Thursday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while reclassifying. (h/t @SessileFielder)

The Brewers had a chance to complete the sweep in Philadelphia yesterday but came up short, losing 4-3 to the Phillies to finish the road trip at 4-4. Jim Breen of Bernie's Crew has a look at Carlos Gomez's ninth inning at bat that could have swung the game, and Gomez's failure to take advantage of a mistake.

In the short term, though, Gomez is going to continue to bat second. Adam McCalvy reports that the Brewers feel like a lack of other options has forced their hand.

Meanwhile, the Brewers took advantage of all of Cliff Lee's mistakes yesterday. Nick Petakas of The Brewers Bar has some numbers suggesting the Brewers have been pretty good against elite pitchers.

Brandon Kintzler picked up the loss yesterday, and pitched multiple innings for the third time in four days. Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar asks if Ron Roenicke has been overusing Kintzler this week.

Chris Narveson was pretty good once again yesterday, carrying a no-hitter into the fifth inning and finishing with three runs allowed over six innings. The Brewers entered play yesterday with the best team ERA among NL starting pitchers, and that's probably still the case today.

All told, we can probably blame yesterday's loss on Rob Neyer: He wrote a post on Narveson's excellence in the middle of the game, and posted it just seconds before Placido Polanco's game-tying home run.

John Axford didn't get into the game again yesterday, so he'll have three days rest for tomorrow's series opener. Josh Wussow of Inside Wisconsin Sports is encouraging fans to calm down and give Axford a chance to bounce back from his rough outings this spring.

Nyjer Morgan still wasn't healthy enough to play the field yesterday, nearly a week after suffering a deep thigh bruise against the Pirates. He hasn't played since making a pinch hit appearance over the weekend, and don't be surprised if he (or Sergio Mitre) is placed on the DL retroactively tomorrow to make room for LaTroy Hawkins.

Once Morgan is healthy, the Brewers can expect another strong push to get him in the lineup: This week's BCB Tracking Poll shows that over 80% of voters think Morgan should be batting #2 until Corey Hart returns.

Other notes from the field:

It's possible the biggest story of today's off day will have nothing to do with the team on the field. Major League Baseball took over operations of the Dodgers yesterday (FanShot), and Don Walker noted that Mark Attanasio's name has come up as a possibility to buy the team. Buster Olney also suggested Attanasio as a candidate. (h/t In-Between Hops)

Attanasio is the main reason why the Brewers are so high on this list: ESPN the Magazine says the Brewers are professional sports' 73rd best paying team. Of course, he's also the reason they appear on this list: ESPN also reports that Yuniesky Betancourt is Cuba's highest paid athlete at $4.3 million. (h/t BBTF)

With the road trip done, the Brewers return home to open a series against the Astros tomorrow and Cash Kruth of MLB.com has a preview. Our series preview will be up later today.

The Astros series will mark the long-awaited return of Bill Hall to Milwaukee...unless it doesn't. Hall left yesterday's game after spraining his ankle chasing a foul pop up.

Once the Brewers are done with Houston, the Reds come to town for a three game set on Monday. Adam McCalvy reports that Bronson Arroyo, Mike Leake and Edinson Volquez will take the mound in the series.

Prince Fielder is hot right now, getting on base eight times in the last two days and hitting .431/.491/.745 in his last 13 games. Tim Kurkijian of ESPN has a deeper look at Fielder, and says he's more than meets the eye.

The Brewers' defensive shifting continues to draw attention around baseball: Mel Antonen of Sports Illustrated has a look at the practice and wonders if it will catch on around baseball.

I got a little confused reading this, but it's an interesting concept: Beyond the Box Score compares the NL Central standings to fan confidence in their teams.

In the minors:

  • Thankfully, we have good news to report today regarding Josh Butler. He had to be helped off the field after getting hit in the head by a Vinny Rottino line drive on Monday, but appears to be ok. (h/t @SessileFielder)
  • The affiliates went 1-2 last night, with Khris Davis going 3-for-3 with a home run for Brevard County in their 5-4 win over Clearwater. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
  • Rattler Radio has photos of grounds crew members throwing snowballs at the radio booth in Appleton.

I'm not sure why he chose yesterday to bring this up, but Cory Provus has an interesting post on his blog about the S100 batting helmet (required in the minors), and the safety differences between it and traditional batting helmets.

If you're checking in late this morning, make sure you scroll down to see today's edition of Today in Brewer History. Our friend J Scott Loomer of PastKast stopped by for a look at the 1987 Brewers' 13-0 start, which ended 24 years ago today.

Around baseball:

Mets: Placed reliever Bobby Parnell on the DL with a circulatory problem in his middle finger.
Pirates: Signed pitchers Blaine Boyer and Brett Sinkbeil to minor league deals.

Around the NL Central:

  • The Reds lost 3-1 to the Diamondbacks to fall back to .500.
  • The Cubs split a doubleheader with the Padres yesterday, enabling them to continue a strange streak: Jayson Stark notes that they've been 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, 8-8 and now 9-9 on the season.
  • The Cardinals and Nationals split a doubleheader yesterday.
  • The Marlins shut out the Pirates for the second straight day.
  • The Astros beat the Mets last night, becoming baseball's last team to win back-to-back games.

Here are today's updated standings:

Team W L GB
Brewers 9 9 --
Cardinals 9 9 --
Cubs 9 9 --
Reds 9 9 --
Pirates 8 10 1
Astros 7 11 2

That pair of doubleheaders was the result of an unusual run of weather this spring. The Biz of Baseball notes that 12 major league games have been rained out in April, up from just two last season.

Today in former Brewers:

  • The Mariners have signed Angel Salome to a minor league deal. Salome was a minor league free agent this offseason, and apparently his desire to no longer catch made it hard for him to find a good fit.
  • MLB Trade Trees has a look at the deal that brought Marquis Grissom to Milwaukee in exchange for pitchers Ron Villone, Ben McDonald and Mike Fetters.
  • The B-Ref Blog has a look at pitchers who have allowed the opposing pitcher to hit before taking the mound. Not surprisingly, former Brewer Victor Santos has done it four times, tied for the most in baseball since 2003.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get back to work.

Drink up.

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