Wednesday's Frosty Mug

Trevor Hoffman #51 is pictured after allowing a game tying two run home run in the 9th inning Tuesday.

Some things to read while running upstairs.

If you missed the final inning of yesterday's game, consider yourself one of "the lucky ones." Trevor Hoffman faced five batters and allowed them all to reach as the Reds walked off with a 5-4 victory. The loss spoiled a good spot start from Manny Parra (one earned run on four hits and four walks in four innings) and an excellent Brewer debut for Marco Estrada (four innings, one run on two hits, no walks).Tom Haudricourt says Hoffman needs to remove himself from the end of the bullpen, taking the pressure off Ken Macha to do so.

Other Hoffman notes:

Other notes from the field:

  • Rickie Weeks was hit by a pitch yesterday for the 68th time in his career. Plunk Everyone notes that he has a 9 HBP lead on all other batters born in 1982.
  • Joey Votto, Scott Rolen and Trevor Hoffman (seriously? That's just mean.) are leading FanGraphs' Star of the Game voting.
  • CoolStandings has dropped the Brewer playoff chances to 6.3%.
  • Joey Votto's solo home run off Marco Estrada traveled an estimated 460 feet to straightaway center. Hit Tracker Online hasn't updated yet today, but when they do they'll show that home run as the longest at Great American Ball Park this season, and the seventh longest in baseball.

Macha's situation is drawing attention around the web:

  • Tom Oates of Madison.com says Ken Macha is not the problem, and should not be fired.
  • Howie Magner has planted himself squarely on the fence.
  • PocketDoppler thinks someone has to take the blame for the Brewers' current situation, and nominates Macha.
  • Michael Hunt wandered around the issue of Macha's personality for a while.

At any rate, this week's BCB Tracking Poll results would suggest near-universal agreement that something needs to be done. Doug Melvin, Ken Macha and Rick Peterson's approval ratings all set new record lows at 42%, 8% (!) and 4% (!!), respectively.

Is it time to start shopping? Dave Cameron of FanGraphs makes the case that the Brewers' 2010 playoff push is all but over, and they should start looking for opportunities to maximize their return on Prince Fielder.

Continuing with that theme, MLB Trade Rumors has a look at what could happen if the Brewers become sellers. The quick summary: Prince Fielder could go, but there's not much else of value to deal. Fire Doug Melvin says the Brewers need a new GM to handle the Fielder situation.

The Brewers open a quick series in Pittsburgh today as part of a crazy travel week that will see them spend Sunday in Milwaukee, Monday and Tuesday in Cincinnati, today and tomorrow in Pittsburgh and Friday-Sunday in Minneapolis. MLB FanHouse notes that there are no off days in baseball this week, with the entire league cramming in an extra series to make room for the All Star Break.

There had apparently been some speculation that Chris Narveson might get an extra day of rest after throwing 130 pitches on Saturday. That's not the case: Narveson is expected to start on Thursday. Roy Halladay threw 132 pitches for the Phillies last night, so Narveson's 130 is no longer the most thrown in a game this season.

In the minors:

  • Chris Capuano made his second AAA start last night and while he wasn't as good, he was still effective, allowing three earned runs on ten hits in 6.1 innings, striking out seven and walking none. For more from last night, including great pitching performances from Amaury Rivas and Nick Bucci, check out today's Minor League Notes.
  • Marco Estrada's promotion triggered a domino effect for a couple of other pitchers: Former first round pick Mike Jones has been promoted to Nashville, with Nick Green filling his roster spot in Huntsville.
  • Last week I mentioned Will Farrell's surprise appearance at a Sounds game. If you haven't seen it, 7th Inning Stache has the video.

On power rankings: SBNation has the Brewers at #22.

Around baseball:

Diamondbacks: Designated pitcher Blaine Boyer for assignment.
Dodgers: Placed outfielder Andre Ethier on the DL with a broken pinkie finger.
Indians: Placed SS Asdrubal Cabrera on the DL with a fractured left forearm.

If the Brewers aren't going to be competitive on the field, at least we can get excited for the draft, right? Not so fast: Erik Manning of FanGraphs reminds us that, despite all the work and excitement surrounding the draft, 63.4% of first round picks produce 0-1.5 WAR in the major leagues. Also at FanGraphs, Bryan Smith is starting a series going position by position, and notes that 13 of 31 first round catchers drafted between 1988 and 2002 went on to be productive major leaguers.

If this happened in New York or Boston we'd never hear the end of it, but because it happened in Florida you might have missed the recent saga regarding Hanley Ramirez getting benched for lack of hustle, and his ensuing comments. If you'd like to catch up on the story (or just want the best possible recap), Joe Posnanski has you covered.

Meanwhile, because this is happening in Chicago we're getting by-the-minute updates: The Cubs are going to move Carlos Zambrano back into the rotation.

Happy birthday today to:

What's worse: The fact that there's an 800 page book based on Settlers of Catan, or the fact that I'm somewhat interested in reading it?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to plan a road trip.

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