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The Brewers wrap up the regular season tonight, and we're here to help you get ready for it.
Some things to read while forgetting what you came for.
Ten different rookies appeared in last night's game for the Brewers and seven of them started, but the young guys were able to carry the Crew to a 4-3 win over the Padres. We've got the recap, if you missed it.
Martin Maldonado was one of those rookies and the evening's offensive star, as his first career grand slam drove home all four Brewer runs. He's now the 13th catcher in franchise history to hit a slam.
Tyler Thornburg was another one of those rookies, pitching four innings in a spot start in place of Wily Peralta. He didn't work deep enough into the game to be eligible for the win, though, so the official scorer awarded Jim Henderson his first major league victory.
Brewer pitchers also struck out ten Padres last night (four for Thornburg, two each for Henderson and John Axford and one each for Brandon Kintzler and Francisco Rodriguez), and now need just eight more to tie the 2003 Cubs for the major league single season record.
Last night's win, by the way, was the Brewers' 49th at Miller Park this season. Joe Block notes that a non-contending team has a chance to have baseball's best home record.
Other notes from the field:
- Norichika Aoki was hit by a pitch again last night and is now the first Brewer rookie ever to be hit 13 times. Plunk Everyone has more on the topic.
- Aoki also stole his 30th base last night, giving the Brewers three players with 30.
- When the Brewers caught Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera stealing last night it was only his fourth CS of the season. He leads all NL players with 43 steals. (h/t Gaslamp Ball)
- Ryan Braun went 0-for-3 with a walk last night to snap his hitting streak at eleven games. Carlos Gomez popped out in a pinch hit appearance to end his hitting streak at eight games.
- Francisco Rodriguez pitched a scoreless eighth inning last night for the 20th time in his last 23 appearances.
- We've got a look at last night's turning points and video from Ron Roenicke's postgame press conference.
- Last night's win improved the Brewers to 70-37 in games where they hit at least one home run. If you're bad at math, that means they're 13-41 in games where they don't.
- The Hot Dog won the sausage race.
The Brewers wrap up the 2012 season tonight and have decided to start Josh Stinson in place of Yovani Gallardo in the season's final game to prevent Gallardo from overtaxing his arm in a contest with no playoff implications. Jake Kaplan has the MLB.com preview and noted leisured gentleman Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs gave tonight's matchup a four out of ten on his NERD scale, but that was before he found out Gallardo was scratched.
While I completely understand the logic behind not sending Gallardo out to pitch a meaningless game, as a ticketholder for tonight I'm kind of disappointed to be seeing Stinson instead. Miller Park Drunk summed it up well in our Tweet of the Day:
RT @millerparkdrunk: Glad to see the Brewers season end just like it started with Josh Stinson starting.— Nate Petrashek (@NPetrashek) October 3, 2012
Tonight's game will be Stinson's first major league start. And while Gallardo will not start, Rickie Weeks and Aramis Ramirez are expected back in the lineup after sitting out last night.
Behind Gallardo, you can make a strong case for Marco Estrada as the Brewers' second best starting pitcher and that might be one of this season's most unexpected developments. Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs has Estrada among his True Talent Leaders for September.
Meanwhile, last night might have been the last Brewer appearance for Manny Parra, who faced four left-handed batters and allowed two hits, a walk and a hit batsman in the sixth inning. Adam McCalvy says the Brewers have a tough decision to make regarding a potential arbitration offer for Parra, but I'd be surprised if he's not non-tendered.
Elsewhere in non-tender candidates, Nyjer Morgan struck out in a seventh inning pinch hit appearance in what could also be his final game as a Brewer. Todd Rosiak (behind the JS paywall) notes that Morgan has started just one game since September 1 and has been passed by Logan Schafer on the depth chart.
Meanwhile, one offseason decision can be scratched off the list: The Brewers are bringing back their entire 2012 coaching staff, including midseason addition Lee Tunnell, for 2013.
As the regular season winds down, it's time to put the "Awards Watch" section back in the Mug:
- Yesterday Ryan Braun was announced as a nominee for the MLBPA's Players Choice Award for Most Outstanding NL Player. Andrew McCutchen and Buster Posey are the other nominees.
- Adam McCalvy of MLB.com is not eligible to participate in the Milwaukee BBWAA Awards (MLB.com writers aren't part of the group), but he would vote Braun for team MVP, Gallardo for Pitcher of the Year, Aoki for Rookie of the Year and Jim Henderson for Unsung Hero.
We've already mentioned Maldonado's grand slam, but it also highlights our look at the trot times and distances from home runs over the last few days:
|Tuesday||Martin Maldonado||439 feet||21 seconds||Video|
|Monday||Rickie Weeks||441 feet||25.34 seconds||Video|
|Monday||Jonathan Lucroy||415 feet||24.01 seconds||Video|
|Monday||Carlos Gomez||387 feet||19.03 seconds||Video|
|Saturday||Aramis Ramirez||414 feet||22.14 seconds||Video|
|Saturday||Corey Hart #1||408 feet||22.35 seconds||Video|
|Saturday||Corey Hart #2||364 feet||25.59 seconds||Video|
In the minors:
- Hiram Burgos (best starting pitcher), Hunter Morris (best offensive player) and the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (best team) are among the nominees for the 2012 MILBYs and could use your vote.
- No Timber Rattlers were listed among Baseball America's top 20 prospects in the Midwest League, but Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has a rebuttal.
Finally, congratulations are due out this morning to sauveb, yesterday's winner in our SB Nation Pick 6 contest. Here's the full leaderboard.
|5||Badger Boy in Vail||31.7|
Today's action starts at 11:35, so you're running out of time to get your picks in and get one last shot at an entry into the BCB Prize Pool.
Likely NL Cy Young candidate and former Brewer minor leaguer R.A. Dickey finished off his season last night with a quality start against the Marlins in a game the Mets went on to lose in eleven innings. Dickey's season is made even more improbable when you consider he has a torn abdominal muscle...and has had it since April.
In former Brewers:
- Ben Sheets will start for the Braves today and plans to retire after the game. He will not be on Atlanta's postseason roster.
- Hank Aaron is the only former Brewer to make the top 25 in NotGraphs' new "FAME" stat.
Meanwhile, here's a nominee for "likely future Brewer:" Indians closer Chris Perez has spent most of the season developing a rift between himself and his organization, most recently calling out former manager Manny Acta. This has me wondering if 2012 Chris Perez, like 2010 Nyjer Morgan, could see his "personality issues" disappear if he moved to a winning team.
Today in baseball economics: Major League Baseball has extended its TV deals with Fox and Turner for eight more seasons, and some quick back-of-the-envelope math would suggest the financial windfall is over $50 million per season per team.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the 36th anniversary of Hank Aaron's final major league appearance. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also the anniversary of the final major league appearances of Jim Gantner (1992) and Robin Yount (1993).
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to the movies.