Friday, July 27, 2012

Axford and Thornburg Pitch Well Against Cardinals

John Axford Pitcher
Two pitchers received high praise after they helped to bring about a series win against the Brewers division rivals, St. Louis. Starters John Axford and Tyler Thornburg held their own against the league's best hitting team. After blowing his sixth game the season when pitching against the Cardinals, former closer Axford was demoted to a mid-game starter. He waited for his chance to make up for things, and it came during the fifth inning, relieving his young counterpart, Thornburg.
He began his inning-and-a-third tenure striking out a swinging Lance Berkman to wrap up the fifth. He then impressed in the sixth, giving up just a single base to Matt Carpenter. The veteran forced a pair of batters to flyout during the inning, as well as keeping a grounder low enough for the outfield to make a play at first on Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright.

Manager Ron Roenicke told reporters after the game that he is extremely happy that Axford pitched a productive game just days after his demotion. The pitcher, too, was pleased with his performance, telling media that he just focused on the moment at hand. While Axford claimed the win, the relative new-comer, Thornburg, pitched the brunt of the game. The righty threw a whopping 103 pitches over four-and-half innings, giving up two solo homers. That pair of boomers was the seventh of his so-far twelve innings in the big leagues, though his other numbers make-up for that. Thornburg struck out five on that day, and gave up an equal amount of hits, though none scored. He did walk four, but some leniency must be given, seeing as the young starter last appeared on the mound nearly a month ago, and only has two starts since early June.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Prince Fielder Home Run Derby Winner for 2012

Former Brewers first basemen Prince Fielder became the second most successful player in the MLB's annual Home Run Derby. Fielder (now with the Detroit Tigers,)won his second trophy at Monday's contest in Kauffman Stadium. He beat out Toronto's Jose Bautista in the finals, hitting twelve balls over the fence, Bautista managed just seven. The victory marks the first basemen's first win at the Derby since 2009. Fielder stepped up his game in the last rounds of the contest, hitting twenty-three of his twenty-eight homers in the final two rounds. He put just five over the wall in the opening round of the Derby, barely slipping into fourth place for the last spot in the semifinals. Bautista led after the first round, belting eleven home runs.

The Dodgers Mark Trumbo and the Cardinals Carlos Beltran tied for second and third place after the initial series, each hitting seven. Fielder took Beltran out in the semifinals, hitting eleven home runs to his opponent's five. Defending champion Robinson Cano had the worst time at the contest, putting ten hits short of the wall in front of a cheering crowed of non-supporters. Cano was ridiculed by boos as he off the field, as the local Kansas City Royals fans heckled the American League captain for failing to choose the team's Billy Butler to participate in the Derby.