Some things to read while betting on the hot sauce.
Thankfully, Casey McGehee was able to give the Brewers the win in their final at bat, but last night's game featured another concerning outing from Trevor Hoffman, who allowed back-to-back home runs to Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday to squander a three run ninth inning lead. After allowing six earned runs (including three home runs) in his first four 2010 appearances, Hoffman acknowledged concerns about his early ineffectiveness and admitted to being embarrassed by his performance last night, but told Tom Haudricourt he needs to "trust his routine" and "believe it will get you out of this rut."
Some reaction to last night's game from around the web:
- Casa de Machado is starting to get worried about Hoffman, saying Hell's Bells has turned into Tinker Bell.
- In-Between Hops looked back and found some other segments in Hoffman's career where he's been similarly ineffective.
Craig Calcaterra was in a Stamford, Connecticut bar watching last night's game and says there was much rejoicing when McGehee ended the game, despite the fact that there wasn't a Brewer fan in the place.
Don't look now, but the Brewers are 1-0 with Jim Edmonds playing center field and batting in the #2 spot. At Disciples of Uecker, Jack Moore noted that last night's defensive alignment (Braun in left, Edmonds in center and Hart in right) is almost certainly the worst defensive combination the Brewers could muster with their current collection of outfielders.
Elsewhere in notes from the field:
- Casey McGehee leads the Star of the Game voting at FanGraphs, with Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols in second and third place.
- Chris Carpenter only allowed one home run every 27 innings pitched last season, but allowed three yesterday.
- Gregg Zaun still doesn't have a hit this season, but doesn't seem to be allowing it to get to him.
- Cool Standings now has the Brewer playoff chances at 19.3%.
- Brewers Daily has the series recap.
- The latest "pitcher comes from obscurity to shut down the Brewers" story belongs to Jaime Garcia, who beat the Brewers in his first major league appearance since 2008 on Saturday, 19 months after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
- Brewers Bar collected some of the overreaction to Yovani Gallardo's poor start on Saturday.
If you missed anything else this weekend, Noah did a great job of gathering it all in one place in his Weekend Mug.
Turning our attention ahead: We're only a few hours away from the series opener against our friends from the north side. Rubie Q has a unique take on the concept of "series preview," if you were having a hard time getting fired up. Doug Davis said he expects things to be ugly at Wrigley today.
Of course, Wrigley Field isn't the only place where things get ugly. Viva Cerveceros and OnMilwaukee.com have a couple of unfortunate Miller Park Opening Day stories that are prime examples of why I typically avoid Opening Day and Brewers-Cubs series.
Elsewhere in series previews, I contributed a few paragraphs to Joe Aiello's preview at View From the Bleachers.
The Cubs are playing their home opener at Wrigley Field this afternoon, and it'll be the first time most of them have seen it since renovations were made to the clubhouse and kitchen over the offseason. Heopfully home cooking isn't the cure for what ails them: They're batting .195 as a team and have stranded 25 runners in their last three games.
I know we all waited a long time for baseball season, but it's forgivable if you're not excited for Thursday. Jeff Suppan will make his 2010 debut against the Cubs at Wrigley on Thursday afternoon. I had previously mentioned that he might line up against Carlos Silva, but even that silver lining has since been removed: Silva was pulled from his last start with shoulder soreness and won't pitch again until Friday.
And, of course, Suppan continues to be mentioned as a Big Money Release Candidate.
In the minors:
- Today's Brewer game doesn't start until 1:20, so you've got slightly more than an hour to listen to Eric Arnett's Timber Rattlers debut at 12:05 today. Broadcast information for that and all of today's other games are available in the Brewerfan.net Link Report.
- I should have mentioned it days ago, but better late than never: If you're looking to keep up on stats from the Brewer minor leaguers (or any minor leaguers for that matter), then Jeff Sackmann's Minor League Splits is a site you need to bookmark. MLS also powers our daily Minor League Notes feature.
