Thursday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while overextending yourself.

The Brewers managed to get eleven baserunners in six innings off of Chris Carpenter last night, the second most he's allowed all season, but the pitching staff couldn't keep the Brewers in the game long enough to give the team an opportunity to win. There's no shame in being outpitched by the bionic arm of Chris Carpenter. Jeff Passan of Yahoo has a profile of the Cy Young candidate and his dozens of surgical scars.

Dave Bush couldn't beat Carpenter last night, so he plunked him instead. That HBP was the 50th of Bush's Brewer career, making him the new franchise leader. He also picked up his 51st later in the game. After the game, Bush brushed off the suggestion that he could have used more time in the minors to prepare for his return. With the Brewers now below a 1-in-1000 shot of making the playoffs, they've got plenty of time to give Bush a few more starts and see if he straightens himself out.

Mike Cameron might be back next season after all: He told reporters he would be willing to make a sacrifice to remain in Milwaukee for 2010. FanGraphs has Cameron at 3.9 WAR for the season, the third highest total on the team.

Corey Hart is ready for a rehab assignment, and will spend the weekend with Nashville to see if he's ready for a return to big league action. He won't exactly be bumping aside a whole lot of vaunted prospects in the outfield in AAA: Yesterday's Sounds outfield featured both Corey Patterson and recent independent leaguer Tike Redman, with Jon Knott, another recent indy leaguer, pinch hitting. The Sounds lost to Memphis for the second straight day, dropping a game and a half behind in the division.

The Brevard County Manatees are playoff bound, and after months of living in the dark, we finally have a site covering them. Space Coast Baseball will be doing live audio broadcasts from Manatees games over the weekend and in the playoffs. The site is still pretty new, but it's great to have resources like it out there.

J.J. Hardy has gone 1-for-4 each of the last two nights since returning to the major leagues. What do you expect the Brewers to get for him this offseason? The Blue Jay Hunter would like to see him in Toronto, and is willing to offer relievers Jeremy Accardo and Jason Frasor, who would do a lot to help solidify the Brewer bullpen for next season but would still leave a gap in the rotation.

Meanwhile, Chris Capuano pitched well in his first appearance in Helena, throwing two scoreless innings. His velocity is down a bit, but that's to be expected from someone who's undergone Tommy John surgery twice. It'll be interesting to see what happens with Cappy after the season: He probably owes something to the Brewers, who spent all season rehabbing him despite very faint hops he'd pitch in 2009, but he'll also be a free agent.

The Brewers are commissioning focus groups to discuss what fans liked and didn't like about this season's Brewer team and ballpark experience. I'm guessing "more winning," "lower concession prices" and "cheaper parking" will be the suggestions.

The Brewers are up two spots to #18 in MLB FanHouse's Power Rankings.

Around baseball:

A's: Claimed pitcher John Meloan off waivers from the Pirates.
Giants: Designated pitchers Ryan Sadowski and Jesse English for assignment.
Nationals: Acquired minor league reliever Victor Garate as the PTBNL in the Ronnie Belliard trade.

We've hit September, so it's time to start talking about mathematical eliminations. As Jon Heyman noted, the Nationals were eliminated from contention in the NL East last night. The Orioles have already been eliminated from the division race as well. A Nats loss or a Rockies win today would eliminate them from contention for the Wild Card as well.

As a rule, I typically skim over or skip most things written by athletes on the web: They rarely have anything interesting to say, and would get themselves in trouble if they did say something worth noting, for the most part. With that said, I'm glad I didn't skip over this post at Baseball Analysts by A's prospect and Harvard grad Shawn Haviland, discussing the statistics that minor league pitching coaches do and don't care about, and how fluctuation in BABIP can impact them.

Rob Neyer and Wezen-ball offer their insights on old time pitchers, and how hard they actually threw. Neyer's analysis seems about right to me: they threw hard enough to earn a living today, but wouldn't dominate as they did then.

Getaway days in San Diego are going to suck next season: The Padres are moving the start of weekday day games from 12:35 Pacific Time to 3:35, meaning East Coast and Central Time Zone teams probably won't get out of San Diego until 7 or later local time, then face a cross country flight where they'll lose several hours in the air.

Congratulations are due out to former Brewer farmhand Michael Brantley, who picked up his first major league hit last night.

On this day in 1901, the original Milwaukee Brewers (who would later become the St. Louis Browns and Baltimore Orioles) lost both ends of a doubleheader, 10-0 and 6-1, to the original Baltimore Orioles (who would later become the New York Yankees). Joe McGinnity pitched complete games in both games for the Orioles.

On this day in 1976, Mike Hegan hit for the cycle as the Brewers beat the Tigers, 11-2. On this day in 1991, Jim Gantner homered (ending a 1762 AB homerless streak) and the Brewers scored three runs in the ninth to beat the A's, 5-3.

Happy birthday today to two former Brewer bullpen arms: Chad Fox, who turns 39, and Eric Plunk, who turns 46.

Oh, and yesterday was probably the only time William Ernest Henley will come up in baseball conversation this season.

Drink up.
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