Star of the Game – Martin Maldonado (.223 WPA)
I feel like every day, I come to the table with recaps laced with positivity and today is no different. Look, I know this team is not good right now, but that doesn’t mean you throw the baby out with the bath water and just write the whole team off in these losses. Today there were positives to take and build on, beginning with Edwin Jackson. If you didn’t see the game and simply looked at the box score, I’ll give you the fact that the start doesn’t look all that encouraging, but it was. If you didn’t watch the game, what you failed to see was the fact that after giving up a leadoff hit in the 1st, he got Carlos Gomez to fly out and should have had a double play off the bat of Ryan Braun to end the inning, but the shift was on and Braun beat it. The ball was hit right where you’d typically play your middle infielders, but they weren’t there. He rallied and got the next hitter, Rickie Weeks to hit into a fielder’s choice that left runners one first and second with two outs and it appeared he may get out of the inning unscathed despite the unlucky break. Instead, a passed ball by Wellington Castillo allowed both runners to advance which forced Sveum to called for the intentional walk for some reason in the first inning with the wind blowing out. Now, with no room for error, Jackson walked the next hitter and then gave up the three run double. Did he allow four runs in the 1st? Most definitely he did, but it wasn’t all his fault. Another run crossed the plate in the 2nd and it appeared his day was going to be a short one, but from that point on he pitched great and left still recording six innings of work. It was a start that he could have easily packed in early and just let the Brewers break open, but I give him a lot of credit for battling and giving the chance to at least make it interesting in the ninth.
Keeping with the positive theme, there have been several surprise hot starts so far this season, beginning with Wellington Castillo, who hit a solo home run today and is off to a .389 / .421 / .667 start this year. He’s got a cannon for an arm and may help Lizzie quickly begin to forget that she ever had feelings for that under-performing catcher, Geovany Soto. Also off to a good start is Nate Schierholtz and Michael Bowden. It’s about positive production from the non-stars and these guys are doing that job. We know Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo are going to hit. What we don’t know is who else will step up and so far these guys have done that job.
It was another loss, and that sucks, but be encouraged that things are going to get better.
- Norichika Aoki is a royal pain in the rear at the plate. Every time I looked up, this dude was on base. He also plays a really deep right field and at times as as deep as the warning track when it comes to positioning.
- Milwaukee took 13 of 17 games from the Cubs in 2012, including winning all five series they played. So far, they’re off to a good start toward doing that again.
- Hunter Wendelstedt got the assignment behind the plate today and I didn’t feel like his zone was all that great. He was routinely calling the low strike, so to his credit he was consistent, but when I look at umpires I want to see strike zone accuracy. Here is a look at his correct call rate: