Some things to read while giggling.
The Brewers and Cardinals are in St. Louis and ready for tonight's Game 3, but there's a strong chance the weather is going to be the story today. It's raining in St. Louis this morning and the weather is expected to remain poor throughout the day, creating a strong chance tonight's game will be postponed. @craigcounsell has an updated prediction. Of course, the forecast for the east coast is much worse.
When the two teams finally do take the field, there's a chance Carlos Gomez will be patrolling center: The Brewers are discussing making a change out there for the night to improve the defense. They won't admit it, but preventing a Nyjer Morgan-Chris Carpenter rematch is likely also a consideration. With that said, Morgan says the playoff stakes are too high to let any hijinx take place. The Washington Post has a look at how Morgan has adapted to his new home in Milwaukee.
Regardless of when the game is played, the Brewers will need at least one road win this week to force the series to return to Milwaukee. Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker has a look at the 2011 Brewers' road performance, and makes a good point regarding how our perception of this team is shaped by a fair number of performances from players who are no longer here.
Yovani Gallardo is scheduled to take the mound tonight, but a rainout would complicate the Brewers plans for his use later in the series: If games 3-7 are played without an off day, then the chance to bring Gallardo back on short rest for Game 6 would be removed and he'd have to go on short rest to work Game 7. Tony LaRussa has already said he'll use Chris Carpenter on short rest if needed. Gallardo, by the way, narrowly edged out Ryan Braun for Brewer of the NLDS.
Once the two teams finally take the field, there's an above-average chance one of them will be hit by a pitch. Plunk Everyone reports that the Brewers have been hit once every 101.9 postseason plate appearances, the fifth most in major league history.
Elsewhere in bad pitching: Jeff Suppan is scheduled to throw out tonight's first pitch, and Jim Edmonds is on the schedule for tomorrow.
And, as is typically the case, tonight's game has a strong chance for inane baseball commentary: Jeremy Blachman of NotGraphs had me laughing out loud at my desk this morning with a collection of things that have already been said about this series.
Another thing you can count on: infield shifting. Adam McCalvy has a look at the high number of defensive changes the Brewers have made this season.
As noted in this morning's edition of Today In Brewer History, today is Casey McGehee's 29th birthday. Todd Rosiak has a post on McGehee's effort to stay positive despite his diminished role, while Jerry Hairston Jr. feels his pain. Lori Nickel has a story on Hairston's relationship with his dad, longtime major leaguer Jerry Hairston Sr.
Nickel also has a pretty good story today on Ron Roenicke, looking at his personality shift from his somewhat hotheaded time as a player to his current, more even temper.
Elsewhere in profile stories, Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun spent some time with John Axford and his parents for a story on his meteoric rise to major league stardom. Mike Bauman of MLB.com also has a look at the Brewers from Canada.
In the minors:
- Three Brewers appeared in yesterday's game and Tyler Thornburg pitched a pair of scoreless innings in Peoria's 3-2 win over Phoenix. You can read more about that in today's AFL Notes.
- Logan Schafer was held hitless in Arizona yesterday, but Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com listed him as one of four potential "professional hitters" in the prospect league.
Rattler Radio has an update on some Brewer prospects playing in the Baseball World Cup.
It almost goes without saying that tonight's game, like nearly 200 before them in 2011, will be broadcast on WTMJ with Bob Uecker and Cory Provus on the call. Duane Dudek of the JS has a look at the Brewers' partnership with their flagship station.
If you'd like more Brewer coverage today but you're sick of reading, check out the archive of my appearance on the Appleton Post Crescent's Clubhouse Live last night with Brett Christopherson, Ricardo Arguello and Mike Woods. This was my debut appearance on the show and I feel like it went really well.
Finally, our condolences go out today to the family of longtime Brewer groundskeeper Gary Vanden Berg. He passed away yesterday, ending a year long battle with cancer. He was 59.
Orioles: Removed reliever Jeremy Accardo from the 40 man roster. He's expected to become a free agent.
Pirates: Pitcher Charlie Morton may not be ready for Opening Day following hip surgery.
Royals: Claimed pitcher Aaron Laffey off waivers from the Yankees and designated pitcher Jesse Chavez for assignment.
Yankees: Pitchers Raul Valdes and Scott Proctor have both decided to become free agents.
While the Brewers were off last night Detroit and Texas played Game 3 of the ALCS, with the Tigers winning what's quickly becoming a war of attrition. This morning's edition of Around the MLB Playoffs has an update on the condition of outfielder Delmon Young, catcher/first baseman Victor Martinez and third baseman Adrian Beltre.
Today in baseball economics: As the sports world watches the NBA struggling to reach a new collective bargaining agreement, TwinsCentric notes that MLB is on deck. The current CBA expires on December 11.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to find a way to sell fewer magazines.