Some things to read while getting through the first five minutes.
If you missed last night's game, this quote from Ken Macha (via Tom Haudricourt) more or less sums it up:
"Every once in a while, you're going to have a stinker."
I was at said stinker last night and didn't get home until 1, which is why the Mug is late. My reward for the trip was getting to watch Manny Parra fail to make a case that he should remain in the rotation when Doug Davis is eventually reinstated from the DL. Parra allowed four runs on seven hits and four walks and failed to retire a batter in the sixth inning. He also dropped the ball on a rundown attempt and allowed a home run to Michael Bourn, who hadn't hit one since last July.
Most of the relievers used last night weren't much better. Carlos Villanueva, Todd Coffey and David Riske all allowed runs last night. Riske's were his first of the year. In a small silver lining, Chris Capuano pitched a scoreless ninth, pitching in a game for the first time in over two weeks. Brandon Jennings of the Bucks bounced in the first pitch to last night's game: If the Brewers had needed another pitcher, he might have been called back.
Other notes from the field:
- Michael Bourn hadn't homered in 551 at bats, a streak dating back to July 11, 2009, before hitting one off Manny Parra last night. R.J. Anderson of FanGraphs has a look at baseball's longest power droughts.
- Michael Bourn, Hunter Pence and Corey Hart are leading FanGraphs' Star of the Game voting.
- Here's MLB.com's video highlights.
- CoolStandings has the Brewer playoff chances at 3.4%.
- Corey Hart went 3-for-5 last night with two RBI - his 48 in his last 41 games are the most in baseball.
- Craig Counsell started at shortstop and went 0-for-3 before being removed as part of a double switch. He's hitting .235/.295/.235 in his last 36 games, and doesn't have an extra base hit since April 29.
Rickie Weeks went 3-for-4 with a walk last night to raise his season line to .274/.376/.461. Brewers Daily notes that he's projected to be a free agent following the 2011 season, and thinks the Brewers should try to lock him up long term.
Even before winning last night's game, the Astros were enjoying their visit to Milwaukee. When discussing the Brewer facilities, Lance Berkman told Alyson Footer, ""In terms of the position to the dugout and the amenities, I think it's the best clubhouse in the National League."
Another day, another note on bad Brewer pitching: David Golebiewski of FanGraphs notes that Randy Wolf is dead last among NL starters in WAR (-0.9 wins), his strikeout rate is down and his walk rate is up.
In-Between Hops wonders if the Brewers could ease some of the logjam in their pitching staff by trading Trevor Hoffman, Chris Capuano, Todd Coffey or Doug Davis before the July deadline. @notkenmacha just hopes Davis has regained the capacity to love.
At least we can still be positive about one Brewer pitcher: MLB Soup lists Yovani Gallardo among three pitchers that have broken out this season.
In the minors:
- On the field, the affiliates went 3-2 yesterday and got a rare bit of good news from Eric Arnett, who struck out all six batters he faced in Arizona, picking up his first professional win. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Meanwhile, the news isn't very good for Nashville second baseman Eric Farris. Farris, who is recovering from a knee injury, was removed from a rehab assignment in Arizona after just one plate appearance.
- Khris Davis went 5-for-11 with two home runs over the weekend as Wisconsin swept Burlington, and that performance was good enough to net him Midwest League Player of the Week Honors.
- The Brewers have opened negotiations with first round pick Dylan Covey. It'll be interesting to see what he gets: The picks before and after Covey received signing bonuses of $1.65 and $1.55 million, but Covey's father has told reporters he's seeking $2 million. The two sides seem optimistic about getting a deal done.
- The Brewers have worked out a deal with 18th round pick Thomas Keeling, who was Baseball America's #189 overall prospect before the draft. Keeling had made one start for the Keene Swamp Bats of the New England Collegiate Baseball League.
- In a story that's equal parts sad and bizarre, Brewers 50th round pick Chad Jones, a star college football player under contract with the New York Giants, may be considering making the jump to baseball to protect a foot that was seriously injured in a car accident over the weekend (FanShot). Jones was an outfielder at LSU, but Jim Callis of Baseball America says he could be a high-ceiling LHP if his injuries leave him unable to play the field. (h/t Battlekow) Jones was a junior this season, so he could return to school and attempt to improve his draft stock, either way.
- Brewerfan.net reports the Brewers have signed RHP Darren Byrd, who was pitching for Fargo-Moorhead of the Northern League, and assigned him to Brevard County. Byrd is 23 years old and had posted a 4.58 ERA in four Northern League starts.
On power rankings:
- Craig Calcaterra has the Brewers 19th.
- MLB FanHouse has the Brewers 20th.
- ESPN has the Brewers 21st, up two spots.
If you haven't had a chance yet, please take a moment to vote in this week's BCB Tracking Poll, which will remain open until noon today.
Braves: Placed outfielder Jason Heyward on the DL with a bone bruise in his left thumb.
Cardinals: Are expected to place third baseman David Freese on the DL with an ankle sprain.
Cubs: Are expected to place reliever John Grabow (knee) on the DL today.
Dodgers: Signed reliever Jack Taschner to a minor league deal.
Nationals: Placed pitcher Tyler Walker on the DL with shoulder inflammation.
Red Sox: Are expected to place catcher Victor Martinez on the DL with a fractured thumb, designated lefty Fabio Castro for assignment and announced that pitcher Boof Bonser has rejected an outright assignment and is now a free agent.
Tigers: Are expected to place pitcher Joel Zumaya on the DL after he sustained an elbow injury last night.
The Home Run Derby is coming up, which means it's time for players to start announcing they won't compete. Yesterday's big name to decline the invitation was Albert Pujols. MLB Daily Dish looks at alternatives, should MLB decide to ditch the derby.
Interleague play is over, so it's time to review the results: Justin Inaz of Beyond the Box Score has the first look.
At the very least, interleague play was a success financially: Tom Haudricourt reports the average interleague game drew 33,253 fans this season, up from 28,233 for intraleague games.
This could have interesting financial ramifications for a handful of teams: Several teams' decision to delay callups in an effort to manipulate arbitration status might have backfired, as the 2010 Super 2 cutoff is projected to be 2 years and 124 days of service time, down from 2 years, 139 days last season. Red Reporter notes that Jay Bruce is one of the players affected.
Here's a cool baseball history/uniform note: Wezen-ball has a look at the "average" major league uniform, season by season since 1900. We'll have our own Uni Notes later today.
Also, today is the 105th anniversary of Archibald "Moonlight" Graham's lone major league appearance.
Happy birthday today to:
- Joe Inglett, who turns 32.
- 2008-09 Brewer Hernan Iribarren, who turns 26.
- Wisconsin Timber Rattlers Kentrail Davis (22) and Cutter Dykstra (21).
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to solving mysteries.