Wednesday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while becoming the predator.

The Brewers will have to wait one more day for Jonathan Lucroy's triumphant return: He was penciled into the lineup for last night's series opener in Pittsburgh, but the game was rained out. No makeup date has been announced.

Making up last night's rainout is going to be an interesting endeavor. The two teams aren't going to play a doubleheader this week, but the Brewers only make one more trip to Pittsburgh this season, on August 22-24. Those three games are the final contests in a stretch where the Brewers play 16 times in 16 days, so attempting to cram a doubleheader into that series probably won't be a popular decision. The Brewers have an off day following the series, but the Pirates are scheduled to play in St. Louis that day.

At least the weather shouldn't be an issue again today: The Weather Channel is predicting rain in Pittsburgh through this afternoon but says things should clear up by game time tonight. The Brewers and Pirates are both bumping their rotation back a day, so yesterday's projected starters (Shaun Marcum and Kevin Correia) will pitch tonight instead. Looking ahead, Randy Wolf, Chris Narveson, Yovani Gallardo and Marco Estrada are now expected to pitch tomorrow, Friday, Saturday and Sunday respectively.

Unfortunately, a fair portion of us won't get to see tonight's game. FS Wisconsin is covering the Bucks' season finale tonight, so the Brewers are once again getting bumped to WMLW. At least this is the last time in 2011 that we should have this problem.

With no game last night, Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar had the time to compile some interesting stats on swinging strikes against Brewer pitchers over the first couple of weeks. The sample size is still a little too small to be meaningful, but the numbers are interesting.

Meanwhile, Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker is still in awe of Yuniesky Betancourt's eighth inning walk on Sunday, which might have been one of the more unlikely events of the season to date.

The Stats LLC Twitter feed is always good for something I didn't know. Today they have two facts on Ryan Braun: He's reached base safely in every Brewer game this season, and has driven in 57 runs in 57 career games against the Pirates.

Yesterday we had a brief conversation about the Brewer "aggressiveness," with this post on stolen bases that turned into a debate about sac bunting in the comments. I'm terrible at writing segues this morning, but I feel like there should be some kind of link between that conversation and A Simple Kind of Fan's post discussing the identity of this Brewer team.

Once again today, we have a fair amount of news regarding rehabbing Brewers:

  • Corey Hart took batting practice yesterday and will likely head out on a rehab assignment soon. He's hoping to return on April 22.
  • Zack Greinke threw 25 pitches in a simulated game yesterday, and reported no trouble.
  • Unfortunately, the news isn't as good for Manny Parra. Pitching in game one of a doubleheader for Nashville, he pitched a perfect first inning but melted down in the second, allowing a double, single and a pair of walks consecutively before leaving the game. He threw 35 pitches in the outing but just 17 strikes.

Elsewhere in the minors:

  • The affiliates went 3-1 yesterday, with the Sounds game mentioned above as their only loss. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
  • Huntsville plays their home opener tonight. The Huntsville Times has a look at some of the offseason improvements to Joe Davis Stadium.

The Nyjer Morgan Golden Era continues: Miller Park Drunk has a list of things we know about Tony Plush.

If you're not familiar with some of the more advanced statistics but you'd like to learn, this link's for you: Josh Wussow of Inside Wisconsin Sports has a look at WAR and some of the Brewers who might produce interesting totals in 2011.

If you'd like more Brewer conversation today but you're sick of reading, the View From Bernie's Chalet podcast is an option. This week's topics include Nyjer Morgan, the week in review and upcoming roster moves.

Around baseball:

Astros: Pitcher Aneury Rodriguez (three games) and manager Brad Mills (one game) have been suspended following an incident involving an HBP on Sunday. Rodriguez is appealing the suspension.
Blue Jays: Designated pitcher David Purcey for assignment.
Cardinals: Placed pitcher Brian Augenstein on the DL with a strained groin.
Orioles: Placed pitcher Troy Patton on the DL with a shoulder strain.
Rangers: Outfielder Josh Hamilton has a broken humerus and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks.

Around the NL Central yesterday:

  • It took 11 innings, but the Reds beat the Padres 8-2 to improve to 8-3.
  • The Cardinals lost to the Diamondbacks, 13-8.
  • The Astros pounded the Cubs 11-2.

The Brewers and Pirates were off last night, so here's today's updated standings:

Team W L GB
Reds 8 3 --
Brewers 5 5 2.5
Pirates 5 5 2.5
Cubs 5 6 3
Cardinals 4 7 4
Astros 3 8 5

With the Brewers in Pittsburgh this week Adam McCalvy took a moment to catch up with Ken Macha, who is spending the season helping coach a local college team (FanShot). Macha said there's no hard feelings between he and the Brewer organization, but this note seems to contradict that:

But Macha will not be hanging on every inning of every game. He was watching ESPN the other night when the network joined a Brewers game in progress.

"I just flipped the channel," Macha said.

Elsewhere in former Brewers:

  • The Cubs are saying they expect Doug Davis to be ready to pitch in the majors in six weeks.
  • The Onion has a great story on Jeff Suppan (FanShot).
  • The B-Ref Blog has a list of the best sluggers who didn't play full time during their age 26-30 seasons, and Jeromy Burnitz, Gorman Thomas and Ben Oglivie are on it.

Today in baseball economics: You can add the Braves to the list of teams setting record lows for attendance in 2011: They drew just 13,865 to Turner Field for last night's game against the Marlins.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to be sick again.

Drink up.

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