Some things to read while moving on to a new genre.
The Brewer relief corps turned in another lackluster performance last night (four runs over two innings), but at least longtime bullpen coach Stan Kyles didn't have to watch it. The Brewers fired Kyles yesterday morning with the bullpen carrying a 4.80 ERA on the season and unable to protect even non-save situation leads. Kyles had been the Brewer bullpen coach since 2009, and will likely be offered another job within the organization if he can't find major league work elsewhere this offseason.
The Brewers went without a bullpen coach last night, and longtime minor league coach Lee Tunnell will step into the role on an interim basis today. Tunnell was serving as the Brewer minor league pitching coordinator, and has coached in the minors for the Rangers before serving as the Reds' interim bullpen coach in 2006. He pitched six major league seasons between 1982-89 with the Pirates and two other teams.
Here are some reactions to the move:
- Kyles told reporters the Brewers "had to do something."
- Nathan Petrashek of Cream City Cables says "you, the fan, should be insulted" by the implication that you'll believe firing Kyles actually fixes anything.
View From Bernie's Chalet is standing with Kyles.
All told, I'm not sure what to make of this move. Stan Kyles certainly wasn't responsible for everything that's wrong with this team or the bullpen, but it certainly didn't seem like he was fixing it either. Furthermore, we don't know what, if anything, happened behind the scenes to prompt the change. At worst, having a new coach around to help these guys try to figure things out can't hurt.
Meanwhile, the Brewers narrowly overcame another rough bullpen outing last night to eke out an 8-7 win over an Astros team that has won just three games in July. Nicole has the recap, if you missed it.
Last night's game was decided on a sparkling defensive play, as Cesar Izturis ranged into the hole and narrowly beat the runner with a throw to first to record the final out and strand the potential tying run on third. Here's video of the play, if you missed it last night or would just like to see it again. John Axford got the save and said, all things considered, it felt as good as last season's NLDS Game 5 win.
Exactly two Brewer pitchers have won games since July 18: Mike Fiers, who pitched 6.1 scoreless innings on the 27th, and Livan Hernandez, who allowed three earned runs over 1.1 innings last night. The Common Man used Hernandez's outing last night as an indictment of wins as a stat.
Other notes from the field:
- Ryan Braun sat out last night's game with blisters on his hand and Manny Parra was unavailable with irritation in his shoulder. Reliever Jim Henderson was also unavailable but we don't know why.
- The Brewers now have 21 saves and 21 blown saves as a team.
- Francisco Cordero blew a save for the Astros last night and has now blown three in five appearances for Houston.
- Astros manager Brad Mills came out to argue four different plays in the game, including the final out.
- Carlos Gomez was hit by a pitch yesterday for the tenth time as a Brewer. Naturally, Plunk Everyone has more.
- Nicole has a look at the game's turning points and a transcript of Ron Roenicke's postgame comments.
- The Hot Dog won the sausage race.
The irresistable (losing) force and the downward-trending object will collide again tonight at 7:10 when Yovani Gallardo takes on Dallas Keuchel. Anthony Odoari has the MLB.com preview, and noted leisured gentleman Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs gave tonight's game a two out of ten on his NERD scale.
Mike McClendon was in the bullpen last night and will be there again tonight after being called up yesterday to fill Tyler Thornburg's roster spot. McClendon has a 3.98 ERA but was striking out a career-low 5.5 batters per nine innings while walking a career-high 4 in Nashville.
The non-waiver trade deadline is today and while we have no indication that anything is active, that can change fast. The only rumor I have for you this morning is borderline nonsensical: Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (via MLB Trade Rumors) says the Brewers are interested in Red Sox catcher Kelly Shoppach. I have a hard time believing they're looking to buy a catcher just days after moving George Kottaras.
Meanwhile, moving on to speculation: The Diamondbacks are reportedly looking to make a major splash on the pitching market and Matthew Pouliot of Hardball Talk wonders if they'd be willing to deal two of their top pitching prospects for Yovani Gallardo. That'd certainly be a blockbuster deal, but I have a hard time imagining it.
It's unlikely the Brewers will find a new home today for Francisco Rodriguez, who has been awful again over the last couple of weeks. David Schoenfield of ESPN says offering K-Rod arbitration was "The dumbest move of the offseason."
