PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 20: Carlos Gomez #27 of the Milwaukee Brewers scoes on an RBI double in the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game on September 20, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Some things to read while writing a check.
The Brewers have 13 games left to attempt to salvage their season, and dodged a bullet yesterday when they were able to come from behind to beat the Pirates 9-7. Morineko has the recap, if you missed it. Manny Parra says the Brewers are "full of a bunch of resilient fighters who will never quit." This is the first time all season they've won five consecutive games.
Hopefully yesterday's win didn't cost the Brewers Carlos Gomez. Gomez fouled a ball off his foot in the early innings yesterday and was able to finish the game, but Todd Rosiak reports that he was limping noticeably in the clubhouse afterwards.
The Crew overcame a rough start from Mike Fiers yesterday, who allowed three runs on five hits while lasting just three innings. The Brewers are likely considering shutting Fiers down for the season, but Adam McCalvy says his velocity numbers are not down and Fiers insists he still feels strong.
The Brewers already have 14 wins in September, which Howie Magner notes is more than they were able to do in any month from April-July. They're now winners of 23 of their last 29 games. John Axford told Adam McCalvy the Greinke trade sharpened the team's focus and put them in position to make this run.
Despite the Brewer hot streak, though, last night's Reds win eliminated them from contention in the NL Central. They're 13.5 games out with 13 to play. The Reds' magic number is down to two.
The Brewers also remain 2.5 games back of the Cardinals in the race for the NL's final wild card spot, but passed the Dodgers last night when they lost to the Nationals. You know that and more if you've read this morning's edition of Around the Wild Card.
At any rate, the Brewers have remained relevant significantly longer than almost all of us expected a month or two months ago. Richard Justice of MLB.com says "You keep waiting for the Milwaukee Brewers to disappear," but they're not.
Other notes from the field:
- Corey Hart played yesterday for the first time in over a week, going 1-for-3 and exiting after five innings.
- Norichika Aoki singled in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to ten games and is the first NL rookie with four ten game hitting streaks in a season since Bake McBride did it for the 1974 Cardinals.
- The Pirates, who were 63-47 on August 8, are now back under .500.
- Aramis Ramirez homered yesterday and is now tied with Ron Santo for sixth all time with 337 home runs as a third baseman.
- Ramirez also hit his 46th double. He's now tied for third on the Brewers' single season list behind Lyle Overbay (52 in 2004) and Robin Yount (49 in 1980).
- Ryan Braun was hit by a pitch yesterday and the Brewers are now the 19th team since 1900 to be hit 88 times in a season. Plunk Everyone has more on the topic.
Tonight the Brewers take their undefeated road trip to a new city and open a four game set against the Nationals at 6:05. Teddy Cahill has the MLB.com preview, and noted leisured gentleman Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs gave the game a six out of ten on his NERD scale.
Here are this weekend's pitching matchups:
|Friday||Shaun Marcum||Edwin Jackson|
|Saturday||Wily Peralta||Gio Gonzalez|
|Sunday||Yovani Gallardo||Chien-Ming Wang|
|Monday||Marco Estrada||Jordan Zimmermann|
Wang has posted a 6.92 ERA in eight appearances (four starts) for the Nationals this season and hasn't started a game since June 19 but will be pressed into service as a sixth starter after Washington had to play a doubleheader against the Dodgers earlier this week.
The Brewers play day games in Washington tomorrow, Sunday and Monday so Jonathan Lucroy and teammates are using the daytime hours today to visit Walter Reed Memorial Hospital to see some wounded veterans. Hopefully the rookies didn't have to go in their costumes from Rookie Dress-Up Day last night.
The Nationals, Astros, Reds and Padres may not be directly involved in the race but they're going to be big factors in deciding the NL's final wild card spot. They account for nine of the Cardinals, Brewers and Dodgers' final 12 series this season.
Ryan Braun was held hitless yesterday for just the fifth time in 17 September games, but was still on base twice with a walk and a hit by pitch. Larry Granillo of Baseball Prospectus and The Book of Gorman both say Braun won't win the NL MVP. Oh, and Miller Park Drunk says Norichika Aoki won't be Rookie of the Year either.
- Bob Brainerd of Time Warner Cable Sports 32 has a story on Wisconsin manager Matt Erickson.
- The Timber Rattlers will remain a Brewer affiliate through at least 2016 (and likely beyond), but nearly half of the rest of the Midwest League could get shaken up this offseason. Baseball America has a look at the changes that have already been made and could be made.
Finally, congratulations are due out to sauveb, yesterday's winner in our SB Nation Pick 6 contest. Here's the full leaderboard:
Astros: Acquired minor league pitcher Theron Geith from the Rays as the PTBNL in the Ben Francisco trade.
Meanwhile, news broke yesterday that the Marlins are planning on firing team president Larry Beinfest and GM Michael Hill following the season. Team owner Jeffrey Loria, however, denied the rumor.
The Pirates' dramatic fade from contention may lead to the end of the road for manager Clint Hurdle, but he is both prominently featured and accurate in our Tweet of the Day:
In Pittsburgh, where fans are irate over Pirates fade from Wild Card. As Clint Hurdle says, at least it's improvement in local expectations.— Anthony Castrovince (@castrovince) September 20, 2012
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the eleventh anniversary of the Brewers striking out for the 1272nd time in 2001, setting a new major league record. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also the 60th anniversary of the Braves' final game in Boston before moving to Milwaukee in 1953.
Now, if you'll excuse me, we're getting the band back together.