May 20, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy (20) gets the cream pie treatment from pitcher Shaun Marcum (18) (not pictured) after the game against the Minnesota Twins at Miller Park. The Brewers beat the Twins 16-4. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE
Some things to read while acting surprised.
The Brewers salvaged the third game of an ugly weekend series with the Twins yesterday and did so in unlikely fashion, scoring 16 runs (their first double digit performance of 2012) despite sending out a starting infield of Travis Ishikawa, Edwin Maysonet, Cesar Izturis and Taylor Green. Noah has the recap, if you missed it.
Seven of those 16 runs came off the bat of Jonathan Lucroy, who hit his first career grand slam, posted his first career multi-homer game and tied the franchise record by driving in seven runs yesterday. Yesterday was also his first time batting cleanup, and he's now hit in six different positions in the lineup this season. Over the weekend Lucroy won Brewer of the Week, and now it looks like he has a strong chance of repeating.
Yesterday's game took an odd turn in the ninth inning when Tim Dillard was ejected for throwing behind Twins infielder Jamey Carroll with a 14 run lead. Dillard's ejection capped off a game where Brewers were hit by pitches three times. Two of those plunkings belonged to Taylor Green, who collected career HBPs #1 and 2 in the game. Plunk Everyone has a look at the other major leaguers who have accomplished that feat.
Elsewhere in odd pitching, Twins catcher Drew Butera recorded the final three outs yesterday and hit 94 on the gun.
Other notes from the field:
- Zack Greinke pitched 6.2 innings yesterday and allowed a run on five hits and two walks, ending his scoreless streak at 15 innings and his walkless streak at 23.
- Greinke also had two hits and scored twice yesterday. He's only the 12th Brewer pitcher ever to do that.
- Carlos Gomez rejoined the team yesterday and went 1-for-2 after coming in as a defensive replacement. Brooks Conrad was optioned back to Nashville to make room for him.
- The Brewers played their first 40 games in 2012 without scoring double-digit runs. That's the second longest season-opening streak in franchise history, behind only the 1998 Brewers' 51-gamer.
- Jonathan Lucroy was the first Brewer catcher to bat cleanup since David Nilsson in 1999.
- Noah has a look at yesterday's turning points.
- Jordan Schelling has a photo of the police baseball cards that were given out yesterday. This year they pop up.
- Hit Tracker Online says Corey Hart's home run yesterday traveled 449 feet, the longest by a Brewer this season. Ryan Braun's home run Friday traveled 436 feet, which at the time was the longest by a Brewer in May and the fifth longest this season.
- Braun, by the way, rounded the bases in 22.34 seconds Friday. Aramis Ramirez trotted in 22.16 seconds on Saturday.
- Carson Cistulli of NotGraphs captured some audio from Saturday about Bob Uecker getting stung by a bee.
- The Hot Dog won Friday and Sunday, while the Polish Sausage captured Saturday's sausage race.
The Brewers will play the eleventh of 13 games in as many days tonight as they welcome the Giants to Miller Park at 7:10. Tyler Emerick has the MLB.com preview. Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs gave tonight's Randy Wolf/Madison Bumgarner matchup a 3 out of 10 on his NERD scale.
Jonathan Lucroy is red hot right now and the Brewers are facing a left-handed pitcher tonight, but Ron Roenicke told reporters he's still planning on starting George Kottaras at catcher with Randy Wolf on the mound.
Corey Hart played a few innings at first base again yesterday, and there's still a conversation about moving him there more often this season. Ron Roenicke told Adam McCalvy, though, that if Hart moves he won't be bouncing back and forth to the outfield.
Speaking of Hart, his comments to McCalvy over the weekend speak volumes about the mood of the Brewer clubhouse before yesterday's win:
"I know we played bad last year early on, but I don't remember it ever being like this," Hart said. "It's a struggle. When you think you hit rock bottom, there's worse."
Ron Roenicke said the team could use some more energy from Nyjer Morgan.
Rickie Weeks' season-long struggles continued over the weekend: He was bumped down to the sixth spot in the lineup for Friday and Saturday and sat out altogether yesterday.
Shaun Marcum is apparently still feeling some pain from a cramp that nearly held him out of Thursday's start, but is still expected to pitch this week.
