Some things to read while rocking the karaoke.
The Good Phight may have called it "The most garbage game of baseball ever played" but I prefer to look at last night's win as a potentially tremendous momentum-builder for the Brewers, as they beat Roy Halladay to improve to 4-3 on the road trip. They're back at it early today with a 12:05 series finale: Cash Kruth of MLB.com has the preview.
The Brewer lineup for today's game has already been released:
Rickie Weeks 2B
Carlos Gomez CF
Ryan Braun LF
Prince Fielder 1B
Casey McGehee 3B
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Erick Almonte RF
Jonathan Lucroy C
Chris Narveson P
A couple of things immediately jump out at me here:
- Wil Nieves caught Narveson's last start, with Ron Roenicke citing the success the two had had together up to that point. Today Lucroy will catch him instead.
- I mentioned this in the game thread last night, but I'll repeat it here: Erick Almonte has got to be nearing the point where any plate appearance could be his last as a major leaguer.
In other news, a robot will be throwing out today's first pitch.
The Phillies made a roster move after last night's game, placing reliever J.C. Romero on the DL with a calf strain and recalling reliever Mike Zagurski. Romero left Monday's game with the injury, but I thought I heard Brian Anderson say he was warming in the Phillies bullpen during last night's game.
The Brewers made one change before last night's game, placing Shaun Marcum on the bereavement list (his father had heart surgery yesterday) and recalling Mike McClendon, who pitched a scoreless ninth inning in his first game back with the team (FanShot). In an interview during the game Rick Kranitz said Marcum's father's surgery went well. He's still projected to make his next start this weekend.
The Brewers, meanwhile, are not making a move today. Adam McCalvy is reporting that LaTroy Hawkins will have to wait until Friday to return to the roster.
Other notes from the field:
- With Nyjer Morgan still out and Erick Almonte already having been used as a pinch hitter, Craig Counsell played the outfield for the first time in his career last night, filling the final innings in place of Ryan Braun. Tom Haudricourt wonders how many players make their outfield debut at age 40.
- Before leaving the game Braun was on base four times. @BrewersHistory notes that he's the first Brewer to reach base in the team's first 17 games since Jeromy Burnitz in 1997.
- Craig Calcaterra noted that Roy Halladay threw 123 pitches and a complete game in his previous outing, suggesting that fatigue could have been a factor last night. I didn't think Halladay got tired.
- Randy Wolf, Ryan Braun and George Kottaras are leading FanGraphs' Star of the Game Voting.
- Here's a transcript of Ron Roenicke's postgame remarks.
- Carson Cistulli documented some Bob Uecker quotes regarding Mike Leake and wearing makeup on Mr. Belvedere.
Looking back another day: Prince Fielder was hit by a pitch in the 12th inning of Monday's win, and Plunk Everyone reports that he's now tied for the Citizens Bank Park lead with seven HBP as a visiting player.
Off the field, Zack Greinke was yesterday's big story. In the first game of his rehab assignment he pitched three shutout innings for Brevard County, striking out four and allowing just one hit.
Corey Hart also made his rehab debut last night, going 0-for-2 with a groundout and a strikeout for AAA Nashville. He'll probably be overmatched at that level for a little while: This is his first time facing live pitching in a game situation in over a month.
Speaking of Hart, Scott Miller of CBS Sports has a look at the oblique injury that has taken him and roughly a dozen other players down this spring.
The news is not as good, meanwhile, for Takashi Saito. He's eligible to be activated off the DL on Friday but Ron Roenicke said he won't be ready to go.
Last night's 9-0 lead meant the Brewers didn't need to use John Axford on consecutive days, so they didn't. Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar says Axford's inability to keep his fastball down is the cause of many of his early issues.
Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder were a solid 1-2 punch for the Brewers last night, combining to go 5-for-9 with a home run and three walks. Satchel Price of Beyond the Box Score says they're baseball's fifth best combo, and wants your vote to select the best one.
Over the course of this month we're learning more and more about the personality and managerial style of Ron Roenicke. Here are a couple of notes from around the web today:
- Danny Knobler of CBS Sports has a look at what we can take away from Roenicke's first few weeks on the job.
- The Baseball Codes dug up an interview with Roenicke from 2006 about unwritten rules.
- A Simple Kind of Fan has a look at the decision to shift more often, and asks if the coaches can really help the defense.
In the minors:
- The Nashville Sounds had a scary moment last night, as starting pitcher Josh Butler had to be helped off the field after taking a line drive off his head. The batter was former Brewer Vinny Rottino. I haven't heard any update on Butler's condition.
- Weather sucks. Appleton got 6+ inches of snow yesterday (and more is falling as we speak), postponing last night and today's Wisconsin games. Rattler Radio has visual evidence of the carnage.
If you're looking for more Brewer content this morning but you're sick of reading, the View From Bernie's Chalet podcast is up. This week's topics include offensive woes, a week in review and defensive alignment.
Angels: Designated infielder Brandon Wood for assignment (FanShot). (see below)
Cardinals: Placed outfielders Skip Schumaker (triceps strain) and Allen Craig (groin strain) on the DL.
Mariners: Placed first baseman Justin Smoak on the bereavement list.
Mets: Designated infielder Brad Emaus for assignment.
Tigers: Placed catcher Victor Martinez on the DL with a strained groin.
Wood, now 26, is a former first round pick and top prospect in the Angels organization, and was Baseball America's #3 and #8 prospect in all of baseball in 2006 and 2007, respectively. He's a .284/.352/.536 career hitter in the minors but has never seemed to put it together in the big leagues. Wood also has over 500 minor league starts at shortstop. Someone will almost certainly claim him off waivers and attempt to buy low on him, and I definitely would not be opposed to the Brewers being that team.
Around the NL Central:
- The Diamondbacks beat the Reds 5-4.
- The Marlins beat the Pirates 6-0.
- The Astros beat the Mets 6-1.
- The Cardinals (v Washington) and Cubs (v Padres) were rained out. Both will play doubleheaders today.
Here are today's updated standings:
Scott Segrin of In-Between Hops noted that five of the six Central teams are within a game of .500 at this point, effectively shortening the season to 145 games.
At least yesterday's rainout kept Tony La Russa from spreading this around too much: He's battling a lingering case of pinkeye.
Many/most of you know that I'm not a fan of the NBA, although I try to not to make too big of a deal of it on the front page. Some of that frustrating boiled over a bit when early Brewer games were preempted in favor of meaningless Bucks contests over the last month. Bucks games shouldn't preempt Brewer games, and here's another reason why: More people attend Bucks games than watch them on TV.
24 years ago today the Brewers played one of the more memorable games in franchise history. If you'd like to re-live it this morning, Brewers1987.com has an excellent recap.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to fighting communism.