Wednesday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while keeping the streak alive.

Shaun Marcum was the story last night, pitching eight solid innings and getting on base twice in the Brewers' 5-1 win over the Cubs to drop their magic number to 3. Nyjer Morgan watched Marcum's pitches from center field and said "it was really moving today."

Assuming nothing changes, Marcum likely has one start left in the regular season. His spot would be due up on Tuesday against the Pirates, which would give him somewhere in the neighborhood of a week of rest before a likely Game 3 NLDS start. The Brewers Blurb has a look at Marcum's role in the playoff rotation.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals picked up another late inning win last night to extend their season. Adam McCalvy has a post on the scoreboard watching going on in the Brewer dugout and clubhouse.

Other notes from the field:

The two teams close out the series (and the Brewers' regular season road schedule) with a 1:20 start this afternoon. Paul Casella of MLB.com has the preview.

The Brewers have almost certainly seen Aramis Ramirez for the last time this season: He's day to day after leaving last night's game with a quad strain, but told reporters it was "probably" his last game as a Cub. You already know about Ramirez and have seen injury updates on Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday, Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto and Astros pitcher Bud Norris if you've read this morning's edition of Around the NL Central.

Casey McGehee went 0-for-4 again last night and is now hitting .123/.208/.277 in his last 21 games. Adam McCalvy says he still plans to fight through his (season long) slump. Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker points out that McGehee is a .238/.304/.421 hitter since July 6. In the first link Ron Roenicke implied that he wasn't considering removing McGehee from the lineup, yet Jerry Hairston Jr is getting a start at third base today.

McGehee, by the way, rounded the bases in 21.55 seconds following his ninth inning homer Monday. Here's a rundown of the last three days, courtesy of Larry Granillo of Baseball Prospectus:

Player Day Trot (in seconds)
Carlos Gomez Sunday 17.2
Jerry Hairston Jr Monday 20.12
Casey McGehee Monday 21.55
Corey Hart Sunday 22.28
Prince Fielder Sunday 22.55

Gomez's trot was the fastest in all of baseball on Sunday.

Elsewhere in poor play on the left side of the infield: last night's game featured one of my favorite "Yuni moments" of 2011. On a ball hit sharply at him, Betancourt fell down and was forced to make the play from the seat of his pants. You can see the video here. MLB.com labeled it as "Betancourt's nice play," which is a pretty laughable misnomer. Betancourt, by the way, went 0-for-4 again and is now hitting .220/.242/.339 in September.

Looking ahead, the Brewers aren't making any changes to their rotation for the Marlins series. Yovani Gallardo, Zack Greinke and Chris Narveson will pitch Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Here's another reminder that playoff positioning matters: Last week the Brewers projected to play the Phillies in the NLDS and J-Doug of Beyond the Box Score gave them a roughly 1 in 3 chance of advancing. This week they're projected to face the Braves and their chances are up over 20%, to 56.7%.

It's been a while since I've had an injury note to include in the Mug, but here's today's: Takashi Saito was unavailable Monday with discomfort in his calf, but was ready to pitch last night if needed.

In the minors:

  • Keith Law watched 2011 second round round pick Jorge Lopez pitch in instructional ball yesterday and praised his curve and approach. Lopez, however, was only working in the upper 80's.
  • In yesterday's All Questions Answered thread John Sickels of Minor League Ball said Mat Gamel can hit if someone gives him a chance, Kentrail Davis is only a "possible reserve right now" and Zelous Wheeler is the Brewer most likely to appear in a 2031 Moneyball remake.

Do you follow the Brewers on Twitter? The Biz of Baseball notes that the Brewer feed ranks 14th in MLB with 34,211 followers. The Phillies are #1 with 645,771, while the Marlins are last with 11,002. The Marlins might actually lose followers after unveiling an atrocious new logo. (h/t @jh_moore)

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 Ryan Braun, the playoff rotation and the minor leagues.

Around baseball:

Astros: The full 2011 coaching staff has been invited back for 2012.
Athletics
: Signed manager Bob Melvin to a three year contract extension.
Pirates: Acquired a minor league pitcher from the Braves as the PTBNL in the Matt Diaz trade.
Rockies: Announced manager Jim Tracy will return for 2012.

Today in former Brewers: Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com talked to Trevor Hoffman about his relatively short reign as the only major leaguer with over 600 career saves.

If the Brewers end up facing the Phillies in the NLDS or NLCS, this knowledge could prove useful: The visitors' bullpen at Citizens Bank Park has access to and the ability to mess with a sign promoting lottery jackpots.

Yesterday's worst day has to belong to Red Sox pitcher Erik Bedard, who was served papers in the clubhouse regarding a child support lawsuit before going out and lasting just 2.2 innings in a start against the Orioles. (h/t BBTF)

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

Drink up.

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