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We're talking about the end of the playoff chase and much more in this morning's roundup of all things Brewers.
Some things to read while becoming a box office sensation.
The Brewers came home on Friday likely needing to win six straight games to have a chance at the postseason, but sunk themselves instead by losing two of three to the Astros. They were officially eliminated from playoff contention with a 7-0 shutout loss yesterday, and Noah has the recap if you missed it.
Yesterday's loss capped off a disappointing end to the season for Mike Fiers, who became the first pitcher in Brewer franchise history to allow four home runs and strike out ten in a game. Fiers told Adam McCalvy he thinks most of his late season struggles were mental. He posted a 6.99 ERA over his final ten starts.
The Brewers managed to hold off elimination until the 159th game of the season, which certainly isn't something many of us expected when they were 12 games under .500 at one point in August. Joe Block sums it up in our tweet of the day:
#Brewers made September fun and I'm appreciative of that— Joe Block (@joe_block) September 30, 2012
Meanwhile, Dayn Perry of CBS Sports has a post mortem on the 2012 season.
This weekend's series got off to a rough start when Yovani Gallardo struggled Friday night and picked up his first loss since July. Cream City Cables has a look at his tough outing.
The Astros, by the way, are just 18-60 on the road this season but two of those wins came in Milwaukee over the weekend. They hit eleven homers over three games in this series, matching their total from the previous 12 games.
Other notes from the field:
- Astros pitcher Jordan Lyles pitched his first career shutout and complete game yesterday, and also hit his first career home run.
- He's the fourth Astro ever to throw a complete game shutout before his 22nd birthday and the first since Paul Siebert in 1974. He's also the youngest pitcher to throw a shutout in the majors this season.
- We've got video of Ron Roenicke's postgame comments.
- 38,443 tickets were sold for Sunday's game, although that includes 5000 that were given away.
- Eric Farris' ninth inning single Saturday was his first major league hit.
- The Hot Dog won Friday and Sunday's sausage races, with Italian picking up a win on Saturday.
The Brewers' final homestand continues tonight as they welcome the Padres to Miller Park. Mark Clements has the MLB.com preview, and noted leisured gentleman Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs gave tonight's Marcum/Clayton Richard matchup a three out of ten on his NERD scale. Gaslamp Ball and CBS Sports have their series previews, while Chicken Friars remembers a Brewers/Padres series to close the 2007 season that helped keep San Diego out of the playoffs.
The Brewers may not be playing for the playoffs this week, but a piece of history is still within reach: They enter play tonight having struck out 1378 opposing batters as a team, meaning they need just 26 more over the season's final three games to tie the 2003 Cubs' all-time record of 1404.
Wily Peralta's spot in the rotation would have come up in the second game of this series tomorrow, but the Brewers are going to shut him down after he reported continued soreness in his biceps during a bullpen session Sunday. Tyler Thornburg will start in his place. John Sickels of Minor League Ball has a look back at Peralta's debut season and says "assuming that his arm is OK, I trend to optimism with Peralta."
Peralta's strong finish to 2012 would seem to imply that he's likely to open the 2013 season in the rotation. Ron Roenicke told reporters, though, that he also expects the team to look at some veteran options in free agency:
"I don't think we're going to go sign a guy for five years and $120 million," Roenicke said. "But I think if there is a veteran out there that [general manager] Doug [Melvin] and his crew likes, that we've heard and seen good things about, yeah, I think he's going to look at everything."
Chris Narveson also projects to be a likely addition to the rotation: He threw a 20 pitch bullpen session on Sunday for the first time since having surgery this spring.
Wily Peralta may be eligible to be NL Rookie of the Year in 2013, but Jean Segura will not: He passed 130 at bats over the weekend, which is the cutoff.
Elsewhere in pending offseason decisions, Doug Melvin told Brian Anderson and Bill Schroeder that he's "heard that from players before" when they asked him about Corey Hart's quotes saying he'd like to stay in Milwaukee. With that said, Tom Haudricourt says he "has a feeling" the Brewers will work out a long term deal with Hart this winter.
Brandon Kintzler was unable to complete a second inning of work yesterday but has posted a 3.14 ERA over 12 outings in his return to the majors this September. Tom Haudricourt says he has a foot in the door for the 2013 bullpen.
Ryan Braun had an infield hit Sunday but that was it, and his .600 slugging percentage is no longer the best in the National League. A poll at Beerleaguer has Braun, Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen and Giants catcher Buster Posey all getting between 25-30% of the vote for NL MVP.
Braun, by the way, is our reigning Brewer of the Week for the fifth time in 25 opportunities this season. No other Brewer has won the voting more than three times (Norichika Aoki and Mike Fiers).
- Rattler Radio has a look at five Helena Brewers who missed Baseball America's list of the top 20 prospects in the Pioneer League but could be key contributors to Wisconsin next season.
- Reviewing the Brew has a profile of Hunter Morris as he prepares for the Arizona Fall League.
If you weren't around the site this weekend then you missed a fair amount of Brewer content. Take a look back and check it out once you're done here, and make sure you catch the new audio recording of the Macha Rhapsody.
Finally, congratulations are due out this morning to brewman70, yesterday's winner in our SB Nation Pick 6 contest. Here's the full leaderboard:
|7||Badger Boy in Vail||23.8|
Elsewhere around the NL Central:
- Yesterday's Pirates loss was their 82nd of the season, clinching their 20th consecutive losing campaign.
- The Cubs beat the Diamondbacks yesterday to improve their record to 1-18 on the road against NL West opponents this season.
- MLB.com has video of Nationals 1B/OF Michael Morse having to round the bases again after his single was reviewed and changed to a grand slam against the Cardinals.
Today in former Brewers: Zack Greinke pitched for the Angels last night in a jersey that had his name misspelled on the back.
Today in baseball economics: Despite being in the mix for the AL Central title the White Sox failed to draw 2 million fans this season for the first time since 2004.
Flip Flop Fly Ball has my favorite infographic from today, a pixelated look at the various uniforms worn across baseball this season. There's a lot to take away from it, but the note that struck me is that the Dodgers, Tigers and Yankees each only wore two all season. The Brewers were one of several teams with five.
Twitter has opened doors for us to interact with each other and our favorite (or least favorite) athletes in a lot of new ways, but not everyone can handle that responsibility. This new possibility caused an ugly interaction over the weekend when a Rangers "fan" said the same kind of thing to pitcher Derek Holland that I've seen countless people say to John Axford, Manny Parra et al over the course of the season, but someone tweeting from Holland's account responded with a homophobic slur. Holland says his account was hacked.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the 42nd anniversary of the day the Brewers signed Sixto Lezcano as an amateur free agent. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also the anniversary of these notable moments:
- The Milwaukee Braves' win over the Yankees in the first game of the 1958 World Series.
- Charlie Moore's cycle in 1980.
- Bill Wegman's final major league game in 1995.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to cross out "professional."