Friday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while learning about coffee (h/t Keith Law).

Unless you've spent the last 24 hours obsessing over NFL Draft coverage, you probably know that the Brewers beat the Pirates 20-0 yesterday. Adam McCalvy and Jenifer Langosch have a collection of records and trivialities from the win, and note that the win was one of the five most lopsided shutouts of the last 110 years.

The most notable single performance might have come from Prince Fielder, who ended a 54 at bat homerless streak with his first of the season in the second inning. Tom Haudricourt says lots of people have been telling Fielder to relax, but now he finally can do it. Also, Ken Macha said that Fielder's left hand has been sore from getting jammed by pitches, but he's not injured and, as demonstrated yesterday, he still appears to have much of his power.

Other notes from the carnage:

After scoring 20 runs, the Brewers now lead the NL in slugging percentage and are second in the NL in runs scored, batting average, OBP and OPS, all behind the Dodgers, and second in home runs behind the Cardinals. Lost in the offensive explosion was this fact, though: By holding the Pirates to one run over three games, Brewer pitchers have lowered their team ERA to 4.88. That's still only the 11th best number in the NL, but it's a nice step up from the 14th ranking they had before the series.

On the individual side, Ryan Braun is now leading or tied for the NL lead in hits (25), RBI (20), slugging (.733) and OPS (1.212). Alcides Escobar leads the NL with three triples, and Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks are tied for the NL lead with 5 HBP.

Perhaps it was a coincidence, but yesterday's offensive explosion came with Gregg Zaun on the bench. Despite the positional adjustment tied to catching, Zaun was an honorable mention with -0.5 WAR in Beyond the Box Score's look at the worst players in baseball.

Rickie Weeks, meanwhile, played in his 15th consecutive game yesterday and told Adam McCalvy he wants to play all 162 this season. His career high is 133.

As proof that what goes around comes around, the Brewers will follow up their 20 run performance by sending Jeff Suppan to the mound tonight to return some of those runs to the Cubs. After a somewhat unusual spring, Suppan is hoping to get back into a routine of starting every five days. In 2009, Suppan posted a 5.47 ERA in 19 starts on his normal four days of rest, and a 4.97 ERA in eleven other starts. Maybe the Brewers should mess with his routine more often.

In the minors:

  • Bryan Smith of FanGraphs has a review of the Brewers' decision to call Jonathan Lucroy up to AAA (FanShot). He thinks Lucroy will eventually be worth 2.5-3 wins per season as a regular catcher, and predicts the Brewers might call him up sooner than later.
  • Brewerfan.net is reporting that the Brewers have signed infielder Brett Dowdy to a minor league deal, and assigned him to Nashville. Dowdy is 28 years old and has spent most of his career in the Padres organization, where he hit .237/.281/.313 for AAA Portland in 2009.
  • Rattler Radio reports that Maverick Lasker, Del Howell and Damon Krestalude will start this weekend's games for Wisconsin, with Kyle Heckathorn pitching in relief tonight and Nick Bucci coming out of the 'pen tomorrow.

Around baseball:

Athletics: Designated outfielder Jai Miller for assignment and placed outfielder Travis Buck on the DL with an oblique strain.
Dodgers: Placed Jeff Weaver on the DL with a sore back.
Phillies: Placed J.A. Happ on the DL with a forearm strain.
Rays: Have reportedly agreed to a five year deal with Ben Zobrist.
Tigers: Placed DH Carlos Guillen on the DL with a hamstring strain.

What do former Brewers Matt Stairs, Wes Helms, Candy Maldonado, Brady Clark, Thad Bosley and John Vander Wal all have in common? They all appear on the B-Ref blog's list of the best pinch hitters since 1961.

The count is at six*: Via MetsGrrl, I learned that Wednesday's Mets-Cubs game at Citi Field drew just 25,684 fans, a new record low. That would actually be a great number in several cities and the fact that it's a record is largely due to the fact that Citi is just two years old, but nonetheless the Mets join the Blue Jays, Indians, Orioles, Nationals and Mariners on the list of clubs that have drawn record lows to their parks this season.

* - The list is actually seven if you count the Twins, who opened Target Field this season and as such couldn't help but set a new record.

On this day in 1954 Hank Aaron hit his first major league home run, a solo shot in the sixth inning. The Braves went on to beat the Cardinals 7-5 in 14 innings.

On this day one year ago Dave Bush held the Phillies hitless for 7 1/3 innings before allowing a solo home run to Matt Stairs. The Brewers went on to win the game 6-1.

Happy birthday today to:

  • Hall of Famer Warren Spahn, who would have turned 89.
  • 2009 Nashville Sound Jason Tyner, who turns 33.
  • 2001 first round pick and 2010 Huntsville Star Mike Jones, who turns 27.

That's all I've got for you today, unless you need a reason to be happy the Brewers won't draft Bryce Harper.

Drink up.

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