Thursday's Frosty Mug: Brewer News, Links And Notes To Tide You Over On The Off Day

Some things to read while autocorrect nails it.

The Brewers saved themselves a little embarrassment and climbed back within eight games of .500 by beating the Astros 13-4 yesterday to complete a three game sweep of baseball's worst team. We've got the recap, if you missed it.

Yesterday's game got a little chippy in the late innings and ended with four players having been hit by pitches, including Ryan Braun and Rickie Weeks. Plunk Everyone has more on the festivities. The Brewers have been hit by pitches ten times in the last ten days, and hit in five consecutive games for just the eighth time in franchise history. Mike McClendon hit Astros third baseman Scott Moore with a pitch that appeared to be retaliatory, but Adam McCalvy notes that he did a good job of keeping the ball down.

Braun also had one of the best at bats of the season yesterday, a 14-pitch masterpiece that ended with a home run. Baseball Nation has a gif summing up the effort. Braun saw 33 pitches in his first four plate appearances yesterday before being hit in his last one.

Here's a number that caught me off guard: This week marks the first time the Brewers have scored ten runs in back-to-back games since May 4-5 of 2010. They only scored ten or more in eight games in all of 2011, but have already done it seven times this season.

Other notes from the field:

The Brewers are off today after playing 13 games in as many days before opening a series in St. Louis tomorrow. Clark Goble of MLB.com has the preview.

Carlos Gomez singled, walked and stole a base yesterday to improve his 2012 line to .253/.308/.465, and has been on base in 24 of his last 63 plate appearances (a .393 OBP). He's crediting a mechanical tweak for his recent success.

The Brewers haven't always been fun to watch this season, but at least their games are consistently close: Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times says the Brewers were July's most exciting team, and his statistical formula said they had the most exciting month of any team in baseball this season. In addition, their 13-12, ten inning win over the Marlins on July 3 was the month's second best game.

A fair number of the Brewers' recent contests have had their excitement level enhanced by the performance of Francisco Rodriguez. Ken Rosenthal says the Brewers were close to a deal that would've sent K-Rod to the Giants before his recent struggles scared them off.

Meanwhile, for the first time in a while we have good news regarding Shaun Marcum. He was able to throw all of his pitches in a bullpen session yesterday and is expected to pitch a simulated game in St. Louis this weekend. If that goes well the team will send him out on a rehab assignment.

The news is not as good for Manny Parra: He's still dealing with irritation in his shoulder and won't pitch this weekend. He's expected to be reevaluated on Monday. The Brewers have yet to place him on the DL, but by Monday he'll have been inactive for 12 days.

In the minors:

Finally, congratulations are due out today to Badger Boy in Vail, yesterday's winner in our SB Nation Pick 6 contest. Here's the full leaderboard:

Rank Player Points
1 Badger Boy in Vail 79.4
2 Some Guy Named Gabbo 77.3
3 5toolz 69.1
4 gobrew23 67.4
5 drugstorecowboy6 65.3
6 texwestern 65.3
7 Hendrik 64.4
8 Berryjs 60.7
9 Jahiegel 59.7
10 AcesHigh 52.2

Today's action starts at 11:35, so you're running out of time to get your picks in.

Around baseball:

Braves: Placed pitcher Jair Jurrjens on the DL with a groin strain.
Dodgers: Designated outfielder Bobby Abreu for assignment.
Indians: Designated pitcher Derek Lowe for assignment and placed DH Travis Hafner on the paternity list.
Phillies: Designated infielder Mike Fontenot for assignment.
Rays: Released DH Hideki Matsui.
Red Sox: Placed outfielder Daniel Nava on the DL with a wrist injury.
Reds: Catcher Devin Mesoraco has been suspended three games for making contact with an umpire and also placed on the seven day DL with a concussion. The team also designated infielder Mike Costanzo for assignment.
Rockies: Designated catcher Wil Nieves for assignment.

Hafner's stint on the paternity list opened the door for Racine native and former Brewer Vinny Rottino's major league return. Cleveland is his fourth major league team.

Rangers third base prospect Mike Olt's name came up pretty frequently at the trade deadline (including in a possible Zack Greinke deal), but the Rangers insisted he was untouchable and held onto him. It turns out they may have known they'd need him soon: They called him up to the majors yesterday.

Looking ahead, rules in the new CBA are going to revamp the arbitration process for free agents. Instead of having to offer a player arbitration to receive draft compensation if they leave, teams now have to give their departing free agents "qualifying offers." Buster Olney reports that those offers will need to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $13.3-4 million per season.

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the 53rd anniversary of a 1959 game where Milwaukee Braves center fielder Bill Bruton hit a pair of bases loaded triples. Today is also 2007-08 Brewer Joe Dillon's 37th birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his five career HBP are tied for the third most ever for a player born on August 2.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to grab another roll.

Drink up.

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