rally against Cliff Lee, who gave way to Josh Lindblom, thus starting a spectacular bullpen asplosion capped off by a towering Corey Hart grand slam. In fact, home runs accounted for all the runs against the Phillies, as Ryan Braun hit two opposite-field moonshots off of Cliff Lee and Aramis Ramirez added one of his own, a towering tater right after Braun's in the first inning. Braun's homers were a welcome sight, breaking him out of a 9-47 slump during which he seemed really out of sorts at the plate.

Brewers starter Marco Estrada couldn't hold a 3-1 lead in the 5th, loading the bases with two outs and then serving up a bases clearing double to some homeless guy Kevin Frandsen to give the Phillies a 4-3 lead which they would hold until Lindblom's apocalypse in the 8th. Frandsen did his part to give the lead back to the Brewers, committing a two-out error that allowed Rickie Weeks to reach and chase the whiff-tacular Cliff Lee (7.2 IP, 3 ER,12 K) from the game.

It was then that Braun and Ramirez's wonder twin powers would once again be activated, as Lindblom couldn't throw anything resembling a strike to either of them, walking both and setting up Hart's heroics. Despite the three-run lead, the game was far from over with the Brewers bullpen still having to get three outs. I was actually excited to see Manny Parra come in for the save, seeing as he's been the team's best pitcher the last month or so and, in a hilarious turn of events, the Phillies were sending up three straight left-handed batters. Parra made Chase Utley look like a doof to get the first out, then a Ryan Howard single and a Domonic Brown cheapie infield hit off of Rickie Weeks' glove brought in Jim Henderson to try to get the last two outs.

I was hoping Roenicke would stick with Parra simply for the sake of why not, but Henderson made it moot by whiffing the uniquely terrible Ty Wiggington and getting Erik Kratz to ground out (sandwiched around a Frandsen single to load the bases). I'm not sure if Henderson is emerging as the "closer" or if Parra starting the 9th is proof that the committee is still a thing, but it was at least refreshing to see the bullpen get some outs for once, pitching four shutout innings overall after Estrada departed. Jose Veras was nastily wild for two innings, Livan Hernandez baffled three Phillies hitters by throwing strikes, and Parra and Henderson got the last three outs to get a win that felt more reminiscent of last year than this year.

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