Saturday, September 22, 2012

I suck at blogging

Hi guys, I suck.

I was going to write a pre-game and postgame analysis for Milwaukee vs. Washington, but I've been slammed with other things.

Brewers won, is the main thing I wanted to point out in this post. Equally as important, the Cardinals lost in extra innings to the Cubs, meaning that the Brewers are now only 1.5 games behind the wild card.

According to ESPN, the Brewers have a mathematical chance of making the playoff to the tune of 17.5 percent. A month ago, that number was hovering right around zero.

And the math involved doesn't take into account that the Brewers just beat one of the best teams in baseball, while the Cardinals lost to one of the worst. The math doesn't take into account that the Brewers are far and away the hottest team in baseball.

Me? I say flip a coin. The Brewers have a tougher schedule ahead of them, but the Cardinals are playing like shit and the Brewers are playing unbelievably well.

On a side note, Braun stole his 29th base of the season tonight against the Nats. Assuming he steals one more (I'm sure he will), he'll be a 40/30 player. After joining the 30/30 club last season, Braun only wants more.

Maybe next year we'll see the elusive 40/40.

Some personal stuff, I didn't have a great day, but shit happens. I have some good friends who do a good job of picking me up when I need it.

I've also decided that this weekend will be the weekend where I really figure out things about next semester. I'm going to buckle down, evaluate costs, school programs, and get my shit together so I can become a better writer and start a whole new adventure.

I'm going to post some more tomorrow. Definitely. Probably. I hope. Maybe.

Here's some music by The Roots, listen and be happy. And for those wondering, the piece I posted in my previous post was done by Jeff Jordan.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Late entry because last night's didn't publish

Last night I posted a blog that didn't publish for some reason. Sorry to leave you guys out :(

The basic gist of it was that the wild card race stands like this after the series that just took place: the Cardinals are out in front by 2.5, the Brewers are back 2.5 and the Dodgers are back 3.0.

The Brewers have the Nationals next, and we need to at least win two of these games. The Nationals have been kind of cold lately, and the Brewers have been as good as ever, so I think that's well within the realm of possibility.

I haven't been posting as much because of my work on Bleacher Report. You can check out my latest article here.

Like I said, I'll have a preview of the game out soon.

The Cardinals are in the seventh inning against the Cubs, and for the first time in my life...go Cubs.

That hurt just to type.

In the meantime, some art.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I don't know where to go to school...

This is the first non-sports post since my first one... I know I said it wasn't going to be all about sports, but let's face it... my life pretty much revolves around them.

Anyway, assuming most of you know who I am, you know that I recently made the decision to take this semester off to transfer somewhere to study journalism. I was one semester away from graduating with a degree in psychology and a minor in biology. I know, I'm an idiot, whatever.

Fact is, I couldn't stand the thought of going through another semester of banalities at Winthrop University. Don't get me wrong, it's a good school, and a few of the professors I've had there are people I hope I never lose contact with. But I really didn't care about psychology or biology, and I knew I was never, ever going to make a career out of either.

So, long story short, start writing for Bleacher Report, realize I want to be involved in sports journalism/production as a career.

I've applied several places, but I really have no idea where I want to go.

Right now the list is: University of Oregon, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, University of Maryland, University of Minnesota, and Clemson University.

You'll notice the only school in-state (South Carolina) is Clemson. That's my super fall back.

Other than that, it's a toss-up. I really have no idea where I want to go. I kind of think that the University of Minnesota and Wisconsin-Milwaukee are the front-runners right now, as they have by far the cheapest out-of-state tuition... they're not much more expensive than Clemson's in-state tuition.

Plus, Minnesota is a great school and is considered a public-ivy school. It's located in Minneapolis/St. Paul, so I would have access to all four major sporting franchises (Twins, Timberwolves, Wild, Vikings) which is pretty important for my profession.

The same goes for UW-Milwaukee, though it's not quite as prestigious as Minnesota.

I'm a terrible decision maker. It has taken me four years of college to figure out what I want to do, and this is going to be my third university (I went to the University of South Carolina my first semester and hated it).

