Some things to read while completing the set.
The Brewers weren't quite able to finish off a three game sweep against the Dodgers yesterday, coming up short in the late innings and losing 4-3. Jordan has our recap, if you missed it.
The strikeout was the story in the late innings yesterday, as Brewers struck out seven times in the game's final three innings, including five K's in a row for former Brewer Jamey Wright. Wright is still in the majors nearly a decade after the Brewers traded him in a waiver deal in 2002.
It's been a pretty good week for several Brewers, but a tough one for Ryan Braun. He's one of four Brewers battling an illness right now (along with Corey Hart, Francisco Rodriguez and Randy Wolf) and went 0-for-11 with five strikeouts against the Dodgers.
Other notes from the field:
- Randy Wolf hit Jerry Hairston Jr. with a pitch yesterday. Plunk Everyone notes that it was his 97th career hit batsman, the second most in all of baseball among active left-handers. Only Jamie Moyer has more.
- Wolf also allowed a triple to Dodger catcher Matt Treanor. Treanor has four career triples, and two have come off Wolf.
- Jamey Wright, Travis Ishikawa and Randy Wolf are leading FanGraphs' Star of the Game voting.
- Infielder Juan Uribe was held out of the lineup yesterday with a wrist injury, and is going to see a specialist today.
- Looking back a day, Christina Kahrl of ESPN says Wednesday's game "generated its own drama."
- Nyjer Morgan left without talking to reporters after running through a stop sign and scoring the game winning run Wednesday night, but told reporters yesterday that the stop sign was a fake.
- Wednesday's win gave the Brewers back-to-back walkoffs for the first time since May 27-28 of 2010.
- Aramis Ramirez hit his first home run of the season Wednesday, reached the Harley Davidson Deck and circled the bases in 24.23 seconds, the day's third slowest time.
- Zack Greinke's Wednesday double was the first hit by a Brewer pitcher this season.
- The Bratwurst won yesterday's Sausage Race, with Italian coming in first on Wednesday.
The Dodgers came to town with baseball's best record at 9-1, but after losing two of three to the Brewers that's no longer the case: The Rangers now hold the game's best record at 11-2.
Moving on, the Brewers open a three game set with the Rockies tonight when Shaun Marcum takes on Jhoulys Chacin in at 7:10. Paul Casella of MLB.com has the preview. Hangwith'em Rach traded questions with Purple Row for our series preview, and you can see her answers to their questions here. Our preview will be up at noon.
After tonight's game Kameron Loe will be leaving the team for a couple of days to attend the funeral of his grandfather, two-time Purple Heart award winner Howard Pound (FanShot). Pound passed away on Wednesday, and Loe dedicated his outing that night to his memory. Tom Haudricourt (linked via Twitter) says Mike McClendon is likely to be called up in Loe's place.
If McClendon is with the team this weekend, he'll probably be in charge of carrying the new bullpen bag. Trenni Kusnierek has a picture of the new bag adorned with stickers. If you'd like to add your sticker, you can still send it to Miller Park care of any member of the Brewer bullpen.
Looking back a day, one of the key moments in Wednesday's extra inning win came in the eighth inning when Francisco Rodriguez retired Matt Kemp on a strikeout. Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker broke down the at bat.
Kemp, by the way, hit his seventh home run of the season yesterday. That's the most in all of baseball this season and more than four teams' totals. He rounded the bases in 19.85 seconds following yesterday's blast.
Elsewhere in pitching, Wednesday's start was the third of Zack Greinke's 2012 season and another chance to show off his new cutter. Jordan took a look at the pitch last night, and noted that Greinke is already using it over 20% of the time.
Mat Gamel had three hits (including his first home run) in the Dodgers series. The NL All Star ballot is out and he's on it for the first time.
In the minors:
- The affiliates went 2-3 last night and Logan Schafer had five hits in eight at bats but it wasn't enough as Nashville was swept in a doubleheader with Oklahoma City. You can read about that and big nights for Scooter Gennett, Brandon Macias and Chadwin Stang in today's Minor League Notes.
