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Old 06-18-2019, 12:11 AM   #281
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A few words about the Brewers offense right now

Well, I could probably just do this in one word: Wow!

But I'll say quite a few more words to give you the full picture.
As many of you may know, the Brewers historically live or die with pitching, defense, and speed. Even in their best years they are not an offensive powerhouse.

And, as is usual for them, they are again near the bottom in home runs this season.
But in pretty much every other category, definitely not near the bottom. In this year of the juiced ball when offense is at historic levels in the WPK, the Brewers are still remarkable. They have a team batting average of .293. The next best is .277, shared by the L.A. Spinners and the San Antonio Keys. The Brewers are second in the MGL in runs scored, and also second in OBP, OPS, Batting WAR, and wOBA. Although they are only tied for 7th in stolen bases, they are 2nd in the league in base running. The Brewers are first in the MGL in doubles with 47 (just behind the SJL's San Antonio who have 48) and lead the entire WPK in triples with 10.

I can't even keep track of how many Brewers have current hitting streaks in the double digits or near that. Bobby Erbakan (.268/.340/.390), who isn't even hitting very well by this team's standards, is working on a 15 game hitting streak. Chad Brown (.322/.339/.426) is right behind him at 14 games and counting. Kevin Curtis (.306/.375/.486) just had his streak stopped at 13 games. Ryan Rodgers (.342/.448/.466) had an 11 game streak end this series. Pat Rondeau (.473/.492/.564) is working on an 8 game streak. As is Andrew Kennedy (.340/.351/.481.)

The pitching staff isn't horrible. We are 4th in the league in runs allowed and starters ERA (Harry Lyerly's 2.48 being easily the best in the rotation.) The bullpen has been a bit ragged lately and currently is 6th in the league in ERA. We are still 2nd in strikeouts by our pitching staff.

But mostly what is keeping the Brewers in contention right now is hitting, hitting, hitting. Well, and base running. Now if we could just find our power swings a bit more often.

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Old 06-19-2019, 12:04 AM   #282
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May 11-13, 1973, at Charlotte

The Charlotte Sting host the Brewers for a three-game set surely looking to get some revenge for the crushing sweep they suffered at the Brewers hands last week in Denver.

And in Game 1 they do get a small measure of revenge with a narrow 5-4 win. Matt Helm got the start for the Brewers and the lefty worked 5 innings, giving up 4 runs (3 earned) on 5 hits, walking 5 while striking out just 1. Helm takes the loss to fall to 2-1 with a 3.60 ERA. Chad Brown (.333/.350/.433) was 3 for 5 in the loss but also committed his 7th error of the season. With his 3 hits he extended his hit streak to 15 straight games. Bobby Erbakan (.267/.333/.378) got a hit in his first at-bat to extend his streak to 16 games. Pat Rondeau (.475/.492/.559) was 2 for 4 to extend his streak to 13 games. Jonathan Koch hit his 2nd HR of the season.
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Game 2 saw the Brewers bat booming once again (not that they were all that silent in the first game.) But once again the real story was the pitching of young Mr. Eric Johnson. Johnson carried a 2-hit shutout into the 9th inning and although he then ran into a bit of trouble and allowed a 3-run Cody Kane homer, he earned another win to improve to 3-0 with a 1.67 ERA. Not too shabby for the Trinidad, Colorado native. Jonathan Koch (.346/.363/.481) continues his terrific sophomore season and had a 3 for 5 game with 2 doubles (6) and 3 RBI (21). Oscar Vargas (.207/.273/.241), in a rare start giving Mike Foster a breather at third base, was 3 for 5 also and also drove in 3 runs and hit his 1st double of the season. Bobby Erbakan (.286/.357/.408) went 2 for 4 and hit his 4th double and his hitting streak extends to 17 games. Erbakan also picks up his 2nd stolen base. Chad Brown got 1 hit in 5 at-bats and extends his streak to 16 games. The Brewers win 9-3.
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And the hits keep coming. The Brewers bang out 16 hits in the rubber match, including a pair of doubles, and a Grand Slam home run off the bat of back-up catcher Spencer Wilson in the 5th inning that turned a narrow lead into a decisive lead. (It was Wilson's 2nd HR of the season.) Cheol-han Lee pitched a solid 8 innings for the win, improving to 4-2 with a 3.04 ERA. Chad Brown (.338/.353/.438) was 3 for 5 and hit his 7th double of the season. Hitting streak now at 17 games. Andrew Kennedy (.339/.350/.470) was also 3 for 5. Mike Foster (.243/.287/.308), one of the few Brewers hitters who has been cold for the past several weeks, broke out a bit with a 3 for 4 game, scoring 2 runs, driving in 1, and drawing 1 walk. Ryan Rodgers (.349/.449/.470), oh, he just keeps quietly hitting, going 2 for 4 and hitting his 4th double of the season. Bobby Erbakan got a single hit to get to 18 straight games with his hitting streak. Pat Rondeau also got a hit and is now at 14 games. With the 1 hit in 5 AB's, Rondeau's batting average drops to .453. Yup, that's how crazy this offense is right now. Not a single Brewer's starter, including Cheol-han Lee, was held hitless in this game.
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The Brewers team batting average is now .296. We even manage to move up a notch in team HR's, from 9th to 8th. Baby steps.


