Make Your Prediction-Win Under Armour Gear; Brewers Arrive, Braun's Back Hurts

I apologize for the startling image.  I didn’t even warn you that it was coming, did I?  But I am a little angry with Cincy and their Reds, so I went digging for Cincy dirt.  Of course, the first place we looked was the Bengals.  Check out that Bengals first round draft pick Andre Smith.   WOW.

After dropping two out of three to the Reds, can there be a more important two game series for the Pirates this young season?  The Bucs battle the Brewers again at PNC Park.  The two game tilt has interesting pitching matchups and some anticipated animosity.  The Pirates (12-12) always play the Brewers close, but seem to come up short on every occassion.  The Brewers are a talented team with much to prove.  The Pirates are too. 

The Bucs are in a funk being shutout in three of the past four.  Lots of excuses about injuries, but the offense is struggling.  Really struggling.  Only four hits yesterday.

The contest winner will be sporting a Batting Practice, well the unofficial BP shirt of the Pirates, an Under Armour camo cold gear top.  More contest details below…

BREWERS NEWS and UNOFFICIAL BREWER BLOG NOTES:

Everyone is anticipating this series with Ryan Braun and the Brewers but wait…

Braun has upper back stiffness?  Hmm…. his bobblehead giveaway yesterday actually talks.  The dreaded bobblehead curse isn’t only prevelant in Pittsburgh.  I can’t imagine Braun’s back not being loose enough to play against the Pirates tonight.

A Brewers blogger called the Pirates whiners.  I agree with him, unfortunately.  I firmly believe the Brewers are in the heads of the Bucs.  Why else would you say this?  I was traveling during Brewers series(will be traveling again this week) and I missed it.  http://community.sportsbubbler.com/blogs/bernies_crew/default.aspx

 Let the rivalry begin or the whining (he linked the PG)  As I mentioned before, I really enjoy reading the opposing team’s coverage after a Brewers victory.  This time I was disgusted by how much whining is going on in the Pittsburgh locker room.  It starts with Adam LaRoche, who essentially blamed umpire Marty Foster for Gallardo’s gem yesterday.  He then goes on to say that when you’re hitting your spots, you’re going to get balls called off the plate.  So let me get this straight, you know he’s going to get the calls but you don’t swing?  Oh, well I guess it’s only okay when you’re the team getting the calls.  The fact of the matter is Foster was pretty consistent yesterday, though his zone was quite large.  When you watch the highlights of his 11 K’s, I see one curveball that wasn’t a strike.  The rest looked just fine.

In the same article Ian Snell, who got just as many calls, decided to bring up the plunking Ryan Braun yet again.  He says, “Be professional about it… Don’t go [speak] out in the paper… It’s not good because karma comes right back and bites you in the butt.”  Wait a second.  Is that veiled threat?

We get to see Brewers pitcher Yovani Gallardo again in the pitching matchup against Paul Maholm tonight.  Time for revenge after that 8IP, 2hitter with 11K’s  last time out.  A Brewer bloggerChuckie Hacks loves Gallardo.  He mentions a key stat about Gallardo as he had as many total bases (10) as ex Bucco Jason Kendall.  With 43 less at bats.  This guy calls us jokers in a post below.

‘The Brewers look for their 15th straight win against these jokers today. That is an insane number. That is like saying the Bucks haven’t won in Phoenix since 1982 or whatever.’ CHUCKIE HACKS BLOG 29April

Also, something else came up last week.  The Brewers untuck their shirt after a win.  They have been doing it for a while, even have a REALLY COOL website about it.  I personally could care less that the Brewers untuck their shirts after a win.  Means nothing to me.  I know the Cardinals and some Pirate fans voiced displeasure about it in online blogs, etc.  If you keep finding ways to win, you can play with them untucked for all we care at Rumbunter.  I would much rather watch that than some obsence handshake or overdone index finger pointing to the sky. 

PITCHING MATCHUPS:

Brewers pitchers will be (ace?)Gallardo, two runs allowed in his last 22 innings, and Jeff Suppan who has bouced back allowing just six runs in his last 18 1/3 innings for a 2.95 ERA, much better than the 11 runs he allowed in his first 7 2/3 innings. 

Meaningless stat? Suppan is 12-3 against the Bucs in his career. 

Maholm gets to answer some critics including the Baseball Prospectus piece that noted he has a 23% line drive given up ratio.  Yikes?!  Maholm gave up seven hits and allowed five earned runs while stranding the bases loaded on two occasions against the Brew Crew last time out. The Bucs  turned two double plays in each of the first two innings. Maholm struggled with his location and rarely topped 90 mph with his fastball.

We will get to see how well Joe Kerrigan prepares Maholm to avenge his first rocky outing. 

Snell’s 131 pitches against the Brewers last week showed that he is in the best shape of his career.  He made Braun look bad going 0-4. 

UNDER ARMOUR CAMO GIVEAWAY:

Predict the Pirates-Brewers series and you will win an Under Armour shirt.  Come on, it’s two games!  Just post your prediction in your comment section.

Just like the Buck Commander himself, this shirt is the same that First baseman Adam LaRoche has handed out to Pirates players for batting practice this season.    Manager John Russell was sporting one for batting practice today as he pitched to Nate.

Here is what to post in the comment section:

Your prediction for the Brewers Series (example: pirates sweep)

Total runs the Bucs score will be the first tiebreaker (12)

Tiebreaker three will be an arm wrestling match, no, just kidding.  Have your predictions in before gametime 7:05pm tonight.

Tags: Paul Maholm Untuckem Yovani Gallardo

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