Some things to read while getting dressed in the dark.
If I had told you before yesterday's game that a Brewer would win the game by running out a dropped third strike and hitting a sac fly, you might have predicted it'd by Nyjer Morgan. And you would've been right. Morgan had to be reminded to run following his walkoff sac fly, and Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar says he'll get hell for his antics. Morgan also took his celebration to Twitter.
With yesterday's win the Crew improved to 36-3 against the Pirates in Milwaukee since the start of the 2007 season, and 8-0 overall against Pittsburgh this season. Here's what Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune said after Saturday's game:
Really tough clubhouse. Can safely predict only way they win tomorrow is if #ElectricStuff (Charlie Morton) is as good as he was in S.F. Maybe not even then.
He was almost exactly right.
The Brewers are also 16-2 in an 18 game stretch for just the second time in franchise history, and the first since 1987.
Other notes from the field:
- Ryan Braun, Shaun Marcum and Nyjer Morgan are leading FanGraphs' Star of the Game voting.
- By now you've most likely heard that Zack Greinke pinch hit on Saturday while wearing the wrong jersey.
- Braun's home run Friday was the 150th of his career, making him the tenth Brewer to reach that mark.
- The Polish Sausage won Friday's race, the Italian won Saturday and the Hot Dog won yesterday.
I know we're all sad to see them go, but the Pirates left town after yesterday's game and were replaced by the Dodgers, who open a four game set against the Brewers tonight. Mark Thompson of MLB.com has the preview. If outfielder Matt Kemp looks a little tired today, it's because he didn't sleep much last night.
They aren't getting the most attention but it's possible the members of the Brewer bullpen were the stars of the series sweep, pitching eight scoreless innings over three games. Joe DiGiovanni of MLB.com says Francisco Rodriguez and John Axford are becoming quite the late-innings combo.
Four of those shutout innings came on Saturday, when the bullpen teamed up with Marco Estrada for a shutout victory. Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar has a look at Estrada's performance.
My wife and I were at Friday night's game and spent the entire ninth inning listening to some ill-informed loudmouth bashing Kameron Loe while he retired the side in order to clinch the victory. You might not have known (and he certainly did not know) that Loe is holding opposing batters to a .102 wOBA with two strikes this season, the best mark in all of baseball. He and Axford are also the Brewer leaders with 44 scoreless appearances.
Prince Fielder went 0-for-4 yesterday, snapping a streak of 18 straight games where he'd reached base safely and leaving him without an opportunity to go into "beast mode." Fielder is our Brewer of the Week for the third time this season. He rounded the bases in 20.73 seconds on Friday, the fastest trot by a Brewer this weekend. Ryan Braun's Friday trot clocked in at 21.08, while Yuniesky Betancourt needed 21.26 seconds while scoring the game's only run Saturday.
We have a collection of injury notes today:
- Chris Narveson played catch over the weekend and reported no pain in his injured thumb. He should be good to go again soon.
- Rickie Weeks is taking ground balls and for the first time the organization seems to be implying he could be back ahead of schedule.
- Francisco Rodriguez left Friday's game with leg cramping following his first career hit, but was back in action Saturday.
In the minors:
- MiLB.com has a video blog on new Nashville Sound Wily Peralta.
- Nashville third baseman Taylor Green left last night's game early, but as of this writing I haven't heard why.
- The affiliates went 2-4 yesterday, with the AZL Brewers getting a pair of doubles from shortstop Kevin Berard in their rare victory. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Rattler Radio has video highlights from Wisconsin's 12-3 win yesterday and losses on Friday and Saturday.
- Nashville's loss yesterday snapped a six game winning streak.
- The Appleton Post Crescent has a profile of new Wisconsin reliever Seth Lintz.
Meanwhile, we'll probably have a lot of news towards the end of the day today as we approach the 11 pm deadline to sign 2011 draft picks. Here's a quick look at what we know now:
- Toby Harrmann has a nice recap of where we stand at this point.
