LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 29: Ryan Braun (L) #8 and Aramis Ramirez #16 of the Milwaukee Brewers celebrate their teams 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 29, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Some things to read while getting your hand swatted.
I won't speak for everyone, but last night's win was a long overdue breath of fresh air for me. The Brewers edged out a 2-1 win over the Dodgers behind Ryan Braun's home run and seven solid innings from Michael Fiers and we've got the recap here, if you missed it.
Fiers was the big story last night, allowing a run on five hits over seven innings while striking out three and walking none. As you might expect, we've got lots more on him:
- Both Ron Roenicke and Dodger manager Don Mattingly compared Fiers' deceptive delivery to Diamondbacks pitcher Josh Collmenter.
- Fiers is the only Brewer pitcher to complete a seven+ inning outing in under 90 pitches this season.
- Fiers is the first Brewer to win his first major league start since Yovani Gallardo in 2007, and the first to do it on the road since Nick Nuegebauer in 2001.
- Carlos Gomez has a picture of Fiers once the guys in the clubhouse were done with him last night, and John Axford has a list of things he's wearing in said picture.
- Fiers and catcher Martin Maldonado are the first Brewer battery ever to make their first MLB starts in the same game.
@Mass_Haas speculated that yesterday might have been the most lucrative day of Fiers' career.
Ryan Braun drew one of the louder negative reactions he's seen all season last night, as Dodger fans that used to cheer Manny Ramirez voiced their displeasure over his alleged positive test from last season. Braun told Adam McCalvy he's not fazed by it.
Other notes from the field:
- The Brewers are the first team in baseball to beat the Dodgers four times this season. All five of their games against the Dodgers this season have been decided by one run.
- Aramis Ramirez snapped a six game hitting streak last night, so the longest active Brewer streak now belongs to Norichika Aoki at five.
- Martin Maldonado's single in his first at bat was his first major league hit.
- Last night's lineup was the Brewers' 13th different alignment in as many days.
- We've got video highlights of last night's turning points and a transcript of Ron Roenicke's postgame comments.
- Last night's game was played in two hours and 30 minutes, tying it for the fastest Brewer game this season.
- 51,137 fans paid to see last night's game, the largest crowd to witness a Brewer game in 2012.
The Brewers are now one win away from turning a rough series in Arizona into a winning west coast road trip. They'll get their first shot at it tonight when they face the Dodgers again at 9:10, and Tyler Emerick has the MLB.com preview. Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs gave tonight's Yovani Gallardo/Clayton Kershaw matchup a 5 out of 10 on his NERD scale.
The Brewers had to clear a spot on the roster for Fiers before last night's game and did so by returning Mike McClendon to Nashville (FanShot). McClendon's only outing in his second stint with the team this season was his 2.2 scoreless innings in relief of Zack Greinke on Saturday.
Martin Maldonado had a good first game last night (and his presence behind the plate likely also helped Fiers, a former AAA teammate), but that doesn't change the fact that people are still talking about how this Brewer team will miss Jonathan Lucroy while he rehabs his broken hand. Howie Magner of Milwaukee Magazine says Lucroy's injury "defies belief," which makes it a perfect fit for the 2012 Brewers. Jeremy Blackman of NotGraphs compared Lucroy's injury to other, fictional, suitcase-related baseball injuries.
Watching the 2012 Brewers unravel a bit has been disconcerting for Brewer fans, but it's also raised an alarm elsewhere: Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times notes that the Mariners' decision to follow the Brewer model of rebuilding doesn't look as good as it used to. In a related note, Nicholas Zettel of Disciples of Uecker has a look at the decision to dismantle or not dismantle an expected winning team.
In the minors:
- The Brewers made an interesting roster move yesterday, promoting 19-year-old 2011 fifth round pick Michael Reed from extended spring training up to Huntsville. Reed hit .232/.295/.375 in 14 Arizona League games last season. Mass Haas has more on the move at Brewerfan.net.
- Elsewhere in roster moves, former major league catcher Jason Jaramillo has been promoted to Nashville to fill Martin Maldonado's spot.
- The affiliates went 2-3 last night and both wins came from Brevard County, who swept a doubleheader behind solid pitching performances from Jimmy Nelson and Brandon Williamson. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Huntsville infielder Scooter Gennett extended his latest hitting streak to 12 games last night.
- Also at Huntsville, first baseman Hunter Morris leads the Southern League with 20 doubles this season and is on pace to break the league record.
- Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem has an interview with Brewer minor league pitching coordinator Lee Tunnell.
- Manny the Manatee was the only Brewer-affiliated mascot to advance to the second round in MiLB.com's Mascot Madness.
If frequently complain (and intend to continue complaining) when Brewer games go untelevised, because it seems like a waste to keep games off the air when an established market of people will watch them. With that said, it's worth noting that baseball has come a long way in this regard: In 1991 the Brewers were one of four teams with no cable agreement whatsoever, and the only way you could see the games was over-the-air via WCGV.
If you'd like more Brewer coverage today but you're sick of reading, my appearance last night on The Watercooler with Jimmie Kaska on Sports Radio 1400 in Eau Claire has been archived.
Or, if you'd prefer to talk Brewers in person, you could make plans to attend Miller Park Drunk's Pants Party 2 on July 15. My face was even photoshopped onto a picture to help promote it. I'll be stopping by to collect my royalties.
If you haven't yet, please take a moment today to vote in our BCB Tracking Poll. It will remain open through the day today and results will be posted tomorrow.
Finally, congratulations are due out this morning to coolig, yesterday's winner in our SB Nation Pick 6 contest. Here's the full leaderboard:
|3||Infield Fly Rule||73.6|
|6||Cecil Cooper's Love Child||66.4|
I finished 60th out of 60 yesterday, which makes sense because I spent the minimum $3 on my team. Today's first game starts at 11:05, so by the time you read this it'll probably already be too late to make your picks for today.
Angels: Placed pitcher Jered Weaver on the DL with back spasms.
Indians: Placed DH Travis Hafner on the DL with a knee injury.
Padres: Signed pitcher Jason Marquis to a minor league deal.
Phillies: Placed pitcher Roy Halladay on the DL with a shoulder strain.
Rangers: Signed pitcher Roy Oswalt.
Twins: Returned outfielder Erik Komatsu, a rule 5 pick, to the Nationals.
Yankees: Claimed reliever Ryota Igarashi off waivers from the Blue Jays.
A 3-2 road trip to this point has allowed the Brewers to gain a couple of games in the standings on the Astros, who have lost four straight. A win and an Astro loss tonight would tie the Brewers for fourth place in the division. You know this and more if you've read this morning's edition of Around the NL Central.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to cover up this bite mark.