I have to decide soon. I also have decisions to make about marching in an indoor percussion ensemble and living arrangements and everything. This is a headache. Someone help me.

Milwaukee Brewers Postgame 9/19

Final Score
Milwaukee Brewers: 3
Pittsburgh Pirates: 1


Well, tonight's game wasn't quite as explosive as I thought it would be. It did start off with a bang, with Norichika Aoki launching a leadoff homer in the first inning, but things slowed down from there.

If you read my preview, I predicted that rookie Kyle McPherson would probably get shelled in his first outing as a starter in the majors, but he pitched respectably, and his change-up, which he barely used in relief, was probably his best pitch.

McPherson went 4.1 innings, struck out two, and gave up two earned runs—the solo blast by Nori, and an RBI single by opposing pitcher Marco Estrada.

Speaking of Estrada, he pitched another gem tonight. He didn't quite have the strikeout pitch working, as he went 7.0 innings and only struck out four, but he had excellent control the entire night. He threw 96 pitches, 68 of which were for strikes. He was locating his fastball perfectly, and was in complete control of the the Pirates lineup, only giving up three hits.

Axford came in during the ninth and gave up a solo jack to Andrew McCutchen, but otherwise looked pretty good. It was his 30th save of the season. Ax is performing extremely well now, and it looks like his early-to-mid season woes are all but gone.

Axford's recent success is a microcosm of the Brewers as a whole. Shitty to start, shiny to finish.

Also, for what it's worth, Brewers' shortstop Jean Segura had a great game tonight. He went two for four (raising his average to .262) and made some excellent plays in the field. He really is finally starting to look as good as advertised, and I have no trouble seeing him as Milwaukee's shortstop for quite a while.

The Bucs—on national speak like a pirate day, of all days—could not have looked more lethargic. Two errors, one of them costing them a run, and practically no offensive production except for Cutch. In two games the Brewers have solidified their name as a contender for that wild card slot while essentially eliminating the Pirates.

The Dodgers split a double-header with the Nationals... They are only a half game ahead of the Brewers. The Cardinals won against the Astros (huge surprise) and kept the Brewers back 2.5 games. I'll cover the wild card race more in depth in another post tomorrow.

In the meantime, enjoy the fun times, Brewers fans. This season has turned out to be one of the most exciting I've ever seen, and it feels good to be a Brew Crew fan right now.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Previewing Brewers vs. Pirates Game 2: 9/19/12

Milwaukee Brewers: 75-72
Pittsburgh Pirates: 74-73

Probable Starting Pitchers:
Milwaukee: Marco Estrada (3-6, 3.77 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 119.1 IP, 125 K)
Pittsburgh: Kyle McPherson (0-0, 1.54 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 11.2 IP, 11 K)

The Game

I mentioned in my postgame analysis last night that the Pittsburgh Pirates are playing like a team that has already been defeated.

I don't see that changing over the timespan of 24 hours.

The Brewers went into PNC Park with a road record of 28-43. They just aren't that good away from Miller Park. Still, they left with a win, and they did it without hitting a single home run. Two rarities in one night.

Not to mention the seven total stolen bases, three by Ryan Braun alone.

The Pirates are showing just how desperate they are tonight by shoving rookie Kyle McPherson, who has pitched all of 11.2 innings in the majors for his first start.

McPherson is basically a two-pitch pitcher. He has a good fastball in the low-to-mid 90's, and a curveball in the mid-to-upper 70's. He occasionally throws a change-up in the low-to-mid 80's.

He has been average in the minors, and while he's pitched well in relief in the majors, 11.2 innings is hardly a large enough sample size to judge his abilities in the majors. He'll need to bring his best against the hard-hitting Brewers.

There's no word on if Corey Hart will be in tonight's lineup as of this write-up, but he was available to pinch-hit last night, so there is a possibility we see him again tonight, giving McPherson yet another problem to deal with.

It seems like every Brewer is on a hot-streak offensively, so it's officially the worst possible time for a rookie to make his first start. The Brewers are arguably the best offensive team in the National League, and there's a good chance his ERA is going to rise quite a bit.