With a record of 18-12 the Brewers are currently tied for 3rd place in the MGL with Detroit, 1 1/2 games behind the first place Brooklyn Aces and 1 game behind the L.A. Spinners. Though it should be noted that the Brewers are 2nd only behind the Spinners in run differential in all of the WPK. (Denver is at +41, L.A. has a tremendous +53.)

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Old 06-19-2019, 08:22 PM   #283
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Boston's Mazzola out for 4-5 months with torn labrum.

The Boston Berserkers, off to a great start and currently tied for first place in the SJL with the Jacksonville Wolf Pack (both are 22-8), suffer a blow to their starting rotation as 25-year old lefty hurler Chris Mazzola suffers a torn labrum and is expected to be out of action until mid-September at the earliest.

Mazzola is prone to some wildness and higher walk rates but he is also one of the best strikeout pitchers in the league and his loss will be a challenge for the Berserkers.
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Old 06-20-2019, 09:37 PM   #284
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Hartwig Hurls Perfect Game!

Jacksonville Wolf Pack right-hander Ray Hartwig tossed not only the first no-hitter but also the third perfect game in WPK history.

The 28-year old Hartwig, in his 4th big league season, is off to a good start in 1973 as this win was his 6th with only 1 loss and a 3.25 ERA. The Detroit native has had a solid, if unspectacular, career thus far but this is clearly the high point up to now.
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:31 PM   #285
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May 14-17, 1973, versus Los Angeles

The Brewers begin a 7-game home stretch with 4 against the pre-season favorite Los Angeles Spinners, who are in fact off to a good start as they sit in 2nd place, just a 1/2 game behind Brooklyn, with a 20-12 record.

The Spinners have a dominant starting rotation and a poor bullpen. They also lead the MGL in runs scored and several other offensive categories, are tied for 1st in stolen bases and are 2nd in HR's. In other words, they are a formidable opponent. If you can not get too far behind and can tire out their starting pitcher, you might have a chance. Otherwise, it will likely be a long day.

