Brewers: The Kyle Lohse debut
If Friday night was any indication Kyle Lohse will end up looking like a steal for the Brewers. In his first outing of the season Lohse struck out five of the first six batters he faced and kept Arizona off balance in six innings of work.
I was surprised he lasted as long as he did because it seemed like the Brewers wanted to be cautious in his first outing. However, Lohse was sharp and his off speed stuff kept the Diamondbacks guessing. The command was in midseason form as Lohse did not issue a walk while ringing up those early strikeouts. If he isn't too sore over the weekend my guess would be he'll be ready for more in his next start.
But in sticking with the uneven theme of the early 2013 season, it was good news, bad news for the Brewers. Lohse provided the good news. The bad news was Aramis Ramirez leaving the game with a sprained left knee. It's the same injury that forced him to miss time during spring training. Manager Ron Roenicke didn't know if they would have to put Ramirez on the DL but an MRI is scheduled for Saturday. Even if he misses only a few games the Brewers depleted bench loses a little more depth. To make matters worse Ryan Braun was scratched with a sore neck, leaving just two positional players on the bench after Ramirez got hurt. Roenicke didn't have a timetable for Braun's return and he hoped that the neck issue will only sideline Braun for one game.
With Ramirez out the Brewers had to use Yuniesky Betancourt at first base while Alex Gonzalez shifted to third, marking his first career appearance at that position. Betancourt's inexperience at first was on display in the 7th inning when Michael Gonzalez threw a wild pitch that caromed toward the first base side and out of Jonathan Lucroy's sight. Betancourt stayed in his position until he realized Lucroy couldn't locate the ball. By then the Diamondback had scored two, yes two, runs on that wild pitch. And that would be the difference.
We've already seen some pretty bizarre stuff in just four games. On Friday night alone we had a two run wild pitch, Ramirez getting hurt on a slide (when he was already out by a mile) and Jean Segura taking one deep to center. As the 1-3 record would suggest it's been a rough start and if the Brewers have to go without Braun and/or Ramirez for any amount of time it could get even rougher.