Some things to read while cleaning blood off the walls.
Sometimes all you need is another series against the Astros: The Brewers have won back-to-back games after a 10-1 blowout victory last night. We've got the recap, if you missed it.
Aramis Ramirez had a big night last night, picking up three hits to raise his average to .293. In Stat Of The Night we looked at the possibility that he could become the fourth Brewer third baseman ever to hit .300. MLB.com named him one of their Head & Shoulders Mane Men of the Day.
No Brewer game can end without a little late inning drama, but yesterday for once the bullpen wasn't responsible. Both Jerry Narron and Ron Roenicke were ejected in the ninth with a nine run lead for arguing balls and strikes. You can see video of the call and the ensuing ejections here. Adam McCalvy points out that even the hitter, Astros outfielder Justin Maxwell, thought he had struck out and was walking back to the dugout on a pitch home plate umpire Brian Knight said was high.
Last night's win improved the Brewers to 12-14 in July. They've been below .500 in each of this season's four months, but it could always be worse: The Astros set a new major league record for futility by going 3-24 in the month.
Other notes from the field:
- Yovani Gallardo is now 9-0 in his last nine starts against the Astros.
- Gallardo drove home a run with a squeeze bunt in the second inning last night, the tenth time the Brewers have had a bunt RBI this season. Norichika Aoki has five of them.
- We've got a look at the game's turning points and a transcript of Ron Roenicke's postgame comments.
- Jim Henderson and Astros reliever Chuckie Fick both threw their first career HBP yesterday. Plunk Everyone has more.
- Brewer batters have been hit by pitches in four consecutive games for just the 23rd time in franchise history.
- The Astros only used three pitchers in the game, but if they had needed a fourth it would have been infielder Matt Downs.
- 30,011 fans paid to see last night's game.
- The Polish won the sausage race.
The series wraps up in a couple of hours when Mike Fiers and the Brewers go for the sweep against Jordan Lyles and the Astros. Chelsea Janes has the MLB.com preview while noted leisured gentleman Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs gave today's game a four out of ten on his NERD scale. Today's lineup has been posted and Nyjer Morgan is playing right and leading off in place of Norichika Aoki.
Corey Hart is back at first base today, and Ron Roenicke told reporters if he had his way he'd stay there for the foreseeable future. The decision will likely depend, however, on the composition of next year's roster.
Today Mike Fiers gets a chance to continue his momentum from a hot month of July. Yesterday the Brewers named him their pitcher of the month. Aramis Ramirez, who hit .373 with four home runs, was player of the month. Fiers and Ramirez are also both in the top four in Justin Hull of Losers Bracket's Brewer Power Rankings.
Meanwhile, the Brewers were quiet in the final hours before the 2012 non-waiver trade deadline yesterday, with Doug Melvin saying he "didn't have any calls from a general manager all day."
With that said, the Brewers still had a pretty good trade season. Jim Callis of Baseball America says they acquired the second (Jean Segura), seventh (John Hellweg) and ninth (Ariel Pena) best players dealt this month.
Rickie Weeks finished off July with an 0-for-3 last night but still hit .272/.380/.533 for the month. He was also hit by four pitches to earn Plunk Everyone's Player of the Month award.
If you see John Axford today you may notice that he looks like he literally has a weight off his shoulders. He cut his hair this week and donated it to Locks For Love.
In the minors:
- The affiliates went 2-3 last night and Khris Davis went 2-for-4 with his first AAA home run in Nashville's 9-5 win over Albuquerque. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Both Davis and Wisconsin outfielder Chadwin Stang had hits last night to extend their hitting streaks to 15 games each.
- Speaking of Wisconsin, Rattler Radio has video highlights from their 5-3 win over Burlington.
- Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem has an interview with Khris Davis.
If you'd like more Brewer coverage today but you're sick of reading, I'll be appearing on The Sports Den with Downtown Ollie Burrows on SportsFan 100.5 in Wausau at 6 pm to talk about today's Brewer game and more.
Finally, congratulations are due out this morning to arails4, 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 get your picks in.
Angels: Placed reliever Scott Downs on the DL with a shoulder strain.
Braves: Placed pitcher Tommy Hanson on the DL with a lower back strain.
Cardinals: Acquired reliever Edward Mujica from the Marlins for a minor leaguer.
Dodgers: Acquired outfielder Shane Victorino from the Phillies for pitcher Josh Lindblom and a minor leaguer.
Giants: Acquired outfielder Hunter Pence from the Phillies for outfielder Nate Schierholtz and two minor leaguers and are expected to place first baseman Aubrey Huff on the DL with a knee injury.
Orioles: Placed DH Jim Thome on the DL with a herniated disc in his neck.
Padres: Placed catcher Yasmani Grandal on the DL with an oblique strain.
Pirates: Acquired first baseman Gaby Sanchez from the Marlins for outfielder Gorkys Hernandez and designated infielder Drew Sutton for assignment.
Rangers: Acquired pitcher Ryan Dempster from the Cubs for two minor leaguers.
Red Sox: Acquired reliever Craig Breslow from the Diamondbacks for pitcher Matt Albers and outfielder Scott Podsednik.
Reds: Acquired reliever Jonathan Broxton from the Royals for two minor league pitchers, placed pitcher Bill Bray on the DL with a back strain and designated pitcher Andrew Brackman for assignment.
Yankees: Acquired 1B/3B Casey McGehee from the Pirates for reliever Chad Qualls.
One of baseball's most interesting streaks came to a somewhat bizarre end last night: Justin Verlander had pitched six or more innings in 63 consecutive starts but was held to five innings last night when the Tigers and Red Sox had their game shortened by rain.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks what would have been 1970's and 80's manager George Bamberger's 89th birthday. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also the anniversary of the following:
- Eddie Mathews' 100th career home run in 1954.
- Lew Burdette's only 10 strikeout game of his career in 1956.
- Paul Molitor's two triple game in 1992.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to wrap up this deal.