Wednesday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while defending a state's honor.

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Yuniesky Betancourt Golden Era.

For only the ninth time this season Yuni has a two-game hitting streak going. He hit a solo home run last night, continuing his dramatic offensive upturn in June. Just look at these numbers:

Timeframe AVG OBP SLG
April-May .220 .250 .324
June .254 .254 .381
Overall .229 .251 .339

By posting a .635 mark in June, Yuni has raised his season OPS by 16 points. How many players can say that? Of course, I'm not the only one talking Yuni today: Ron Roenicke Stole My Baseball devoted a whole day to him.

Meanwhile, that other guy the Brewers got from the Royals this winter had a pretty good game too. Zack Greinke pitched his best game as a Brewer last night, allowing just one run on four hits over seven innings, walking none and striking out ten. Greinke is only the third pitcher in franchise history to record back-to-back ten strikeout games, and he's the first Brewer to strike out ten batters without a walk since Yovani Gallardo last June.

Other notes from the field:

The two teams finish up the series with an afternoon game today, and Shaun Marcum is going to take the mound despite leaving his last start early with a hip flexor strain. Ron Roenicke said they're going to monitor Marcum inning-by-inning after the third, so don't be surprised if he's done early. Cash Kruth of MLB.com has the preview, and Tyler Barnes has today's lineup.

Prince Fielder was on base three times last night, going 1-for-2 with a pair of walks. Peter Barzilai of The USA Today wonders if he might get a bigger free agent contract than Albert Pujols. It seems unlikely.

Kameron Loe pitched a hitless eighth inning last night, walking one batter and striking one out. Loe hasn't allowed a hit since the Cubs series, but A Simple Kind of Fan is still worried about the Brewers overusing him.

Looking back a day: Major League Baseball has informed the Rays that outfielder Sam Fuld, who was sent out to warm up to delay the game in the eighth inning Monday, should have been forced to pitch to one batter. Rays manager Joe Maddon has apologized for the mistake.

In the minors:

In draft notes: Texas has been eliminated from the College World Series, so the Brewers are expected to begin contract negotiations with #12 overall pick Taylor Jungmann soon. Jungmann already threw 141 innings this season, though, so it's unlikely he'll pitch much in the minors in 2011. He also won college baseball's Dick Howser Award.

The Brewers are now 2-3 in interleague play this season. Cory Provus says he likes interleague play but would make some changes to the schedule if he could.

Around baseball:

Padres: Placed outfielder Brad Hawpe on the DL with a strained finger and designated outfielder Luis Durango for assignment.
Pirates: Acquired infielder Josh Rodriguez from the Indians for cash.

Meanwhile, if you missed it last night here's some good news this morning: The Phillies beat the Cardinals 10-2 last night to allow the Brewers to retake the lead in the NL Central. That fact and many like it are the reason choosy moms choose Around the NL Central.

Ian Casselberry of Big League Stew thinks the Cardinals will win the NL Central, and has five reasons why.

Here's a quick reminder of how good we have it as Brewer fans: The Astros have gone eight games without a home run and blew their 15th save of the season last night.

In former Brewers:

  • The Baseball Historian has an interview with Frank Catalanotto.
  • Beyond the Box Score lists Jim Edmonds third among non-Hall of Famers with six seasons valued at six WAR or more, and Ted Simmons 6th with 12 3+ WAR seasons.

Earlier this week I mentioned a positive interleague play note, so it's only fair that I point this out too: The White Sox and Cubs drew 35,155 fans last night, the smallest crowd ever for a game between those two teams.

How very meta: Learning about Joe West's involvement created a "The More You Know" moment about "The More You Know."

This has me wondering if the Sausages ever get invited to go on the road: The Racing Presidents are making a guest appearance at an Angels series.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to defending mayonnaise.

Drink up.

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