Some things to read while looking out for #1.
The ugly losses just keep coming, as the Brewer bullpen gave up a late opportunity for the third straight day and allowed Kansas City to complete a three game sweep with a 4-3 walkoff win. morineko has the recap, if you missed it.
John Axford is trapped in the negative spotlight for the second straight day today, as he struck out two but allowed a walk and a hit in his second blown save in as many days. There's a fair amount of concern out there about Axford, but Howie Magner has a reminder that he's still converted over 90% of his save opportunities as a major leaguer.
Now that the Brewers have dropped from four to seven games under .500, are you ready to start selling? PocketDoppler.com has a look at the perils of giving up.
Nicholas Zettel of Disciples of Uecker has a look this morning at a clear difference between this Brewer team and last year's: The 2011 Brewers went 40-21 in games where they scored between three and five runs, while the 2012 Crew is now 6-18 in those games.
With that said, the Brewers did hit a pair of home runs yesterday. Aramis Ramirez rounded the bases in 25.71 seconds following his solo shot, and Ryan Braun trotted around in 22.08 following his. Braun now has hits in nine straight games and 19 interleague contests.
Other notes from the field:
- Ramirez's homer was his first in June.
- Braun's homer landed in a duffel bag in the Royals' bullpen.
- Braun was the DH last night and his homer was his only hit in four tries.
- Francisco Rodriguez recorded a single out to close out the eighth last night and, as has become tradition, Howie Magner wrote a haiku about it. I tried one too.
- Ned Yost was ejected from last night's game for the 27th time in his career.
- Classic rock star Alice Cooper threw out the first pitch.
Carson Cistulli of NotGraphs captured some audio of Bob Uecker talking about Kauffman Stadium.
The Brewers continue this accursed interleague road trip when they open a series in Minnesota tonight at 7:10. Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs gave Yovani Gallardo and Francisco Liriano a 3 out of 10 on his NERD scale.
Last night's getaway night game in Kansas City means today is the Brewers' fifth worst travel day of the 2012 season. They've already played numbers 1, 3 and 4 on that list and went 0-3 in those games. At least Carlos Gomez had plenty of room to stretch out on the airplane.
Given the largely negative receptions Ryan Braun has received around baseball this season, I'm wondering how fans would react to this: David Schoenfield of ESPN has Braun on his projected US roster for the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
Last night's edition of Brewers Live featured a nice story on Rickie Weeks and Nyjer Morgan's visit to the Negro League Baseball Museum. Bob Nightengale tweeted that Nyjer Morgan was still speechless hours later after meeting Lou Brock.
In the minors:
- The Brewers announced yesterday that they've reached an agreement to extend their player development contract through 2014 with Helena of the Pioneer League. The H-Brewers have been a Brewer affiliate for most of the last two decades.
- Congratulations are due out this morning to Wisconsin catcher Rafael Neda, who has been added to the Midwest League's all star game as an injury replacement. He'll be the eighth Timber Rattler on the roster.
- The Brewers are also expected to send at least one player to the MLB Futures Game played on All Star weekend.
- On the field the affiliates went 3-2 last night with outfielder Reggie Keen collecting five hits as Brevard County won the conclusion of a simulated game and the day's scheduled game over Daytona. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Drew Gagnon pitched five scoreless innings for Wisconsin last night and has now allowed just one run over his last 19.1 innings, walking four and striking out 15.
- Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem has an interview with Sounds reliever Victor Garate.
One more draft pick is in the fold, as eleventh round pick Preston Gainey has decided to leave the Naval Academy to pitch professionally. The Brewers are still expected to announce several more draft pick signings today. The highest pick with uncertain status is third round pitcher Zach Quintana, who said over a week ago he plans on signing as soon as possible.
In power rankings: Tim Brown of Yahoo has the Brewers 22nd, up two spots.
If you'd like more Brewer coverage today but you're sick of reading, my weekly appearance on The Home Stretch with Justin Hull on AM 1570 The Score in Appleton has been archived. It's divided into two parts, which I've dubbed Part 1 and Part 2.
Finally, congratulations are due out this morning to Hendrik, yesterday's winner in our SB Nation Pick 6 contest. Here's the full leaderboard:
|5||Cecil Cooper's Love Child||61.6|
Orioles: Placed outfielder Endy Chavez on the DL with a hamstring strain.
Rangers: Placed pitcher Koji Uehara on the DL with a lat strain.
Rays: Placed DH Luke Scott on the DL with a back injury.
Twins: Placed pitcher P.J. Walters on the DL with shoulder inflammation.
The Brewers are having a really bad week, but you could make a solid argument that the Pirates are having a worse one: They lost their third consecutive game last night and lost pitcher Charlie Morton for the season following Tommy John surgery. You know that and more if you've read this morning's edition of Around the NL Central.
When the Brewers get to Target Field today they may be asked to help form a search party. Jim Thome hit career home run #607 there last night, potentially his last as a big leaguer, and no one can find it.
In former Brewers: Jason Kendall is the all-time major league leader with 22 HBP in interleague play.
Today's best infographic comes (as usual) from Flip Flop Fly Ball, who has a look at various teams' average heights. The Brewers are right around average, but only because Kameron Loe and Corey Hart are quite tall.
Meanwhile, today's most fascinating video comes from Big League Stew and features a man with an aquatic jetpack outside AT&T Park in San Francisco during Matt Cain's perfect game. I need one of those.
Also from that game: Giants first baseman Aubrey Huff fell while trying to jump the dugout rail to be part of the celebration, bruised his knee and may have to go back on the DL.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the 35th anniversary of the trade that brought pitcher Mike Caldwell to Milwaukee. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times also notes these milestones:
- It's been 2000 days since the Brewers signed Jeff Suppan.
- It's been 47 years since the Milwaukee Braves traded pitcher Lew Burdette.
- It's been 51 years since they traded shortstop Johnny Logan.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I DVR'd this episode.