Posted @ MLB.com
Perdomo makes first start, kicking off bullpen game 5-14-16
Luis Perdomo has worked hard to get his ERA below 10.00, so he gets a chance to start. Besides, who else do the Padres have at this point? Carlos Villanueva, Brad Hand & Brandon Mauer are all relievers. The Brewers aren’t a great team, so it’s a decent opportunity for the kid. I have no problem with this move, but I’ll admit I’m more intrepid than most. It will be interesting, for sure.
A quick review of the overall numbers that matter: in Defensive Efficiency Rating (converting balls-in-play into outs) Padres are 19th, with much of that due to injuries– having to play poor defenders such as Brett Wallace, Adam Rosales, etc… Padres fans seem to agree they are better defensively. In composite ERA they are currently 13th, a major improvement over last season. In AVG/OBP/SLG the Padres rank 27th/28th/29th, which is the real problem.
Friars fortify ‘pen with Campos, option Dickerson 5-14-16
1B Wil Myers, RF Matt Kemp, LF B.J. Upton, SS Alexei Ramirez (and the rest AAA players) started for the Padres tonight. Rule 5 pick (from STL) RHP Luis Perdomo made his first MLB start. Before this season, he’d never pitched above A-ball. Perdomo went 2+ innings: giving up 2 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 4. He threw 60 pitches, only 31 for strikes. This kid has stuff– he just needs to learn control, command & economy. Sounds simple, but it’s not.
Lefty reliever Brad Hand entered in the 3rd to clean up Perdomo’s mess– keeping the youngster’s ERA under 10.00. The Padres have had a rash of injuries so far, so the only remaining Padres 2015 Rule 5 pick may be starting again sometime soon. This form of ‘stacking’ guys who really aren’t legitimate starters, is innovative. It lets GM A.J. Preller rotate pitchers (with players who have remaining options to the minors), getting them MLB experience without over-stretching their arms or abilities. Perdomo can’t be optioned (because he’s Rule 5), so if 2 innings are all he can give the Padres then this becomes Andy Green’s bullpen game-plan. RHP’s Tyson Ross & Andrew Cashner are out, so Green & Preller have to get creative. It’s forward & bold, so I like it.
Brad Hand went 4 shutout innings, ending the 6th by coaxing a come-backer from 2B Scooter Gennett, to leave the bases loaded preserving a 6-2 lead. Myers & Kemp provided, and others contributed, if not with a hit– then a walk or nice defensive play.
That got Andy Green to the 7th, where he managed his thin bench and shaky bullpen well enough. It was Kevin Quackenbush, then Ryan Buchter who blew it, with help from the second CI of the night from newly-acquired Hector Sanchez (with 2 out, on a 1-2 pitch in the 8th), giving the Brewers what they needed to tie it at 6-6. Low-cost bullpen has its downside, but the money saved will buy the bats needed to win. Reliever options are better if not perfect for the new Padres skipper, as he has lefties and decent righties to closer Fernando Rodney–> but they need to throw strikes. To be fair, it looked like they were all getting squeezed by HP umpire Manny Gonzalez on Gameday. BTW: Fernando Rodney in the 9th, a walk and throwing error (on a pickoff attempt), ends with a strikeout-throwout double play– Sanchez to 3B Adam Rosales. Vintage Rodney 😉
By the bottom of the 10th, Green is out of bench players, with plenty of bullpen arms available. Green chooses righty Leonel Campos who delivers 2 shutout innings.
Derek Norris (who replaced injured Wil Myers at 1B) & Bossman Jr. hit 2-out solo homers in the 12th. RHP Carlos Villaneuva gives one up to Lucroy, but closes it out for the save. It’s a big win for the Padres, a team trying to find the right track. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but this shows good reason for optimism.
This series in Milwaukee brings back memories. I grew a Reds fan in Wisconsin, before interleague play; Brewers were AL back then, so it was acceptable to also root for the Brewers– since they never played each other. #4 3B/DH Paul Molitor was my favorite. I’ve always thought Phil Garner was their best manager– he had very little with which to work, but he maximized what he had. Not his fault they stunk. I remember Rory Markas & Del Crandall as my favorite television broadcast team. Of course, I listened to Bob Uecker on the radio many times.
The Stadium bus to the ballpark & back was always affordable & convenient, as were ‘general admission’ (good) seats. Mostly we tailgated with beer & brats hours before the game, like most Brew crew fans. Outsiders need to realize that Wisconsin’s loyalty is primarily to the Green Bay Packers. The Milwaukee Brewers are proudly supported, but not loved like the Packers. Winning & tradition have a lot to do with this. The Brewers have never won the World Series, coming into MLB the same year as the San Diego Padres– 1969. Brewers heartbreak year was 1982, when they were the best team in baseball, until injuries (Rollie Fingers & Pete Vuckovich) and STL rookie CF Willie ‘bleeping’ McGee beat them in 7 games. Brewers have never been anywhere close since.
I went to many games at County Stadium when I was in college, and it was always a blast. Miller Park is convenient in that it has a retractable roof, as the weather can get nasty in Milwaukee. Miller Park was (and still is) reviled by many. Three construction workers were killed on July 14, 1999 when a 567-foot crane lifting a 400-ton section of retractable roof, bent in half and collapsed. Brewers owner Bud Selig had been pushing to get Miller Park opened on time, and this ‘rush to complete’ was cited as a primary cause of the accident. The dead were Jerome Starr, 52, Jeff Wischer, 40, and William DeGrave, 39, who were in a cage that was being hoisted by another crane when the disaster occurred.
If anyone wants to see how beautiful County Stadium was, Major League (1989) filmed its regular season game scenes there, as Municipal Stadium in Cleveland was considered a dump. County Stadium was a great ballpark which first brought the Braves (Boston), then the Pilots from Seattle. New stadiums are mostly about ownership greed, and Miller Park is no exception.
The Brewers franchise was ruined by decades of Bud Selig ownership, in so many ways it still taints the organization. Paul Molitor managing the Minnesota Twins is one example. Brewers GM David Stearns primary task is to build a program that develops quality & reliable starting pitching, which this organizational has always lacked. MIL just wasted an offensive peak (created by superior scouting & player development) consisting of 1B Prince Fielder, RF Ryan Braun, LF Corey Hart, SS J.J. Hardy, 2B Rickie Weeks, C Jonathan Lucroy… because too many starters had ERAs north of 5.00, with no ace. RHP’s Ben Sheets & Yovani Gallardo, championship #2 starters at their best, were it; and that’s not nearly enough.
Until next time, hey dere Brewers fans!! Over & out