And in the first game of the series the Brewers only allowed 4 runs, but they failed to score even once and went down 4-0. L.A.'s veteran captain and staff ace Jose Santos held the Brewers to 5 hits in his 8 innings pitched. Harry Lyerly had his worst start of the season thus far, allowing 4 runs on 10 hits over 6 innings. He falls to 2-2 with a 2.98 ERA. Of the Brewers 6 hits in the game, Chad Brown (.343/.358/.440) hit 2 in his 4 at-bats, extending his hitting streak. Bobby Erbakan also extended his streak with 1 hit.
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Game 2 wasn't much different as L.A. won 5-1. Steve Green continued his disappointing start to the 1973 season, allowing 5 runs on 8 hits (including 3 HR's) over 7 innings pitched. Green falls to 2-3 with a 4.65 ERA. Ryan Rodgers (.344/.443/.478) was 2 for 4 in the loss with a pair of doubles which gives him 6 for the season. Bobby Erbakan (.279/.348/.410) extended his hitting streak to 19 games with a 4th inning triple, his 2nd.
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It took some late scoring, but the Brewers fight back to win the third game, 5-4. Erik Sloan pitches a solid 7 innings, giving up 2 runs on 6 hits. Sam Pruiett, who replaced him, gave up a couple of runs, but after that the bullpen was solid and the offense started to wake up. Bobby Erbakan (.303/.365/.424) is starting to get hot, which seems like an odd thing to say of a player whose 3 for 5 game extended his hitting streak to 20 games. But the reality is that there were a good number of 1 hit games during the streak. Pat Rondeau (.452/.468/.534), who has now hit in 16 straight, was also 3 for 5, hitting his 4th double and picking up his 3rd stolen base. Jonathan Koch (.359/.373/.496) continues to have a great sophomore season with a 4 for 4 game, collecting a pair of doubles to get to 8 for the season. Koch is currently the holder of the 2nd best batting average in all of the WPK among qualified hitters. Chad Brown (.338/.352/.453) only had 1 hit in the game but it was a big one. Not only did it extend his hitting streak to 19 games but it was his 3rd homer of the season, a 1-out solo shot in the 8th inning that seemed to wake up the slumbering Denver offense.
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The final game of the series got off to a very bad start for the home team. But as they say, all's well that ends well.
Eric Johnson was bound to come back to earth at some point, and facing the mighty Spinners was probably a likely time for that to happen. Johnson gave up 3 runs in the 1st inning and if not for a timely double play turned by the Brewers fantastic infield it could have been quite a bit worse. As it turned out Johnson would give up 6 runs on 9 hits in just 4 1/3rd inning pitched. But the bullpen was solid and the Denver offense just never gave up. Trailing 7-2 going into the bottom of the 6th, the Brewers scored 1 run in the 6th, 2 in the 7th, another 2 in the 8th, to tie the game 7-7 going into the 9th. Jordan Stephens pitched a perfect 9th to keep the game knotted. Then, in the bottom of the 9th, with L.A. closer Barry Guy on the mound, the Brewers saw Chad Brown fly out to center and Pat Rondeau hit into a 6-3 ground out. Extra Innings were starting to look inevitable. But veteran Ryan Rodgers did what he does so well, worked a walk. Bobby Erbakan, who had extended his hitting streak to 21 games earlier in the game, watched two straight balls pass by. He was almost on top of the next pitch, but he fouled it off straight behind the plate. The next pitch he swung at, and missed. One strike away from extra frames. But the next pitch, Bobby didn't miss. In fact, he sent it 426 feet away into the left-center stands. Erbakan's first HR of the 1973 season is a 2-run walk-off. And the Brewers salvage a series split.
Let's give some love to Andrew Kennedy too. Kennedy (.331/.346/.454) went 3 for 3 with a walk and an RBI in the win. And not to ignore Oscar Vargas. Vargas, who came into the game to replace the recently promoted Joe Willemse at third base, who had to leave with an as yet undisclosed injury, hit the 8th inning 2-run HR that tied the game. It was Vargas first bomb of the season.
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Bobby Erbakan's (.310/.367/.465) hitting streak is now at 21 games. Chad Brown (.333/.347/.451) is at 20 games in his streak. And Pat Rondeau (.436/.451/.513) sits at 17 games and counting.

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Old 06-21-2019, 10:07 PM   #286
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Chad Brown's hitting streak reaches 20 games!

So Chad Brown joins Bobby Erbakan in the 20+ game hitting streak club. Erbakan's streak remains alive and Pat Rondeau is approaching 20 (18) in his own streak.
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Old 06-21-2019, 10:45 PM   #287
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Two of three Brewers hitting streaks come to an end in victory

The Brewers win their second straight game against the Brooklyn Aces (reports to follow soon) and move into 1st place in the MGL. So it wasn't really a big deal to anyone when both Chad Brown and Bobby Erbakan's hitting streaks came to an end in their latest victory. (Erbakan's lone at-bat was as a pinch-hitter late in the very tight game.)

Pat Rondeau (.455/.467/.534) saw his streak advance to 19 straight games with a 4 for 6 performance.
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Old 06-22-2019, 12:33 PM   #288
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May 18-20, 1973, versus Brooklyn

The Brewers next take on the other main contender thus far for the MGL title, the Brooklyn Aces, in a three-game series in Denver.

