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Old 06-14-2019, 09:27 AM   #261
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Interesting post, featuring the heavy artillery in the league. Nice.
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Old 06-14-2019, 10:24 AM   #262
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Interesting post, featuring the heavy artillery in the league. Nice.
In some ways it was just an exercise for me, at this stage of the early development of the league, to see what kinds of shifts had occurred in the past few seasons.
With some of the earlier biggest names in the game fading in their later years (Andy Wilson, Joe Esman, Eric Canova, Chris Flaim, Frank Hernandez, etc.), it's nice to see young stars like Lindsay and Keisel emerging.

The Big 3 starting pitchers (Lee, Harris, Hernandez) are all heading into their mid-30's or beyond at this point, but we are seeing some young hurlers emerge who should/could take their place at the top of the WPK food chain.
Obviously it is still very early days in the WPK, but it is nice to start to see some of this changing of the guard in terms of talent.
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Old 06-14-2019, 09:47 PM   #263
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April 18, 1973, versus Portland (Home Opener)

At long last the Brewers come back to Denver for their 1973 Home Opener. (In a quirk of scheduling, this is a 1 game series.)
Unfortunately, starter Erik Sloan gave up 3 runs in the 1st inning and the Brewers were never able to recover as they went on to lose 4-2.

On a positive note, Joe McPhillips, not off to a good start at the plate, went 2 for 4, hitting 2 doubles (3 for the season) and drove in 1 of the Brewers runs. Mike Foster, continuing a fine start, also went 2 for 4 and drove in the other run.
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Old 06-14-2019, 11:33 PM   #264
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April 20-22, 1973, versus San Francisco

Next up was 3 games against the Velocity at Centennial Stadium.

In game 1, Harry Lyerly was once again very sharp as he moves to 2-0 with an 0.59 ERA in his first 2 starts. Lyerly isn't striking out as many batters this year so far, but he did get 8 K's in this game, and he isn't walking nearly as many, and walked none in his 7 1/3rd innings, as the Brewers won 7-1. Jonathan Koch, who hasn't been hitting well, came alive with a 2 for 4, 2 RBI game and he hit his 2nd double of the 1973. Kevin Curtis hit his 1st double and also went 2 for 4.
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Steve Green wasn't great in game 2- giving up 4 runs (3 earned) in 7 innings pitched. Granted, he only gave up 3 hits and he struck out 9, but he also walked 4 and tossed a couple of wild pitches that scored runs. More importantly, the Brewers once again scored 7 runs and Sam Pruiett pitched a very fine 2 innings to finish up the game and earn his first save of the season, and game 2 went to Denver 7-4. Joe McPhillips (.296/.345/.407), the Brewers talented 24-year old center fielder, is heating up at the plate and went 3 for 5 with 2 RBI. Pat Rondeau (.389/.400/.444) also was 3 for 5 and hit his 1st double of the season. Josh Schaeffer (.200/.385/.700) went just 1 for 4 but the 1 was just the 2nd HR of the season for the team and the 1st for Schaeffer in the bigs.
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Things went sideways for the Brewers in the final game of the series though, as they lost 9-1 and that makes it sound closer than it really was. They were outhit 21-7. Cheol-han Lee had one of his worst starts in a Brewers uniform, giving up 6 runs on 13 hits in just 5 2/3rds innings pitched. He did strike out 8 but he also walked 3 and gave up a big 1st inning HR to Velocity center fielder Antonio Sosa. The bullpen wasn't much better, as Jordan Stephens gave up 2 runs on 4 hits and a walk while recording only 1 out, and Dave Duncan gave up a run on 2 hits in the final 1 2/3rds innings. On the plus side, Jonathan Koch (.273/.316/.333) went 2 for 4 and Joe McPhillips (.300/.364/.433) went 1 for 3, hitting his 4th double, walking once, driving in the lone Brewer run, and most impressively, throwing out two runners at home plate, which had a lot to do with the final score not being even higher than it was. In his 7 games started this season, McPhillips now has 3 outfield assists.
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Old 06-15-2019, 08:27 PM   #265
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April 23-25, 1973, versus Oklahoma City