Meanwhile, Marco Estrada, who has been pitching extremely well lately, is going to be facing a Pittsburgh offense that is all but dead. With the exception of Andrew McCutchen, the Pirates don't have a bat to swing against Estrada.

Other games to watch: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Washington Nationals (going on right now), and St. Louis Cardinals vs. Houston Astros. The Brewers are looking to move one step closer to that wild card slot, and to do that they still need to leap the Dodgers and the Cardinals.

Prediction: Brewers win again, Dodgers lose to the Nats, Cards hold off the Astros.

Milwaukee Brewers Postgame 9/18

Final Score 
Milwaukee Brewers: 6
Pittsburgh Pirates: 0


Steal, steal, steal, steal, steal, steal, steal.

The Milwaukee Brewers took full advantage of Rob Barajas' poor throwing arm by stealing a collective seven bases—three by Ryan Braun, and one each by Carlos Gomez, Norichika Aoki, Rickie Weeks, and Jonathan Lucroy.

The seven stolen bases is the most for the Brewers in 20 years.

Both starters had solid outings, but Yovani Gallardo got the better of A.J. Burnett, going 6.2 innings. He only gave up two hits but walked four. He also struck out six batters. If you watched the game, you know that Yo had his good stuff tonight, just like he has the past two or so months it seems.

The name of the game was small-ball tonight for the Brewers, scoring five of their six runs on RBI singles, and one on a sacrifice fly. Norichika Aoki came up big or the Brewers tonight (as he has been quite frequently lately) by contributing an RBI single and the sac fly, going two for four.

Braun, on top of his three stolen bases and an RBI single, scored a run collected two hits and a walk. Jonathan Lucroy also had a good night, going three for five with an RBI single, a stolen base, and a run scored.

And finally, Jean Segura went two for four with two RBI and a run scored. Not a bad night for the rookie short stop, who also made some good plays in the field.

The Pirates look like they've given up. Sorry. They played poorly, put up absolutely no fight offensively, and played piss-poor defense, with two errors and a bunch of plays that should have been made but weren't.

This is one of the tightest wild card races in history, a pivotal series, and the Pirates are rolling over and dying while the Brewers continue to win in whatever way they can. Sounds about right.

Good news on the injury front, though he didn't make an appearance, Corey Hart was available to pinch-hit tonight, meaning it looks like we should see him back in the line-up soon. Travis Ishikawa has done a decent job at first defensively, but the Brewers have to be missing Corey's bat in that five hole.

Tonight's win makes 10 consecutive starts for Gallardo where the Brewers have won, and it was Gallardo's 16th win of the season, only one shy of his career high which he could surpass. He also lowered his ERA to 3.59.

I'll post a preview for tomorrow's (well, really today as it's 3:10 AM EST) game later, but it should be a good one. Marco Estrada is red-hot on the mound, stringing together some extremely impressive starts. He'll be taking on rookie Kyle McPherson, who will be making his first career start.

The Cardinals won against the Astros tonight (big surprise there), so the Brewers stayed two and a half games back of the wild card, but with the way the Brewers have been playing, it's not time to worry yet.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Yunel Escobar is a douche bag.

It doesn't matter if you follow sports or not, you've probably heard the story about Yunel Escobar's blatant assholery. If not, here is a link to the story and the fallout it has created.

I'll sum it up briefly. MLB players are still allowed to write little sayings on their eyeblack. Most of them are sentimental, silly, religious, ritualistic, or whatever. Escobar's was flat out offensive.

In case you don't speak Spanish (don't worry, I don't either), the saying in the eye black "Tu ere maricon" translates directly to "You are a faggot".

Why did Escobar decide to be such an asshole? He said it was "just a joke". I'm not buying it. Maybe it's because he's tired of being such a shitty baseball player... he's only batting .249 with nine homers and 49 RBIs. Maybe he's tired of seeing his Toronto Blue Jays suffer because he couldn't hit a beach ball with a baseball bat if it was floating calmly his way.

Pent up frustration? No, that's probably pissing him off a little bit, but it can't be the only reason.

My theory: Closet homosexual. You heard it here, folks. Behind the hateful words and eyeblack is a crappy baseball player afraid to come out to the world, so he tries to firmly and explicitly distance himself from his own reality.

