April 15, 2011; Atlanta, GA, USA; Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun (8) bats in the ninth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. The Braves beat the Brewers 7-4. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE
Some things to read while playing as yourself.
Conventional wisdom would suggest it's too early to start worrying about the 2012 Brewers after just ten games, but they lost 7-4 in Atlanta yesterday as the Braves finished a three game sweep and after the game Ron Roenicke certainly seemed concerned. Here are some quotes from his postgame press conference:
We're not playing the type of game we want to play on both ends, pitching and offensively. We're just not doing the things that we know we need to do.
I don't know why you go through these little funks. But we started off not playing good last year and I don't want to do that again.
Well, if we play like this we're going to get beat everywhere. We can't play like this.
The Brewers started their seven game road trip 3-0 in Chicago, but fell to 3-4 with yesterday's loss. Meanwhile, Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker has a look at the Brewers' biggest problem: They lead the National League with 50 runs allowed in their first ten games.
Rickie Weeks had a hit and drew a walk yesterday, but also struck out twice. His 15 strikeouts in 2012 are two more than any other NL batter, and six more than the closest Brewer (Corey Hart has nine). Reviewing The Brew wonders if Weeks' strikeouts are going to become a problem.
Other notes from the field:
- Here's our recap of Sunday's game, if you missed it.
- The Brewers haven't won a game in Atlanta since July of 2010.
- John Axford pitched in mop-up duty yesterday and again failed to complete the inning, recording just one out. He's struck out all eight batters he's retired in 2012.
- Chipper Jones, Brandon Beachy and Chris Narveson are leading FanGraphs' Star of the Game voting.
- We've got video highlights of yesterday's turning points.
- Jonathan Lucroy rounded the bases in 20.26 seconds following his ninth inning homer.
- In addition to everyone wearing #42 to honor Jackie Robinson yesterday, Braves players wore throwback uniforms based on the cream-colored 1966-67 jerseys.
- Brian Anderson has a picture of the view from the TV booth at Turner Field.
- Fans were allowed to bring their dogs to the park yesterday.
The Brewers made a transaction following Friday night's game, placing Alex Gonzalez on the paternity list and calling up Eric Farris (FanShot). Gonzalez's third son, named Axel, was born yesterday. Farris rode the bench while Cesar Izturis started at shortstop each of the last two days, and is expected to be returned to Nashville when Gonzalez is reactivated tomorrow.
Speaking of tomorrow, Yovani Gallardo will be on the mound against Chad Billingsley when the Brewers return to Miller Park to open a three game series with the Dodgers at 7:10. Andrew Simon of MLB.com has the preview. The Brewers are off today but will not use the opportunity to make adjustments to their rotation.
George Kottaras hit his third home run of the season during Friday night's comeback, and even after a couple of fruitless pinch hit appearances is still hitting .364/.500/1.182 over 15 plate appearances this season. Keep Turning Up the Heat! says Kottaras is the new Russell Branyan.
Zack Greinke's rough outing Thursday might have decreased his potential free agent value a bit, but there are also factors driving his price the other way: Ken Rosenthal makes a case that Joey Votto's new contract with the Reds proves that more teams can afford to give out $100+ million contracts, and could increase Greinke's asking price.
Elsewhere in Greinke notes, Ron Roenicke Stole My Baseball has a look at the various venues where Greinke has and has not performed well on the road over the years.
Corey Hart went 3-for-11 this weekend and all three hits went for extra bases. We've got lots more on him:
- He homered on Friday to tie the game and circled the bases in 20.6 seconds.
- He's also the winner of 2012's first Brewer of the Week award.
- Jacob Peterson of Beyond the Box Score notes that nearly 20% of Hart's career home runs have come in twelve multi-homer games.
- Jonathan Scippa of Baseball Analytics has heat maps looking at Hart's early performance.
If you saw this weekend's games you might have noticed Jonathan Lucroy's lime green fingernails. Jesse Temple of FS Wisconsin has the story on a new product Lucroy and several other major league catchers are using this year to help pitchers see the signs.
