Friday's Frosty Mug: Brewer News, Links And Notes As You Shift Your Attention To St. Louis

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 06: Pitcher Marco Estrada #41 of the Milwaukee Brewers throws against the Florida Marlins at Marlins Park on September 6, 2012 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

Some things to read while picking up your loaner.

The Brewers wrapped up a split of a four game set with an early loss yesterday, falling 6-2 to the Marlins in an 11:30 Central time game. Morineko has the recap, if you missed it.

Apparently the early start was also an issue for Marco Estrada, who told Tom Haudricourt (behind the JS paywall) that he had to rush his warmups and wasn't fully ready to start the game. Estrada allowed three runs in the first inning and another in the second.

Yesterday's loss wrapped up the Brewers' first visit to Marlins Park, where they were able to hit home runs in three straight games before being kept in the park yesterday. Ryan Braun told Joe Frisaro of MLB.com that it's definitely a big park. Speaking of Braun, Jack Moore of FanGraphs has a look at how his opposite field power has developed over the years.

Elsewhere in power, here are the trot times and distances from the long balls in Wednesday's win:

Hitter Distance Trot Time
Rickie Weeks #1 418 feet 23.94 seconds
Rickie Weeks #2 399 feet 22.51 seconds
Corey Hart 404 feet 21.93 seconds

Other notes from the field:

  • Yesterday's game snapped a streak of seven consecutive games where the Brewers had homered. They had also gone deep 25 times in their previous ten games.
  • Norichika Aoki was hit by a pitch yesterday and is now one plunking away from tying the Brewer rookie record, while the team is also one away from tying a franchise record. Plunk Everyone has more on the topic.
  • The Brewers entered yesterday's game at two games under .500 for the first time since May 4.
  • Chad Moriyama has a gif of Carlos Gomez falling down while backing up a ground ball to second base.

The road trip continues tonight at the Brewers face the Cardinals at 7:15 in St. Louis. Evan Drellich has the MLB.com preview and noted leisured gentleman Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs gave tonight's Yovani Gallardo/Kyle Lohse matchup a five out of ten on his NERD scale. I answered some questions for Viva El Birdos for their series preview, and will have ours up around noon.

For the first time in a while tonight's game has a "weather permitting" tag attached to it. Tom Haudricourt notes that St. Louis is supposed to get strong thunderstorms this afternoon.

The Cardinals lead all of baseball in hits and runs scored this season, although this could explain some of it. Dave Cameron of FanGraphs notes that they're hitting .278 on ground balls this season, far and away the best mark in the majors.

The Brewers finished off their series in Miami yesterday without Aramis Ramirez, who tweaked his back and/or oblique in the on deck circle Wednesday night. Ramirez's inactivity left the Brewers pretty light on third base options, so Jeff Bianchi made his first professional start over there yesterday. Taylor Green has been recalled and will likely fill the position if Ramirez can't go tonight.

If the Brewers are going to continue their improbable late-season push towards relevance, they'll likely need to win this weekend's series with the Cardinals. This week's Tracking Poll shows that 30% of you think this team can still make the playoffs, but Miller Park Drunk would like to throw some cold water on that.

Looking ahead, Wily Peralta won't face the Cardinals this weekend but probably slots into the Braves series sometime next week. Keith Law said Peralta's ceiling is higher than that of a #5 starter, and also higher than Tyler Thornburg's.

Rickie Weeks went 0-for-4 yesterday to drop his 2012 line to .229/.333/.392 through 133 games. Colin Bennett of Reviewing the Brew says "the contract Rickie Weeks is currently living out might be one of the most disappointing decisions the team has made in recent memory." Rubie Q, meanwhile, has made a motion to stop using batting average to evaluate Weeks' performance.

It's also worth noting that Weeks has been much better lately. Tom Green of MLB.com credited Weeks' recent resurgence to an effort to stop chasing breaking balls down in the zone.

Francisco Rodriguez enters play tonight with a career-high 4.95 ERA, 4.5 walks per nine innings and a career-low nine strikeouts per nine innings, but apparently he'll still have some value on the free agent market this winter. Matthew Pouliot of Hardball Talk listed K-Rod as this offseason's #63 free agent, and says he's "not done as a quality closer."

Rodriguez also may not be done contributing to this list: Ron Roenicke Stole My Baseball has a look at the ten times this season where the Brewers have blown a save but gone on to win the game.

With that said, there's reason for optimism regarding the 2013 Brewers. Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker has a look back at some of the worst bullpens in baseball history and notes that their teams tend to bounce back the next season.

With football season underway and all the distractions that fall brings, it's likely that some of you have put the Brewers on the back burner this September. Brandon Berg of Chippewa.com, however, has a list of five reasons to continue to watch this team down the stretch.

We have some unexpected injury news to report this morning: Alex Gonzalez was with the team in Miami this week and appears to be ahead of schedule in his rehab from ACL surgery. There's a chance he could rejoin the team before the end of the season.

In the minors:

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

Rank Player Points
1 weisomatic. 63.8
2 Berryjs 60.5
3 gobrew23 57.2
4 takeapitchcarlos 56.1
5 jimf 47.9
6 Badger Boy in Vail 47.5
7 BrewCrewBrian 46.8
8 coachseibel 46.7
9 Hendrik 46.4
10 jllyons 45.7

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

Around baseball:

Athletics: Placed third baseman Brandon Inge on the DL with a shoulder injury.
Padres: Signed outfielder Chris Denorfia to a two year, $4.25 million contract extension.
Rangers: Released pitcher Miguel De Los Santos.

Thankfully this week's scariest story appears to be headed for a happy conclusion: Athletics pitcher Brandon McCarthy had to undergo surgery to repair a fractured skull after being hit by a line drive Wednesday, but was reportedly awake and alert in the hospital last night.

Today in former Brewers:

We as fans make a pretty big deal out of pitchers who can reach 100 mph on the radar gun, but it's worth noting that the cumulative effects of throwing that hard over a long period of time probably aren't positive. If you need proof, take a look at this 60ft6in post showing that only one of the six pitchers clocked over 100 in 2009 still throws that hard, and half of the group has since required surgery.

In baseball economics:

  • Indians closer Chris Perez publicly blasted his organization yesterday for being unwilling to spend money, saying "you get what you pay for."
  • There are still a few minor league games left to play but Baseball America says it looks like attendance figures will finish slightly below last season's totals.

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the second anniversary of Trevor Hoffman's 600th save. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times also notes these milestones:

  • It's been 4000 days since Jeromy Burnitz and Richie Sexson each hit three home runs in the same game.
  • It's been 13 years since the Brewers and Diamondbacks combined to use 15 pitchers in a nine inning game, which Arizona won 11-9.
  • It's been 45 years since a 1967 game where Bob Uecker had two passed balls, a throwing error and catcher's interference while trying to catch Hall of Fame knuckleballer Phil Niekro.

Today is also Bill Schroeder's 54th birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his 16 career HBP are the third most ever for a player born on September 7.

I occasionally post advice for aspiring writers in this space, but I don't think I've ever posted something so accurate and concise as this Jonah Keri tweet:

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to row some more.

Drink up.

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