Some things to read while giving them what they asked for.
Apparently I need to go away more often. Since I left on Thursday the Brewers have gone 3-1 and completed a sweep of the Diamondbacks, led yesterday by Chris Narveson's 5.2 inning, three hit performance. In fact, Narveson went 5.2 before allowing a hit to reach the outfield, and racked up eight strikeouts. Narveson has posted a 3.78 ERA and struck out 17 opposing batters in his first 16.2 innings as a starter this season.
Other notes from the field:
- The Brewers homered twice off the Diamondbacks bullpen yesterday. Arizona relievers now lead all major league bullpens with 20 allowed.
- Chris Narveson, Casey McGehee and Ian Kennedy are leading FanGraphs' Star of the Game Voting.
CoolStandings now gives the Brewers a 22.5% chance at making the playoffs.
If you missed this weekend's games, you also missed Jody Gerut becoming the first Brewer to hit for the cycle since Chad Moeller in 2004. Here are some notes on the accomplishment:
- Tom Haudricourt notes that Gerut had just four hits on the season before Saturday's start.
- Bob Nightengale mentioned that just one of those four hits was against a right handed pitcher.
- The B-Ref Blog pointed out that Gerut's cycle was the first of 2010 in the majors, and compiled a list of players who might have completed a cycle given Gerut's six ABs.
- Brewers Bar made the case for Gerut to play an increased role.
- Gerut, by the way, made his second consecutive start yesterday and went 0-for-3. Even with the cycle on Saturday, he's just 5-for his last 27, hitting .185/.185/.407. Over that stretch he's actually outperformed Jim Edmonds, who hit .148/.258/.259.
And some other notes from Saturday's game:
- In-Between Hops notes that the Brewers have already set a franchise record with three 17 run games in 2010.
- Brewers Bar noted that the Brewers have averaged 13 runs per game in Randy Wolf's four wins.
- Ryan Braun crushed a home run off the batter's eye in center that Hit Tracker lists at 467 feet, the third longest in the major leagues this season. Rickie Weeks' homer from Friday is the sixth longest at 459 feet. Before those two, the longest Brewer homer was a 436-foot shot off the Bat of George Kottaras.
Considering the 1-3 start, I think the fact that the Brewers are coming home off a 6-4 west coast road trip is pretty impressive. Disciples of Uecker has a look back at a successful week, while Baseball Reflections reflects on the month that preceded it.
Also worth noting: The Brewers are undefeated since recalling Mitch Stetter. Tom Haudricort says Stetter used his time in the minors to work on using multiple arm slots to confuse opposing batters. He retired the only batter he faced yesterday.
Stetter returned to the big leagues when LaTroy Hawkins was placed on the DL with shoulder weakness. (FanShot) Hawkins had been refusing to admit anything was wrong for some time now, but apparently the walkoff grand slam he allowed on Thursday was enough to change his mind.
Hawkins was one of several Brewers included on Bernie's Crew's list of pitchers losing velocity in 2010. Other notables include Dave Bush and Claudio Vargas, who are both down over 2 mph this season.
Alcides Escobar is just 2-for his last 26 and sat on the bench yesterday while Craig Counsell started at shortstop. With that said, Battlekow noted that Escobar's walk rate is up significantly this season, and is now more in line with his minor league numbers.
Fresh off a cross-country flight, the Brewers return home to host the Braves today, and Adam McCalvy notes that something has to give: The Brewers are 4-8 at home this season, and the Braves are 5-14 on the road.
Baseball Brew has a list of former Brewers working for the Braves, including Hank Aaron, Eddie Perez and Jim Powell.
In the minors:
- Tom Haudricourt has updates on injuries to several Brewer prospects, including Logan Schafer, Mat Gamel, Josh Butler, Lorenzo Cain and Eric Farris, among others.
- Gamel has been passing the time in extended spring training, and isn't enjoying Arizona.