- Ryan Topp of Disciples of Uecker has a look at the ground ball rates of some of the Brewers' top prospects, and says the future of the Brewers may lie on the ground.
- Brevard County pitcher Casey Medlen has a 1.50 ERA and eight strikeouts with no walks in his first six appearances for the Manatees, and that was enough to earn him MLB Depth Charts' "Under the Radar" NL Minor League Pitching Performance of the Week.
- Baseball America reports the Brewers have signed 27-year-old free agent pitcher Johnnie Lowe to a minor league deal. He was a 7th round pick for the White Sox in 2007 and spent the last three seasons with AA Birmingham.
- Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem has an interview with Sounds pitcher Dan Meadows.
- Bob Brainerd of Time Warner Cable Sports 32 has a profile of Wisconsin reliever Tommy Toledo.
- Baseball America has a post on Tyler Thornburg, but it's subscriber-only.
In power rankings:
If you'd like more Brewer coverage today but you're sick of reading, I'll be making my weekly appearance on The Home Stretch with Justin Hull on AM 1570 The Score in Appleton at 3. I'll be live in the studio for most of an hour taking your calls, so listen in and bring your questions.
Finally, congratulations are due out today to Miller Park Drunk, who won Shepherd Express' Milwaukee Web Award for Best Sports Blog. This site and Disciples of Uecker were the runners-up.
Angels: Signed shortstop Erick Aybar to a four year, $35 million contract extension.
Cardinals: Placed first baseman Lance Berkman on the DL with a calf strain.
Diamondbacks: Placed outfielder Chris Young on the DL with a shoulder contusion.
Indians: Pitcher Jeanmar Gomez has been suspended for five games for intentionally hitting a batter Saturday, but is appealing the suspension.
Pirates: Placed pitcher Jeff Karstens on the DL with shoulder inflammation.
Rays: Claimed first baseman/outfielder Brandon Allen off waivers from the A's.
Red Sox: Signed catcher Mike Rivera to a minor league deal.
Twins: Designated utilityman Luke Hughes for assignment.
Yankees: Placed outfielder Brett Gardner on the DL with an elbow injury and signed pitcher Nelson Figueroa to a minor league deal.
Elsewhere in the division, the only teams to pick up a win yesterday were the Astros and Reds (who beat the Cardinals), meaning the Brewers remain in second place and three games back of St. Louis. You know that and more if you've read this morning's edition of Around the NL Central.
If you've been around the internet over the last couple of days you've probably heard about Cliff Lee's performance: He pitched ten shutout innings and allowed just seven hits without a walk in the Phillies' 1-0, eleven inning loss to the Giants on Wednesday. He only threw 102 pitches in the outing. For comparison purposes, Randy Wolf and Aaron Harang pitched a combined 12 innings yesterday and needed 207 pitches to do so.
Today in baseball economics:
- The Mariners only drew 11,343 fans to last night's game, the smallest crowd in Safeco Field history.
- The White Sox and Orioles averaged just 12,663 fans per game for their four game set in Chicago this week, making it the lowest attended series at the Cell since 2004.
- The cost for a family of four to attend an average minor league game is $61.23, up less than two dollars from last year.
The Twins are spending nearly $100 million on payroll this season but aren't expected to be competitive, and injuries over the years are a large part of the reason why. Twinkie Town has a look at some of the moves they're making as part of a reevaluation of their medical processes.
In former Brewers:
- Jim Gantner told Adam McCalvy he likes the Brewers' recent move towards more small ball.
- Don Sutton (and Milwaukee Brave Warren Spahn) made Richard Barbieri of The Hardball Times' All-April birthday team.
- Carson Cistulli of NotGraphs included a Pat Listach quote as part of a short poem.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the anniversary of Hank Aaron's 400th home run. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also the 47th anniversary of Warren Spahn's 2500th strikeout.
Finally, we'd like to send out our condolences to the family and friends of 1978-79 Brewer Andy Replogle, who passed away this week at age 58.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I want to see how this ends.