In game 1 of 3 against the Diamond Kings, the Brewers drop a tight one, 5-4. Erik Sloan, the reigning MGL Pitcher of the Year, struck out 9 batters in 7 innings pitched, but he also allowed 5 runs (4 earned) on 6 hits. Sloan falls to 1-2 with a 3.43 ERA. Kevin Curtis (.265/.286/.471), known much more for his defense behind the plate than his batting skills at the dish, hit his 2nd HR of the season and also walked once, scoring twice in a 1 for 3 day. Ryan Rodgers (.267/.405/.367) went 2 for 4 and hit his 3rd double.
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Game 2 saw another fine start by 26-year old Eric Johnson. Johnson went the distance in a 7-2 win, giving up the 2 runs on just 5 hits while striking out 4 and walking none. Johnson improves to 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA. The Brewers offense was led by Joe McPhillips (.314/.368/.514), who is starting to live up to his great potential. McPhillips went 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored and 2 driven in, and he hit his 1st HR of the season. Ryan Rodgers (.324/.439/.529) stays hot, going 3 for 5 and hitting a pair of triples.
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The Brewers got another fine start from Harry Lyerly in the rubber match, but then almost let the win get away from them. Lyerly (2-0, 1.61) worked 7 innings, giving up 3 runs (including back-to-back-jacks in the 6th) on 8 hits but also striking out 10 while walking 3. The Brewers had a 6-4 lead going into the 9th inning and closer Jose de los Santos was brought in to finish the game off. He didn't. de los Santos gave up 3 straight doubles, without recording an out, before being replaced by Sam Pruiett. Pruiett got the 3 outs that were needed but the runner at second advanced to third on the first out (a groundball out) and went home on the second (sac fly). So the Diamond Kings had taken the lead 7-6 going into the bottom of the 9th. Their closer, Darwin Keiser, was on the mound, having also pitched the 8th. After walking Pat Rondeau to start the inning, he induced a harmless fly ball out off the bat of Ryan Rodgers to get the first out. (Rodgers had fouled off 5 pitches after falling to a 1-2 count before finally making the out.) At this point young fireballer Ben Bakeman was brought into the game. He walked Joe McPhillips to put two men on. But then struck out Andrew Kennedy for the second out. Things weren't looking good for the home nine. But guess who was up? That's right, Mike "Hero" Foster. And after working to a 3-2 count, Foster hammered a line drive up the middle that tied the game. So at least the Brewers would stay alive for extra innings, if nothing else. Jonathan Koch was up next. Koch already had 2 hits in the game, including a 4th inning double (his 3rd). And with an inauspicious 0-2 count working against him, Koch managed to make contact and hit a ground ball, which snuck past the second baseman into right field. The speedy Joe McPhillips easily scores from third. Walk-off celebrations ensue. It was a good day for the youth movement. With his 3 for 5 day Koch improves to .295/.320/.364. Mike Foster's 2 for 4 day makes his slash line .291/.339/.309. Andrew Kennedy went 2 for 5, hitting his 4th double and is now .298/.322/.368. Oh, and Kevin Curtis, whose career single-season high in homers was 7 in 1971, hit another long ball today to give him 3 for the season and put him on pace for 35. Where did that come from? (What you don't know is that I had a game wiped out recently by technical difficulties. A game in which Kevin Curtis hit a homerun. So he really seems to be hitting the ball hard this season.)
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Old 06-15-2019, 08:54 PM   #266
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Erbakan returns from rehab assignment, Flores demoted

Bobby Erbakan has returned to the Brewers after missing much of Spring Training and beginning of the 1973 regular season. After 9 games at AAA, it was felt that he was ready enough to return to Denver, though it is acknowledged that he might need a little time to get up to full speed.

John Flores, who provided good defense in left field but not a lot at the plate, is sent back down to AAA for a bit more seasoning. Though realistically, with the blossoming of Joe McPhillips and the continued development of Josh Schaeffer, not to mention Andrew Kennedy, Ryan Rodgers, Pat Rondeau, and Cesar Grajeda, it's hard to see where Flores might fit in anytime soon.