In the minors:
- The affiliates went 2-2 yesterday, and Edwin Maysonet had four hits in Nashville's 3-2, 13 inning win over New Orleans. You can read about that and pitching performances from Wily Peralta and Taylor Jungmann in today's Minor League Notes.
- Rattler Radio has video highlights from Wisconsin's 5-3, eleven inning loss to Peoria.
- I was in attendance for Wisconsin's 4-3 walkoff win on Saturday and interviewed several players for stories in the inaugural Timber Rattlers Notebook.
- Mark Rogers' suspension is over and he's been activated and assigned to Huntsville.
- MLB Prospect Guide is listing Wily Peralta as one of the top ten pitching prospects in AAA.
- Meanwhile, @Mass_Haas points out that Eric Arnett has yet to pitch in a game this season. He's been on the roster with Brevard County but has not been used.
- MLB Depth Charts lists 2011 draft pick Chris McFarland and Brevard County pitcher Austin Ross as under the radar breakout candidates for 2012.
- Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem has interviews with Sounds pitcher Josh Butler and catcher Martin Maldonado.
- Reviewing the Brew has an interview with Huntsville outfielder Brock Kjeldgaard.
- The @BCManatees have a cool picture of Jed Bradley pitching in the rain.
Losing four straight games on the road might dampen enthusiasm a bit, but the Brewers are still doing well at the box office: They've already sold 2 million tickets for 2012. We're still in April and by tickets sold this is already the eleventh largest attendance year in franchise history.
In power rankings: Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star has the Brewers 13th, down two spots.
Angels: Designated pitcher Rich Thompson for assignment.
Dodgers: Placed Todd Coffey on the DL with a knee injury.
Giants: Closer Brian Wilson needs Tommy John surgery and will miss the rest of the 2012 season.
Mariners: Placed pitcher George Sherrill on the DL with an elbow strain.
Nationals: Designated outfielder Brett Carroll for assignment.
Padres: Placed first baseman/outfielder Kyle Blanks on the DL with a shoulder strain.
Phillies: Signed infielder Mike Fontenot to a minor league deal.
Rays: Placed catcher Jose Lobaton on the DL with shoulder soreness.
Red Sox: Placed outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury on the DL with a shoulder injury and designated pitcher Michael Bowden and catcher Luis Exposito for assignment.
Twins: Claimed outfielder Clete Thomas off waivers from the Tigers.
The Brewers' losing streak this weekend was costly in the standings, as the Cardinals have won back-to-back games to open up a three game lead on the Crew in the division. You know that and more if you've read this morning's edition of Around The NL Central.
If you've watched any of the highlight shows or been around the internet this morning, you've probably already seen both of these videos. If you haven't, though, you really should check out:
- A bunt into foul territory that rolled fair and led to a triple play in the ninth inning of yesterday's Padres/Dodgers game.
- Omar Infante hitting the first home home run in Marlins Park history and setting off that crazy thing in left center.
Today in former Brewers: Lookout Landing suggests Mike Cameron as a possible topic for a job interview question in baseball.
Today's major league schedule is already underway as the Red Sox and Rays threw the first pitch of their day game today at 10:05 this morning. That's pretty easily the earliest start time for a major league game all season.
If you think you're having a bad day, here's a reminder it could always be worse: The Peoria Chiefs lost to Wisconsin on a walkoff double Saturday, then went out to the parking lot and their bus wouldn't start. (h/t @cmehring)
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History celebrates Fernando Vina's 43rd birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his 157 career HBP are the most ever for a player born on April 16. Yesterday we celebrated Jeromy Burnitz's 43rd birthday, and his 78 HBP are also the most ever for players sharing his birthday. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also the 49th anniversary of Eddie Mathews' 400th home run and it's been 5000 and 9000 days since Paul Molitor's 500th stolen base and the end of his 39 game hitting streak.
Now, if you'll excuse me, it's getting itchy in here.