Fortunately, the Jays did the right thing by condemning and suspendin him for three games, not that it really matters. He sucks, and the Blue Jays have long since been out of the playoff picture. If it were up to me, I'd make him wear "I love weenies" on his face the next time he plays.

There's no word of a fine yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if the MLB laid the hammer pretty hard on him financially. It's not like he's earning the money anyway.

Previewing Milwaukee Brewers at Pittsburgh Pirates 9/18/12

Milwaukee Brewers: 74-72
Pittsburgh Pirates: 74-72

Probable Starting Pitchers:
Milwaukee: Yovani Gallardo (15-8, 3.72 ERA, 1.29 WHIP 186.1 IP, 188 K)
Pittsburgh: A.J. Burnett (15-7, 3.66 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 174.2 IP, 157 K)

The Game

The Brewers are about to start their final road trip of the season, and the first stop is in Pittsburgh for an incredibly important three game series against the Pirates. Both teams are in the thick of the second NL wild card slot and both teams are heading in very separate directions.

The Brewers have been the hottest team in baseball over the past month, while the Pirates have floundered into mediocrity, quite similarly to last year when they were in the mix for the playoffs but collapsed at the end of the season.

Because both of these teams are trying to get that last spot, this series could be make or break for each team. The Pirates have the advantage of being at home, and the Brewers have the advantage of finally figuring out how to a play complete game of baseball without the bullpen blowing five-run leads.

Still, the Brewers (like last year) are not that good outside of their home in Miller Park. They are only 28-43 away from Milwaukee, while Pittsburgh is a solid 42-30 at home in PNC Park.

Still, all bias aside, I think the Brewers are going to take this one. Over the past month, the Pirates are a horrible 8-19 overall, while the Brewers are sitting pretty at 21-8. To add insult to injury, the Pirates have only managed three wins in September, two coming against the lowly Houston Astros, and one coming against the equally lowly Chicago Cubs.

A.J. Burnett will be taking the mound for the Pirates in this one, and while he's pitched well over the course of the season, the Pirates are winless in his last five starts.

Meanwhile, Yovani Gallardo is pitching lights out. His ERA is deceptively high, and the Brewers come to play when he pitches. They've won nine consecutive starts with Yo on the mound. He also leads all of the majors with 24 quality starts.

Worth watching is whether or not Ron Roenicke decides to put Corey Hart, who has been having some foot problems, into the lineup for the game today. The Brewers have managed to play well without him, but there's no doubt that I'd rather have Hart and his 27 homers at first over Travis Ishikawa.

This is going to be one hell of a series. The Brewers have been on fire lately, and the Pirates are playing just about as poorly as possible, with very little offensive production.

Brewers pitchers are nailing it, offense has been stellar (especially Rickie Weeks who finally decided to show up this season), and the bullpen has stopped blowing every lead they've been given.

Prediction: Milwaukee wins, Yovani goes at least seven strong innings.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Dear NHL, please don't leave me...

Today I did nothing but sit around and watch Doctor Who. If you haven't watched Doctor Who, you need to get your shit together and get on the ball.

In-between episodes I had time to ponder some sporting news and whatnot, and I am finally coming to terms with the fact that the NHL very well may not be happening this season.

I'm a big-time Carolina Hurricanes fan. The Canes did a lot to make their team better this year, including adding two of the better forwards in the game to their line-up.

They traded several players to the Pittsburgh Penguins to acquire Carolina's longtime star Eric Staal's brother, Jordan Staal, and proceeded to extend him 10 years at $60 million.

They also signed Alexander Semin to a one-year, seven million dollar deal to give Eric Staal a top-of-the-shelf winger.

But with news becoming increasingly negative out of the NHL, it looks like a lockout is not only a probability, but pretty much a certainty.

What a year to decide to lockout. The Canes finally put some money into the offseason and acquire some great players, while extending some of their own great players, and there's a better than average chance we won't even get to see them this season.

Quietly I wept. Not really. Well, kind of.

The point is this: Over the past 2 years, three of the four major sporting leagues in North America have come to, or came very close to a lockout. You all remember the near-season ending lockout in the NFL. You all remember the lockout that pushed the NBA two months back to force a shortened, compacted season. Why is this happening?