A few notes about Grajeda. He's been a bust. He's hitting .188/.297/.188. He's good enough in right field defensively. But with both Josh Schaeffer and Pat Rondeau being exceptional out there, that doesn't provide much value. He's a good leader. But the team already has a few others as good or better (Matt Helm- captain, and Kevin Curtis.) And no malcontents to contend with. Team chemistry is really never an issue with the Brewers. The rumor is that the team may be looking to trade the veteran who they acquired as a free agent in the off-season.
(Honestly, I almost always regret signing free agents. Or even trading for veteran players. I just like my homegrown guys so much better. Even my 2 superstar free agent signings- Ryan Rodgers and Cheol-han Lee- have never been my favorite players on the team. I much prefer the guys who came up through the Brewers ranks-Erbakan, Kennedy, Lyerly, Rondeau, McPhillips, Foster, Koch, Francis, etc. etc. I need to stop feeling the pressure to sign free agents and just admit that I want to run the Brewers with a philosophy that emphasizes, even to an extreme, a development first approach.)
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Old 06-15-2019, 11:38 PM   #267
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Lienhart Brown out for rest of season!

It doesn't come as a huge surprise around the league, but it is a big blow for the reigning WPK champs, the Charlotte Sting, as they lose their young German knuckleballer, Lienhart Brown, for the rest of the season. Brown will be under the knife for bone spurs in his throwing elbow and is expected to be out of commission for approximately 7 months.
Brown was the first person chosen in the 1969 amateur draft and on talent alone is expected to become a superstar in the league. But he also has a track record of being injury prone and many WPK observers speculate that he might never reach his true potential.

The Sting are off to a good start this season- currently they are in 3rd place in the MGL with a 9-6 record- but this loss is sure to complicate matters for them as they look to repeat.
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Old 06-16-2019, 12:26 AM   #268
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April 27-29, 1973, at Los Angeles

The Brewers finish the month of April on the road with 3 games at L.A. against the Spinners.
The Spinners are the favorite to win the MGL this season and one can see why as they have a talented and deep starting rotation and a potent and balanced lineup. If they have a weakness it is probably their bullpen, and sure enough they are 8th in the league so far in bullpen ERA. With their offense somewhat under-achieving thus far (4th in runs scored, 8th in batting average in spite of Travis Johnson leading the league at .452 and currently working on an 18-game hitting streak) they are off to a mediocre start.

In game 1 at Avalon Park, which does favor pitching over offense, the Brewers earned a 4-2 victory. Cheol-han Lee pitched 7 strong innings, allowing just 1 unearned run on 5 hits, and improves to 2-2 with a 2.43 ERA. The Brewers only managed 4 hits off L.A. starter Jesse Hartong, who worked the complete game, but they made the most of them. The big hit was Andrew Kennedy's (.295/.317/.410) 2-run HR in the 8th inning which gave the Brewers a bit more room to breathe in what had been a 2-1 game up to that point. It was Kennedy's first HR of the season. The Brewers also stole 3 bases in the game (McPhillips, Erbakan, Rondeau.)
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After 2 poor starts to begin the season, Steve Green finally throws a gem as the Brewers get a 1-0 victory in the middle game of the series. Green pitched 8 innings of 2-hit ball, striking out 2 while walking 3. He improves to 2-1 with a 3.60 ERA. Jose de los Santos, who has struggled this season, pitched the 9th, allowing just 1 hit, to get his second save of the season. His ERA is now 9.00. Joe McPhillps (.304/.373/.457) continues his fine season going 2 for 4 in the game and scoring the lone Brewer run. He also continues to play fabulous defense in center field. Pat Rondeau (.370/.419/.444) has been wonderful in a part-time role once again, and drove in that lone run with his 2nd double of the season.
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The Brewers were unable to get the series sweep in spite of a decent start by Erik Sloan- 7 IP, 3 R, 6 H, 7 K, 3 BB- as L.A.'s veteran captain Jose Santos was even better, allowing just 1 run on 9 hits in a complete game 3-1 victory. Sloan falls to 1-3 with a 3.54 ERA (Santos on the other hand is now 3-1 with an 0.82.) Chad Brown (.268/.278/.310), who has been slumping at the plate, went 2 for 4 and drove in the lone Brewer run. Ryan Rodgers (.340/.426/.489) also went 2 for 4 in the loss.
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Old 06-16-2019, 12:47 AM   #269
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1973 WPK Standings- May 1st.

