The 2010 season for the Milwaukee Brewers was a disappointment to put it lightly. The descent began when shut down hall of fame closer Trevor Hoffman started coughing up games. I remember being at two of them. Soon to follow the starting pitching staff, Gallardo excluded, began to fall apart at the seams. Doug Davis had a dreadful first few starts, Randy Wolf had a couple good starts, but really started to lose control of his fastball and was walking batters left and right. Lets not forget Jeff Suppan. Many believed he shouldn't have even been allowed a spot on the roster, myself included, but with the bloated 12 million the Brewers were paying him, they couldn't just pay him that kind of money to do nothing. But in the end, its what happened. In reality, they payed him to pitch against them when he came to Miller Park with the St. Louis Cardinals. Also, Latroy Hawkins after having a bunch of stellar outings, fell apart at Dodgers Stadium and coughed up a lead in the eighth inning, and never seemed to be the same. He lost velocity on his fastball, at least 3 to 4 miles an hour, which really makes a huge difference.
It wasn't just the pitching that was inconsistant, the hitting wasn't always there either. Gallardo should have won at least four more games, but he never received much run support. Prince Fielder had not been himself all season long. The power numbers came through, but the average and RBI's left more to be desired. The bright spots for the hitting were in Casey McGhee, who proved he wasn't just a one season wonder, had a spectacular season, arguably one of the best hitting third basemen in baseball. Corey Hart almost had a season to forget, but came swinging through adversity. Along with McGhee and Braun, Corey will end up with over 100 RBIs, and over 30 HR's to boot.
In tonight's 6-2 victory over the Florida Marlins, had more meaning than most of the games this season. The start was given to Mark Rogers, the fifth overall pick in the 2004 draft. He had been through two shoulder surgery's, missed two full seasons due to it.
In 24 starts with AA Huntsville this season, Rogers went 6-8 with a 3.71 ERA.
Rogers makes the seventh Huntsville Star to reach the big leagues this year alone. He joins other pitchers Mike McClendon, Jeremy Jeffress, All-Star closer Brandon Kintzler, catcher Jonathan Lucroy, infielder Mat Gamel, and All-Star outfielder Lorenzo Cain on the Brewers active roster. Needless to say the young power arms really shined tonight.
Rogers went three innings, walked two and struck out four. He had a 60 pitch limit, used half of them in the first hitting Cameron Maybin, walking Osvaldo Martinez, striking out Logan Morrison, and then walking Dan Uggla to load the bases, and followed that with striking out both Gabby Sanchez and Chad Tracy. Those moments really show a pitchers true character, bearing down and making pitches. He did that. After Rogers settled down and got through the next two innings with ease, got his first major league hit, he scored for the first time in the majors off of a Braun double. Next up was the hard throwing Jeremy Jeffress. He had pitched in 7 games this season, tonight his eighth, pitched the next two innings, also got in a jam with two on and one out, got out of it. Mike McClendon came in and pitched the next 1.2 innings, giving up the first run of the game. Zach Braddock came in and got a crucial strikeout.
For all the problems and disappointment this season has brought fans, tonight the young arms gave a sense of hope for the next season. With Axford looking to anchor down the back end of the bullpen, Kameron Loe possibly getting the set up role, next season is looking that much better. After the next nine games, the odffseason begins. With the contract of Prince Fielder coming up next season, the Brewers are hopefully going to make a trade for pitching, whether it be Major League ready or prospects. The key for the Brewers to succeed, as with every team, is good solid pitching. These young hard throwing arms are just what the Crew needs to win in the future. For now, the future is looking a little brighter.