Greed. I tend to side with the players regarding these things, especially in hockey where players are wildly underpaid for the type of beatings they take in their normal 82 game schedule.

My suggestion (as if anyone of importance will read this) is that the owners get their heads out of their asses and fork over a few extra bucks. They're making more than most of their players combined and they sit in a pressbox and drink bourbon and smoke cigars and laugh at the lower class citizens below them.

Capitalism at its finest.

Here's to hoping the fat asses who don't pad-up every night realize they're being dicks and fork over a little more money to the players who go out every night and risk concussions, broken bones, torn ligaments, and any other severe injury you can think of.

The Brewers are kicking ass right now.

As little as three weeks ago I was looking at the MLB standings and grimacing at the sight of my Milwaukee Brewers toiling in the basement of the NL Central, nowhere near making the playoffs.

Still, I faithfully watched, hoping by some miracle, the bullpen would get their shit together and start throwing some fucking strikes.

I guess my negative power floated their way and they got the hint.

Rickie Weeks is on fire. His stats are deceivingly low, and he just hit his 20th homer of the season, becoming the fourth Brewer this season to hit at least 20, joining Ryan Braun (40), Corey Hart (27), and Aramis Ramirez (24).

The Brewers also just broke their previous franchise record for most collective strikeouts in a season today with Wily Peralta's eight shutout innings and five strikeouts.

All of that's impressive. Extremely impressive.

Even more impressively, in his sixth year as a major leaguer, my favorite player Ryan Braun crushed his 200th homer of his career, and then in his next at-bat smacked his 40th of the season, the first time he's reached 40 homeruns in a season.

All of you assholes who think he juices can turn around and walk the other way. He's not. And he's proving it to you with what might be his best season to date, even better than his MVP season last year.

The Brewers are now 2.5 games back of the second wild card slot in the National League. They're the hottest team in baseball, and with the Cardinals and Dodgers flailing, it looks like there's a real possibility that the Brewers can nab that last spot as long as they keep playing like they are.

For the love of God, please keep playing like you are, Brewers. We need to avenge what was a devastating defeat in last year's NLCS.

And in case you didn't know, I fucking hate the Cardinals. Sorry.

Finding the right spot.

This is something I've been putting off for a while. Don't ask me why, I can't give you a straight answer.

I don't know if my thoughts or ramblings are interesting enough to attract viewers, and I definitely don't know if my writing is exciting enough to keep viewers coming back.

But as I sit here on my couch, after another day of endless writing and trying to prepare for my third university of my college career, I realized it was time I started a blog. For real this time. Not just some piece of shit, once every three month post blog, but something to actually help document what's going on in my life.

I won't get into specifics with this post, because it would likely take days to write and as much time to read. I will tell you that whatever is coming into my head will be on this blog.

My brain is constantly dancing around sports, music, psychology, stress, and school. I have a few good friends and family members who take care of me, and I have a few people who have completely abandoned me for greener pastures.

That's for another day. The point is, I get by.

I don't know where I'm going to be in January... to put it into perspective, I've spent four years in university. One semester at the University of South Carolina (which I hated), and three and a half years at Winthrop University, which I hated slightly less than USC.

I was very close to earning my bachelor's in psychology when I realized this summer after a series of pretty horrible events that I actually hated what I was doing. Not just hated in the sense of "oh, this kind of sucks having to go to class for something I don't care about", but in a real, deep pitted anger filled hate that made me want to puke at the thought of it.

The professors I've had have been great and I hope I never lose contact with some of them, same for the people I met at Winthrop. But it's time for me to move on. I've applied to several colleges, only one of which is in the state of South Carolina. I don't know where I'm going yet, but once I know, you'll know. If you're reading. Which you're probably not.

That's it for this post. It was mostly introductory. Probably at least 75% of what appears in this blog will be sports related, since I have every intention of becoming a professional sports journalist, and I already write for a sports website called

The other 25% will be stuff like this. Me bitching about my life, or in the rare case that I'm actually happy, me telling this blog that I'm happy.


You get the point.