Thursday's Frosty Mug: The season changes, but not the story

Mike McGinnis

We're talking about (what else?) bullpen woes and more in today's daily roundup of all things Brewers.

Some things to read while behaving inappropriately.

After getting off to a 1-0 start the Brewer are below .500 for the first (and hopefully last) time in 2013 this morning, having lost the game and the opening series 7-3 to the Rockies last night. Jordan has the recap, if you missed it.

The Brewers were already behind 4-3 when John Axford came into the game in the ninth last night, but he made himself the story by allowing three more runs on a career-high five hits, including two more home runs. We're only three days into the season and Adam McCalvy has already written his first piece discussing what the Brewers may do with their embattled closer.

Rockies writer Troy Renck said he's heard from a scout that hitters are having an easy time picking up Axford's release point, which allows them more time to figure out what's coming. Axford's early struggles are one of the reasons late-inning relief appears as one of Dave Radcliffe of Yahoo's three weakest links on the Brewer roster.

The other four Colorado runs were all attributed to Wily Peralta, who allowed them on six hits and three walks over 5.1 innings in what's actually the longest outing by a Brewer starting pitcher in 2013. Todd Rosiak noted that he also hit some majestic blasts in BP.

Overall one probably has to classify this as a disappointing opening series for Brewer pitchers. Jaymes Langrehr noted that they allowed 41 hits over 28 innings in the season's first three games.

Other notes from the field:

The Brewers are off today before opening another home series against the Diamondbacks tomorrow night, with Kyle Lohse making his Brewer debut against 2012 Rookie of the Year candidate Wade Miler. AJ Cassavell has the MLB.com preview.

The Diamondbacks, by the way, are also off today after a marathon game last night. They beat the Cardinals 10-9 in 16 innings, and at five hours and 32 minutes it was the longest home game in franchise history.

It's probably safe to assume Jonathan Lucroy will catch Lohse on Friday after Martin Maldonado caught Wily Peralta last night. Ron Roenicke told Adam McCalvy that the time sharing for the Brewer catchers remains in flux and will likely be impacted by players' performance in the time they get.

Once Friday's game is out of the way, Saturday's contest will feature Mike Fiers' 2013 debut. Todd Rosiak talked to Fiers about his efforts to regain his confidence following a rough ending to his 2012 season and a challenging spring.

On Sunday the Brewers will start their second trip through the rotation with Yovani Gallardo back on the mound. As part of his look at 2013's first pitches, Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs noted that Gallardo opened the season with an 89 mph fastball thrown for a ball.

Khris Davis didn't get into last night's game and has made just two plate appearances since making the Opening Day roster. Ron Roenicke said he understands the challenges Davis faces as a big league rookie getting limited playing time.

In the minors:

Meanwhile, by now we've probably all seen the winner of the 2013 YOUniform contest, which the Brewers wore in a couple of spring training games and, last I heard, were seeking permission to wear in regular season games. Robert J. Baumann of NotGraphs has a look at some of the other candidates for this honor.

If you've attended a Brewer game this week and bought food, beer and soda, you may have noticed that your pocket is a little emptier than it used to be. The Milwaukee Business Journal notes that the Brewers' 2013 fan cost index is up 3.1% over a year ago.

Around baseball:

Athletics: Claimed pitcher Will Harris off waivers from the Rockies.
Cubs: Signed infielder Donnie Murphy to a minor league deal.
Dodgers: Released reliever Kevin Gregg.
Indians: Claimed pitcher Rob Whitenack off waivers from the Cubs.
Tigers: Claimed pitcher Evan Reed off waivers from the Marlins.
Yankees: Released pitcher Clay Rapada.

In former Brewers:

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks 1987 Brewer Brad Komminsk's 52nd birthday. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also the 39th anniversary of Hank Aaron's 714th home run.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to bed.

Drink up.

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