Some things to read while writing an angry letter.
If you went to bed at a decent hour last night you missed a pretty good Brewer game, as they downed the Angels 12-2. Kirbir stayed up late to write the recap, which you can find here.
Randy Wolf had a great bounce-back performance last night, loading the bases in the second and third but escaping with minimal damage, and allowing just two runs on three hits in seven innings. In-Between Hops noted that it was the first time Wolf has allowed fewer hits and walks than innings pitched this season, and Disciples of Uecker noted that he got 14 outs via ground ball. Joe Saunders, meanwhile, allowed 14 fly balls to the Brewers in his 5.2 innings of work.
Most of the early offense last night came off the bat of Ryan Braun, who hit the third grand slam of his career and the first ever off of Joe Saunders. It was the Brewers' fourth slam of the season, tying them for the second most in baseball. SgtClueLs has identified the source of Braun's power.
The other home run in last night's game was also interesting in its own way: Casey McGehee (who was last night's DH) hit a fly ball to the wall in center that would have been a double against most center fielders, who never would have had the range to get there. Torii Hunter leaped at the wall and made what appeared to be a great catch, but the ball popped out of his glove and went over the fence. Sam Miller of the Orange County Register wonders if Hunter is starting to lose it.
In an unfortunate note, Angels shortstop Erick Aybar left last night's game with a hyperextended left knee after a collision with Casey McGehee at second base. The report linked above says no MRI has been scheduled and Aybar is day-to-day. Casey McGehee is taking some heat for the slide (which Halos Heaven called a "chump take-out slide"), but the play was clean and Torii Hunter had this to say about it:
"He tried to break up a double play," Hunter said. "He couldn't do anything about it. I like it; that's the way we play the game. I respect it. Aybar is one of our better players, and we don't know how his knee is. He says he's all right. I hope so."
Hopefully Aybar will be fine and we can put all of this behind us.
Other notes from the field:
- With Randy Wolf on the mound last night George Kottaras got his second straight start at catcher, and broke out of his slump by going 2-for-4 with a double and a walk.
- Four batters were hit by pitches last night, including Randy Wolf's 75th career plunk and Craig Counsell's 20th HBP as a Brewer. As you might expect, Plunk Everyone was all over it.
- Braun, Wolf and Corey Hart are leading FanGraphs' Star of the Game voting.
- Here are last night's MLB.com video highlights.
- Last night's game was the first meeting between the two teams since the Brewers won a 1-0, 17 inning contest in 2004.
The Brewers picked a good day to have first round pick Dylan Covey in attendance. Covey was in the clubhouse before the game and got to try on a uniform and meet Trevor Hoffman for the first time. Covey's dad is handling negotiations for his son to preserve his possible amateur status: He told Anthony Witrado that he's hoping for a $2 million signing bonus (slot for the 14th pick is $1.7 million), but is confident the two sides will be able to get a deal done.
He's not getting the level of national attention one might expect, but Yovani Gallardo is putting together a great season. Baseball In-Depth notes that Gallardo is one of just four pitchers that have thrown over 20 innings in May and June and posted a sub-3.00 ERA.
In the minors:
- The Brewers demoted both of their top selections from the 2009 draft yesterday, bumping Eric Arnett down to Arizona and Kentrail Davis from Brevard County to Wisconsin. Arnett (who is 0-11 in his pro career) posted a 6.87 ERA in 56.1 innings with Wisconsin, while Davis was hitting .244/.380/.341 for BC but struggling to stay healthy.
- The Brewers have agreed to terms with eighth round pick Austin Ross, according to Battlekow.
- On the field the affiliates went 0-3 again last night, and are now 0-10 since Friday. You can read all about their futility in today's Minor League Notes.
- The Nashville Sounds have a profile of outfielder Adam Stern, who grew up as a big Devon White fan.
- The Brewer Nation has an interview with 34th round pick and Grafton native Conor Fisk.
- Andy Seiler gave the Brewers a C+ for their draft, and ranked them 25th.
- Brewerfan.net reports that the Brewers have signed RHP Marty McLeary to fill out the staff in Nashville. McLeary is 35 and last pitched in the majors for the 2007 Pirates. This season, he posted a 10.85 ERA between AA and AAA in the Blue Jays' organization.
- Neither is probably a threat to exercise the option, but Brewerfan.net notes that A.J. Murray and Trent Oeltjen can become free agents if they're not added to the major league roster by June 15 (today) and July 1, respectively.
On power rankings:
- ESPN moved the Brewers up one spot to 23.
- Craig Calcaterra has the Brewers at 24.
MLB FanHouse dropped the Brewers one spot to 27.
If you've got a moment this morning and you haven't taken the time to do these things yet, there's still time:
- Ryan Fagan of The Sporting News would like your help interviewing Rickie Weeks.
- This week's BCB Tracking Poll is still open until noon today.
Somehow, we managed to make it through the entire day yesterday without a notable transaction, even with my somewhat expanded definition of "notable." Weird.
Casey McGehee's home run last night was one of several strange happenings in west coast games last night. Mark Townsend of Bugs & Cranks has a roundup of what you might have missed if you went to bed early, including an earthquake and a strange ground rule.
From the unexpected to the completely predictable: With Ned Yost as his new manager, Jason Kendall is still catching every day: Royals Review notes that he's caught 92.4% of Royals innings this season. No other catcher has caught more than 84.2% for his team.
Elsewhere in bad former Brewers: Jeff Suppan is going to start for the Cardinals today against the Mariners.
Mark Mulder was rumored to be a Brewer for so long that he feels like a former Brewer: He officially announced his retirement this week.
We've all been there: The Common Man has a guide to attending a game with a disinterested partner. I'll actually go ahead and dispute one point: I've taught my wife to keep score, and it can keep her interested for innings on end if it's not too cold.
Maybe you can dazzle your significant other with your surprising knowledge of physics? Mike Fast of Beyond the Box Score did the math and estimates that a baseball needs to be thrown at least 26-28 mph to make it from the mound to home plate.
Two pretty good baseball movies enter, but only one can advance: Twinkie Town wants to know if you prefer 61* or Eight Men Out.
If you're in or near Appleton this week, the Timber Rattlers are on the road but the WIAA State Tournament is taking place at Fox Cities Stadium: Rattler Radio has the schedule of events.
Here's an aggressive promotion: When short-season leagues open play next week, Ben Badler of Baseball America reports that the Rangers will have 17-year-old shortstop Jurickson Profar, a native of Curacao, opening the season in the Northwest League.
Happy birthday today to:
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have fads to catch up on.