Monday's Frosty Mug

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 24: Norichika Aoki #7 of the Milwaukee Brewers reacts with third base coach Ed Sedar #6 after being tagged out at thrid base trying to stretch a hit against the Chicago White Sox during an interleague game at U.S. Cellular Field on June 24, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Some things to read while looking for grapes.

The Brewers wrapped up a weird weekend with their second 1-0 extra inning game in three days yesterday, this time losing on a tenth inning walkoff single. -JP- has the recap, if you missed it.

Manny Parra allowed a single run in the tenth yesterday to decide the game, and the Brewer bullpen has now picked up the loss in each of their last seven defeats. Nick Prill of The Brewers Bar says the bullpen isn't really this bad.

The Brewers wasted a great performance from Michael Fiers yesterday, as he pitched 7.1 scoreless innings with a walk and seven strikeouts. Fiers may head back to Nashville when Marco Estrada comes off the DL tomorrow, but Keith Law says he can be "a decent number 4/5" in the big leagues.

Yesterday's game turned in the ninth inning when, with two outs, Nyjer Morgan made what he called an "aggressive mistake" and got thrown out between second and third with George Kottaras at the plate. Here's what Ron Roenicke told Tom Haudricourt (linked via Twitter) after the game:

"I don't know if it's focus but whatever it is, we need to do a better job," said Roenicke. "We didn't make all these mistakes last year. We played the way you're supposed to play. Moved guys around, got guys in scoring position and somebody came up with a big hit, come out of the bullpen and throw strikes, put up a zero. We did all those things.

"Guys are capable of doing it. We're going to play close games; that's all there is to it. With our pitching staff, we're going to play close games."

Ryan Braun went 1-for-4 yesterday to extend his hitting streak to 18 games (now tied for the 12th longest in franchise history) and his interleague streak to 28 games, the third longest in MLB history. Alex Poterack of Disciples of Uecker has a look at the possibility that Braun could win back-to-back NL MVPs. Braun is also our Brewer of the Week for the third time in 2012.

Looking back a day, Saturday night's loss featured career HBP #100 for Rickie Weeks, making him the first Brewer ever to reach that mark. Noah has more in Stat of the Night and, as you might imagine, Plunk Everyone has wall-to-wall coverage.

Other notes from the field:

The Brewers are off to Cincinnati where they'll open a three game set with the Reds tonight. Yovani Gallardo will take the mound against Mat Latos, and Andrew Simon has the MLB.com preview. The Brewers will get to see Reds outfielder Drew Stubbs tonight. He's expected to rejoin the team today after missing most of June with an oblique strain.

The Brewers made a bunch of roster moves over the weekend, starting with their decision to sign Livan Hernandez on Friday. Hernandez was released by the Braves a couple of weeks ago after posting a 4.94 ERA in 18 relief outings. He has yet to make his Brewer debut, but when he does he'll be appearing in a game for his ninth team.

Hernandez, by the way, is wearing #61. Brandon Kintzler was the last Brewer to wear that number, but he's currently carrying a 6.08 ERA in 13.1 innings for Huntsville.

On Friday the organization also activated Cesar Izturis off the DL, and as many of us feared they would they shoved him right back into the starting lineup. He picked right up where he left off, going 0-for-6 over the weekend to drop to .202/.227/.245 this season.

To make room for Hernandez and Izturis the Brewers designated Juan Perez for assignment and designated Edwin Maysonet for assignment from the 25 man roster (FanShot). Both players cleared waivers and Perez was removed from the 40-man roster and remains in the organization while Maysonet has been removed from the 25 man roster but remains on the 40-man.

Finally, on Saturday the Brewers activated Travis Ishikawa off the DL and put Shaun Marcum on it with continued tightness in his elbow (FanShot). The team is still saying Marcum's injury is not serious but they're taking every precaution.

Elsewhere in injury news: Rowan Kavner of MLB.com reports that Jonathan Lucroy has started catching bullpen sessions again, a key step toward his eventual return around the All Star break.

