Tuesday's Frosty Mug

This collision between Mat Gamel and Astros catcher Jason Castro could have been much worse.

Some things to read while getting it backwards.

The Brewers may have dodged a bullet last night in more ways than one. First, they managed to stifle an Astros come back just in time to preserve a 6-5 victory. -JP- has the recap, if you missed it.

Secondly, they may have been lucky to avoid a potentially serious injury when Mat Gamel collided with Astros catcher Jason Castro on a play at the plate in the sixth inning. You can see video of the play here. Mat's wife Julianne says he's "a little sore," but X-rays showed he did not separate his shoulder. The fact that he was sore enough to merit an X-ray would imply he's probably not going to be in the lineup today. Castro is also fine.

Jose Veras became the latest Brewer reliever to have a bad game last night, allowing the Astros to close the gap by giving up three runs on four hits and a walk in the seventh inning. After the game Ron Roenicke told reporters he's concerned about overworking his bullpen and needs a game where they get a big lead and he can use other guys. Veras is on pace to appear in 76 games this season, which would tie him for the fifth highest total in franchise history.

Aramis Ramirez only had one hit last night but it was a big one: His first inning RBI triple was #1 in the game's turning points. At Cream City Cables Nathan Petrashek has a look at the premise that Ramirez is a notoriously slow starter, and uses the numbers to illustrate the fact that his starts aren't usually this slow.

Mike Vassallo notes that the Brewers continued two streaks and ended one last night: They've now won ten straight against the Astros, the sixth time in franchise history they've done that against a single opponent. They also let the opposing team score first for the sixth time in as many games. Their three first inning runs, however, were their first since April 10.

Other notes from the field:

The two teams continue the series tonight when Bud Norris takes on Randy Wolf at 7:10. Paul Casella of MLB.com has the preview. If you're heading out to the game, the Chef's Table Featured item for the homestand is a "Texas Style Chili Pie."

Kameron Loe is expected to rejoin the team from the bereavement list tonight, and as such Wily Peralta was returned to Nashville following last night's game (FanShot). He'll start for the Sounds on Thursday. Adam McCalvy talked to him about his first outing in the majors.

Meanwhile, Chris Narveson's short and long term status is still in doubt. MRI results on his shoulder were sent to Dr. Lewis Yocum for a second opinion, but Narveson hasn't heard back. The Brewers do have the option of skipping the fifth spot in the rotation with this week's off day, but will give everyone an extra day of rest instead.

Shaun Marcum's solid start to the 2012 season has led many of us to breathe a sigh of relief. This number surprised me, though: J.P. Breen of FanGraphs notes that Marcum leads all major leaguers in swinging strike percentage.

Nyjer Morgan was hit by a pitch in his only plate appearance last night, and is still hitting .119/.140/.119 through 16 games after being held out of the lineup in favor of Norichika Aoki. He told Adam McCalvy he's got a "bad case of the coldness."

In the minors:

  • It was a rough night on the farm as the affiliates went 0-4 last night, with Huntsville (ten innings) and Brevard County (12 innings) both losing in extra frames. You can read about that, big nights for Brooks Conrad and Lee Haydel and a rough outing for Jed Bradley in in today's Minor League Notes.
  • Kyle Heckathorn also had a good night for Huntsville, and made Seedlings to Stars' Prospect Pulse.
  • Scooter Gennett is off to a hot start offensively for Huntsville, but is drawing notice for his glove too. John Sickels of Minor League Ball says Gennett has "made only one error on defense, a far cry from last year when he led the Florida State League in errors, and reports indicate he's done quite a bit to improve his range and footwork."
  • Nashville's loss last night was their eighth straight, and their 4-15 start is tied for the worst in club history.
  • Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem has an interview with Sounds manager Mike Guerrero.
  • Bob Brainerd of Time Warner Cable Sports 32 has a profile of Wisconsin infielder Greg Hopkins.

By now you've probably seen the Brewers' original four TV ads for 2012, but apparently there are more. They unveiled a new ad featuring Aaron Rodgers and Ryan Braun yesterday.

The downside of the Brewers becoming successful and drawing three million fans to Miller Park is that some of those people have no idea how to behave in public. Kevin Kimmes of Cream City Cables had a negative experience recently, and has some pointers to follow to avoid being the cause of someone else's bad day at the park.

Speaking of bad days, here's something that could brighten one: Carson Cistulli of NotGraphs turned some of Bob Uecker's work on Friday into poetry.

In power rankings:

If you're reading this before 7 pm, there's still time to enter your predictions for today's game in Prognostikeggers. If not, get a head start on the afternoon game tomorrow.

Around baseball:

Cubs: Designated pitcher Rodrigo Lopez for assignment.
Mets: Placed infielder Ronny Cedeno on the DL with an intercostal strain.
Orioles: Signed utilityman Bill Hall to a minor league deal.
Rays: Signed outfielder/DH Hideki Matsui to a minor league deal.

The Brewers gained a game on the Cardinals last night, as they won while the Cubs beat St. Louis 3-2 on a walkoff. You know this and more if you've read this morning's edition of Around the NL Central.

We've talked a lot about the Brewers' relative offensive struggles in 2012, but it's worth noting that some teams have been much worse. When Shane Victorino homered in the ninth inning last night for the Phillies, for example, it was their first multi-run homer of 2012.

Today in baseball economics:

The 2012 opening series in Japan feels like half a season ago already, but here's a cool story from it that I just heard from the first time this morning: Oakland pitcher Jordan Norberto traded gloves with Yomiuri Giant Tetsuya Utsumi while they were over there.

You can imitate the Sausage Race, but credit is due to the Astros for realizing they'll never duplicate the original. They've dumped their "hot sauce race."

Now, if you'll excuse me, I probably should follow him.

Drink up.

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