Monday's Frosty Mug: Brewer News, Links And Notes

Aug 19, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy (20) reacts after a wild pitch from pitcher John Axford (not pictured) in the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

Some things to read while getting the vacuum back out.

The Brewer home hot streak is officially over as they dropped the last two of their four game set with the Phillies and were shut out 8-0 yesterday. -JP- has the recap, if you missed it.

The fact that the Brewer offense scuffled a bit yesterday isn't really a surprise as Norichika Aoki, Corey Hart and Aramis Ramirez all sat the game out to get some rest. Yesterday was the tenth of 13 games in as many days for this team.

Cody Ransom, who started at third base in place on Ramirez, went 0-for-4 and struck out twice. TheJay notes that Ransom could become the first major leaguer ever to log over 144 plate appearances and strike out in over 40% of them.

Kyle Kendrick was the Phillies' starting pitcher yesterday and shut the Brewers out for eight innings while allowing just three hits. Kendrick has now pitched 15 consecutive scoreless innings, which was enough to earn him a place in You Can't Predict Baseball's daily roundup.

Brewer pitchers only struck out five batters yesterday but still lead the NL with 1018 this season. They're on pace to crush the franchise record of 1258, which was set in 2010.

Other notes from the field:

The Brewers wrapped up their series with the Phillies yesterday but continue the homestand with a three game set against the Cubs starting tonight. Mark Emery has the MLB.com preview and noted leisured gentleman Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs gave tonight's Justin Germano/Mark Rogers matchup a five out of ten on his NERD scale.

There was some speculation that tonight's game could have featured Shaun Marcum's return to the rotation, but the Brewers are sending him back to Appleton to make another rehab start for Wisconsin instead. Fans who come out to see him tonight will receive a chance to win his jersey. Batman will also be in attendance, but is not eligible for the giveaway.

Yovani Gallardo pitched a good game Friday night, holding the Phillies to a run on four hits over seven innings. Nick Prill of The Brewers Bar has a look at Gallardo's rarely-used changeup, which he threw to strike out Ryan Howard at one point. Following the game Gallardo left the team to tend to an illness in the family, but he's not expected to miss a start.

Speaking of Gallardo, he also picked up a hit in Friday's game and his five game hitting streak is now tied for the third longest by a pitcher in franchise history. He's also currently tied with Corey Hart for the team's longest active streak.

Rickie Weeks had a weekend to forget, going just 2-for-13 over four games against the Phillies. He is our Brewer of the Week, though, and he's the 12th different player to receive that honor in 2012.

Elsewhere in disappointing weekends, Jean Segura started all four games in the Phillies series and went 1-for-12 with an intentional walk, the first free pass and intentional free pass of his career. Tom Oates of Madison.com says his audition during the stretch run is critical to the Brewers' future plans.

In the minors:

Finally, congratulations are due out this morning to coolig, yesterday's winner in our SB Nation Pick 6 contest. Here's the full leaderboard:

Rank Player Points
1 coolig 81.9
2 Mike2k33 59.2
3 Jahiegel 49.4
4 airfigaro 46.0
5 arails4 40.8
6 Foul Tip 40.3
7 Cecil Cooper's Love Child 39.9
8 Berryjs 34.7
9 jllyons 34.3
10 jarlbartar 32.9

Tonight's action starts at 6:05, so there's still plenty of time to make your picks for today. And, of course, a new series means a new set of Prognostikeggers.

Around baseball:

Astros: Fired manager Brad Mills, hitting coach Mike Barnett and first base coach Bobby Meacham and hired AAA manager Tony DeFrancesco, minor league hitting coordinator Ty Van Burkleo and former Nationals first base coach Dan Radison as their interim replacements, respectively.
Cubs: Are reportedly close to a seven year, $60 million contract extension with shortstop Starlin Castro and claimed pitcher Alex Hinshaw off waivers from the Padres.
Marlins: Designated infielder Gil Velazquez for assignment.
Nationals: Designated infielder Cesar Izturis for assignment.
Pirates: Placed outfielder Starling Marte on the DL with an oblique strain.
Rangers: Placed pitcher Ryan Dempster on the restricted list.
Rockies: Placed outfielder Michael Cuddyer on the DL with an oblique strain.
White Sox: Placed infielder Orlando Hudson (foot contusion) and reliever Leyson Septimo (biceps inflammation) on the DL.

The game of the day around baseball yesterday came in St. Louis, where the Pirates beat the Cardinals 6-3 in 19 innings, the longest game played in baseball this season. Jen Langosch of MLB.com has more on the event.

We've spent a fair amount of time this season and last discussing Jerry Narron's job as Brewer bench coach and how little we know about it. We see Narron's fancy calligraphy skills on lineup cards but aside from that his day-to-day duties aren't something we know much about. Thankfully, the New York Times had a story over the weekend that casts some light on the responsibilities of the position. Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk summed it up pretty well:

Being a manager is like having any other high-responsibility, high-pressure job. You gotta have an assistant who can make sure you have the stuff you need when you need it and who, when you’re occupied with something else, can think about the things you’re missing.

In baseball economics: The Pirates are close to clinching their first winning season in decades, and have informed season ticket holders they plan to raise ticket prices for 2013.

Today in former Brewers: Peter Gammons has Gabe Kapler on a list of seven names that should come up on lists of managerial candidates this winter.

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks 1993-94 Brewer Tom Brunansky's 52nd birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his 30 career HBP are the third most ever for a player born on August 20. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also the 20th anniversary of the Brewers scoring 13 runs against starting pitcher David Wells in a 16-3 win over the Blue Jays in 1992.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to order another round.

Drink up.

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