Some things to read while remaining skeptical.
The Brewers finished off an 8-1 homestand with another unlikely hero getting a curtain call yesterday, as Casey McGehee hit his first career three homer game en route to a 10-5 win over the Cardinals. McGehee's game was the 16th in franchise history, and he's the eleventh player to do it. Miller Park Drunk called him Milwaukee's Dark Knight. He raised his season OPS 32 points yesterday, from .607 to .639.
Leave it to McGehee to turn today's story of revenge into a heartwarming tale: After the game he asked reporters to help him find seven year old Clayton Wollner, who he had met on the field before the game. Adam McCalvy can take it from here.
If not for McGehee, the story of yesterday's game might have been Cardinals pitcher Edwin Jackson. With the Cardinal bullpen strained following Tuesday's extra innings, Jackson was left in to pitch seven innings yesterday despite the fact that he allowed ten runs on 14 hits. He's the first pitcher to work seven innings while allowing ten or more runs since Jose Contreras in 2007, and only the second since 2002. As you might expect, Twitter was all over this. Here's Aaron Gleeman:
I have a theory that Tony La Russa believes he can punish Colby Rasmus through Edwin Jackson, like some sort of trade voodoo doll.
And The Common Man:
Edwin Jackson, yesterday in the dugout: "I dunno, Skip, the lighting looks ok to me." LaRussa: "I'll show that dirty mother-effer."
Thoughts from a red light: Had a tough day at work and wanted to go home early. But my boss wouldn't let me. Stupid Tony LaRussa
And finally, Craig Calcaterra:
"Now, Edwin; drink this gallon of milk in an hour and then you shall be a true St. Louis Cardinal!"
Fortunately, yesterday's game was played without incident after Tuesday's contest got ugly. Plunk Everyone notes that the Brewers are in the middle of the pack when it comes to pitching up and in, but have been pitched up and in more often than most other teams.
Speaking of HBP's, here's another day of reaction to Tuesday's festivities:
- 61% of voters in a poll at ESPN.com think Tony La Russa's actions Tuesday night were "dangerous and unnecessary."
- La Russa called Bill Schroeder to complain about things said about him during the FS Wisconsin broadcast.
- Howie Magner of Milwaukee Magazine thanked La Russa for his service.
- Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker has a great post this morning on the Brewer and Cardinals' reputations, and how they've been earned.
- Babes Love Baseball said La Russa is being a big baby.
- Ryan Braun, in defense of the pitch that hit Albert Pujols, said "any good hitter in this league has to be pitched up and in at times."
Meanwhile, Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar has something else for the Cardinals to complain about: He says the Brewers got the favorable strike zone in the series.
Other notes from the field:
- Larry Granillo of Baseball Prospectus timed McGehee's first two home run trots at 21.63 and 23.55 seconds, and Hart's at 22.21.
- McGehee, Corey Hart and Edwin Jackson are leading FanGraphs' Star of the Game voting.
- After watching this week's series, Matthew Leach of MLB.com says he doesn't see how anyone can not pick the Brewers to win the Central right now.
- 41,909 fans paid to see yesterday's game.
- The Brat won the Sausage Race for the second straight day.
Colin Fly has some clarification on the rules regarding the Miller Park roof: It can only be opened once during a game. As such, if the game starts with the roof open it can be closed, opened, then closed again.
He didn't hit three home runs yesterday or anything but Ryan Braun did go 2-for-4 with a double and score two runs, picking up his fifth multi-hit game on the homestand. David Schoenfield of ESPN.com has Braun third on his current NL MVP ballot.
Prince Fielder will likely get some consideration as well. The B-Ref Blog notes that he's one of two players who make three appearances on their list of 2011's top individual games by WPA. Interestingly enough, Cardinals infielder Daniel Descalso is the other.
Nyjer Morgan had multiple hits yesterday as well. Audrey Snyder of MLB.com has a story on Morgan, his alter-ego Tony Plush and how they've fit into the Brewer clubhouse.
The two newest Brewers, Felipe Lopez and Jerry Hairston Jr, combined for three hits yesterday. Baseball Reflections says the Brewers did baseball's sixth best job of improving their team at the trade deadline.
Meanwhile, their services at second base will be required for a little longer. Rickie Weeks is able to walk without crutches or a boot, but the team is still saying he'll likely be out for most of August.
The Brewers have the day off today before opening a series in Houston tomorrow. AJ Cassavell of MLB.com has the preview.
In the minors:
- Outfielder Brett Carroll has refused his outright assignment to Nashville and is now a free agent.
- The affiliates went 2-3 yesterday, with Scooter Gennett going 3-for-6 and hitting a walkoff single in Brevard County's 8-7, ten inning win over Dunedin. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Rattler Radio has video highlights of Wisconsin's 2-1, 12 inning win over Clinton.
- Tim Froberg of the Appleton Post Crescent has a look at Wisconsin's recent string of solid pitching performances.
Here's something you probably could've guessed: Winning at home is good for business. The Brewers announced yesterday that they've already sold more 2011 tickets than they did for the entire 2010 season, when 2.776 million fans paid to see games at Miller Park. Three million appears to be within reach.
Mitch Stetter's 2011 season is almost certainly over, so he's picked up a new hobby: He's on Twitter. As of this writing he already has over 1200 followers.
If you'd like more Brewer content today but you're sick of reading, the View From Bernie's Chalet podcast is up. This week's topics include second base, Zack Greinke and the Brewer bullpen.
Angels: Outfielder/DH Bobby Abreu's $9 million option for 2012 has vested.
If you've read this morning's edition of Around the NL Central, then you already know about today's bad umpiring note: Home plate umpire Bob Davidson ejected Cubs manager Mike Quade and outfielder Tyler Colvin for little to no apparent reason last night. Davidson, as you might recall, is the umpire that called Nyjer Morgan back to the plate on an HBP earlier this season and ejected a fan at Miller Park last year. Craig Calcaterra called him a disgrace, and even that seems like it's being kind.
The Pirates and Reds both lost again yesterday and are now 6.5 and 7.5 games back, respectively. Toby Harrmann noted that the Reds would need to go 34-17 down the stretch to take first place if the Brewers simply play .500 baseball from here on out.
Today in former Brewers: Matt Stairs, who was released by the Nationals this week, plans to retire.
It's relatively rare for a closer to be great for an extended period of time, as their shelf-life runs out pretty quickly. Grant Brisbee of Baseball Nation notes that only two of the 30 pitchers who led a team in saves in 2001 are still active in 2011: Jason Isringhausen and Mariano Rivera.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to being a jerk.