As the calendar flips to May, we see that the Jacksonville Wolf Pack, who have never finished below 3rd place in their SJL history, leads the SJL with a tremendous 14-4 April. The Boston Berserkers, pre-season favorites to win the SJL pennant, are also off to a very good start at 12-5, but after that every SJL team is under .500 with the Pittsburgh Roadrunners pulling up the rear at 6-11.

The Brooklyn Aces are off to the best start in the MGL at 12-5 with our Denver Brewers and the reigning WPK champions, the Charlotte Sting, tied for 2nd place with 10-7 records. The L.A. Spinners, predicted by most to win the league this season, are next at 10-9. Once again, the Phoenix Speed Devils get off to a poor start after being predicted to do good things. At 7-11 they are in last place and inexplicably, for a team with so many great power hitters who play their home games in a good hitters park, they are 9th in the league in runs scored, and last in both batting average and OBP. (They are 1st in HR's, though, naturally.)
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Old 06-16-2019, 11:36 AM   #270
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It doesn't come as a huge surprise around the league, but it is a big blow for the reigning WPK champs, the Charlotte Sting, as they lose their young German knuckleballer, Lienhart Brown, for the rest of the season. Brown will be under the knife for bone spurs in his throwing elbow and is expected to be out of commission for approximately 7 months.
Brown was the first person chosen in the 1969 amateur draft and on talent alone is expected to become a superstar in the league. But he also has a track record of being injury prone and many WPK observers speculate that he might never reach his true potential.

The Sting are off to a good start this season- currently they are in 3rd place in the MGL with a 9-6 record- but this loss is sure to complicate matters for them as they look to repeat.
This guy looks like gold. Huge loss.
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Old 06-16-2019, 01:11 PM   #271
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This guy looks like gold. Huge loss.
Yeah, his potential is incredible. Could be a dominant ace. But as I recall even when he was drafted out of college he was considered a fragile pitcher. He was clearly the best player in the draft but also a risky pick by Charlotte.

He has had a series of injuries in his professional career but many of them were of a short duration and involved back issues or foot (ankle and heel) problems. He did suffer a torn labrum in July of 1971 when he was in AA which put him out of commission for 5 months. But this is his first arm injury since then.
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Old 06-16-2019, 02:57 PM   #272
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Denver Brewers April 1973 Wrap-up

So the Brewers have a respectable, though not spectacular, month of April.

They are still struggling to score runs and are 8th in the MGL in that category. That in spite of being 2nd in batting average. In most other offensive categories they are much nearer the bottom than the top, including of course, home runs. Although they are only tied for 7th in stolen bases, they are the best base running team in the league, statistically. This in spite of being without Bobby Erbakan, one of their best base runners, for most of the month.

Pitching, as always, is a relative strength as they are 3rd in the MGL in runs allowed, FIP, and pitching WAR. As always, the pitching staff is very good at getting strikeouts, and the Brewers currently rank #2 in the league in that category.

The defense, also as usual, is among the best in the league. And the return of Bobby Erbakan should only push them higher in defensive statistical categories. When any combination of Ryan Rodgers, Pat Rondeau, Joe McPhillips, and Josh Schaeffer are in the outfield the Brewers have possibly the best outfield defense in the game. Andrew Kennedy is just slightly above average in left field, but his bat is so good as to make up for any defensive lapses.
The infield is great up the middle, with Jonathan Koch proving to be a spectacularly good defensive second baseman. Chad Brown remains extremely solid, in spite of some propensity to occasional errors, at short. Now that Erbakan is back at first that will obviously be a defensive strength for the Brewers. The weak link in the infield is third baseman Mike Foster, but he possesses a strong arm and isn't a significant liability defensively. And of course behind the plate we have Gold Glover Kevin Curtis.

