NL Central Three Up Three Down
Three games into the post-All Star Break, the Brewers slide continues and Rizzo gets hot
It’s not a Three Up Three Down full of sample size as we look at players coming out of the All-Star Break, but that doesn’t mean the numbers are less significant. The games all count the same, and the Cardinals had to be encouraged with a mound performance while the Reds struggled at the plate as they were swept by the New York Yankees.
Three games, Three Up, Three Down.
Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs
Rizzo didn’t light up the All-Star Game with his one at-bat and strikeout. He’s made up for it after the break though. Rizzo hit three homers in his first three games back against the Diamondbacks, going 5-for-11 overall. But of course he only drove in four because the Cubs can’t get on base in front of him, and of course the Cubs were swept despite Rizzo’s effort.
Neil Walker, Pittsburgh Pirates
Josh Harrison made the All-Star team, but Neil Walker is the best second baseman on the Pirates. Injuries slowed Walker a little in the first half, but he’s on fire recording seven hits in 12 at-bats so far after the ASG. He scored five runs and hit one home run giving me something good to say about the Pirates rather than rip on Josh Harrison.
Joe Kelly, St. Louis Cardinals
David Price to the Cardinals rumors won’t stop any time soon, but the Cardinals might not feel inclined to make a move if Joe Kelly emerges in the rotation. He held the Dodgers to just one run on four hits scattered across seven innings. With well-documented injuries to Michael Wacha and Jaime Garcia, the Cardinals need someone to step up behind Adam Wainwright and Lance Lynn. Is Joe Kelly the answer? That question might make Cardinals fans sick.
Matt Garza, Milwaukee Brewers
Apparently Garza didn’t get enough time off last week. Garza came back from the All-Star Game, barely, and provided a whole one-out on the mound for the free-falling Brewers. In that one-third of an inning, Garza surrendered five runs on five hits while walking two. I’ll do the math for you–that’s a 135.00 ERA.
Jay Bruce, Cincinnati Reds
I might’ve said that Jay Bruce needs to step up with Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips on the DL for upwards of five more weeks if the Reds have any shot of competing in the division. Instead, Bruce’s struggles continued with an 0-for-11 series against the Yankees with five strikeouts. He wasn’t alone…
Billy Hamilton, Cincinnati Reds
Hamilton was right there with Bruce striking out more than accomplishing anything else. Five strikeouts in a 1-for-12 series that saw the Reds get swept wasn’t the start the team was hoping for.