LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 28: Closer John Axford #59 and Norichika Aoki #7 of the Milwaukee Brewers celebrate after Axford picked up the save against the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 28, 2012 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. The Brewers won 3-2. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Some things to read while reassessing your argument.
The Brewers opened a four game set in Los Angeles with a win last night behind a strong performance from Shaun Marcum, who threw a career-high 119 pitches and tied a Brewer career-high with nine strikeouts while allowing just one run on six hits over seven innings. The Brewers won the game 3-2 and -JP- has the recap, if you missed it.
Unfortunately, the win was not yesterday's big news. Jonathan Lucroy has become the latest Brewer added to the injury report, as he'll be out 4-6 weeks after suffering a "boxer's fracture" of his right hand when his wife dropped a suitcase on him in their hotel room before Monday's game (FanShot). Jon Heyman, like many of you, appears to be wondering how one gets a "boxer's fracture" from a falling suitcase. Adam McCalvy is suggesting drastic measures.
At any rate, Lucroy becomes the eighth Brewer to go on the disabled list since April 20, and Martin Maldonado will be called up to take his place. Since George Kottaras is nursing a sore hamstring, Maldonado will likely catch most days for now. He had a breakout year offensively in 2011 but was hitting .198/.270/.347 in 35 games for Nashville this season. He'll likely make his first major league start tonight.
Other notes from the field:
- John Axford recorded his eighth save last night and his first without a mustache since 2009.
- Axford hit 100 on the radar gun for the first time last night, but Adam McCalvy said it was a hot gun.
- Aramis Ramirez, playing in his first game since missing most of the weekend with an HBP-related elbow injury, was hit by a pitch again last night. Plunk Everyone has more.
- It's worth noting that Ramirez was hit ten times last year, so his HBP pace is roughly even with what you'd expect.
- We've got last night's turning points and a transcript of Ron Roenicke's postgame comments.
The two teams continue the series at 9:10 tonight and it should be interesting, as Michael Fiers is expected to make his first major league start and will face Dodgers top prospect Nathan Eovaldi, who was recalled from AA when Ted Lilly went on the DL with shoulder inflammation. AJ Cassavell of MLB.com has the preview. The Brewers, by the way, still need to make a roster move to activate Fiers.
The Brewers are likely to see Matt Kemp back in the lineup tonight. Kemp has been on the DL with a strained hamstring but homered in a rehab game last night and is expected to rejoin the Dodgers today.
The Brewers did get some good injury news yesterday: After missing this weekend's series due to elbow inflammation Kameron Loe was available to pitch last night.
Cody Ransom went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts at the plate last night but made a couple of nice defensive plays as the Brewers closed out the game in the ninth. Jon Weisman of Dodger Thoughts notes that Ransom has a history of big moments against the Dodgers.
Ryan Braun went 0-for-2 but drew a couple of walks yesterday to drop his season slash line to .309/.388/.600. Mike Petriello of Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness notes that Braun's OPS has not changed significantly from 2011 (when it was .994).
In the minors:
- The affiliates went 2-1 last night, with Matt Miller allowing just one unearned run on two hits over six innings in Wisconsin's 3-1 win over Peoria. You can read about that and big nights for Lee Haydel, Caleb Gindl and Josh Stinson in today's Minor League Notes.
- Keith Law, when asked about both pitchers yesterday, said Taylor Jungmann is more likely to be an impact major leaguer and Jed Bradley has gone backwards since being drafted.
- Brooks Conrad, who has since been recalled by the Brewers, was named Pacific Coast League Batter of the Week.
- Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem has an interview with Sounds manager Mike Guerrero.
- Wisconsin shortstop Yadiel Rivera is Disciples of Uecker's Prospect of the Week.
The Brewers had to make a difficult transition this winter following the premature passing of longtime Miller Park groundskeeper Gary Vanden Berg, who died of cancer in October. Lori Nickel of the JS (behind the paywall) has a great story on new director of grounds Justin Scott, his background and some of the challenges he faces keeping the grass green and healthy under the Miller Park roof.
Even if the Brewers don't sell another ticket, over two million fans will pay to see that green grass in 2012. Buster Olney of ESPN says Milwaukee deserves consideration for baseball's best fan base for continuing to show up and support the team.
If you'd like more Brewer coverage today but you're sick of reading, I've got a couple of options for you:
- I'll be making my weekly appearance on The Watercooler with Jimmie Kaska on Sports Radio 1400 WBIZ in Eau Claire at 5:15 today.
- From there, I'll move directly over to The Sports Den with "Downtown" Ollie Burrows on SportsFan 100.5 in Wausau at 5:30.
After that, I'll probably take a nap before tonight's game.
In power rankings:
- ESPN has the Brewers at 25th, up one spot.
- Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune has the Brewers holding steady at 25.
Finally, congratulations are due out this morning to Misterinformative, yesterday's winner in our SB Nation Pick 6 contest. Here's the full leaderboard:
|4||Badger Boy in Vail||44.7|
Indians: Placed third baseman Jack Hannahan on the DL with a calf strain and designated pitcher Jairo Asencio for assignment.
Mets: Placed infielder Justin Turner on the DL with an ankle sprain and designated pitcher Manny Acosta for assignment.
Nationals: Placed infielder Chad Tracy on the DL with a strained groin.
Orioles: Placed reliever Stu Pomeranz on the DL with an oblique strain.
Padres: Claimed pitcher Neil Wagner off waivers from the Athletics.
Pirates: Placed pitcher Juan Cruz on the restricted list.
The division race got a little tighter yesterday, as the Reds lost (to the Pirates, who have drawn within three games) and the Cardinals won to narrow the gap between the two teams to half a game. You know this and more if you've read this morning's edition of Around the NL Central.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks Jerry Hairston Jr.'s 36th birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his 82 career HBP are the most ever for a player born on May 29. Today is also the 18th anniversary of the 1994 ceremony where the Brewers retired Robin Yount's number.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I still have no idea how to iron this.