Monday's Frosty Mug

July 4, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado (12) during the game against the Miami Marlins at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

Some things to read while doing a quick load of laundry.

The Brewers capped off one of the most interesting weekends in recent memory with a 5-3, ten inning win yesterday. Noah has the recap, if you missed it.

To really tell the story of yesterday's game we need to go back to Saturday, though, when Zack Greinke was ejected by first base umpire Sam Holbrook just four pitches into the game. MLB.com has video of the incident, and the Catlantis has both a gif and an interesting alternate explanation. Greinke was out of the game so early that Livan Hernandez, who replaced him on the mound, hadn't even reported to the bullpen yet.

With Greinke having a short day Saturday, he turned around and became the first pitcher in Brewer franchise history to start on back-to-back days Sunday. He struggled early and needed 39 pitches to get out of the first, though, and was lifted after throwing 66 pitches in three innings.

The frequently-maligned Brewer bullpen, however, picked Greinke up in a big way. Marco Estrada, Jose Veras, Francisco Rodriguez and Manny Parra combined to pitch six hitless innings to send the game to extra innings, and John Axford made it interesting in the tenth but nailed down his 15th save. MLB.com is calling it a Jiffy Lube Worry Free Performance, but I didn't see it that way.

Axford's save yesterday was just his fifth in his last nine opportunities, but Glenn Sattell of MLB.com says that Ron Roenicke is planning on sticking with him. @Bernie_Brewer, by the way, implied that Axford is going to spend the All Star break getting his wisdom teeth removed. I can think of better ways to spend a brief vacation.

Other notes from the field:

Even with yesterday's win the Brewers finished the first half at 40-45. It's only the third time in the last ten years they've been five games under .500 at the All Star break:

Season Record
2012 40-45
2010 40-49
2003 37-56

Ryan Kartje of FS Wisconsin has five things to take away from the first half.

Following yesterday's game the Brewers optioned Taylor Green back to Nashville. Green was hitting .198/.287/.358 and receiving very limited playing time with the Brewers, so the organization sent him down to get more consistent at bats. No corresponding move has been announced, and there's a strong chance none will until Thursday or Friday as the team gets ready to resume play.

Speaking of resuming play, Zack Greinke is expected to be on the mound again when the Brewers open the second half against the Pirates on Friday. James Walker is way ahead of the game and has the MLB.com preview. Greinke will become the first pitcher since Red Faber in 1917 to start three consecutive games for his team, and he's excited about it. Beyond Friday the Brewers aren't ready to announce their rotation going forward.

As we discuss prospects and draft position (which we do relatively frequently), here's something to keep in mind. John Sickels of Minor League Ball notes that just six of the 25 position players representing the NL in the All Star Game were first round picks. Ryan Braun is one of them.

The Brewer bats have really struggled at times this season, but perhaps this number will put it in perspective: Cybermetrics notes that Milwaukee's team OPS is only down .014 from 2011.

Here's today's collection of Zack Greinke trade notes:

With Greinke starting two games, Yovani Gallardo starting Friday and Randy Wolf and Marco Estrada pitching in relief, the only Brewer starting pitcher who didn't appear in the Astros series was Michael Fiers. Over the weekend he became just the third pitcher to win our Brewer of the Week voting this season.

Friday is the deadline for the team to sign their remaining 2012 draft picks. Fifth rounder Damien Magnifico signed last week and Jim Callis of Baseball America reports that the team has also reached an agreement with eighth rounder Edgardo Rivera (slot value $132,300, paid $200,000), meaning the Brewers' top unsigned pick is 15th rounder Buck Farmer. The organization is just $5600 under budget, so the most they could offer Farmer without having to pay the overage tax would be $105,600. They could still offer him $443,835 without forfeiting a draft pick, but would have to pay over $250,000 in penalties.

In the minors:

Around baseball:

Blue Jays: Placed pitcher Luis Perez on the DL with elbow tightness. Also, reliever David Pauley has refused an outright assignment to the minors and is now a free agent.
Cardinals: Placed catcher Yadier Molina on the bereavement list.
Indians: Placed pitcher Nick Hagadone on the disqualified list with a self-inflicted hand injury.
Royals: Claimed catcher Adam Moore off waivers from the Mariners.
White Sox: Claimed pitcher Daniel Moskos off waivers from the Pirates.

Meanwhile, Giancarlo Stanton's recent knee surgery allowed MLB to send Bryce Harper to the Midsummer Classic, but also left the Marlins without a representative in the game. They, as you might expect, aren't happy about that.

In former Brewers:

In hindsight this is funny, but at the time it had to be scary as all hell: The Big Lead has multiple videos of Rangers and Twins players running for cover following a massive boom of thunder Sunday. The crowd reaction in the second video made me laugh out loud. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

This gif is pretty great too: Baseball Nation has a look at the foul ball that tried to come straight into your living room during the Futures Game yesterday.

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the 14th anniversary of Bud Selig becoming baseball's ninth full-time commissioner and turning the team over to Wendy Selig-Prieb in 1988. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also the tenth anniversary of the 2002 All Star Game tie at Miller Park.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've forgotten the steps.

Drink up.

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