Zack Greinke's value had to go up this weekend after he pitched nine scoreless innings on Friday night. Ken Rosenthal says it's still too early to know if Greinke will be dealt, but the team feels they're "obligated to listen to offers." Jeff Passan of Yahoo has Greinke as one of ten players that could move this trade season.

Greinke, by the way, didn't pitch in the tenth inning Friday despite throwing just 100 pitches while recording the game's first 27 outs. Brian Mikolajek reports that no Brewer starting pitcher has gone into extra innings since Cal Eldred did it in 1993.

Rickie Weeks had three hits and was ht by a pitch in the White Sox series, but Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports tweeted this about him:

Weeks has a .356 OBP in June but is still slugging just .315.

Doug Melvin may not have seen Weeks' at bats this weekend, as he was busy being inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

In the minors:

Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times has his annual look today at the "convenience fees" and related nonsense teams tack onto ticket prices when selling online. The cheapest seat in Miller Park carries $4.25 in fees, which ranks 23rd in baseball.

Congratulations are due out this morning to Ashcampbell, yesterday's winner in our SB Nation Pick 6 contest. Here's the full leaderboard:

Rank Player Points
1 Ashcampbell 56.7
2 AcesHigh 52.2
3 torts 52.1
4 Mike2k33 51.2
5 Morbidly-Obese, Right-Handed Jamie Moyer 47.1
6 Jahiegel 46.3
7 MisterInformative 45.0
8 Foul Tip 43.7
9 drugstorecowboy6 41.8
10 5toolz 40.8

Tonight's action doesn't start until 6:05, so there's still plenty of time to make your picks for today. And, of course, there's also a fresh set of Prognostikeggers.

Around baseball:

Athletics: Placed pitchers Brandon McCarthy (shoulder) and Bartolo Colon (oblique) and outfielder Collin Cowgill (ankle) on the DL and designated pitcher Danny Farquhar for assignment.
Diamondbacks: Signed reliever David Hernandez to a two year contract extension, avoiding arbitration and placed pitcher Joe Saunders on the DL with a shoulder strain.
Mets: Designated utilityman Vinny Rottino for assignment and placed closer Frank Francisco on the DL with an oblique strain.
Orioles: Released pitcher Jamie Moyer.
Padres: Placed pitcher Anthony Bass on the DL with shoulder inflammation.
Pirates: Claimed infielder Drew Sutton off waivers from the Rays.
Rangers: Designated pitcher Mark Hamburger for assignment and placed first baseman Mitch Moreland on the DL with a hamstring strain.
Rays: Placed outfielder Matt Joyce on the DL with back problems.
Red Sox: Designated outfielder Oscar Tejada for assignment and placed pitcher Clay Buchholz on the DL with intestinal bleeding.
Royals: Designated pitcher Roman Colon for assignment.
White Sox: Acquired third baseman Kevin Youkilis and cash from the Red Sox for pitcher Zach Stewart and infielder Brent Lillibridge, placed pitcher Phil Humber on the DL with an elbow strain and designated outfielder Kosuke Fukudome for assignment.

For the first time in years it looks like we might see progress on baseball's ridiculous blackout policies. Jeff Passan of Yahoo has a story on a lawsuit regarding the rules that baseball appears to be taking seriously.

I saw it for the first time around 4 this morning, so I can't tell if this Flip Flop Fly Ball animated infographic is fascinating or if I'm just a little groggy from lack of sleep.

High Heat Stats has my favorite statistical note of the day: As of Saturday #3 hitters were outhomering cleanup hitters this season.

Finally, our thoughts go out this morning to the Padres organization and the friends and family of longtime bullpen coach Darrel Akerfelds, who passed away over the weekend following a long battle with prostate cancer. He was 50.

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the seventh anniversary of Rickie Weeks and Prince Fielder hitting their first home runs on the same day in 2005. Today is also Aramis Ramirez's 34th birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his 93 career HBP are the second most ever for a player born on June 25.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to balance this out.

Drink up.

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