Don’t look now, but the Milwaukee Brewers may have finally gotten out of their hitting slump.
Last night’s 7-4 win at St. Louis was a very solid hitting performance. The Brew Crew loaded the bases three times on the Cardinals ace, which is no small feat, and chased him before he could finish the sixth inning. Aramis Ramirez, who is now hitting over .400 against Wainwright in his career, got things started with a solo shot and RBI double early. Jonathan Lucroy and Ryan Braun used the opposite field to great effect, driving in the other five runs. What greatly impressed me though was the Brewers’ plate discipline last night. They made Wainwright throw a lot of pitches early and drew several free passes.
Wily Peralta, who picked up his 13th win on the year, struggled early with his command but then reigned it in. Peralta’s fastball was a little too lively in the first inning, and the extra movement led to him loading the bases on three walks. After escaping the frame by getting A.J. Pierzynski to pop out to second, Peralta settled in and looked like an ace. His 6 and 2/3 innings of work were impressive to say the least, and he continued the stretch of incredible starting pitching the Brewers have had over the past couple weeks.
Gerardo Parra even got to make his Brewers debut. He came in for Khris Davis in the seventh, as Davis apparently strained his calf at some point (probably when he was swinging wildly at Wainwright’s curveballs in the dirt last night. He was pathetic at the plate last night). Parra got one plate appearance, but he struck out swinging on a high fastball. Nevertheless, I like Parra stepping in for Davis. He’s a tremendous defender, has good speed, and he’s got some pop in his bat. From his pre-game interview with Telly Hughes last night, he seems like a genuinely humble guy who’s going to be a valuable player off the bench.
I wonder if Doug Melvin is psychic, because he gets a quality outfielder at the trade deadline and then the very next day his starting left fielder goes down with a calf strain. He’s one heck of a GM.
I know I said in my last piece that the Brewers should stay quiet at the trade deadline, but I didn’t think the Brewers were thinking about getting a fourth outfielder. I figured if the Brewers were going to make a move, it would have been for high end starting pitching or a quality right-handed reliever. According to Melvin’s comments made on brewers.com, he had been making offers for relievers, but none of the return offers seemed “fair.” And that to me says the asking price for the relievers in question were too high, as in they wanted Jimmy Nelson.
This move for Parra though is solid. He can play anywhere and give one of the starters rest when they tweak a muscle or something. Perhaps if Davis’ calf is still bad today, Brewers fans might see Parra starting in left field. Then we’ll get to see what he can really do at the plate and defensively.
The Milwaukee Brewers have their starters rolling, and the hitting seems to be functional again. I’d say things are looking up. Let the victories continue.