In the first game, the Brewers scored early, plating 3 runs in the 1st inning off talented Aces starter Jose Mendoza, and got a fine pitching performance from Cheol-han Lee to hold on for a 4-1 victory. Lee worked 8 1/3rd innings, allowing just the 1 run on 7 hits, striking out 8 while walking 1. With the win he improves to 5-2 with a 2.76 ERA. He got into a bit of trouble in the 9th but Liann-wei Hua came in and put out the fire for his 3 save of the season (3.60 ERA.) The big blow in the 1st inning was a 3-run HR by Bobby Erbakan (.311/.373/.500), his 2nd long ball of the season. Pat Rondeau (.439/.453/.512) continued his torrid hitting, going 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored and picking up his 4th stolen base of the season.
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Rookie first baseman Greg Tietz, recently promoted from AAA, had a big day in the second game of the series and helped lead his team to a 7-6 extra inning walk-off victory. Tietz (.353/.421/.529) went 3 for 5 in the game, hitting his first big league home run in the 5th inning and then coming up with the game-winning walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th. And who scored that run? Well, Pat Rondeau of course. Rondeau (.455/.467/.534) hit a single to lead off the inning, went to second on a Cesar Grajeda walk, and then the speedster scored from 2nd on the Tietz single. It was the 4th hit of the game for Rondeau, who went 4 for 6, scoring twice and hitting his 5th double. Rondeau, playing center field in this game, also threw out the speedy Felix Lopez at home plate in the 8th inning, a play that may have set the Brewers up for the win. Two-way player Jordan Stephens (.375/.423/.417), getting the start at third base, went 3 for 5 in the game.
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In the final game of the series, the Brewers ran into the red-hot youngster, Shannon Petrik. The left-handed starter, who had celebrated his 25th birthday just two days prior, gave up 3 runs on 8 hits in 6 1/3rd innings pitched but the Aces got the 7-3 victory and Petrik improves to 5-0 with an ERA of 1.83, second best in all of the WPK. Harry Lyerly took the loss for the Brewers, allowing all 7 runs (5 earned) in his 6 2/3rds innings pitched. Lyerly walked 4 while only striking out 2 but oddly did not allow any HR's. he falls to 2-3 with a 3.49 ERA. Ryan Rodgers (.337/.444/.471) was 2 for 3 with 2 walks and his 8th double of the season in the loss. Jonathan Koch (.348/.359/.477), who hadn't done much in the series yet, went 2 for 4 and hit his 9th double.
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Even with the loss, the Brewers remain atop the MGL standing at 22-15, with Brooklyn and L.A. both 1/2 game back in second place.
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Old 06-22-2019, 01:02 PM   #289
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Denver Brewers Farm Report, May 21st, 1973

Historically, the Brewers, even when they have one of the more highly regarded farm systems, don't achieve a great deal of team success in their minor league franchises.
This year the minor league system ranks 19th out of 20. And yet, this appears to be more about the lack of top tier prospects than about the depth and quality of the system. Both the AAA Chester Big Stick and the AA Nashville Red Wings are off to great starts (both are 25-13) and lead their leagues. The single A Bainbridge Brawlers have gotten off to a more uneven start and though they were over .500 recently, they have lost 5 of their past 6 games to drop to 17-21 and are in 7th place.
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It probably didn't help Bainbridge when they lost their best hitter, outfielder Jorge Gonzalez, considered by the OSA to be the top prospect in the system, as he was promoted to AA Nashville recently. Gonzalez struggled at single A last season but was off to a tremendous start this season and yet showed signs of discontentment. It was felt by team management that the young man needed another challenge and though he is not off to a good start at AA Nashville he is happier and the feeling is that production will follow eventually.
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Another 20-year old at Nashville who is considered the best pitching prospect in the organization, John Weaver, is having a fine season thus far. Weaver already has a big league fastball and if he can develop his off-speed pitches a bit (knuckle curve and changeup), and gain just a bit more control of his pitches, he could have a future as a big league middle of the rotation starter. Weaver profiles as having a durable arm and there can be no questioning his desire to improve.
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The same can be said for his teammate, reliever Mike Lizarraga. Lizaragga has potentially some of the best stuff in the Brewers organization. He still needs to develop his two potentially plus pitches- a cutter and a curveball- a bit to be big league ready, but with his strong work ethic and great intelligence, many in the organization see Lizarraga having a big impact in the Brewers bullpen in just a few years.
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Second baseman David Bennett continues to slug his way through the minor leagues. While Bennett never gets that much credit as a top prospect, he doesn't seem to let it bother him as the Teays Valley, West Virginia native just keeps showing what he can do on the field, letting his bat and glove make his case for him.
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Last edited by BirdWatcher; 06-22-2019 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 06-22-2019, 03:56 PM   #290
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May 22, 1973, at Phoenix

In a scheduling oddity, the Brewers head down to the desert for a single game against the once again disappointing Phoenix Speed Devils.