If some of the young Brewers keep developing as they are- particularly McPhillips, Koch, and Foster- and veterans like Ryan Rodgers, Bobby Erbakan, Chad Brown, and Andrew Kennedy continue to produce as they have the past several years, the offense has good potential to improve.
As far as the starting rotation, Cheol-han Lee and Harry Lyerly are both off to great starts, Erik Sloan and Steve Green have been uneven but at times brilliant, and Matt Helm and Eric Johnson have both acquitted themselves well in their limited starts so far.
The bullpen has been spotty, with Jose de los Santos often struggling and Jordan Stephens having suffered through two rough appearances in a row. But Jaden Francis has been brilliant, and Sam Pruiett, Liann-wei Hua and Dave Duncan have all been mostly very good.
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Old 06-16-2019, 08:49 PM   #273
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May 1-3, 1973, at Baltimore

The Brewers start May on the road with 3 games at Baltimore against the Lords.

In game 1 Harry Lyerly is once again quite good but is denied a win when his team's offense sputters. Lyerly worked 7 innings, allowing 2 runs- on a 2-run HR in the 2nd inning- while allowing just 5 hits, striking out 5 and walking 2. The Brewers managed to tie the game at 2-2 in the top of the 9th when Kevin Curtis hit a 2-out double and Pat Rondeau drove him in with a pinch-hit single. But then they lost the game in the 10th inning when they stranded 2 runners only to see the Lords combine a 1-out double and a pinch-hit HR to win 4-2.
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Game 2 was originally set to be played the next day (Wednesday) but was called off due to rain and rescheduled as part of a Thursday double-header.
In the first game of the double-header the Brewers were behind 3-2 going into the 9th inning when they exploded for 5 runs- the biggest hit being a Chad Brown Grand Slam, his first HR of the season. Brown (.272/.280/.346) went 2 for 5 in the game. Joe McPhillips (.304/.371/.446), who has been the MVP of the Brewers thus far, chipped in with a 2 for 4 game and hit his 5th double of the season. Cheol-han Lee pitched 8 strong innings for the win, allowing 3 runs (1 earned) on 9 hits and sees his record improve to 3-2 with a 2.15 ERA.
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The nightcap was unfortunately another 4-2 loss for the Brewers but possibly the biggest loss of the game was when Joe McPhillips was injured while running the base paths. The nature and extent of the injury has not yet been determined (or at least revealed) and the Brewers and their fans are holding their breath that it won't be serious. Steve Green continued his uneven start to the season, allowing 4 runs on 5 hits in 6 2/3rds innings. He drops to 2-2 with a 4.05 ERA. Ryan Rodgers (.345/.429/.473) went 2 for 4 in the loss.
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Old 06-16-2019, 10:06 PM   #274
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McPhillips suffers torn thumb ligament, out 3 months

Terrible news for the Brewers as Joe McPhillips is lost for 3 months with a torn ligament in his thumb.
McPhillips was in the midst of a breakout season and this will hurt the team nearly as much as it hurt Joe.

Fortunately, the Brewers are deep in the outfield and Pat Rondeau and Ryan Rodgers, both off to great starts at the plate, can adequately hold down the center field position in McPhillips absence. But at this stage of their careers, neither possesses his great range.

With a spot open on the 25-man roster, first baseman Greg Tietz was called up from AAA Chester, where he has been tearing the cover off the ball. With Andrew Kennedy likely getting most of the starts in left field, Tietz will spell Bobby Erbakan when he needs a breather and provides a decent left handed power bat off the bench.

Fortunately, McPhillips should at least return in time for the stretch run. The real question is whether the Brewers will still be in contention when that time comes.
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Old 06-16-2019, 11:53 PM   #275
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May 4-6, 1973, versus Charlotte

The Brewers come home briefly for a 3-game series against the reigning WPK champs Charlotte.
And they probably wish they could stay awhile as the return to Centennial Stadium seems to have awakened their bats, in particular.

