Some things to read while your demands are rejected.
The Brewers improved to 3-2 in their "make or break" stretch last night as a Rickie Weeks solo home run and a solid outing from Randy Wolf led them to a 3-2 victory over the Cardinals. We've got the recap here, if you missed it.
Unfortunately a big Brewer win came with another loss: Ryan Braun left last night's game with a strain in his right thigh. The injury does not appear to be serious, but Braun is out of the lineup today. Hopefully off days today and tomorrow can get him back to 100% before Friday.
If not for Braun last night's biggest news would have come in the ninth inning, when Francisco Rodriguez allowed the potential tying run to reach third base with none out but wiggled off the hook for just his second save as a Brewer. Rodriguez was promoted to the closer role earlier in the day when John Axford was removed due to his recent struggles (FanShot). Here's some reaction from around the web:
- Adam McCalvy talked to Axford, who said he saw this coming.
- Michael Hunt of the JS (behind the paywall) talked to Cardinals broadcaster and longtime major league reliever Al Hrabosky about struggling as a closer.
- Howie Magner of Milwaukee Magazine may be to blame for all of this.
At any rate, Randy Wolf allowed two runs over 6.2 innings last night and picked up his first win since April. His 12 consecutive starts without a win were tied for the ninth longest streak in franchise history.
Other notes from the field:
- Rickie Weeks' home run traveled 460 feet according to the team and 462 according to Hit Tracker Online. It's the longest ball hit by a Brewer this season.
- Matt Holliday left the game after a first inning Randy Wolf pitch hit him near the knee.
- The HBP was the 100th of Wolf's career, making him the 87th player in major league history to hit 100 batters. Plunk Everyone has more.
- Francisco Rodriguez's save was the 293rd of his career. He's 24th all time but fourth among active closers. He told Adam McCalvy he won't start thinking about 300 saves until he reaches 299.
- Corey Hart went 1-for-4 last night to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. He also rounded the bases in 22.31 seconds following his home run Monday.
- Lance Berkman was ejected from the game for arguing balls and strikes.
- We've got a recap of the game's turning points and a transcript of Ron Roenicke's postgame comments.
- The Italian won the sausage race.
The Brewers' oh-so-crucial divisional stretch continues today when they wrap up their series with the Cardinals at 1:10. Quinn Roberts has MLB.com's preview and noted leisured gentleman Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs gave today's Adam Wainwright/Tyler Thornburg matchup a seven out of ten on his NERD scale.
Today would have been Zack Greinke's day to start if not for this week's "battery recharging" fiasco. This morning Nathan Petrashek had a look at the possible reasons for the Brewers to handle Greinke this way, and concluded that none of them are positive.
Elsewhere in trade notes:
- Jon Heyman (via MLB Daily Dish) says Francisco Rodriguez has been labeled as "too pricey" by the Mets.
Jayson Stark reports that he's been told it's "very unlikely" the Brewers will deal Aramis Ramirez.
While Zack Greinke, Francisco Rodriguez and Aramis Ramirez all could move before the trade deadline, I think we can rest assured that Michael Fiers will be a Brewer for a while. Reviewing the Brew says Fiers is solidifying a spot in the 2013 rotation.
Since Shaun Marcum won't be healthy enough to return to action before July 31, it appears he's also a Brewer for the relative long haul. He had an encouraging throwing session yesterday but is still multiple bullpen sessions and a rehab assignment away from rejoining the major league team.
It's possible the Brewers could net an extra draft pick in 2013 as part of baseball's new competitive balance lottery, which will be held today. The Brewers are one of 13 teams eligible to receive either a pick at the end of the first or second rounds.
However, MLB Trade Rumors has a reminder of some shifted draft compensation rules regarding free agents. If the Brewers opt not to trade Zack Greinke but are unable to re-sign him this winter as a free agent they'll only net one draft pick, not two as they would have in years past.
In the minors:
- The affiliates went 5-3 yesterday with Kentrail Davis going 3-for-3 with two triples and a home run as Huntsville beat Birmingham 8-3 in game one of a doubleheader. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Disciples of Uecker has posted a midseason update of their list of the top 30 Brewer prospects, with Wily Peralta holding onto the #1 spot.
- Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem has an interview with Sounds pitcher Mark Rogers.
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.
If you'd like more Brewer coverage today but you're sick of reading, my appearance on The Watercooler with Jimmie Kaska on Sports Radio 1400 in Eau Claire has been archived. If nothing else, it contains the correct pronunciation of my name.
Finally, congratulations are due out this morning to aaronetc, yesterday's winner in our SB Nation Pick 6 contest. Here's the full leaderboard:
Today's action starts at 12:05, so you're running out of time to make your picks for today.
Dodgers: Placed pitcher Chad Billingsley on the DL with elbow inflammation.
Rockies: Placed infielder Chris Nelson on the DL with an irregular heartbeat.
Mets: Designated infielder Omar Quintanilla for assignment.
Orioles: Placed infielder Robert Andino on the DL with a shoulder strain.
Royals: Designated pitcher Jonathan Sanchez for assignment.
Twins: Placed pitcher Matt Capps on the DL with rotator cuff irritation.
White Sox: Placed pitcher Gavin Floyd on the DL with elbow tendonitis.
Yankees: Designated outfielder Darnell McDonald for assignment.
In former Brewers:
- The Hall of Very Good notes that Ray Durham, Eric Gagne, Richie Sexson and Hideo Nomo will all be HoF-eligible for the first time next year.
- Reviewing the Brew has a team of Brewers they won't miss from the 2000's.
Last night's game took an interesting turn in the ninth when the Cardinals opted not to send David Freese home from second with the potential tying run in the ninth inning following Yadier Molina's single up the middle. Tom Tango of The Book Blog has a look at a similar situation (his is the go-ahead run, not the tying run) and says the runner should go if he's going to be safe more than 30% of the time.
Elsewhere in late game situations, I thought this was interesting: Baseball Nation notes that the average fastball speed for a relief pitcher has gone up steadily since 2002, from 90.6 mph then to 92.3 now.
This morning's edition of Today in Brewer History marks the 42nd anniversary of a 10-5 win over the Red Sox where Ted Kubiak became the first Brewer ever to drive in seven runs in a game. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also the anniversary of these events:
- The Milwaukee Braves pulling off a triple steal with Hank Aaron taking home in 1961.
- Warren Spahn's 5000th major league inning in 1964.
- CC Sabathia pitching the second of complete games in back-to-back games around the All Star break in 2008.
Today is also former Milwaukee Brave Joe Torre's 72nd birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his 85 career HBP are the most ever for a player born on July 18.
Now, if you'll excuse me, something is wrong.