The Brewers come from behind in the great hitters park that is Municipal Stadium, winning 9-6.
Although he probably didn't deserve a win, Erik Sloan gets one anyway. Sloan allowed 5 runs on 9 hits in 7 innings pitched. With the victory he improves to 4-3 with a 4.04 ERA.
Although it hasn't been a great sophomore season for third baseman Mike Foster (.240/.290/.314), he had a great game, going 2 for 5 with 3 runs scored and hit 2 doubles to get to 4 on the season. Pat Rondeau (.452/.464/.538) kept his hitting streak alive by going 2 for 5. He hit his 6th double of the season.
Jose de los Santos pitched the final 1 1/3rd innings for his 4th save (3.48 ERA.)

The Brewers are now in a virtual tie for 1st with L.A. and Brooklyn, 1 game ahead of the Baltimore Lords, who are their next opponents.
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Old 06-22-2019, 06:49 PM   #291
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May 23-24, 1973, versus Baltimore

The Brewers come home for a quick 2-game series against the Baltimore Lords.

And it doesn't go well.

In the first game the Brewers lose 15-0. Let's not dwell on this one much, eh? (Might be the worst loss I can recall in Brewers history.) Another really bad start for Steve Green. Green falls to 2-4 with a 5.13 ERA after allowing 8 runs (6 earned) on 9 hits in 6 2/3rds innings. On the bright side, Bobby Erbakan (.318/.378/.477) went 2 for 4 in the game. And Pat Rondeau got 1 hit to extend his hitting streak to 21 games. But mostly this, in the words of the very wise Brewers GM/manager: "we got our butts kicked."
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Game 2 was only slightly less humiliating. Cheol-han Lee gave up 7 runs (6 earned) on 12 hits over 8 innings pitched. The Brewers lose 7-2. Lee falls to 5-3 with a 3.24 ERA. Jonathan Koch (.348/.358/.468) continues his great season with a 2 for 4 game. Mike Foster (.240/.288/.310) also went 2 for 4. And Pat Rondeau (.436/.448/.525) collected 1 hit- his 7th double of the season- to extend his hitting streak to 22 games.
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Next the Brewers travel to Brooklyn for 3 games with the 1st place (virtual tie with Baltimore and L.A., but Brooklyn has the best winning percentage) Aces. There are 5 teams in the MGL with records under .500. We don't seem to be playing any of them lately.
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Old 06-22-2019, 07:33 PM   #292
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WPK Franchise Report: the Brooklyn Aces

This seems like a good time for us to produce the first franchise report of the 1973 season. Today let's look at the Brewers upcoming opponent, the Brooklyn Aces.

History/Overview: The Aces suffered through a long period of futility in the early years of the franchise, as they finished in the bottom half of the MGL in each of their first five seasons and in six of the first seven. They finally broke out of the second division in the 1972 season, when they finished in 3rd place. And they are now once again contending for the division crown this season.
They are doing so largely on the strength of pitching and defense (the old Brewer profile). And while they are not a great base running team thus far (6th at +5.6) they do lead the league in stolen bases.
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The Park: Now part of the reason the Aces are a pitching/defense/speed first kind of team is their home ballpark- Heritage Field. While Heritage Field will yield a decent number of doubles and right handed batters should be able to get a fair number of base hits there, it depresses home run totals pretty well and doesn't play very friendly for left handed batters. The left field wall rises 24 feet but it is not a long poke to get a ball out of the park there as it is 312 feet down the line, 334 to dead left, and 389 to left center. It gets deep fast as dead center is 415 feet away from home plate.
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The Face of the Franchise: Although the answer to this question in the not too distant future might be 22-year old starting pitcher Aaron McNally, who looks like he should blossom into a superstar, and the best position player on the team this year has probably been first baseman Danny Salvador, Felix Lopez is still the undisputed face of the franchise. Lopez was out with a severe hip strain for much of the first part of the season and is off to a slow start, but you can be sure that if he stays healthy by the end of the season he will have produced another excellent season. Perhaps not an MVP season like he did last year. But at age 30 he is still a dynamic force in the league.
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Greatest Former Player: Eric Canova roamed the outfield for the Aces in his first five seasons and was a dominant player. Even with Felix Lopez leading the club in most career offensive categories, Canova is still the career leader in WAR with 32.0 in a Brooklyn uniform. Canova, now playing for the Washington Night Train at age 38, has put together a 47.7 WAR career, which is the 14th best among position players in WPK history.
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Old 06-22-2019, 07:52 PM   #293
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Now how often does this happen?

