Some things to read before the angry letters flood in.
I'm sure someone will point out a series that's statistically comparable, but this four game set against the Giants was the worst I can remember, to the point where I could only stand to watch about two and a half games of it. The Brewers were outscored 36-7 by the Giants this week. For comparison's sake, the last time the Brewers were swept in a four game series at home was July 28-31 of 2008: The Cubs won that series 31-11.
If you really needed to hear it again, here's the summary of this week's ineptitude: The Brewers went 3-for-42 with runners in scoring position, allowed ten unearned runs on six errors and left 46 men on base in four games. They couldn't even get through the sausage race without a disaster.
Tom Haudricourt called this week "embarrassing," and it's hard to disagree with him. Howie Magner says he can't remember a lower point since coming to Milwaukee in 2007. In-Between Hops is counting this series as payback for Prince Fielder's celebration last season.
I know I'm digging pretty deep for a bright side here, but at least Zach Braddock and David Riske each pitched scoreless innings yesterday, and Braddock even drew something of a backhanded compliment from Rob Neyer.
Maybe worth noting: Since coming to the big leagues, Braddock has faced 23 lefties and allowed them to hit .300/.391/.350. He's actually been a little better against righties, who have hit .298/.327/.404 in 50 PAs. Braddock dominated lefties in his 17 innings in AAA, striking out 14 of the 24 he faced and allowing just a .150 batting average against.
- Giants reliever Dan Runzler left yesterday's game after dislocating his left knee while batting in the seventh inning, and will likely need to go on the DL.
- Alcides Escobar was back in the starting lineup yesterday and batted second for the first time since May 20. He responded by going 0-for-5 with a walk and a strikeout, leaving ten men on base. The batter before him (Rickie Weeks) and each of the three after him (Prince Fielder, Corey Hart and Casey McGehee) each had multiple hits.
- Ryan Braun got most of the day off yesterday, although he did ground out with the bases loaded in a sixth inning pinch-hit appearance.
- Eli Whiteside, Aubrey Huff and Ryan Braun (?!) are leading FanGraphs Star of the Game voting.
- CoolStandings has the Brewer playoff chances at .5%, tying a season low.
- Here are the MLB.com video highlights.
- Rickie Weeks and Joe Inglett each got hits yesterday to extend their hitting streaks to three games, tying Yovani Gallardo for the Brewers' longest active streak.
More and more white flags are starting to wave: BrewCrew365 is ready to fire Ken Macha and Doug Melvin and start conducting a fire sale, and just look at what this season has done to Miller Park Drunk.
Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker says blaming Macha is the easy way out. I'll agree with that to a point: Managers get a lot of undue credit when teams win and the equal amount of undue blame when they lose. With that said, I'm in agreement with what Rubie said in this week's MACHAWATCH!: It's becoming relatively apparent that Macha won't be back next season, so why not see if Dale Sveum or Willie Randolph can get anything out of this team?
@notkenmacha must be feeling the heat as well, because he's discussing the proper methods for sealing a coffin.
In an interesting injury note, the Brewers have sent Jody Gerut and Marco Estrada home to rehab their nagging heel and shoulder injuries, respectively. Here's what Tom Haudricourt had to say about it in that link:
Suffice it to say that the Brewers are frustrated with the pace of the recoveries of Gerut and Estrada. They won't say it on the record but the unusual move of sending the players home to continue their rehabs is a motivational move to get them back in action.
In other words, if players don't have the perks of being in a major-league clubhouse, perhaps they will be motivated to push harder through their rehabs and get back on the field.
That's the first time I've heard it suggested that either player isn't trying hard enough to recover. And frankly, that's the only explanation I can think of for the decision to kick them out of the clubhouse.
At least Yovani Gallardo should be back on time: Call to the Pen notes that he's third among NL starters with a 2.99 FIP.
Another day, another dose of trade rumors. First, Peter Gammons is reporting that the Braves might be interested in acquiring Corey Hart in exchange for AAA lefty Mike Minor (FanShot). Minor is 22 years old and was the Braves' first round pick last season. He's progressed quickly through the organization and is already in AAA in his first full pro season, where he's posted a 1.42 ERA in his first two starts. Talking Chop says he's the Braves' most tradeable player, but David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution isn't buying the rumor.
Meanwhile, you might be able to scratch the Padres off the list of Hart's possible suitors. GM Jed Hoyer told Jim Bowden that it's "very important" to get a player that can help the team offensively and defensively.
On the Fielder front: Tom Tango tackles the argument that the Brewers should trade Prince Fielder, saying "in order for fans to buy in to getting rid of Fielder, there has to be some promise back to the fans."
In the minors:
- On the field, the affiliates went 3-3 and got an encouraging performance from Cody Scarpetta, who pitched seven scoreless innings and struck out eleven in Brevard County's 6-1 win over Dunedin. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Huntsville broadcaster Chad Anderson has an interview with Michael Fiers, who picked up the win in his AA debut on Wednesday.
On power rankings: Beyond the Box Score has the Brewers at 21, down one spot.
The transaction wire is quiet today, which is always weird.
Here's today's All Star Notes:
- Hanley Ramirez reportedly agreed to take part in the Home Run Derby, but is now backing off and says he'll wait until Saturday to decide.
- Even if Ramirez does decide to compete, the NL still has one spot left to fill. Cubs outfielder Marlon Byrd has publicly stated he'd like that spot.
Here's some good news out of Texas: Rangers fan Tyler Morris, who fell from the second deck in Arlington earlier this week, was discharged from the hospital yesterday. He has a fractured skull and sprained ankle, but was lucky to avoid much more serious injuries.
On this day in 2002 the All Star Game ended in a 7-7, 11 inning tie. I'm still not sure why people got so worked up about an exhibition game ending in a tie, but they did.
FtJ and I both struck out on birthdays today. My apologies.
Now, if you'll excuse me, my popcorn is done.