Monday's Frosty Mug

Season sweep of the Giants, and the Brewers' first road sweep in California since 2002, eh? I'll take it.

Friday's Win Expectancy Graph
Saturday's Win Expectancy Graph
Sunday's Win Expectancy Graph

Friday's BR Box Score
Saturday's BR Box Score
Sunday's BR Box Score

Of course, the weekend's biggest news is the acquisition of Ray Durham for two minor leaguers. The immediate question: Where and how much will he play? Ned Yost defended Rickie Weeks yesterday and says he'll play Durham "a couple days a week, maybe."

In the meantime, the Brewers may have kept another team from making a move, as well: Sam Mellinger says the low price the Giants received for Durham, plus with the fact that they're paying a large chunk of his salary, may keep the Royals from reaching a deal to trade Mark Grudzielanek and his $4 million salary.

The grand rotation experiment begins today, as Seth McClung starts on the road in St. Louis, his first start as part of the road/home platoon at the end of the rotation. If all goes as planned and the team sticks with the platoon, Dave Bush would then get three of the next four starts, including Saturday against Houston and the following Thursday against the Cubs.

Speaking of Dave Bush, Baseball By Paul thinks he'll come back to Earth and now is a good time to sell high. Paul also predicts a hot second half for Prince Fielder.

The Brewers have moved up to 8th in Phil Rogers' power rankings, or seventh if you want to be a purist and argue that team power rankings should only include actual teams.

On injuries:

Red Sox RP David Aardsma is on the DL with a sore groin.
A's 1B Daric Barton hit his head on the bottom of a swimming pool during the All-Star Break and has been DL'ed.
Reds RP Jared Burton has been placed on the DL with a strained right latissimus muscle.
White Sox SP Jose Contreras has been placed on the DL with elbow tendinitis.
Jermaine Dye left yesterday's game after being hit in the knee with a pitch.
Ryan Freel is out for the rest of 2008 after having surgery to repair a torn tendon behind his right knee.
Rays RP Gary Glover has been placed on the DL with a calf strain.
Orioles LHP Adam Loewen has a stress fracture in his elbow and has decided to give up pitching.
Pedro Martinez threw a bullpen session yesterday, but won't pitch Tuesday as scheduled.
Angels OF Gary Matthews Jr. has a slight tear in his knee but will play through it.
Mets OF Trot Nixon underwent season-ending hernia surgery.
Roy Oswalt has been placed on the DL with continued soreness from a left hip abductor strain.
Mets OF Angel Pagan may need season-ending shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum.
Mariners SP Carlos Silva left yesterday's start with back spasms but may make his next start.
Billy Wagner will have an MRI today after suffering cramping in his shoulder yesterday.
Marlins OF Josh Willingham missed yesterday's game to rest a sore wrist after being hit by a pitch Saturday.
Dmitri Young, who is diabetic, is on the DL after missing two straight games with high blood sugar and lightheadedness.

Apparently Scott Linebrink is using acupuncture and other methods to relieve the pain of migraines and some back issues he's been having. I've been known to get migraines related to Linebrink as well, especially when Joe Thatcher and Will Inman pitch well.

I'm sure this debate has been hashed out before, but it doesn't usually give me the urge to sing "One of these things is not like the others." Dugout Central asked four writers to name the greatest living pitcher. Your nominees: Bob Feller, Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens...and Dwight Gooden.

Murray Chass would like to know
why it's been 2 1/2 years since Don Baylor worked in baseball.

Week 15's blogpoll results for AL Awards (conducted over the break) are up at this link. Ian Kinsler was the surprise winner for MVP, with Cliff Lee taking the Cy Young and Evan Longoria lapping the field to win the Rookie of the Year. If you read the comments, I actually only wrote about half of what's quoted to me...the part about catchers belongs to someone else. Here's my ballot:

MVP:
1. Ian Kinsler
2. Grady Sizemore
3. Alex Rodriguez

Cy Young:
1. Roy Halladay
2. Justin Duchsherer
3. Cliff Lee

ROTY:
1. Evan Longoria
2. Greg Smith
3. Nick Blackburn

Oh, and if you ever find yourself stuck in a conundrum, where a team either has the option of paying you $20 million for next season or letting you become a free agent and likely make significantly less, the way to show that team you want to stay is almost certainly not tanking in a pinch hit at-bat against the Yankees. Just saying.

Drink up.

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