- Minor League Baseball Prospects has a statistical look at Jake Odorizzi, giving him a 26.56% chance of becoming a #1 or 2 starter in the majors.
- Thursday night's Sounds game in Round Rock featured a surprise appearance by
Rojo JohnsonWill Ferrell
- Rattler Radio has links to profiles of D'Vontrey Richardson and Maverick Lasker.
- Space Coast Baseball was on hand to broadcast Thursday's game between Brevard County and Tampa, and the audio is archived if you'd like to look back.
Have you listened to a Brewer game on the radio lately? Wrong Week noted what we've also discussed in the comments a couple of times: Davey Nelson has been better than many of us expected while filling in for Bob Uecker.
Speaking of Uecker, Craig Coshun offered his thoughts on the legendary broadcaster at Madison.com.
On Power Rankings: Beyond the Box Score moved the Brewers down from #5 to 11.
I guess I'll file these together under "other lists:"
- UmpBump continued their "Crowdsourcing the Greats" series with a look at designated hitters, and Paul Molitor is #3.
- The B-Ref Blog notes that Jeff Suppan is 297 hits away from becoming the 125th pitcher to allow 3000 in his career. His 97 ERA+ would be tied for the fourth worst in the group. (h/t THT Links)
And, since I don't know where to file this, I'll just dump it in at the bottom: Miller Park Drunk has another installment of LOLBrewers.
Angels: Designated right hander Fernando Rodriguez for assignment and placed infielder Maicer Izturis on the DL with shoulder inflammation.
Athletics: Placed pitcher Justin Duchscherer on the DL with left hip inflammation.
Marlins: Designated Mike Lamb for assignment.
Phillies: Placed catcher Brian Schneider on the DL with a strained Achilles tendon.
Yankees: Placed first baseman Nick Johnson on the DL with wrist inflammation.
Also worth noting: John Ely pitched very well against the Brewers in his first shot in the Dodgers' starting rotation, but has been sent back to AAA anyway.
Geoff Jenkins hasn't been featured in any of this season's transactions, and while he told reporters he's not ready to retire, he also sees the writing on the wall regarding his major league career. Apparently he's been playing golf lately with Jermaine Dye, Eric Gagne and Mark Mulder.
Here are some more largely unrelated stories filed together under "economic struggle:"
- The Biz of Baseball is reporting that MLB could seize control of the Rangers this week, or at least is threatening to do so in an effort to get Tom Hicks and his creditors to settle their disputes.
- Padres owner Jeff Moorad told reporters over the weekend that his team lost $8 million last season, and expects to lose $6 million this season.
- Last week's Pirates-Cubs series drew just 33,110 fans over three games.
It's not all bad news, though: Minor league baseball drew 5.9 million fans through April, the second highest total ever.
If you've been around a TV recently, you've probably heard about Dallas Braden's perfect game for the A's yesterday. But if you haven't read Joe Posnanski's piece on his unlikely route to the big leagues, then you should take a few minutes to check it out.
Did the Brewers' 6-4 road trip save Ken Macha's job? It's possible. Firing season opened without him, though: The Mariners fired hitting coach Alan Cockrell over the weekend.
We've been looking ahead to the MLB Draft a little bit lately, but here's a look even farther ahead: Major League Baseball is working on setting up a registration and drug testing program in the Dominican Republic that players will have to pass through before they can sign with major league teams after July 2.
Today's feelgood story of the day comes from Pirates.com, which recounts the tale of 11-year-old Kate Drury, who found and returned a 1960 World Series ring belonging to former Pirates scout Merrill Hess.
On this day in 2001, Jeromy Burnitz hit three home runs and Devon White hit a grand slam in the Brewers' 11-1 victory over the Cubs.
On this day in 2008, Ben Sheets recorded his 1082nd career strikeout, passing Teddy Higuera for first place on the Brewers' all time list.
A couple of weekend birthdays:
Oh, and I can't decide if this is the best or worst stadium review I've ever seen.