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Milwaukee Brewers 2011 Season Preview
Can Greinke Lead the New-Look Brewers to the Promised Land?PHOENIX, AZWelcome baseball fans to Milwaukee Brewers spring training. Expectations are high for the Brewers in 2011. Coming into this spring, they are considered serious contenders or NL Central if not the favorites. This is a position that is fairly new for the brew-crew as they have not even won a division championship since 1982. Lets take an inside look at the face of their roster including their additions, departures, offense, and pitching.To start off, lets recap who the Brewers lost from the 2010 season, and their new additions heading into this year. The first one of note is not even that of a player, but that of the manager. Ken Macha is out in Milwaukee and Ron Roenicke is in. Lets see what Roenicke will be working with during his tenure as the Brewers skipper.DEPARTURES:PITCHERS: Trevor Hoffman, Doug Davis, David Riske, Dave Bush, Jeff Suppan, Braden Looper.OUTFIELDERS: Jim Edmonds, Lorenzo Cain.INFIELDERS: Alcides Escobar, Bill Hall, Gregg Zaun. ADDITIONS:
PITCHERS: Zack Greinke, Shaun Marcum, Takashi Saito, INFIELDERS: Yuniesky Betancourt The loss of Trevor Hoffman is somewhat significant due to the fact that there is no experienced closer on the roster at the moment. The Brewers are looking to their quasi-closer from last season, John Axford, to fill the void. Axford finished the year with 24 saves and a sub 3 ERA. Losing some veteran arms is concerning as well but the addition of Greinke, Marcum, and Saito should ease the pain and then some. Betancourt will take over for Escobar over the middle at SS and youngster Johnathan Lucroy will fill in for the departed Gregg Zaun behind the plate catching. Carlos Gomez has emerged as the starter in the outfield amongst Braun and Hart so there should be no worries over losing Edmonds and Cain. OFFENSE: Projected Batting Order - 1) Rickie Weeks 2B 2) Corey Hart RF 3) Ryan Braun LF 4) Prince Fielder 1B 5) Casey McGehee 3B 6) Yuniesky Betancourt SS 7) Johnathan Lucroy C 8) Carlos Gomez CF Offensively, the Brewers have the firepower to stand toe to toe with the best scoring teams out there. The first 6 batters in the lineup are proven threats with the bat who can get base runners home. Weeks and Hart had career years in 2010 and Braun and Fielder are perennial powerhouses. Casey McGehee had his coming out party in 2010 with 24 HRs and 104 RBIs. He should look to avoid the sophomore slump and continue on with his emerging career. New shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt had a good offensive season last year for the Royals knocking 16 out of the park and bringing 78 runs home. Lucroy and Gomez are unproven but look to contribute to what seems to be a very well endowed offense heading into 2011. PITCHING: Projected Pitching Rotation - 1) Zack Greinke 2) Yovanni Gallardo 3) Shaun Marcum 4) Randy Wolf 5) Chris Narveson Projected Bullpen - Takashi Saito LaTroy Hawkins Zack Braddock Kameron Loe Closer - John Axford Pitching wise, this could be the best rotation Brewers fans have ever seen. The addition of former Cy Young winner Zack Greinke and proven starter Shaun Marcum were key to bolstering the rotation. With the kind of offensive firepower that the Brewers have, all these guys have to do is keep their team in the game and all of the men in the rotation have shown they could accomplish that in the past. Bullpen wise they are mediocre. Saito was a nice pick up but he is pushing 40 years old and really is a question mark heading in the season. Hawkins is also no spring chicken either as he is 38 and entering into the season with the 8th different team of his career. Braddock and Loe are good young pitchers but they cannot be relied upon with confidence. Closer John Axford had a great season last year posting 24 saves in relief for the elderly Trevor Hoffman. He was impressive during his time as the closer and if he can ride that momentum into this year there will be no question who the Brewers will look to to close out their games in 2011. OUTLOOK: With new faces like Greinke and Marcum leading the pitchers, superstars like Braun and Fielder leading the offense, and a brand new manager breathing energy into a squad ready to break out, 2011 looks to be a successful year for the Brewers and their fans.
