Thanks to Tristarscoop for picking up the slack while I was away yesterday. Between getting married, honeymooning, buying a house, moving, being in another wedding and now a funeral, I feel like I've been away more than I've been home in the last two months, but (knock on wood) I should be back for the long haul now...at least through the end of the week.
Did you skip out early on last night's game? I almost went to bed in the seventh inning and would have missed the bench clearing incident involving Chris Smith and Jeff Karstens. Smith hit Karstens with a pitch in the eighth inning but later said the pitch wasn't intentional, which is probably the same thing Karstens said after hitting Ryan Braun in April. This HBP had some increased historical significance, being the 600th plunking at PNC Park.
Because the mess happened so late last night, possibly after many Brewer bloggers had gone to bed, there wasn't a lot of reaction to it on the web this morning. Don't be surprised, though, if Jason Kendall picks up a suspension of a game or two for his actions in the shoving match that followed. Kendall shoved Jeff Karstens down the first base line and was later involved in a shouting match with Pirates pitching coach Joe Kerrigan.
The incident also overshadowed the Brewer debut of Felipe Lopez. Lopez missed an early flight because he was waiting for his bats and would not have been in the starting lineup if not for the rain delay, but went 4-for-4 with a triple and a walk, becoming the first Brewer to record four hits in their debut since Chuckie Carr in 1996. TheJay sent me that link, and also this note:
Manny Parra has allowed just 12 baserunners in 13 innings since returning from AAA and lowered his ERA from 7.52 to 6.37 in the process. Has he figured it out? Zach Sanders of Baseball Digest Daily seems to think so.
In the minors:
- Cody Adams, the Brewers' second round pick from 2008, has been suspended for 50 games after testing positive for amphetamines. (Also noted in FanShot) Adams wasn't pitching well for the Timber Rattlers in the first place, but will now be set even farther back.
- While the struggle to draw fans to games in Huntsville has drawn some negative attention this season, the Nashville Sounds are just happy the attention isn't on them. Despite making some improvements to Greer Stadium, the Sounds' attendance is down from last season, and ranks 15th in the 16-team PCL.
- 2009 draftee Josh Prince is the Prospect of the Week over at Between the Green Pillars. Battlekow interviewed Prince back on June 23.
- The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers lost 15-1 to Lansing last night but still lead by two games in the Midwest League West Division Second Half Standings.
- The Cub Reporter has a nice interview with Nashville hitting coach Sandy Guerrero, perhaps better known for being Prince Fielder's BP pitcher at the Home Run Derby.
- FanGraphs ranked Ryan Braun #8 in their Trade Value rankings, one spot ahead of Tim Lincecum. I love Braun, but if the Giants called and offered Lincecum I'd have a hard time turning it down.
- The Brewers dropped four spots to 18th in WhatifSports' Power Rankings.
Angels: Released reliever Rudy Seanez, who had been pitching in AAA. (h/t Diamond Notes)
A's: Placed Jason Giambi on the DL with a strained quad.
Mets: Placed starter Fernando Nieve on the DL with a leg injury.
Nationals: Placed Scott Olsen on the DL with a back injury and designated Julian Tavarez for assignment.
Orioles: Acquired reliever Cla Meredith from the Padres for infielder Oscar Salazar.
Padres: Placed catcher Edgar Gonzalez, who was hit in the head by a pitch over the weekend, on the DL.
Phillies: Designated reliever Tyler Walker for assignment.
Rangers: Placed Frank Francisco on the DL with a mild case of pneumonia.
Red Sox: Designated Julio Lugo for assignment.
Reds: Placed Ramon Hernandez on the DL with inflammation in his knee.
Tigers: Placed Joel Zumaya on the DL with a sore shoulder.
Twins: Signed Mark Grudzielanek to a minor league deal.
Last week I mentioned that I had participated in SBNation's NL Central Roundtable, and linked to part 1 of the conversation. Part 2 is up over at Viva El Birdos. It was written prior to the Lopez acquisition, but there's still some relevant stuff in there.
Happy birthday today to former Brewers Lance Painter (42), Geoff Jenkins (35) and CC Sabathia (29).
Oh, and I already knew Amy K. Nelson was a baseball writer, but discovering that she's also an old school video gamer made her infinitely cooler in my book.