June 12, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar (2) can't make the stop at second base and Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun (8) reaches in the seventh inning at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE
Some things to read while still chasing your dreams.
The Brewers opened an interleague road trip with a disappointing loss last night, coming from behind to tie the game at 1 in the seventh but losing 2-1 when Francisco Rodriguez gave up a run in the eighth. We've got the recap here, if you missed it. In hindsight, Howie Magner's haiku about K-Rod seems much more ominous.
Both before and after last night's game all eyes were on Zack Greinke, pitching in Kansas City for the first time since being traded to the Brewers before the 2011 season. Vinnie Duber of MLB.com has a story on Greinke's return. Greinke said he was "rude" during his final months with the Royals, but felt he had to be to get out of a bad situation. Jeff Passan of Yahoo has a pretty fair assessment of the story. Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star has a full transcript from his postgame conversation with reporters.
Norichika Aoki was hit by a pitch yesterday, and Plunk Everyone notes it was the fourth consecutive game where at least one Brewer has been hit. It's only the 22nd time in franchise history the team has matched that streak. The franchise record is seven straight games, set in July of 2001.
Other notes from the field:
- The Brewers were held hitless for six innings yesterday, but left runners on third to end the eighth and ninth while trailing by one run.
- Taylor Green was the Brewers' first DH of the 2012 season and went 0-for-4.
- Ryan Braun's seventh inning single gave him hits in 17 straight interleague games, the longest streak in franchise history. He also has a hit in seven straight games overall.
- Braun also hit an infield pop up last night for the first time all year.
- We've got a transcript of Ron Roenicke's postgame comments and video highlights from the game's turning points.
- A portion of last night's game was played without PA announcements or music when the Kauffman Stadium sound system went down.
The Royals tweaked their rotation a bit following last night's game, replacing Wednesday's scheduled starter Luke Hochevar with Jonathan Sanchez, who will be activated off the DL. Mark Emery of MLB.com has the preview. Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs gave today's game a 3 out of 10 on his NERD scale when he thought it was still going to be Wolf vs Hochevar, but ha since lowered it to 1. Hochevar will pitch tomorrow.
Marco Estrada pitched a simulated game as expected yesterday, and is still on pace to rejoin the rotation before the end of the month. His next step is a rehab start with Nashville on Sunday, where he's expected to throw around 60 pitches.
The All Star voting totals were updated yesterday, and Ryan Braun remains third among NL outfielders with 1.55 million votes. He's slightly less than 200,000 votes ahead of Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera. If the vote holds Braun would be the Brewers' only starter.
With Clint Coulter and Victor Roache having signed last week and Mitch Haniger expected to sign tomorrow, the Brewers' top draft pick without an agreement is second round outfielder Tyrone Taylor. Joseph Snyder of South Bay Sports Examiner has a profile of the California high schooler.
Congratulations are due out once again this morning to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, who beat Clinton 3-1 in ten innings yesterday to clinch the Midwest League Western Division for the first half. The T-Rats will be making their first playoff appearance since 2005 and their first as a Brewer affiliate this September.
Elsewhere in the minors:
- Wisconsin had the organization's only win yesterday, as the affiliates went 1-2. Shea Vucinich, Mike Walker and Michael Reed combined for seven hits but it wasn't enough as Brevard County fell 8-3 to Daytona. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Pitcher Jimmy Nelson, who had posted a 2.21 ERA over 13 starts for Brevard County this season, has been promoted to Huntsville (FanShot).
- Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem has an interview with Sounds outfielder Jay Gibbons.
Mitch Stetter has a great picture of a poorly drawn left field line. He's since noted that the picture wasn't taken in Huntsville.
Over 43,000 fans paid to attend Sunday's game and receive a Nyjer Morgan bobblehead. If you weren't one of them, Robert J. Baumann of NotGraphs has a look at what you missed.
This morning we'd like to congratulate Lewthelegend, yesterday's winner in our SB Nation Pick 6 contest. Here's the full leaderboard:
|2||Badger Boy in Vail||58.2|
|4||Some Guy Named Gabbo||56.5|
Today's first game starts at 11:37, so you're running out of time to make your picks for today. And while you're at it, get your Prognostikeggers entry in too. Daily winners in both games receive entries into the Brew Crew Ball Sweepstakes.
Blue Jays: Placed pitcher Brandon Morrow on the DL with an oblique injury and released outfielder/DH Vladimir Guerrero.
Cubs: Fired hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo and named James Rowson as his interim replacement.
Indians: Acquired pitcher Esmil Rogers from the Rockies for cash and designated catcher Luke Carlin for assignment.
Rangers: Placed pitcher Alexi Ogando on the DL with a groin injury.
Red Sox: Released outfielder Marlon Byrd.
Rockies: Signed catcher Omir Santos.
Tigers: Placed reliever Octavio Dotel on the DL with right shoulder inflammation.
Interleague play was not kind to the division yesterday, as six teams combined to go 2-4 with the lone wins coming from the first place Reds and the last place Cubs. You know this and more if you've read this morning's edition of Around the NL Central.
Until yesterday's rotation-shuffling it looked like it was possible the Brewers would face former farmhand Jake Odorizzi in his major league debut tomorrow. That won't happen now, but Baseball America notes that Odorizzi is close to read for his first game in the big leagues.
Today's weirdest story might be this one: The Phillie Phanatic is apparently being sued for reportedly picking up a woman in a lounge chair at a wedding and throwing both the woman and the chair into the shallow end of a swimming pool. The woman is claiming she suffered "severe and permanent injuries to her head, neck, back, body, arms and legs, bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and tissues."
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History remembers an 8-5 win for the Milwaukee Braves that moved them into first place in 1957 and featured a brawl between Braves shortstop Johnny Logan and Dodgers pitcher Don Drysdale. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also the anniversary of these games:
- Braves outfielder Danny O'Connell tripling three times in 1956.
- Ben Sheets striking out the side on nine pitches against the Astros in 2004.
Today is also Jonathan Lucroy's 26th birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his six career HBP are the fifth most ever for a player born on June 13.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to record my album.