- The Atlanta Journal Constitution says it's still likely first round pick Jed Bradley will sign.
- 18th round shortstop Chris McFarland is expected to skip signing and go to Rice. (h/t @SessileFielder)
- @SessileFielder also says 26th round LHP Josh Smith is planning on going back to school but is willing to listen to an offer today.
- Jonathan Mayo notes that 40 of the draft's top 50 picks were unsigned as of Sunday night, but Jim Callis of Baseball America says he still expects all the first round picks will agree today.
I don't know if this is a good or bad thing, but Tangotiger of The Book Blog has a chart showing the Brewers in the middle of the pack when it comes to usage of retroactive DL stints.
John Steinmiller and Caitlin Moyer continued their look at Miller Park food over the weekend by stopping by the NYCE Stadium Club. It's a little too pricey to do consistently, but it's definitely something worth trying if you have the chance.
Today in power rankings:
- Tom Haudricourt has the Brewers third, up one spot.
- Craig Calcaterra has the Brewers fourth, up three spots.
This has been out for a couple of days but it's possible you haven't seen it: If you have a chance, take a few moments today to read this Slate article by Jason Albert, the man behind the @Tony_Plush Twitter feed.
Braves: Placed pitcher Tommy Hanson on the DL with shoulder tendonitis.
Cardinals: Designated pitcher Raul Valdes for assignment and released pitcher Blaine Boyer.
Cubs: Placed pitcher Carlos Zambrano on the disqualified list.
Diamondbacks: Are expected to place pitcher Jason Marquis on the DL with a broken leg, placed outfielder Xavier Paul on the DL with a broken hand, signed Lyle Overbay and designated pitcher Juan Jaime for assignment.
Giants: Placed outfielder Andres Torres on the DL with a leg contusion.
Indians: Designated outfielder Austin Kearns for assignment.
Mariners: Placed first baseman Justin Smoak on the DL with a broken nose and designated pitcher Luke French for assignment.
Marlins: Released infielder Wes Helms.
Phillies: Signed Dave Bush and first baseman/outfielder Jack Cust to minor league deals.
Pirates: Placed first baseman Derrek Lee on the DL with a wrist injury and designated pitcher Tim Wood for assignment.
Rockies: Placed reliever Huston Street on the DL with a triceps strain.
Tigers: Placed infielder Carlos Guillen on the DL with a sore wrist.
Twins: Placed outfielder Jason Repko (shoulder bursitis) and infielder Alexi Casilla (hamstring) on the DL.
Yankees: Signed pitcher Scott Proctor to a minor league deal.
You already know about Zambrano and have seen updates on the injuries/rehab of Cardinals pitcher Edwin Jackson, Reds pitcher Dontrelle Willis, Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez and Astros outfielder Jordan Schafer if you've read this morning's edition of Around the NL Central.
The Brewers resume play tonight five games ahead of the Cardinals with 41 to play. Viva El Birdos has a comparison of the two teams' schedules down the stretch.
The Cardinals beat the Rockies yesterday, and it was Colorado's major league record 17th consecutive loss on Sunday. I have no idea how that's even possible.
Today in former Brewers:
- Chris Capuano could be on the move this month: He's reportedly cleared waivers and could be traded to any team.
- Phil Garner, who remains the winningest manager in Brewer history, has been hired as a special adviser by the A's.
- Best wishes go out today to Rockies third base coach Rich Dauer, who had to be taken to the hospital after being hit in the face by a thrown ball before the game yesterday. Dauer was the Brewers' bench coach from 2003-05.
The Brewer win on Saturday was a part of history: All six Great Lakes teams won on the same day for just the 14th time since 2000.
Here's a graphic that you could spend all day with: Flip Flop Fly Ball has a pixel-by-pixel look at each of the uniforms worn in baseball this season.
Finally, we have sad news to report this morning: Longtime TBS broadcaster and 1953-58 Milwaukee Brave Ernie Johnson Sr. has passed away. He was 87.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to rehash the same topics.