So the Brewers had a pretty full day yesterday. A day that started with an appearance on the Price is Right (but no Plinko) ended with Prince Fielder trying to force his way into the Dodger clubhouse to confront former teammate Guillermo Mota, who hit him with a pitch under exceptionally questionable circumstances in the ninth inning of a 17-4 game. Craig Calcaterra called it "a scene out of late-80's WCW."
If you missed it (and odds are most of you did), Tristarscoop has a recap of the event and an abnormally heated Ken Macha press conference afterwards. Dodgers catcher Russell Martin probably didn't do Mota or Joe Torre any favors by acknowledging the pitch was intentional after the game, claiming it was retaliation for Chris Smith grazing Manny Ramirez (his 100th career HBP, by the way) earlier in the night.
I got this email from TheJay this morning, related to the incident, which makes a valid point:
Just wanted to note something my dad mentioned that I think has gotten lost in the shuffle. A big deal is being made about how Torre must have ordered the hit since a reliever was warming with two out in the ninth in a 13 run game. At first blush, I thought it was pretty classless, too, but in Torre's defense, Mota had already thrown nearly 40 pitches, more than he had all season, and Troncoso might have been staying loose down there just in case Mota ran out of gas.With the loss last night, Cool Standings dropped the Brewers' playoff chances to 4.9%, below 5% for the first time all season. They had never dropped below 10% before last week. With that said, Michael Street of Baseball Digest Daily says Hiroki Kuroda, who beat the Brewers last night, is baseball's best Asian starter.
Moving on, the off day tomorrow gives the Brewers an opportunity to skip one spot in the starting rotation this week, and Ken Macha has decided to skip Mike Burns and start Carlos Villanueva on Friday. By the time the Brewers need a fifth starter again, Jeff Suppan may be ready to return. Adam McCalvy reported yesterday that both Suppan and Dave Bush had successful bullpen sessions yesterday. Sounds like Suppan will return directly to the rotation, while Dave Bush will be sent down for a minor league rehab appearance.
There's also good news today for Corey Hart: He's expected to be released from the hospital today, and will likely fly home to Milwaukee.
Here's a silver lining, if you're into silver linings: Andy Seiler has a projected draft order for the 2010 June draft, and the Brewers' recent struggles have moved them up to the 15th spot. Because picks 1-15 cannot be taken away for compensatory reasons, having pick #15 would mean the Brewers would only lose their second round pick if they sign a Type A free agent this offseason.
Jason Kendall, meanwhile, is doing his best to keep the Brewers in the top 15. Dugout Central named Kendall to their NL All-Stink Team, and Brewers Daily credits Kendall with having "that extra something ... hype by the media to make a bad player look like he helps a team."
As young as the Brewers are, they're getting a large chunk of their production from two aging veterans. As Al noted yesterday, there are only four players in all of baseball over age 36 who consistently play the field and have accumulated enough ABs to qualify for the batting title, and the Brewers have two of them: Mike Cameron and Craig Counsell.
The Brewers are one Trevor Hoffman appearance away from witnessing history. As TheJay noted over at Recondite Baseball, Trevor Hoffman's next game finished will be his 803rd, passing Lee Smith for the all time record. To put that in perspective: Since the Brewers began play in 1969, only 31 pitchers in all of baseball have appeared in 803 games. Soon, Hoffman will have finished that many.
In the minors, Jesus Colome continues to build his case for a major league callup. He's only been with the team for a little more than a week, but Colome racked up two more scoreless innings and his second save for Nashville last night, giving him seven scoreless innings in four games as a Sound. Meanwhile, R.J. Swindle got knocked around again last night and has now surrendered 12 earned runs in 6.2 innings as a Brewer.
In another minor note, FanGraphs rated Cole Gillespie, sent to Arizona in the Felipe Lopez deal, as the 24th best prospect among 35 traded at the deadline.
Cubs: Placed infielder Andres Blanco on the DL with a calf strain.
Indians: Designated reliever Jose Veras for assignment.
Mariners: Designated infielder Chris Woodward for assignment and announced that reliever Roy Corcoran, designated for assignment last week, has elected to become a free agent.
Someone could probably design and market a calendar based on obscure baseball roster rules and the time of year when you need to know them. August's page would be a refresher on waiver trades from former Blue Jays assistant GM Bart Given.
Giants rookie Joe Martinez, who hasn't pitched since being hit in the head by a line drive from Mike Cameron in April, will start for the Giants today against Houston. It's good to see him back on the mound.
On this day in 1994, the Brewers were one-hit by future Brewer Ben McDonald. David Nilsson collected the only Brewer hit off McDonald, who threw 145 pitches in the game.
I wasn't able to find any Brewer birthdays today, but Tommie Aaron, who played for the Milwaukee Braves in 1962, '63 and '65, would have turned 70 today. Also, Menasha, WI native Eric Hinske turns 32.