- Also, for whatever it's worth, if you're looking for a blog with slices of life from the minors, you could do worse than this one, written by new Sounds broadcaster Stu Paul.
- Paul has been watching the Sounds get off to a nice start: They play in Omaha tonight after sweeping a four game set against the Iowa Cubs in Des Moines.
Another day, another story on the Brewer finances: Dennis Punzel of the Capital Times has a story about the payroll exceeding Mark Attanasio's expectations and the Brewers working to find a way to continue to meet or expand it.
MLB Trade Rumors has a look at the contract issues facing the 2010 Brewers. With five contract options, five free agents and eight players projected to be arbitration eligible, the Brewers will have a fair number of interesting decisions to make before 2011, but their existing contracts will only escalate by $7 million (pay increases for Ryan Braun and Yovani Gallardo), so they'll have some flexibility.
More NBA basketball = more headaches for Brewer fans. As TheJay notes in this FanPost, the Bucks' playoff appearance could result in more Brewer game preemptions on Fox Sports Wisconsin.
I can't decide if it's better or worse than Brewer Fan Fiction, but Walkoff Walk's first 2010 installment of LOLMLB includes a Prince Fielder cameo, so I'll link it.
Diamondbacks: Placed catcher Miguel Montero on the DL with a torn meniscus.
Dodgers: Placed Brad Ausmus on the DL with a pinched nerve in his lower back.
Mets: Designated pitcher Clint Everts for assignment, and placed pitcher Sean Green on the DL with a rib cage injury.
Nationals: Placed utilityman Mike Morse on the DL with a calf strain.
Orioles: Are expected to place Brian Roberts on the DL with an abdominal strain.
Padres: Placed pitcher Chris Young on the DL with tightness in his shoulder.
Rays: Signed pitcher Logan Kensing to a minor league deal.
Reds: Designated pitcher Pedro Viola for assignment.
Fielding metrics are a relatively controversial topic around baseball, with stat-friendly folks arguing the merits of specific stats, while others argue against the relevance of all of them. If you're interested in them, though, you might be interested in knowing that FanGraphs has added +/- and RZR to their arsenal.
I've got a bunch of stuff from around the NL Central today that I'll try to lump together for brevity's sake:
- Mike Leake became the 21st player ever to go from the draft to the majors without playing in a game in the minors when he started against the Cubs yesterday, and allowed just one run in 6.2 innings.
- The Pirates, on the other hand, allowed 13 runs in an inning to the D-Backs yesterday. I don't know about you guys, but for whatever reason I never get sick of Pirate jokes.
- The Astros finished off their season opening homestand 0-6, and are baseball's last winless team. In fact, Jayson Stark notes that they're only the seventh team since 2000 to lose their first six, and five of the previous six lost 94 games or more. Lance Berkman is hoping to return sometime next week.
Remember this feeling? Yesterday's Twins game ended when J.J. Hardy was waved home and thrown out by 30 feet. Hardy's off to a nice start with the bat, but doesn't appear to have gotten any faster.
On this day in 1980 the Brewers beat the Red Sox 18-1 as Don Money and Cecil Cooper hit grand slams in the same inning. Sixto Lezcano had also hit a grand slam the previous day, giving the Brewers three in the season's first two games.
On this day one year ago, Jeff Suppan had a different approach to a bases loaded situation: He walked in four runs in an inning in the Brewers' 8-5 loss to the Cubs. And yes, Suppan will start on Thursday.
Happy birthday to:
- 2009 second round pick Max Walla, who turns 19 today.
- Woodland, WI native, UW-Madison alum and Hall of Famer Addie Joss, who would have turned 130 today. (h/t TheJay)
- 1994-96 Brewer Turner Ward, who turned 45 yesterday.
- 1994-99 Brewer Al Reyes, who turned 39 on Saturday.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to hairstyle coordination.