HOUSTON - MAY 16: Corey Hart #1 of the Milwaukee Brewers walks away from the plate after striking out in the sixth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on May 16, 2012 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
The Brewers remain five games under .500 after an 8-3 loss to the Astros last night. We've got the recap here, if you missed it.
Last night's game was over early after Randy Wolf allowed seven runs (six earned) and ten baserunners in just four innings of work. His defense didn't do much to help him out, but the outing pushed his ERA back over 6. Rubie Q wonders why we're not seeing more comparisons between 2012 Wolf and 2010 Jeff Suppan.
Meanwhile, Rickie Weeks also had a dreadful night last night, going 0-for-4 with four strikeouts. Last night's Stat of the Night looked at strikeout records Weeks is on pace to break. Nicholas Zettel of Disciples of Uecker, however, says that Weeks' plate discipline would suggest he should pull out of this slump. Ron Roenicke Stole My Baseball is bringing back the Summer of Rickie.
What to do with Weeks in the short term, however, is open for debate. The majority of voters in this week's Brew Crew Ball Tracking Poll think Jonathan Lucroy should take his place in the #2 spot in the lineup.
Other notes from the field:
- Last night's loss ended a six game Brewer win streak in Houston.
- The Astros scored eight runs yesterday after scoring six in their previous three games combined.
- Aramis Ramirez went 0-for-3 with a walk, ending his hitting streak at 12 games. The Brewers' new longest active streak belongs to Ryan Braun, who has hits in five straight games.
- Randy Wolf's disaster start ended a streak of seven straight quality starts for Brewer pitchers.
- We've got video highlights of the game's turning points and a transcript of Ron Roenicke's postgame comments.
The two teams wrap up the brief two game series tonight, and Josh Liebeskind of MLB.com has the preview. Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs gave tonight's Shaun Marcum/J.A. Happ matchup a five out of ten on his NERD scale. Sole possession of fourth place in the division will be on the line tonight, as both teams enter play 16-21. You know that and more if you've read this morning's edition of Around the NL Central.
Despite the fact that the Brewers are getting very limited production from the hitters both in front of and behind him, Ryan Braun is quietly having another MVP-caliber season. He's hitting .305/.388/.611 in 2012 and said this to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports:
"I feel better this year,'' Braun said. "As long as I stay relatively healthy, I'll do better this year than last year. Last year was good. But I could do better.''
Elsewhere in strong seasons, Zack Greinke's 15 inning scoreless streak has probably raised his future value a bit. Chris Cwik of FanGraphs says Greinke deserves to get paid like an ace this winter.
Speaking of Greinke, Glenn Dupaul of Beyond the Box Score compared him to Curt Schilling. Both are pitchers with high strikeout and low home run rates, but unusually high opponent BABIPs.
Jonathan Lucroy might be this season's biggest positive surprise offensively. He told Glenn Sattell of MLB.com the team needs to be more consistent.
In the minors:
- Carlos Gomez made his first rehab appearance for Wisconsin last night and went 0-for-3 with a run scored. Adam DeCock of MLB.com has more on his outing.
- The affiliates went 1-1 last night (Huntsville and Nashville were off), and Wisconsin picked up a 5-4 win in ten innings on Nick Ramirez's walkoff hit. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Rattler Radio has video highlights from Wisconsin's win.
- Wisconsin pitcher Andy Moye allowed a single run last night, ending a 17.2 inning scoreless streak. After the game he was promoted to Brevard County.
- He'll replace Jed Bradley in the Manatees' rotation after the 2011 first round pick was placed on the DL with a groin strain.
- Todd Rosiak (linked via Twitter) talked to Gord Ash about Claudio Vargas (signed for AAA depth), Brandon Kintzler (back in AA) and Jeff Bianchi (hitting the cover off the ball in AAA).
- Kintzler, by the way, was activated off the DL and optioned yesterday.
- Bob Brainerd of Time Warner Cable Sports 32 has a profile of Wisconsin pitcher Drew Gagnon.
- Yesterday's saddest news came from Appleton, where the Timber Rattlers are mourning the loss of longtime vendor Brock Calmes, who was just 28 when he passed away following a brief illness. The Appleton Post Crescent has more on Calmes, who you've most certainly heard if you've ever been to a game there.
Congratulations are due out this morning to torts, yesterday's winner in our SB Nation Pick 6 contest. Here's the full leaderboard:
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Today's first game is already underway, but there's still time to make picks for tomorrow.
Blue Jays: Third baseman Brett Lawrie has been suspended for four games for his actions following a strikeout on Tuesday. He plans to appeal.
Cubs: Placed pitcher Lendy Castillo on the DL with a strained left groin.
Mets: Designated pitcher D.J. Carrasco for assignment.
Indians: Released pitcher Robinson Tejeda.
Phillies: Acquired outfielder Kyle Hudson from the Rays for outfielder Rich Thompson and placed pitcher Vance Worley on the DL with elbow inflammation.
Rays: Placed outfielder Brandon Guyer on the DL with a shoulder injury.
Twins: Placed catcher Ryan Doumit on the DL with a calf strain.
Here's an interesting transaction note: When the A's added recent waiver claim Travis Blackley to their roster, it gave them five left-handed pitchers in their bullpen.
Last night's scariest moment came in the Rays game, where infielder Will Rhymes was hit in the arm with a pitch and collapsed near first base. He's expected to be ok.
Another day, another note on awful umpiring. The Red Sox were charged with three balks last night, becoming the first AL team to do so since 1994. The third base umpire in their game was, of course, "Balkin'" Bob Davidson.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks what would have been the 80th birthday of Wisconsin native and 1964 Milwaukee Brave Billy Hoeft. Today is also Appleton Baseball Hall of Famer Carlos May's 64th birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his 45 career HBP are the third most ever for a player born on May 17.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to hire an agent.