Spoiler alert: yes the Brewers are probably about to make a trade.

Do I tempt fate and try to make the deal a bit sweeter when that rare occurrence has taken place- the opposing team's GM and my assistant GM both like the deal as it is originally outlined.
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Old 06-22-2019, 08:11 PM   #294
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Brewers trade Grajeda to Oklahoma City

And the short-lived Cesar Grajeda experiment in Denver comes to an end. Although the 29-year old 2-time All-Star had been starting to hit a bit better with the great performance of Pat Rondeau and the steady development of Josh Schaeffer in an already crowded outfield picture, Grajeda wasn't getting many starts.

In exchange for Grajeda the Brewers get the oldest player in the WPK, third baseman Billy Turner. The 42-year old Turner is also a 2-time All-Star and still has good power and a great eye at the plate. His defense at third base is not great and he probably won't get the starting role he desires. But he's an experienced veteran who can spell Mike Foster on occasion and provide a power right-handed bat off the bench. He also is much less expensive than Grajeda and his contract expires at the end of the season, so this trade was more about freeing up space for younger players down the road. (And, let's face it, Turner is a career-ending injury waiting to happen.)
Turner is also a popular player with the fans and indications are that fan interest took a nice little upturn with the announcement of the trade.
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Old 06-22-2019, 10:40 PM   #295
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Rondeau's hitting streak ends at 24

Pat Rondeau got to 24 games in his hitting streak, the longest this season in the WPK, and 1 more game than his teammate Bobby Erbakan.
But all good things must come to an end and Rondeau went 0 for 5 in today's victory over Brooklyn.
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Old 06-22-2019, 11:06 PM   #296
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May 25-27, 1973, at Brooklyn

In game 1 of 3 at Brooklyn, Pat Rondeau (.443/.455/.547) and his hot bat helped the Brewers get an 8-5 road victory. Rondeau went 3 for 5 with 2 doubles to bring his season total to 9. The Brewers also got a great performance from Eric Johnson who had to come in unexpectedly in the 2nd inning after starter Harry Lyerly had to leave with an injury after allowing a lead-off double. Johnson ended up working a strong 5 innings, allowing no runs on 3 hits while striking out 5 and walking 1. He gets the win to improve to 4-0 with a 2.59 ERA. (Lyerly, as it turns out, was dealing with a finger blister which will not keep him from making his next scheduled start.) Kevin Curtis (.248/.333/.386), who has been slumping for some time, went 2 for 4 in the game, scoring twice and hitting his 5th double. The recently acquired veteran Billy Turner came in as a pinch-hitter in the 7th inning and his first at-bat as a Brewer resulted in a double and an eventual run.
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The Aces veteran ace Manny Alvarado did a good job shutting down the Denver offense in the middle game of the series and the Aces won 4-2. Although the Brewers managed to collect 12 hits against Alvarado they struggled to turn those into runs. Matt Helm was on the mound for the visitors and allowed 4 runs on 9 hits in 5 1/3rd innings pitched. Taking the loss, Helm drops to 2-2 with a 4.60 ERA. Ryan Rodgers (.353/.444/.479) was 3 for 5 in the loss and hit his 9th double of the season. Andrew Kennedy (.318/.337/.433) hit 2 doubles to get to 13 for the season, which leads the league. Pat Rondeau (.441/.452/.550) went 2 for 5 and hit his 10th double.
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The Brewers get one of their best starts of the year in the rubber match, as lefty Erik Sloan gets the complete game victory, allowing just 1 run on 5 hits, striking out 5 and walking none. Sloan improves to 5-3 with a 3.62 ERA. Jonathan Koch, the leading All-Star vote getter at second base in the MGL in the early results, just keeps going. Koch (.340/.348/.490) went 2 for 4 with his 2 hits both being HR's. This gives him the team lead in HR's of 4. He also drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and had 5 RBI on the day. He also leads the team in RBI with 29. Bobby Erbakan (.300/.360/.440) also had a good game, going 2 for 4 with 3 runs scored and a walk. And although Pat Rondeau's consecutive game hit streak ended at 24, he did come up with a big outfield assist, throwing out the speedy Jeremy Brigatti at home plate to end the 1st inning.
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Old 06-23-2019, 01:27 PM   #297
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May 29-31, 1973, versus Phoenix

The Brewers wrap up the month of May with a 4-game series at home against the Phoenix Speed Devils.

