I’ve been a bit hypercritical of Dave Bush lately, both in this space and on twitter. This start, though, even I have to admire a bit. Yes, he was a bit lucky to induce nine fly balls without a home run, but he managed to cut down on the walks and even draw six swinging strikes and four strikeouts. All around, Bush was solid this start. I really doubt there would be much of a market for him, but given that he’s performed pretty well since the beginning of June and his contract expires at the end of the season, Doug Melvin should see if anybody would be interesting in acquiring the veteran.
Naturally, Bush’s solid performance means that the blame for this game comes down to the bats and the bullpen. Indeed, Bush had a +.211 WPA while the bullpen (Capuano, Loe, Braddock, Riske) had a -.440 WPA and the hitters (sans Bush) had a -.180 WPA. The story was just a massive struggle with runners in scoring position. Here’s a breakdown of how the Brewers fared in the different RISP situations:
_2_ 0-0, BB
__3 0-1, K
12_ 0-3, 2 FC, BB
1_3 0-2, K
123 0-3, K, RBI BB
Total, that’s 0-9 with 3 walks, including Rickie Weeks’s RBI BB to give the Brewers the early lead. That’s how pitchers, like Johnathan Sanchez today, can allow 11 baserunners in six innings and escape with a win and only one earned run. Johnathan Sanchez didn’t pitch well today – Brewers hitters bailed him out in the tough situations.
Kameron Loe finally cracked today, allowing two hits and a walk, and Zach Braddock allowed a texas leaguer against Aubrey Huff to blow the game open. Braddock did manage a strikeout of Pablo Sandoval, his 22nd in 14.2 IP. Still, it was a disappointing performance from a bullpen which was, aside from Hoffman and Suppan, excellent in June.
Tomorrow’s matchup should be interesting, to say the least, as Madison Bumgarner will go against Randy Wolf.