Prince Fielder, Willie Randolph, and the rest of the Beermakers welcome the Mets to Miller Park for a three-game series beginning tonight. To see what was going on in Sudsville I checked in with Kyle Lobner of SB Nation Brewers site .
Prince Fielder: did he start eating meat again or what? What's has changed for him since last year?
Word on the street is that he started eating meat again sometime last season, but it's never been officially reported. Whatever he's eating, I'm hoping he'll stick with it, because with Rickie Weeks gone for the season and J.J. Hardy continuing to struggle, the Brewers desperately need Fielder to remain productive.
Trevor Hoffman is 41 and was pushed out of San Diego, but he's been pretty terrific this season after returning from the disabled list at the end of April. What has surprised you the most about Hoffman?
I don't know if you can call it a surprise when a guy who has produced for decades continues to do it, but certainly Hoffman's ability to remain effective this late in his career is notable. He doesn't throw hard anymore, but half the relievers in baseball could learn a lot from Hoffman's approach: he throws a ton of strikes (4 unintentional walks in 22 innings), and he challenges hitters.
Once you get past Yovani Gallardo the starting rotation has been pretty bleah. Do the Brewers have enough starting pitching to compete through September? Will their guys pitch better or will the front office look to bring in someone(s) else who will?
I don't see a big move on the horizon for this team. If anyone is brought in to help, it'll likely be a stopgap type (think Doug Davis) instead of a frontline starter. With that said, I don't think the situation is as dire as many would have you believe. Yovani Gallardo pitched very well over the weekend. Jeff Suppan has had some rough outings but has been better than expected on the whole. Braden Looper has scuffled a bit, but not enough (at this point) to lose a spot in the rotation. Dave Bush should be back after the All Star Break and there's really no reason to expect lingering effects from what was basically a glorified bruise. Manny Parra has been a major disappointment, but he's the only real hole in the rotation at the moment, and the Brewers have enough servicable guys on the roster and in AAA to attempt to cobble together a solution to that problem.
What are your impressions of the first three months of the Ken Macha Era? What are his strengths and weaknesses as a manager?
Ken Macha walked in the door with one huge asset in his pocket: He wasn't Ned Yost. He makes some baffling decisions from time to time, but that's probably true with almost any manager. All told, I think most of us would say he's doing an average or better job. His bullpen usage leaves something to be desired at times, and he occasionally shows signs of not knowing much about the team he's trying to manage.