Some things to read while doing the math.
Exhale, everyone: Yovani Gallardo made his first start back from the DL and showed no signs of lingering injury issues while leading the Brewers to a 3-2 win over the Pirates last night. Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker noted that Gallardo's average fastball velocity was actually higher than his season average. Hang with 'em Brewers! compared watching last night's performance to finding your favorite cashier at the grocery store.
Like many of the Brewers, Gallardo has been very good against the Pirates this season. Counting six innings last night, he's now thrown seventeen scoreless frames against Pittsburgh in 2010.
Corey Hart got the night off last night for the first time since May 10, sparking a wildfire of trade speculation. It turns out, though, that Hart just needed a rest. Joe Inglett started in his place and went 0-for-4.
Zach Braddock was unavailable to pitch out of the bullpen last night, but both he and Ken Macha are keeping the reason a secret, saying he needs "a couple of days" rest. Braddock hasn't pitched since Monday, when Macha noticed that his fastball velocity was a few mph off.
With Braddock out Chris Capuano was the only lefty available in the bullpen last night. He retired the two batters he faced to pick up just the second hold of his major league career, and the first since September 16, 2003.
John Axford followed Capuano to the mound and recorded the game's final five outs for his fourth multi-inning save of the season. Jack Moore wants the multi-inning saves to continue.
Other notes from the field:
- Rickie Weeks was hit by a pitch last night, his major league-leading 18th plunking. It was the tenth time a Pirate pitcher has hit a Brewer this season, which is the most HBP from one team to another in baseball. Plunk Everyone has more.
- Both benches were warned after Todd Coffey threw a pitch behind Jose Tabata in the seventh inning.
- Yovani Gallardo, Rickie Weeks and John Axford are leading FanGraphs' Star of the Game voting.
- Here are the MLB.com video highlights.
As expected, the Brewers made room for Gallardo on the roster by sending Lorenzo Cain back to AAA (FanShot). When asked about the decision, Ken Macha told reporters that Cain (who has just 41 ABs in AAA) needs more time in the minors, and "to expose him to Major League pitching every day at this particular point in his career would probably do a disservice to him and our organization."
Battlekow alluded to this on Twitter, but Carlos Gomez didn't spend much time in AAA either: He played just 37 games (157 plate appearances) there in 2007 before being called up by the Mets. I still think the Brewers made the wrong decision here but if sending Cain back to AAA will prevent him from turning out like Carlos Gomez, I'm all for it.
Wisconsin Sports Tap has one of the more interesting blame shifts I've seen in a while, making the case that when you're frustrated with Carlos Gomez, you should blame J.J. Hardy.
The Brewers return to Miller Park tonight to host the Nationals, a day after serious thunderstorms dealt a blow to the city. You may recall that the lower levels of Miller Park flooded at one point last season, but apparently measures taken in response were successful as no major issues have been reported following last night's rainfall.
Bob Uecker will be back on the air tonight and Michael Hunt of the Journal Sentinel has a look at what he's meant to this team and city. I typically skip over Hunt's columns, but I read this one beginning to end and you should too.
The Nationals come into town with a bit of disarray in their starting rotation. Luis Atilano was scheduled to start Sunday's series finale, but he was placed on the DL yesterday with bone chips in his elbow. Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post says Matt Chico is likely to start in his place.
Randy Wolf continues to be one of the major leagues' worst starting pitchers this season, but at least the Brewers appear to have isolated one of the sources of trouble: Adam McCalvy notes that Wolf is having trouble retiring lefties: He's held left handed batters to a .229/.298/.395 line over his career, but is allowing them to hit .299/.352/.573 this season.
On trade notes:
- Buster Olney suggested yesterday that Corey Hart might be a good fit for the Red Sox. It doesn't appear to be anything more than speculation at this point.
- Brewers Daily has a look at three teams with potential interest in Hart: the Giants, Braves and Padres.
- The Ghost of Moonlight Graham suggests that the Giants, Braves, Padres, Rays and White Sox could be interested in Hart.
- Jon Heyman reports that the White Sox see Prince Fielder as a first choice, but have also discussed Adam Dunn, Adam LaRoche and Lance Berkman as possible alternatives.
Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago notes that the White Sox likely wouldn't hang on to current 1B/DH Paul Konerko if they acquire Fielder.
In the minors:
- The affiliates went 2-3 last night. In Nashville, LaTroy Hawkins pitched a scoreless inning in relief, allowing one hit. He's allowed just one run on five hits over six innings in four rehab appearances. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Last night's most painful loss came in Jacksonville, where Eduardo Morlan walked in the winning run as Huntsville lost 6-5 in 12 innings.
- One of the Brewers' top young pitching prospects is moving up: Wily Peralta has been promoted to Huntsville after posting a 3.86 ERA in 19 appearances for Brevard County.
- Wrong Week took a road trip to Fifth Third Park in West Michigan earlier this week, and has some video of Maverick Lasker pitching for Wisconsin and a nice review of the facility.
We may be starting to see the implications of a disappointing season on the field: After drawing over three million fans to Miller Park each of the last two seasons, the Brewers are publicly acknowledging the fact that they might not reach that mark this season. They've already sold over 2.5 million tickets, but walkup sales will likely slow as the team continues to linger below .500 and out of the playoff race.
We'll see if a drop in ticket sales changes matters, but for now Jon Heyman says Ken Macha's job is safe for the rest of the season.
Today in SBN Wisconsin Hall of Fame nominations, we have Cecil Cooper, Warren Spahn, LeRoy Butler (Acme Packing Company) and Dwyane Wade (Anonymous Eagle). I couldn't be more thrilled with how this project is turning out: If you've fallen behind, take a moment to go back and catch up.
Angels: Acquired third baseman Alberto Callaspo from the Royals for pitchers Sean O'Sullivan and Will Smith.
Mets: Designated pitcher Fernando Nieve for assignment.
Phillies: Signed outfielder Timo Perez to a minor league deal.
Pirates: Placed catcher Ryan Doumit on the DL with a concussion.
Orioles: Released outfielder Joey Gathright.
Red Sox: Acquired infielder Jack Hannahan from the Mariners for a PTBNL or cash.
Reds: Signed reliever Jason Isringhausen to a minor league deal.
Earlier this week I mentioned that Jamie Moyer was headed to the DL with an elbow strain: an MRI revealed a sprain in his ulnar collateral ligament and a strain of the pronator tendon, which could end Moyer's career.
For more analysis of what this means in the grand scheme you'll have to look elsewhere, but I felt compelled to at least mention it: Major League Baseball has announced its intentions to begin blood testing of minor leaguers for signs of Human Growth Hormone.
Given the circumstances (an exciting development that usually involves a last-minute cross-country flight), I'm surprised stories like this don't happen more often: New Marlins catcher Brad Davis was forced to borrow equipment to wear in his major league debut because he grabbed the wrong equipment bag on his way out the door in New Orleans.
Somewhere in San Diego, there's probably a Padres front office staffer banging their head on their desk: Closer Heath Bell apparently doesn't understand how contract incentives work, and is upset over not getting a bonus for appearing in the All Star Game.
On this day in 2002, the Brewers traded Tyler Houston to the Dodgers for pitchers Ben Diggins and Shane Nance.
Happy birthday today to:
- 1987-91 Brewer Chuck Crim, who turns 49.
- Rochester, WI native Ginger Beaumont, who would have turned 134. Beaumont spent 12 seasons in the major leagues between 1899 and 1910 with the Pirates, Boston Doves (later to become the Braves) and Cubs.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a letter to write.