Friday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while selling bees.

The Brewer day game struggles continued yesterday as the Dodgers left Milwaukee with a sweep and the Brewers were left to wonder how a team that's gone 43-39 at night can go 16-29 during the day. Ken Macha questioned the mental toughness of his team after the game, suggesting they've "given in mentally to the fact that they're going to struggle in day games."

Yovani Gallardo turned in another lackluster performance yesterday, allowing six runs on eight hits in 6.1 innings. The rough start raised his ERA to 6.59 in August, and 6.27 since coming off the DL in July. Jordan Schelling says Gallardo needs some time off. He did strike out ten batters, though: You Can't Predict Baseball notes that he's the first pitcher in Milwaukee history to allow six or more runs and strike out ten batters in the same game.

Also in yesterday's game: Rickie Weeks was hit by a pair of pitches, raising his league-leading total to 22. He's now just three shy of tying Fernando Vina's franchise record, and he's the all-time leader in HBP's by a pitcher named Carlos. Plunk Everyone has those facts and much more.

Other notes from the field:

Carlos Gomez got another day off yesterday, and was passed over in favor of Chris Dickerson when the Brewers needed a center fielder to make a double switch in the seventh. Satchel Price of Beyond the Box Score makes the case that Gomez should stay on the bench long term. If Gomez ever gets back in a game, though, he'll do so wearing a new, more protective helmet.

With Gomez on the bench, Lorenzo Cain started in center for the eighth straight game. Ken Macha complimented Cain's throwing arm, and said his defense has been "better than expected." Cain was rated the Southern League's best defensive outfielder in Baseball America's 2010 "Best Tools" survey.

Now that they're finally done with the Dodgers, the Brewers open their final 2010 series with the Pirates tonight. You'll have to excuse some fans for looking ahead to tomorrow, though: In what might be this weekend's biggest upset, Carson Cisulli of FanGraphs listed Saturday's Brewers/Pirates contest as one of the most interesting of the day. Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker is also excited to see what Chris Capuano can do in a starting role.

August has been a rough month to be a Brewer fan, but at least September is coming soon: Adam McCalvy noted the possibility that Jeremy Jeffress will be called up, while Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com listed Mat Gamel as one of his September callups to watch.

Looking a little farther ahead, Jon Heyman says the Brewers could be one of ten teams changing managers this offseason.

The Brewers won't discuss a potential contract extension with Rickie Weeks until after the season, but that doesn't mean we can't discuss it now. Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar attempts to fit Weeks in with baseball's highest paid second basemen, and concludes that Weeks will probably be looking for roughly $7 million annually, which will put him in line with Brian Roberts and Robinson Cano.

Yesterday I mentioned the looming possibility that the Brewers will decide to non-tender Manny Parra after the season. Doug Melvin was asked about the possibility yesterday and said roughly what you'd expect him to say: That they're interested to see how he does in the bullpen, and won't make a decision on his future until after the season.

The Brewers will likely face an easier decision regarding Gregg Zaun. They'll almost certainly decline his option for 2011, but Zaun is telling reporters that he plans to play next season. (h/t Jordan Schelling)

In the minors:

  • The affiliates went 2-4 last night, with Helena connecting for 20 runs on 28 hits (including seven doubles and two home runs) in a 20-8 win over Casper. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
  • AZL catcher Tyler Roberts is turning some heads with his performance in his second pro season. Roberts is still only 19, and Battlekow noted that Jason Grey of ESPN says he's one of the better prospects in the AZL. Roberts is hitting .300/.365/.533 in 167 plate appearances, but has also committed 15 passed balls and five errors.

On power rankings:

  • Yahoo has the Brewers holding steady at 21.
  • Call to the Pen moved the Brewers down one spot to 22.

If you frequent the FanPost section, you might have noticed a post a couple of weeks ago from Matt Swartz of Baseball Prospectus, asking for your help naming batters who consistently face the shift. The resulting post is done (FanPost), and it's a great look at how batters who routinely face the shift get a boost in BABIP in clutch situations. Kudos to Matt and BP for making this article free so everyone who helped with the process could read it.

I have a couple of former Brewer notes today:

  • The B-Ref Blog notes that Jose Valentin (five times!) and Robin Yount (four times) are two of just 19 shortstops in baseball history to post at least three seasons with ten or more home runs and stolen bases.
  • The Hall of Very Good has an interview with 1995 Brewer Joe Oliver.

No matter how bad your day has been, it's not as bad as every day looks for Casey Kotchman.

Happy birthday today to:

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I've found my calling.

Drink up.

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