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:
- Norichika Aoki led off the game with a single yesterday and now has a 15 game hitting streak. It's the longest active streak in all of baseball.
- Ryan Braun stole two bases yesterday for the first time since August 23, 2011. He leads the team with 15 on the season.
- Braun was hit by a pitch Friday in the ninth inning, but met with Astros manager Brad Mills before Saturday's game and shook hands. The rest of the series was played without incident.
- Carlos Gomez struck out in a pinch hit appearance yesterday and now has K's in six straight at bats.
- Randy Wolf's relief appearance Saturday was his first since 2001.
- Yesterday was the Brewers' major league-leading 13th extra inning game.
- The Astros are now 0-8 in extra innings this season. They've gone 11-30 since their 22-23 start.
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:
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:
- Jon Heyman is reporting that at least six teams had scouts in attendance to see Greinke on Saturday.
- On Friday Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reported that the Orioles were "going hard" after Greinke, but weren't willing to trade any young pitching in return.
- badgernoonan of Ron Roenicke Stole My Baseball is excited about what the Brewers could get for Greinke after seeing what the Astros got for Carlos Lee.
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:
- The All Star Futures Game was played yesterday and Scooter Gennett got four plate appearances in the US' 17-5 win despite not entering the contest until the fifth inning. He went 1-for-3 with a double and a walk and scored twice.
- Mike Bauman of MLB.com says Gennett "could be the next Dustin Pedroia."
- Meanwhile, the affiliates went 4-2 yesterday and T.J. Mittlestaedt and Hunter Morris combined for four home runs in Huntsville's 10-5 win over Jacksonville. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Morris, by the way, is the Southern League Player of the Month.
- Rattler Radio has video highlights of Wisconsin's 10-0 win over Kane County.
- 2012 second round pick Tyrone Taylor has been promoted from Maryvale to Helena after hitting .400/.405/.714 in seven AZL games. He's still only 18 years old.
- Taylor was in the lineup when the AZL Brewers scored 17 runs in the first inning on Saturday.
- Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem has an interview with Sounds outfielder Caleb Gindl.
- Wisconsin trainer Jeff Paxson was selected to work the Futures Game.
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.
- Adam McCalvy talked to Jake Odorizzi at the Futures Game.
- Brewers Mix has a look at four players who had career years in Milwaukee.
- Glenn DuPaul of Beyond the Box Score listed Ed Romero as the ninth worst player in major league history.
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.