Great to see an early series win against what should be one of the best teams in the National League. Todd Coffey had a gritty appearance, really boosted by a Miguel Olivo double play. George Kottaras made things happen at the plate, even though he didn’t get a hit, and he showed solid speed by scoring from first on an Alcides Escobar double to left field. Jody Gerut, a guy who I think will be key for the Brewers this season, also picked up a key double on his first plate appearance.
The bullpen on the whole looked great today, and I think it’ll be a big strength this season. Between Doug Davis, Dave Bush, and Jeff Suppan, there’s a good chance that many of the Brewers starts will not go more than 5 innings. With Manny Parra, Chris Narveson, and Todd Coffey, there are 3 guys that can reliably go multiple innings. Carlos Villanueva, Latroy Hawkins, and Trevor Hoffman are all above average pitchers, and 5 IP, 5 K, 2 H, 2 BB, 0 R outings from the bullpen today are something that could happen on a regular basis. It was save 592 for Hoffman today – it’s amazing how a guy averaging less than 86 MPH on his fastball can continue to embarrass major league hitters like he does.
Back to Davis, though. His velocity – 84.8 MPH average fastball – was right in line with last season. However, his control just obviously wasn’t there, particularly in the first inning. He also only drew 3 swinging strikes in 88 pitches – that simply won’t cut it against major league hitters. Hopefully he finds it soon, because Milwaukee needs him.
This game did show that the Brewers have a ton of depth going both ways, and that bodes very well for the rest of the season. It’s hard to ask for much more that we got this series to open the season – now let’s see if some momentum can carry through to the next series against St. Louis.