Some things to read while pretending.
If you only see one highlight from last night's game, make it this one: Ryan Braun falling down between third and home on a surefire inside the park homer (seen here in gif form) was a microcosm for the Brewers' performance last night. Hopefully it won't end up being the moment we remember from the Brewer stretch run. (h/t @rtjr for the gif link)
Yuniesky Betancourt finally picked up a hit last night, tripling to end a 0-for-23 slump. Cheeseandcorn noted that Yuni's low BABIP lately is partially due to the fact that he's popped out 11 times in 17 games. But, as Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star points out, the fact that Yuni is the worst everyday player in baseball is hardly breaking news. Nonetheless, Ron Roenicke is sticking with him.
Other notes from the field:
- Even after last night's loss the Brewers have only dropped back-to-back home games twice this season. They had a chance to break the record, but they'll have to settle for tying the best month in franchise history with 21 wins in August.
- Corey Hart led off the game with a home run to extend his hitting streak to 13 games. It's his fifth leadoff home run this season and his eleventh homer in 40 games in the leadoff spot.
- Hart and Rafael Furcal both led off the game with home runs. It's the first time that's happened in a Brewer game since Hart and Arizona outfielder Chris Young did it in 2007.
- Furcal has three home runs as a Cardinal, and they've all come against the Brewers.
- Randy Wolf's two HBP last night gave him 12 for the season. He's now tied for the NL lead.
- Braun stole a base last night but was also caught, ending a 15-for-15 streak. I'm not entirely sure but I think Rickie Weeks' 22-for-22 streak in 2007-08 is the franchise record.
- Jake Westbrook, Wolf and Rafael Furcal are leading FanGraphs' Star of the Game voting.
- The Italian won the Sausage Race.
- The Brewers were watching Major League yesterday with Bob Uecker in the clubhouse.
- Reggie Miller was in attendance last night as a guest of offseason neighbor Ryan Braun.
Today is roster expansion day around baseball and the Brewers added three players last night: Carlos Gomez (activated off the DL), outfielder Logan Schafer and catcher Martin Maldonado (FanShot). Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar has four more players that could be called up once the minor league season ends: pitchers Mark DiFelice and Tim Dillard and infielders Eric Farris and Mat Gamel. Adam McCalvy says Gomez is "champing at the bit" to get back in there.
Meanwhile, Jim Callis of Baseball America has a reminder that yesterday's roster deadline isn't actually all that critical: Players can still be added to the postseason roster to replace players on the DL before or during the playoffs.
After sitting around since Friday night, Taylor Green finally made his major league debut and singled to right in a pinch hit appearance last night. Adam McCalvy noted that Green has faced Dickson in AAA this season, making him potentially the only Brewer with recent experience against this guy. Ron Roenicke wouldn't commit to getting him in the lineup, though. Rubie Q has cast Green for a key role in his directorial debut.
Odds are we'll have another roster move to report sometime during or after the game: Tom Haudricourt noted that today is the day the Mets select the two PTBNL they're receiving in the K-Rod trade (FanShot). The move isn't expected to be earth-shattering, but after all this speculation I'm curious to hear who's actually in the deal.
Looking back another day, Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker has a look at the wheel play and how the Cardinals used it to beat the Brewers Tuesday night.
Today in injury notes: There's still no official timetable, but Adam McCalvy thinks it will be 10-14 more days before Rickie Weeks is back in the Brewer lineup.
I don't know about you guys, but I wouldn't mess with Archduke Velveeta. Jim Caple of ESPN.com has a list of suggested "gentleman's names" for the Brewers that don't yet have them. Meanwhile, Jaymes Langrehr made his OnMilwaukee debut with a post comparing the NL MVP arguments for "Rico Corinthian" and "Vladimir Hungus."
The 2011 season is largely being treated as the final curtain for Prince Fielder in Milwaukee, but most of us seem to feel like it's not a certainty he's leaving: This week's BCB Tracking Poll shows that less than 20% of voters think the Brewers have no chance of re-signing their first baseman.
In the minors:
- The Brewers made a small splash in the international market yesterday, signing 16 year old Dominican outfielder Juan Ortiz. The deal won't be official until MLB can confirm his age and identity.
- The affiliates went 2-3 last night but Nashville starter Michael Fiers stole the show: He pitched a complete game, three hit shutout in the Sounds 1-0 win over Iowa. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
If you don't have playoff tickets yet and you're hoping to acquire them, this link is for you: The Brewers announced plans for the postseason ticket lottery yesterday.
Today in power rankings: Fox Sports has the Brewers second, up two spots.
I guess this is like a power ranking for fans: Lewie Pollis of Beyond the Box Score says the Brewers have baseball's eighth most biased fans.
Blue Jays: Designated pitcher Brian Tallet for assignment.
Braves: Placed pitcher George Sherrill on the DL with elbow inflammation and acquired outfielder Matt Diaz from the Pirates for a PTBNL or cash.
Giants: Designated outfielder Aaron Rowand and shortstop Miguel Tejada for assignment.
Indians: placed outfielder Shin-Soo Choo on the DL with an oblique strain.
Mariners: Signed general manager Jack Zduriencik to a multi-year contract extension.
Padres: Claimed outfielder Jeremy Hermida off waivers from the Reds and designated catcher Kyle Phillips for assignment.
Phillies: Acquired outfielder John Bowker from the Phillies for a PTBNL or cash.
Rangers: Acquired pitcher Mike Gonzalez from the Orioles for reliever Pedro Strop and catcher Matt Treanor from the Royals for a PTBNL or cash, and designated pitcher Tim Wood for assignment. Also, reliever Koji Uehara's 2012 option has vested.
Red Sox: Acquired infielder/outfielder Conor Jackson from the A's for a minor league pitcher.
Rockies: placed pitcher Jason Hammel on the paternity list.
You already know about Diaz, Bowker and much more if you've read this morning's edition of Around the NL Central.
In two weeks you'll be really sick of this story, but remember that you heard it here first: Hammel's stint on the paternity list for the Rockies (mentioned above) opened the door for the team to call up reliever Josh Roenicke, Ron's nephew. He'll likely still be with the team when Colorado comes to town on September 13-14.
Ten days from now the Diamondbacks are holding a weekend-long celebration of the tenth anniversary of their 2001 World Series win. After looking at the list, it seems like Craig Counsell is the only player from that team that won't be in attendance. (h/t AZ Snakepit)
In former Brewers: Dana Eveland has been called up by the Dodgers and will start against the Pirates today. Since being traded by the Brewers following the 2006 season he's been a Diamondback, Athletic, Blue Jay and Pirate and now a Dodger.
Today in baseball economics:
- The Mets are likely back on shaky financial footing since the New York Times is reporting that their deal to sell a minority share of the team to David Einhorn for $200 million is off the table.
- Aaron Gleeman of Hardball Talk notes that a player called up on September 1 will earn $63,421 over the next month, effectively doubling a AAA player's salary.
- A new, major league caliber stadium will open in the Netherlands in 2014, and they're hoping to host an MLB series there.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History remembers the 24th anniversary of Teddy Higuera's one hitter, the second to last one in franchise history. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that today is also the 20th anniversary of Paul Molitor's final appearance at third base.
Now, if you'll excuse me, someone is calling my name.