PITTSBURGH - APRIL 07: Fans arrive at PNC Park prior to the Opening Day game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Colorada Rockies on April 7, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Some things to read while searching for your glove.
The Brewers have just one road trip left in the 2012 season and it starts tonight as they open a three game series in Pittsburgh. The Crew faces an uphill climb to remain relevant over the next ten days as they face the Pirates, Nationals and Reds while the Cardinals play the Astros and Cubs. Adam McCalvy has a preview of the trip.
This week's series opens with Yovani Gallardo taking on A.J. Burnett at 6:05 tonight. Noted leisured gentleman Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs gave tonight's matchup a six out of ten on his NERD scale.
Tonight's game is, of course, weather permitting. It's raining in Pittsburgh this morning but The Weather Channel says the worst, if not all, of it should be gone by game time tonight.
The Pirates, perhaps more than any other team, have taken September's roster expansion to a new level. Joe Block notes that they have 36 players on their active roster, including 18 pitchers.
It's worth noting, though, that none of those Pirates got much sleep last night. The Brewers were already in Pittsburgh before the Pirates started a getaway day night game in Chicago last night that ended at 2:28 am after over three hours of rain delays. Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports that over 33,000 fans paid to see the game in Chicago, but took a picture of a few hundred left in the stands in the eighth inning. You can read more about last night's game in this morning's edition of Around the Wild Card Race.
Now that the Brewers have inched back into contention without Zack Greinke, some of us are always going to wonder what they could have done with him. Danny Knobler of CBS, though, says they have no regrets about the moves they've made.
Looking back, here are the home run distances, trot times and highlights from this weekend:
|Sunday||Aramis Ramirez||458 feet||24.34 seconds||Video|
|Sunday||Ryan Braun #1||421 feet||21.25 seconds||Video|
|Sunday||Ryan Braun #2||388 feet||21.01 seconds||Video|
|Saturday||Rickie Weeks||406 feet||23.34 seconds||Video|
Braun's second home run, by the way, made him just the 29th player in major league history with 40 home runs and 20 stolen bases in a season (h/t Jayson Stark for the idea). Hank Aaron had the second and third such seasons as a Milwaukee Brave in 1963 and Atlanta Brave in 1966.
The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers returned home yesterday afternoon after winning the Midwest League Championship in Fort Wayne on Sunday. Here's a quick recap of the coverage:
- I was there and posted a recap with quotes from top playoff performers Nick Ramirez, Brandon Macias, Chad Pierce and Brent Suter.
- The Timber Rattlers have posted a video of fans greeting the bus as the team arrived.
- Kevin Kimmes of Cream City Cables has a recap of some of the team's accomplishments.
- Wisconsin outfielder Max Walla shared this picture of the clubhouse celebration.
Elsewhere in the minors:
- Brewerfan.net has updated their list of players who will need to be added to the 40 man roster or will be exposed to the Rule 5 draft this winter. Most notably: Both Scooter Gennett and Kentrail Davis are eligible.
- Jim Callis of Baseball America says Wisconsin won't have any players on the list of the Midwest League's top 20 prospects, and says 2011 third round pick Drew Gagnon "can pitch but has average stuff."
- Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs listed Wisconsin catcher Cameron Garfield among the top young hitters in low-A in his SCOUT stat.
If you haven't yet, please take a moment today to vote in our BCB Tracking Poll. It will remain open through the day today and results will be posted tomorrow.
If you'd like more Brewer coverage today but you're sick of reading, then you may enjoy what I'm calling "Talk To Me Tuesday:"
- I'll be in-studio for The Home Stretch with Justin Hull on 95.3 FM/AM 1570 The Score in Appleton at 4 pm today, taking your calls and emails.
- From there I'll jump over to The Watercooler with Jimmie Kaska on Sports Radio 1400 in Eau Claire at 5:15.
- After that, I'll move to The Sports Den with Downtown Ollie Burrows on SportsFan 100.5 in Wausau at 5:30.
There are still a few minutes this afternoon where I'm not already on the radio somewhere else, if you're a radio producer looking to talk Brewers today.
Finally, congratulations are due out this morning to BigMac91, yesterday's winner in our SB Nation Pick 6 contest. Here's the full leaderboard:
Rangers: Signed pitcher Colby Lewis to a one year contract extension for 2013 worth $2 million plus incentives.
Tom Tango of The Book Blog's annual Fans Scouting Report continues this week and could really use your help. As of this writing 34 fans have weighed in to help evaluate the Brewer defense. Take a moment today to weigh in and help out with this project.
In former Brewers:
- Jorge De La Rosa hasn't pitched in a game in over 16 months, but will start for the Rockies on Thursday.
- Rick Helling is one of five pitchers who have given up more than one home run to Omar Vizquel.
Today in baseball economics: The Marlins drew their two millionth fan to a game last night, reaching that mark for the first time since 1997.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the 32nd anniversary of Twins outfielder Gary Ward becoming the first opposing player ever to hit for the cycle against the Brewers. Today is also 2009-10 Brewer Jody Gerut's 35th birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his 15 career HBP are the fourth most ever for a player born on September 18.
Now, if you'll excuse me, my report card is in.