In game 1 they jump out to an early 3 run lead in the 1st inning and never look back. Erik Sloan went 7 1/3rd innings, allowing 3 runs on 8 hits and giving up 2 HR's, but he gets the win to improve to 2-3 with a 3.57 ERA. Cesar Grajeda (.167/.245/.229) finally hits his 1st HR in a Brewers uniform- the 3-run shot that gave the Brewers that 1st inning lead. The suddenly red-hot Chad Brown (.291/.299/.360) went 3 for 5 in the lead-off slot. Kevin Curtis (.316/.371/.509), who is off to a tremendous start at the plate, went 2 for 2 with 2 runs scored and 2 walks.
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Things only got better in the second game, as the Brewers banged out 19 hits in route to an easy 11-4 victory. Chad Brown (.330/.337/.407) led the way with a 5 for 5 game, hitting 4 singles and his 4th double of the season, while also collecting his 4th stolen base. Young Matt Helm pitched a strong 7 innings, giving up 4 runs on 7 hits, while striking out 7 and walking only 1. Helm improves to 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA. Cesar Grajeda (.189/.259/.302) had probably his best game as a Brewer, going 2 for 5 with 3 RBI and hitting his 2nd HR of the season. Pat Rondeau (.432/.463/.514), having an incredible year at the plate in admittedly still a small sample size, was 4 for 5 and hit his 3rd double of the season. Andrew Kennedy (.318/.333/.459) was 3 for 5 and hit 2 doubles to give him 7 on the season. Mike Foster (.244/.284/.317), who has been in a slump for awhile, hit his 1st HR of the season. All in all, a good day at the park for the home club.
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But wait, there's more. Game three topped the first two and then some.
First, young hurler Eric Johnson, in just his 5th big league start, hurled a complete game shutout. Johnson allowed 8 hits, but 3 of those were with 2 outs in the 9th inning, when he was perhaps tiring a bit. Still, he bent, but he did not break. With the ever dangerous power hitter Jamison Bash at the plate and the bases loaded, Johnson reached down and came up with one last effective pitch, getting Bash to fly out meekly to right field on the first pitch he saw. Johnson is now 2-0 with an ERA of 1.13.
Secondly, he didn't really need to be so tremendous, as the offense provided him with ample support. As in 13 runs on 20 hits. Among the many hitting heroes in this game, Jonathan Koch (.321/.341/.423) stands out for his 4 for 5, 4 runs scored, 1 stolen base (3), 1 HR (his 1st of the season) performance. Backup catcher Spencer Wilson (.227/.261/.455) also hit his 1st HR of the season in a 2 for 5 game. The recently called up Greg Tietz (.500/.500/.500), in his first big league start, went 3 for 5 with an RBI. Pat Rondeau (.442/.468/.558), who just cannot be stopped right now, went 3 for 6 with 3 RBI and hit his first triple of the season. I could go on and on as no Brewer starter went without at least 1 hit in the game, but I will finish by saying that this includes the starting pitcher Eric Johnson, who was 2 for 4 at the plate with 2 runs scored and 2 RBI, and hit his 1st double of the season.
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Some series are like that. When it seems like nothing can go wrong for your team. It's a fun time to be out at the ballpark. Even if in the back of your mind you know it can't stay this easy for long. You just try to enjoy it while it lasts.
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:33 AM   #276
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What's wrong with Chris Hernandez?

Among the Big 3 of WPK starting pitchers, Chris Hernandez is the elder statesman at 37 years of age. And all good careers must eventually come to an end.
But Hernandez led the WPK last year in wins with 21. He started the most games in the SJL. His ERA of 2.61 was a bit below his career average. He had the best HR/9 in the league. In short, he was still a dominant starter.