The Brewers would have to go 35-25 in their final 60 games just to finish .500 in 2012, but Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker says this team's performance would imply they could bounce back in 2013 with a rebuilt bullpen. He says "This is, more or a less, a playoff team with a Triple-A bullpen."
Looking back, here are the home run trot times and distances from the last three games of the Nationals series:
|Friday||Aramis Ramirez||427 feet||24.43 seconds|
|Friday||Corey Hart||368 feet||21.11 seconds|
|Sunday||Rickie Weeks||443 feet||23.68 seconds|
|Sunday||Corey Hart||430 feet||20.92 seconds|
|Sunday||Carlos Gomez||399 feet||16.64 seconds|
|Sunday||Norichika Aoki||373 feet||21.86 seconds|
In the minors:
- Jim Callis of Baseball America says the Brewers' return on Zack Greinke has provided three new players on the top six of their prospect rankings. He has Jean Segura as the new #1, Ariel Pena #5 and John Hellweg #6.
- Pena, however, had a rough organizational debut last night, allowing five runs on seven hits over five innings in Huntsville's 6-5 loss to Chattanooga. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Both of the players DFA'd earlier this week have cleared waivers and will remain in the organization: Edwin Maysonet has accepted his outright assignment to Nashville and Brock Kjeldgaard (who didn't have the right to refuse) was outrighted to Huntsville.
- Meanwhile, the Brewers released Seth McClung from Nashville yesterday (FanShot). He posted a 6.36 ERA with seven strikeouts and 5.2 walks per nine innings in 21 AAA appearanes.
- Khris Davis' 8-for-10 weekend earned him a place on Baseball America's top performers list alongside Wisconsin pitcher David Goforth, who allowed one run on just two hits over seven innings. Jim Callis of BA says Davis is "not a top ten guy, but his bat could take him to the majors." Matt Eddy, also of BA, says it "looks like the power will play in MLB," but he may not play every day on a good team.
- Davis has since been promoted to Nashville to take the place of Logan Schafer, who is out with a sore knee but is expected to be fine with some rest.
- Congratulations are due out to Brevard County pitcher Andy Moye, named the Florida State League Pitcher of the Week.
- Brevard County reliever Eric Marzec's season is over after he was diagnosed with strep throat and mono. Sounds like someone's been enjoying Florida a bit too much.
- Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem has an interview with Sounds manager Mike Guerrero.
I'm not planning on attending a game in the Astros series, but if I were I'd be trying this: The Chef's Table on the loge level is serving Beef Brisket Burritos and Smoked Corn this week.
If you haven't yet, please take a moment today to vote in this week's BCB Tracking Poll. It will remain open through the day and results will be posted tomorrow.
Finally, congratulations are due out this morning to Hendrik, yesterday's winner in our SB Nation Pick 6 Contest. Here's the full leaderboard:
Tonight's action starts at 6:05, so there's plenty of time to make your picks for today.
Blue Jays: Placed DH Adam Lind on the DL with a back injury and acquired reliever Steve Delabar from the Mariners for outfielder Eric Thames.
Braves: Acquired pitcher Paul Maholm and outfielder Reed Johnson from the Cubs for two minor league pitchers.
Diamondbacks: Designated first baseman Lyle Overbay for assignment.
Dodgers: Acquired reliever Brandon League from the Mariners for two minor leaguers.
Padres: Placed reliever Joe Thatcher on the DL with knee tendonitis.
Pirates: Acquired outfielder Travis Snider from the Blue Jays for pitcher Brad Lincoln.
Rangers: Acquired catcher Geovany Soto from the Cubs for a minor league pitcher and designated catcher Yorvit Torrealba for assignment.
One of 2012's strangest statistical anomalies has been left by the roadside: The Braves beat the Marlins last night to snap a streak of 12 consecutive losses on Monday. They're now 1-12 on Monday in 2012 and 57-32 on all other days.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the 16th anniversary of the 1996 trade that sent Greg Vaughn to San Diego. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also the anniversary of these three events:
- The only multi-CS game of Hank Aaron's career in 1960.
- A 1-0 loss to the Indians in 1972 that ended on a walkoff error.
- Robin Yount's 200th home run in 1989.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm out of headline puns.