If you went to bed early last night (or simply fell asleep on the couch, as I almost did), you missed one of the season's most unlikely events: a ninth inning, game-tying three run home run from Jason Kendall, just his second of the season and just the second home run he's hit away from Minute Maid Park since August 15 of 2007. The blast raised his slugging percentage over .300 on the season and gave the Brewers new life, even if it only lasted for two innings.
The home run was cool, but it still wasn't enough to make Kendall a viable option as a starting catcher next season. Brewers Daily has a list of potential free agents who could take his place.
Casey McGehee's meeting with a specialist Monday confirmed what the Brewers suspected: He will undergo arthroscopic surgery after the season to remove some loose bodies in his knee (FanShot). He seems reluctant to undergo the procedure and worried about the problem returning, but is scheduled to meet with team doctor William Raasch this week to discuss it further. Meanwhile, the Brewers are advocating for McGehee to be Rookie of the Year.
Also noted in that story: Mike Burns' MRI revealed damage to his labrum, and he's still in Milwaukee and likely done for the season. Frank Catalanotto is also not with the team in Colorado: he left the team before the trip due to a death in the family. He'll miss the Colorado series but might return for the final series this weekend.
Meanwhile, Jeff Suppan returns to the mound tonight for his final start of the season, and hopes to finish strong. Dave Bush might have been a candidate to have his final start skipped, but with Burns still out and Josh Butler having been sent home, he'll get one more start on Saturday.
If you're having a hard time getting excited for these final few games, Tyler Maas has some reasons for you to care. If nothing else, it's still baseball, and you're going to spend October-February missing it.
Here are some milestones to watch for, if nothing else: Ryan Braun needs six hits over five games to become just the fourth Brewer to reach 200 hits in a season, and as Seamheads notes, Prince Fielder is just a few points short of joining him in the .300-30-100 club. Assuming Fielder plays all of the remaining games and gets four ABs in each, he'd need to go 9-for-20 to reach .300.
How incredible has Trevor Hoffman been this season? MLB Trade Rumors has a look at closers who will be free agents this offseason, and Hoffman is clearly having the best season, leading free agents-to-be in ERA, BB/9, Hits/9, saves and fewest pitches thrown.
If you're looking for a reason why Brewer pitchers are so hittable this season, you could blame the fact that they're dead last in baseball in average velocity. With that said, the Angels, Twins, Phillies and Cardinals are all also ranked in the 20s, so maybe it's not everything.
On Power Rankings and whatnot:
- WhatifSports dropped the Brewers one spot to #17.
- The Hardball Times has the Brewers at #19.
- Andy Seiler has the Brewers drafting 14th in his 2010 draft projection. There's little to no risk of the Brewers dropping too far by winning this week: The next team behind them is the Mariners, who are 4 games better than the Crew.
- Do you love complaining about the Brewers and also find the act of composing a haiku to be strangely relaxing? If so, Babes Love Baseball has a contest for you.
- Do you enjoy spending seven minutes trying to force your brain to work, then banging your head against the desk when you miss obvious answers? Sporcle challenges you to name the wins leaders from the 1990s. (I got 12/24, which will almost certainly win the "before 7 am" division.)
- Do you enjoy pointless speculation about a player whose future won't be determined for months? DRaysBay thinks the Rays may non-tender Gabe Gross this offseason.
- Are you looking for an alternative to the real Hall of Fame, as an opportunity to continue to debate the merits of a player whose Hall eligibility has passed? More Hardball has inducted Ted Simmons into theirs.
- Are you looking for an opportunity to feel better about your pathetic life by doing something small to improve someone else's? Miller Park Drunk wants you to help replace someone's stolen grill.
In fact, that's all I have for you today, unless you'd like to witness The Running of the Quevedo.