This year, not so much. Granted, he only has 6 starts and surely he will start to turn things around soon. But in his first 6 starts, Chris Hernandez is 1-5 with a 7.74 ERA. Holy crap. Not good. In 4 of his last 5 starts he has given up at least 6 earned runs and allowed at least 12 hits. Granted his BABIP is .358 (career average .292), so he's likely been pretty unlucky. Still, he also has the lowest K/9 of his career and the highest BB/9. His FIP is 3.98, compared to a career FIP of 2.34.
It is a great year for the hitter in the WPK. But still, Hernandez is a ground ball pitcher with great movement who rarely gives up home runs. You would think, in this HR-rich environment, he might at least fare better than most of his peers. But no, his ERA+ is 50. The other 2 of the Big 3- Jake Harris and Cheol-han Lee- are off to fine starts.
There is no apparent indication, other than his results thus far in 1973, that aging is taking a terrible toll on this very hard working veteran. But the numbers say something is wrong. Is this the beginning of the end for one of the WPK greats? It's too early to tell. But if you are a San Antonio fan, or just a Chris Hernandez fan, there has to be some concern.
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:39 PM   #277
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Chad Brown MGL Player of the Week

And with his great start to the month of May, Chad Brown is the first Brewer this season to win MGL Player of the Week honors.
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:22 PM   #278
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1973 Amateur Draft Pool Announced

WPK teams are moving into full gear with their amateur draft planning and scouting now that the official draft pool has been announced.

It looks like this could be a top heavy draft, at least when it comes to position players, as there are several players who profile as having WPK superstar potential. While there are certainly some pitcher's who will likely be first round picks, or at least supplemental first round or early second round picks, the greatest talent seems to be clumped at the positions of shortstop, center field, and first base.
One trend that has emerged is that a good number of position players in the draft pool have great HR power potential. (20 position players have potential HR power ratings of 8 or 9 on a 1-10 scale.)

There is a good deal of agreement that the likely #1 overall is 21-year old St. Louis College shortstop Justin Ficklin. Although there are some small concerns about his character- he won't likely become a fan favorite or even a beloved clubhouse figure- his talent profiles as legitimate 5-tools superstar.
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Prep (Hayes Vo-Tech, Cleveland, OH) star center fielder John Hemmah is a favorite of Brewers head scout Nick Meskill. Hemmah is under-powered compared to many of his counterparts in the draft pool, but Meskill believes he will be a top-tier contact hitter with decent gap power, a good eye, and the potential to rarely swing and miss. Combined with his great speed and base running savvy, his well above average defense and cannon arm (will he eventually settle into a right field job?), and his reputation for smarts and a strong work ethic, make him the kind of toolsy, high character player that Meskill and the Brewers front office tends to value most. Sadly, he won't likely still be around when the Brewers pick at #18 in the first round.
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Another shortstop, 18-year old T.J. Williams out of Cal-State Fullerton, is the third player that Meskill rates at the top of the scale in terms of potential. Williams profiles as a future gold glover with a good bat tool, though well below the rest of the position players expected to go high in the draft, but is also known for his strong leadership skills and great eye at the plate.
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Perhaps the purest, and most well developed, hit tool in the draft, especially when it comes to combining contact and power, belongs to Las Vegas College first baseman Mike Lovett. Lovett won't likely ever win any gold gloves but with his hitting abilities, he won't need to. Whoever drafts Lovett could well have a future home run king on their club within the next few seasons, with Lovett likely the most developed bat in the draft.
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Five of the next six players on Nick Meskill's list of best prospects in the draft are center fielders. (Though at least a few will likely shift to a corner outfield position before they reach the big leagues.) Among them is Cameron Olsen, 18-year old Bremerton, Washington native currently playing for the University of Nevada, Reno. Olsen is another player who could develop considerable home run power as he matures and projects as having great plate discipline and decent contact skills. He has plus speed and strong defensive skills but there are questions about his baseball smarts and work ethic.
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:00 PM   #279
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Ruben "Streak" Souffront Update