And it doesn't go well.

In game 1, the Brewers lose narrowly, 6-5. They almost came back in the bottom of the 9th, scoring 2 runs but leaving runners on the corners when Bobby Erbakan flew out to left field to end the game. Cheol-han Lee got the loss, giving up 5 runs, though only 2 of them earned, on 12 hits in 6 innings pitched. Lee drops to 5-4 with a 3.22 ERA. Erbakan (.314/.371/.467) was 3 for 5 in the game and hit 2 doubles to give him 6 for the season. Kevin Curtis (.250/.336/.407) hit his 4th HR of the season. Josh Schaeffer (.303/.410/.576) hit his 3rd triple of the season as a pinch-hitter in the 9th to help spark the rally that eventually fell short.
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Next up was a Wednesday double-header. In the first game the Brewers once again lost, 7-5. Harry Lyerly was not sharp again as he allowed 5 runs on 5 hits- including 2 HR's- over 6 innings pitched. On the other hand, he did hit his 1st double of the season. Rookie Josh Schaeffer (.308/.400/.615) continued to make a case for more playing time with a 2 for 5, 3 RBI performance. One of his hits was a 3-run HR in the 1st inning, his 2nd HR of the season.
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The Brewers managed to get a split of the double-header as Steve Green pitched pretty well- 7 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 4 K, 1 BB, 2 HR- and Jordan Stephens pitched 2 nearly perfect innings to finish things for his 2nd save (3.52 ERA.) The Brewers won 5-3 and Green improved to 3-4 with a 4.97 ERA. Veteran outfielder Ryan Rodgers (.361/.463/.496) continued his assault on MGL pitchers, going 2 for 3 with 2 walks, 2 RBI, and hitting his 12th double of the season. Pat Rondeau (.415/.430/.508) also went 2 for 4 and stole his 6th base of 1973.
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But with a chance to earn a series split in the final game of the series, the Brewers totally fell apart and lost 10-2. Eric Johnson, whose greatest strength is usually his good control, was very wild in this one, walking 6 batters and throwing 2 wild pitches in his 4 2/3rds innings. He also gave up 9 runs, though only 4 were earned, on 9 hits. Johnson falls to 4-1 with a 3.11 ERA. Chad Brown (.317/.328/.422) was 2 for 4 in the loss and hit his 4th HR of the season. Jonathan Koch (.333/.345/.473) also went 2 for 4 and drove in a run to get to 31 RBI for the season. The Brewers defense didn't help much- they committed 3 errors as they also had in the first game of the series.
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Although they had a hot streak in the middle of the month when they briefly took over first place, the Brewers finish the month with a disappointing 16-14 record. They have now fallen into 5th place, (a virtual tie with the Detroit Falcons, our next opponents), 2 1/2 games behind the 1st place L.A. Spinners. While the offense still ranks pretty high in the MGL, the pitching has fallen apart and we are now 7th in the league in runs allowed, 6th in starter ERA and 4th in bullpen ERA. Our pitching staff does still lead the league in strikeouts. And the offense continues to have the best batting average and best base running. But the pitching staff is going to have to start turning things around soon and our defense needs to get a bit less reckless if we are going to avoid dropping further into the middle of the league standings.
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Old 06-23-2019, 08:29 PM   #298
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June 1st Development Update, pt. 1

Nick Meskill and his crack team published their June 1st development update for the Brewers brain trust today.

Let's look at a few highlights and how they might impact the future decisions for the team.

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The two veterans who head up the starting rotation and the bullpen received mixed reviews. Cheol-han Lee, the ace of the starting staff, is seen as exhibiting even greater control than previously, though his overall value is seen as falling slightly. At this stage of his career Lee has pretty average stuff and none of his five pitches rates as being elite, but he still has an above average fastball and changeup and a slightly above average splitter. And his movement and control both rate as nearly elite. He should remain a solid leader for the rotation for the near future, at least.

On the other hand, the 36-year old closer/stopper Jose de los Santos is exhibiting declining skills. His velocity has dropped a bit and with it his stuff and movement are both moving in the wrong direction. He should still be a valuable member of the bullpen but his dominant days are likely now in the past and the Brewers will need to find someone to take his spot in the highest leverage situations quite soon.

