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The Brewers are running out of chances to recover from tough losses.
Some things to read while driving it until it dies.
The Brewers were forced to settle for a split in Washington over the weekend after an ugly 12-2 loss yesterday. We've got the recap, if you missed it. Auburndale, Wisconsin native Jordan Zimmermann held the Crew to a run on four hits over 6.2 innings and Nationals manager Davey Johnson told reporters he "made it look kind of easy."
One of the few offensive highlights in yesterday's game came from Aramis Ramirez, who became just the second player in franchise history to collect 50 doubles in a season. He's also the first major leaguer to reach that mark since 2009.
Ryan Braun had two hits yesterday to raise his batting average to .318, the highest it's been since June. He's also the only major leaguer with 100 runs scored and 100 RBI in each of the last four seasons. Colin Bennett of Reviewing the Brew, however, says it's time to stop campaigning for him to win the NL MVP.
Other notes from the field:
- Corey Hart homered yesterday for the first time since September 5, and is now two away from becoming the ninth Brewer ever to post multiple 30 home run seasons.
- Jonathan Lucroy went 1-for-3 with a walk yesterday and now has a ten game hitting streak. He's the fifth different Brewer to have a streak of ten games or longer this season.
- Kameron Loe was unable to finish the fifth inning yesterday and has now allowed seven of the last nine batters he's faced to reach.
- Norichika Aoki went 0-for-4 yesterday but is still our reigning Brewer of the Week.
- We've got a look at the game's turning points and a transcript of Ron Roenicke's postgame comments.
There's no rest for the Brewers today as their road trip continues in Cincinnati tonight. Doug Miller has the MLB.com preview and noted leisured gentleman Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs gave tonight's Mike Fiers/Johnny Cueto matchup a five out of ten on his NERD scale.
The Reds have shuffled their rotation a bit to remove Mike Leake, so here are this week's projected pitching matchups:
|Tuesday||Mike Fiers||Johnny Cueto|
|Wednesday||Shaun Marcum||Bronson Arroyo|
|Thursday||Wily Peralta||Mat Latos|
Thursday's game was initially scheduled to be an off day for the FS Wisconsin crew, but they've since picked it up.
Of course, all three games in the series are "weather permitting." Tom Haudricourt noted that the forecast isn't great for today or tomorrow.
Yesterday's loss severely dampened the Brewer playoff hopes, as CoolStandings has downgraded their playoff chances from 17.5% to 7.6. You know that and more if you've read this morning's edition of Around the Wild Card.
Meanwhile, here's some more bad news. Nationals manager Davey Johnson, whose team still has three games remaining against the Cardinals, told reporters he's planning on resting his regulars once his team has clinched the NL East. Their magic number currently stands at 5.
Regardless of how this all ends, the fact that this team has been able to propel themselves back into contention without Zack Greinke is pretty impressive. R.J. Anderson of Baseball Prospectus is the latest to look at what the Brewers have done since dealing one of their best pitchers.
John Axford didn't pitch yesterday, but is still carrying a streak of 15 consecutive saves converted. Mike Flammetta of MLB.com says his turnaround has been a key part of the Brewers' recent success. Jayson Stark also notes, though, that his 21 outings where he's given up a run lead all major league closers.
Carlos Gomez had a hit yesterday but did not steal a base, so he's still sitting on 35 for the season. Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs notes that Gomez steals on 32.5% of all opportunities when the next base is open, the eighth-highest rate in all of baseball Rajai Davis leads all major leaguers by running in 55.3% of opportunities.
New Brewer Yorvit Torrealba appeared in three games in the Nationals series, going 0-for-4 with a walk. The Brewers acquired the veteran catcher from the Blue Jays on Friday for cash considerations, but have said he'll primarily serve as an extra bench body.
In the minors:
- Baseball America listed 2012 first round pick Clint Coulter as the tenth best prospect in the Arizona League this season.
- John Sickels of Minor League Ball has an extended look at Brewer Minor League Pitcher of the Year Hiram Burgos and says he "performed well enough this season to be in the roster picture for '13, as four/five starter or a relief asset. Keep an eye on him."
- Rattler Radio has a look at some numbers from Wisconsin's Midwest League Championship run and a list of times when the deciding game will re-air on Time Warner Cable Sports 32.
- The Timber Rattlers, by the way, are looking for interns for the 2013 season.
If you'd like more Brewer coverage today but you're sick of reading, I'll be making my weekly appearance on The Watercooler with Jimmie Kaska on Sports Radio 1400 in Eau Claire at 5:15 today.
If you like your Brewer-related audio to not have me in it, this week's View From Bernie's Chalet Podcast is also available. Topics include the Wild Card race and the race for NL MVP.
Finally, congratulations are due out this morning to BrewCrewBrian, yesterday's winner in our SB Nation Pick 6 contest. Here's the full leaderboard:
|3||Badger Boy in Vail||36.2|
Diamondbacks: Outfielder Cole Gillespie has refused an outright assignment to the minors and is now a free agent.
Tigers: Acquired minor league pitcher Greg Ross as the PTBNL in the trade that sent infielder Jeff Baker to the Braves.
In former Brewers: Fernando Vina (Aries), Prince Fielder (Taurus), Jason Kendall (Cancer) and Gary Sheffield (Scorpio) are represented on Plunk Everyone's list of career HBP leaders by astrological sign.
Today in baseball economics: The Marlins raised their payroll to $95 million for their first season in their new ballpark in 2012, but are expected to pare it back down to $70-80 million for 2013.
Here's today's weird statistical quirk: Baseball In-Depth notes that five major leaguers collected 100 walks last season, but it's possible only one (Adam Dunn) will do it this year.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a lot of fruit to eat.