The Brewers had a chance to catch up with their old friend Ruben Souffront during the recent 3-game series versus the Charlotte Sting.
Ruben was signed to a minor league contract by the Sting as a free agent this past January. And things are working out quite well for him as he is now the starting right fielder and primary lead-off hitter for the reigning WPK champs.
And he is off to a good start, a solid candidate for Comeback Player of the Year. Ruben's slash line is .308/.387/.385. Uncharacteristically, he has walked more times (8) than he has struck out (5). On his current pace he is projected to have a WAR of 1.7- far from his career best which was 4.1 in 1967- but certainly better than his performance of the last few years. His defense in right field is a bit sub-par, and in fact he committed an error at a crucial moment in the series against the Brewers that led to a few runs. But he has 4 stolen bases (2 caught stealing) and is on pace for 20 doubles, 7 triples, and 88 runs scored.

All in all, it is good to see Ruben having a bounce back year and hopefully this will allow him, given that he is only 28, to stick around the WPK for several more years.
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Old 06-17-2019, 11:49 PM   #280
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May 7-10, 1973, at Detroit

The Brewers and the suddenly very hot Detroit Falcons begin a 4-game series tied for 2nd place in the MGL with identical 14-9 records.

And after much drama and a whole lotta hits and runs scored, they finish the series with identical records still.

In game 1, Harry Lyerly struggles with his control for the first time this season, walking 6 batters, and in spite of not allowing a single HR he gives up 4 runs on 8 hits over 7 innings pitched. The Falcons, meanwhile, get another masterful performance from 25-year old Eduardo Saucedo. Saucedo is one of the bigger surprises at this stage of the season as he is off to a 5-0 start and is 3rd in the MGL in ERA at 1.73. (Two L.A. Spinners pitchers, with the advantage of pitching in a very good pitcher's park, are ahead of him- Jose Santos at 1.13 and Juan Soto at 1.71.) Lyerly falls to 2-1 but still has an impressive 2.48 ERA himself (good for 8th in the MGL.) Kevin Curtis (.318/.366/.515), having a career year at the plate thus far, went 2 for 4 with 2 doubles to give him 4 for the season. Second baseman Jonathan Koch (.329/.348/.427), in the midst of what appears to be a breakout season, was also 2 for 4 in the 6-3 loss.
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Game 2 was a crazy back-and-forth affair which the Brewers lost 10-8. I'm not even going to attempt to recap this one much. Suffice it say that Cheol-han Lee didn't have his best start (4 2/3rds IP, 6 R, 12 H, 2 K, 5 BB) but did not get a decision in the game. His ERA is now 3.19. Liann-wei Hua, who gave up back-to-back HR's to open the bottom of the 7th inning takes the loss and drops to 0-1 with a 5.14 ERA. Chad Brown (.324/.343/.429) went 2 for 4 with 4 RBI in the loss, hitting his 5th double and 2nd HR.
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The Brewers plate a run in the top of the 9th in the third game of the series to break a 4-4 tie and then hold on to win 5-4. Jonathan Koch (.315/.333/.402) hit the game-winning 1-out single and went 2 for 5 in the game. Jordan Stephens (.444/.545/.556) got a rare start at third base to give the slumping Mike Foster a breather and went 2 for 4 with his first double of the season. Jose de los Santos got the win in relief of Steve Green (7 IP, 4 R, 6 H, 6 K, 1 BB- 4.28 ERA) with 2 strong innings pitched. de los Santos is now 1-0 with an ERA of 7.20.
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It wasn't easy, but the Brewers get a narrow 6-5 victory in the final game to get the series split. Erik Sloan pitches well enough for the win, allowing 4 runs on 8 hits over 6 1/3rd innings. He improves to 3-3 with a 3.89 ERA. Sam Pruiett pitches the final two innings for his 2nd save and his ERA is now 1.74. Jonathan Koch (.330/.346/.423) stays hot with a 3 for 5, 2 run, 3 RBI game and hits his 4th double of the season. Pat Rondeau (.473/.492/.564) just continues to be unconscious at the plate, going 3 for 5 and scoring 2 runs. Granted he only has 59 plate appearances and has to come back down to earth at some point, but right now you do not want to be pitching to this guy.
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