Saturday's game featured the Brewer debut of relief pitcher Juan Perez, called up from Nashville when Vinnie Chulk was designated for assignment following Friday's game (FanShot). Chulk had pitched in three straight games before being sent out and posted a 10.00 ERA over nine innings as a Brewer. Perez, meanwhile, allowed five baserunners while recording two outs in his first Brewer appearances this weekend.
For as long as the Brewers remain below .500 and behind the Astros and Pirates in the NL Central, we're probably going to have to accept that they could be sellers before the trade deadline. Ken Rosenthal (via Blaine Blontz of Call to the Pen) listed the Blue Jays as potential suitors for Zack Greinke.
Greinke, by the way, has dramatically lowered his opponents' slugging percentage against both lefties and righties this season.
Elsewhere in transaction rumormongering: Jon Heyman listed the Brewers as the fourth most likely team to sign Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton this winter. It still seems pretty unlikely to me, though.
The Brewers are breaking in a new MLB.com associate reporter this week: Give Jeremy Warnemuende (@jswarno) a follow on Twitter if you haven't already. (h/t @joe_block)
In the minors:
- The affiliates went 2-2 yesterday and Seth McClung pitched seven scoreless innings in Nashville's 2-1 win over Tucson. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Rattler Radio has video highlights from Wisconsin's 7-6 walkoff win over Kane County.
- By the time you read this I'll already be at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium for today's Wisconsin game, collecting stories for the Timber Rattlers Notebook. Check back for it later today.
- If I was in Huntsville I'd probably be doing a story on this: Shortstop/outfielder Josh Prince's teammates made a tape outline of the spot where he crashed into the wall Friday night.
- Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem has interviews with Sounds hitting coach Al LeBoeuf and infielder Andy Gonzalez.
- Wisconsin first baseman Nick Ramirez wrote a blog for We The Prospects about his first few games back after having his hamate bone removed this spring.
The first two games of this weekend's series would have been a pretty good time for a drink at the ballpark. John Steinmiller and Caitlin Moyer have a review of Miller Park's Bloody Marys.
If you'd like more Brewer coverage today but you're sick of reading, my Friday appearance on The Home Stretch with Justin Hull has been archived. I'll also be appearing on The Sports Den with Downtown Ollie Burrows at 5:10 today on ESPN Radio 100.5 in Wausau.
Finally, congratulations are due out this morning to Mike2K33, yesterday's winner in our SB Nation Pick 6 contest. Here's the full leaderboard:
As of this posting you still have a little more than seven hours to make your picks for today.
Angels: Placed outfielders Vernon Wells (thumb) and Ryan Langerhans (separated shoulder) on the DL.
Astros: Sold pitcher Henry Sosa's contract to Korea's Kia Tigers.
Athletics: Placed pitcher Brandon McCarthy on the DL with a sore shoulder.
Cardinals: First baseman/outfielder Lance Berkman is believed to have a torn ACL and expected to be out for the season. The team also placed outfielder Allen Craig (hamstring) and pitcher Kyle McClellan (elbow strain) on the DL.
Cubs: Acquired catcher Koyie Hill from the Reds for cash and placed catcher Geovany Soto on the DL following knee surgery.
Dodgers: Second baseman Mark Ellis will be out for about six weeks following leg surgery.
Giants: Signed pitcher Brad Penny to a minor league deal.
Marlins: Placed second baseman/outfielder Emilio Bonifacio on the DL with a sprained thumb.
Mets: Placed pitcher Miguel Batista on the DL with a lower back strain.
Pirates: Acquired infielder Drew Sutton from the Braves for cash.
Royals: Placed pitcher Everett Teaford on the DL with an abdominal strain.
White Sox: Are expected to place third baseman Brent Morel on the DL with a lower back injury and sign infielder Orlando Hudson.
On top of losing Berkman, Craig and McClellan, the Cardinals also got swept by the Dodgers this weekend and their division lead is down to half a game. You know that and more if you've read this morning's edition of Around the NL Central.
Today in former Brewers: Vinny Rottino is expected to rejoin the Mets today.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the third anniversary of the trade that sent Tony Gwynn Jr. to the Padres for Jody Gerut. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also been 2000 days since Craig Counsell returned to the Brewers as a free agent.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm falling behind.