Another interesting question for the Brewers surrounds the catching position. Kevin Curtis remains a solid starter with his gold glove defense, good leadership skills, and a bit of pop in his bat combined with a great eye. But backup catcher Spencer Wilson is also profiling as a starter and he's well aware of it and not happy playing second fiddle to Curtis. Wilson has a slight edge over Curtis in terms of overall offensive potential but, while being a solid backstop, does not rise to Curtis level defensively.
One factor that might lead to Wilson changing uniforms is the continued development of 22-year old Zacharias Martell, currently down at AAA Chester. Indications are that Martell is very close to being big league ready and he could certainly take the backup role with the Brewers soon. Martell profiles quite similar to Curtis and Wilson at the plate and could end up being nearly the equal of Curtis defensively, though his arm is a bit under-powered. Likely Martell will be in a Brewers uniform in September, if not before, and it will be interesting to see if he proves himself to the point where Wilson is expendable.
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Old 06-23-2019, 08:55 PM   #299
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June 1st Development Update, pt. 2

As has long been true, the outfield picture for the Brewers remains largely quite optimistic but also extremely crowded.
It's a good problem to have but a challenge nevertheless.

Although there are indications that veteran Ryan Rodgers defensive skills are declining slightly, he remains a gifted fielder and a dynamic hitter. There are no signs that he is losing any luster on his super-stardom. Joe McPhillips, on the IL until later in the season, continues to rise in the estimation of our scouting staff, who see him as the next super-star in the Brewers firmament.
Fellow youngster Josh Schaeffer, in spite of the questions about his work habits, also continues to rise. And, in fact, Schaeffer is doing quite well in a Brewers uniform this season and is thought to be earning a larger role.
Pat Rondeau is seen as unlikely to maintain that over .400 batting average of his- not that this is really news- but still profiles as an above average big league outfielder with superb defensive skills and top of the line speed.
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So that's four above average to superior outfielders currently on the major league roster or the IL. That's not even to mention Andrew Kennedy, who is perhaps the purest hitter on the team not named Ryan Rodgers, and whose defensive numbers in both left field and first base this season are quite respectable, even if not gold glove level.

So what to do with John Flores, currently down at AAA after having spent a few stints with the Brewers this year. Flores doesn't look like a star, but he is a solid big league level player with the potential for plus power, which is something the Brewers desperately need more of.
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And what about the man some think of as the Brewers top prospect, Jorge Gonzalez. Gonzalez is starting to adjust to AA and is beginning to put up decent numbers there after tearing up single A for the first month and a half of the season. He has the potential to be a plus contact hitter with above average gap power and fine defense. The big question, other than some concerns about his character, is whether he will develop the power that he seems to have the potential for. Should he do so he could be a very attractive player in the future. At just 20 years old he has plenty of time to develop into a big league starter, and even possibly a star.
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And the reality is that the system has several young outfielders just a notch below this group, players who could well be starting outfielders on a weaker WPK team, or at the very least could be valuable 4th or 5th outfielders. But chances are that most of them will need to be in another organization to get the opportunity they deserve.

(Further away from the big leagues but also intriguing is the progress of Val Guzman, the center fielder who was the Brewers supplemental 1st round pick in 1972- 34th overall. Guzman, only 19 years old, still has a lot of development he needs to make and is slated to play in short season A ball this season, but he profiles as being a plus defender with great speed, above average contact ability, and most compelling, perhaps the best power potential in the organization. With his strong work ethic and adaptable nature, Brewers management is optimistic that he will eventually become a valuable big league outfielder.)
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Old 06-23-2019, 09:08 PM   #300
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June 1st Development Update, pt. 3

Let's talk about Mike Lizarraga (again.)

Lizarraga was the Brewers 14th round draft pick in 1971 (297th overall). He was a two-way player at El Paso College and many teams were scouting him as a position player, not as a pitcher. But the Brewers scouting staff liked what they saw of his potential on the mound. And when combined with his strong character qualities- high intelligence and a great work ethic and adaptability- they felt they got a steal getting him in the 14th round.
And so far it looks like they were probably right.

Lizarraga, at age 23, continues to develop towards greatness, and could emerge as the high leverage reliever they will be needing to take the place of the aging Jose de los Santos.
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