CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 30: Center fielder Nyjer Morgan #2 of the Milwaukee Brewers (R) and right fielder Norichika Aoki #7 collide after Morgan caught a fly ball hit by Anthony Rizzo #44 of the Chicago Cubs during the eighth inning at Wrigley Field on August 30, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Brewers 12-11. (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
Some things to read while staying out of it.
The Brewers scored nine unanswered runs to take a 9-3 lead yesterday but couldn't hold on to complete a four game sweep of the Cubs and lost 12-11 on yet another blown save for Francisco Rodriguez. Morineko has the recap if you missed it.
The Brewer bullpen had to fill five innings yesterday after Shaun Marcum left early with cramping in his right calf. He allowed three runs on five hits over four innings with four walks, and probably didn't improve his trade stock.
The bullpen wasted a remarkable performance from Jonathan Lucroy yesterday, as he went 3-for-5 with a grand slam and tied a franchise record with 7 RBI. He's the first Brewer ever to drive in seven runs in a loss, and 17 of his 49 RBI this season have come against the Cubs. The Book of Gorman notes that Lucroy is making more contact on swings this season, and says his breakout offensive numbers may be sustainable.
Lucroy, by the way, has two seven RBI games in 2012. He's only the 23rd player in major league history to have two games like that in a single season and the first catcher. No Brewer has ever had more than seven RBI in a game.
Ryan Braun also had a big day yesterday, and you can see video here of his long home run off the camera well in center field at Wrigley. Braun's homer was easily the longest of the day for the Brewers:
|Hitter||HR Distance||Trot Time|
|Ryan Braun||460 feet||24.56 seconds|
|Cody Ransom||439 feet||20.84 seconds|
|Jonathan Lucroy||414 feet||25.45 seconds|
Brian Vaughan of Call to the Pen says Braun has a strong case to repeat as NL MVP. I agree, but I wouldn't hold my breath.
Other notes from the field:
- Yesterday's game was the 13th time in franchise history the Brewers have scored eleven or more runs in a loss and the first time since April 18, 2006.
- Rickie Weeks had five hits yesterday, setting a new career high and becoming the first Brewer to reach that mark since Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun did it on August 2, 2010.
- Francisco Rodriguez's rough outing yesterday snapped an 8.1 inning hitless streak.
- The Cubs entered play yesterday last in the NL in walks, but drew eleven.
- Cubs pitcher Brooks Raley allowed seven runs on ten hits over four innings yesterday in what will be his final start of the 2012 season. He's reached his innings limit.
- 28,859 fans paid to see yesterday's game at Wrigley, the smallest crowd to see a game there this season.
The Brewers return home tonight to open a brief three game homestand against the Pirates, and Mark Clements has the MLB.com preview. Noted leisured gentleman Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs gave tonight's Mark Rogers/Jeff Karstens matchup a seven, tomorrow's Marco Estrada/A.J. Burnett matchup a seven and Sunday's Yovani Gallardo/James McDonald contest a six out of ten on his NERD scale.
Before today's game all eyes will be outside Miller Park, where the Brewers are scheduled to unveil Bob Uecker's new statue at 1:30. If you're planning on watching the proceedings, the team is recommending you stay home and see them live on FS Wisconsin.
Lost in all the bad bullpen pitching yesterday was this: Jim Henderson and Jose Veras combined to pitch 2.1 scoreless innings. Baseball America has a story on Henderson, but it's subscriber-only.
Aramis Ramirez grounded into a double play in his final 2012 game in Chicago yesterday, and it appears he's not planning on coming back anytime soon: He's put his North Lake Shore Drive condo up for sale.
Yovani Gallardo's strong outing earlier this week lowered his ERA to 3.52 (the same figure he posted in 2011) and he's now striking out 9.2 batters per nine innings this season, up from 9.0 last year. Miller Park Drunk says Yo is his Bro.
Gallardo is probably the most likely Brewer to throw a complete game, and no one else has done it for Milwaukee since he went the distance last April. Ron Roenicke told reporters he's not bothered by the lack of complete games.
The minor league regular season wraps up this weekend, so we could start seeing September callups sometime in the next few days. Gord Ash told Tom Haudricourt that Nashville pitcher Hiram Burgos could be a candidate: He's posted a 2.02 ERA this season between three levels.
In the minors:
- The affiliates went 2-3 last night behind a big night from Brevard County third baseman Mike Walker, who went 2-for-3 with two walks and two homers in a 6-5 win over Daytona. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Rattler Radio has video highlights from Wisconsin's 9-2 loss to Beloit.
- The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers will almost certainly be the organization's only playoff-bound affiliate, and Time Warner Cable Sports 32 will broadcast their first home playoff game on September 6. I'm working on a project regarding the road game in their first round series, and hope to announce it soon.
- John Sickels of Minor League Ball has a look back at the eighth round of the 2012 draft and says Puerto Rican outfielder Edgardo Rivera "can scoot but lacks power." Rivera is still only 18, so he has time to grow.
- On ninth round pick Alex Lavandero, a former Miami high schooler, Sickels says "live arm but serious control problems so far."
- Nashville first baseman/DH Erick Almonte says he'll likely retire following the season.
- Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem has an interview with Sounds manager Mike Guerrero.
- Bob Brainerd of Time Warner Cable Sports 32 has a profile of Wisconsin infielder Mike Garza.
- Chris Mehring has a picture of the Brock Calmes bobbleheads given out at last night's Wisconsin game. I've got a picture of the front of the Brock t-shirts.
While the Brewers were in Chicago yesterday over 700 donors stopped by Miller Park to give blood and were rewarded with free tickets to a future Brewer game.
Given their disappointing season, 20th might be the highest the Brewers are ranked for the rest of the year: Gideon Turk of Call to the Pen says the Brewers have baseball's 20th best uniforms.
Finally, congratulations are due out this morning to Hendrik, yesterday's winner in our SB Nation Pick 6 contest. Here's the full leaderboard:
|4||Some Guy Named Gabbo||56.1|
Dodgers: Placed pitcher Scott Elbert on the DL with elbow soreness.
Indians: Claimed pitcher Scott Maine off waivers from the Cubs and designated outfielder Shelley Duncan for assignment.
Phillies: Placed pitcher Vance Worley on the DL with elbow soreness that is expected to require surgery and announced that infielder Hector Luna has refused an outright assignment to the minors and is now a free agent.
Twins: Placed center fielder Denard Span on the DL with a broken collarbone.
I'll be attending tonight's Brewer game. I'll be there early, won't leave until after the final out and will almost certainly keep score but probably still won't see every pitch. Larry Granillo of Baseball Prospectus wonders how many pitches the average fan misses in a game.
As the offseason approaches, it's time for baseball's 31st team to resurface and participate in rumors. The Catlantis has a look at the recent activities of "The Mystery Team."
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the 16th anniversary of a 1996 trade that sent Kevin Seitzer to the Indians in exchange for Jeromy Burnitz. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also been eighteen years since the Pirates signed Aramis Ramirez as an amateur free agent.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to stock up.