John Axford: No Mustache, No Balls
Brewers fans, meet your new closer. His name is John Axford. Not only does he have a satanic fast ball and a wicked curve, he also posses arguably the best mustache in the major league baseball. Axford and his menacing mustache is an intimidating site for any batter at the plate when everything is on the line in the 9th. This intimidation factor is what earned Axford success last season.
This 27 year old Ontario, Canada native took over for the aging Trevor Hoffman in 2010 and showed a lot of promise as the club's next designated closer. Axford finished his first full season in the Majors with a 8-2 record, 2.48 ERA, and was 24 for 27 in his save attempts. He is expected to have full closing duties for the 2011 season. With the much improved team the Brewers have coming into this year, he is expected to have many opportunities to earn saves in his 2nd year in the big leagues. He will look to avoid the dreaded sophomore baseball slump and shore up the closer position in Milwaukee for years to come.
*COUGH* Carl Pavano *COUGH*
lol.. I did say arguably
Brewers Best Cards in Play-In GameMilwaukee 1 - St. Louis 0Box ScorePlayer of the GamePhoenix, AZ - The TBL Spring Training Tournament kicked off tonight with the commencement of the play-in games round. The Milwaukee Brewers took on the St. Louis Cardinals with both team aces, Zack Greinke and Chris Carpenter respectively, going head to head. This spring training game was definitely a defensive pitching battle as the two starting pitchers racked up the strikeouts and allowed no runs. The player of the game, Brewers starting pitcher Zack Greinke, pitched 6 and 1/3 innings or scoreless baseball while allowing 4 hits and accumulating 12 strikeouts. The only run of the ballgame was scored in the 9th inning as Milwaukee's Ryan Braun doubled with 1 out and then was driven in by Prince Fielder's line drive single into left field. Replay Below:
That was all the Brewers would need as they finished out the game in the bottom of the 9th with closer John Axford shutting the door on the Cardinals. The Brewers advance from the play-in stage of the tourney to the real thing as they await there next opponent to be named. Game recap below:
Good stuff man. I have no idea how to post those videos from the PS3 to here. I'm a complete idiot when it comes to that stuff.
What you need is a USB drive and a youtube account (for the videos). You can save videos, and screenshots onto your USB when its plugged into your PS3, and then plug it into your computer and use it all. Took me some time to learn too lol
Ok cool I will give it a try. I may hit you up for some pointers if I get stuck
Pelfrey Has His WayMets hold on to early lead, defeat the Brewers 4-2 in round 1
Box ScorePlayer of the GamePhoeniz, AZThe first round of the TBL Spring Tourney kicked off today and the Milwaukee Brewers, winners of their play-in game against the Cards, took on the New York Mets. The Mets had their ace on the mound in Mike Pelfrey as he went up against the formidable Yovanni Gallardo. Both were solid today, but the biggest difference in their performances was in how they started. Gallardo gave up 3 runs in the first inning as the Mets shelled him early and often for 4 hits and 3 runs in the first frame. This was all the Mets would need as they went on to win 4-2. The Brewers attempted a comeback when they came within 2 after a Prince Fielder solo shot in the 6th, but the Mets bullpen shut them out in the later innings.Mets 4 Brewers 2Videos:Highlights
Greinke is my favorite non-met pitcher. Hes got some nasty stuff
Fielder's Power #s are Key
Milwaukee, WIPrince Fielder is as feared hitter in the MLB as just about anyone. Coming of off a down year (by his standards), he is looking for a surge in his power numbers in 2011. He says he has been trying out a new weight lifting regiment in which he anticipates will lead to a rebound in his power stats.Last year Fielder had his worst year since his rookie season in 2006. He put up 32 HRs and 83 RBIs. His SLG dropped to .471. This was a dip in production from 2009 as he posted 46 HRS, a career best 141 RBIs and a SLG of .602Many believe that with Braun's struggles through spring training, Fielder is going to have to carry the Brewers offensively once the season starts. His resurgence as an elite power hitter is key to Milwaukee's success in 2011.
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