Fresh off their second off day in four days, the Brewers head to Cincinnati tonight to open a pretty important series against the second-place Reds. Yovani Gallardo will take on Tony Cingrani in the series opener at 6:10 in the first meeting of 2013 for these divisional rivals.
No matter how tonight turns out it's going to be a tough weekend for Gallardo, who will face Mother's Day for the first time since his mother died of cancer over the winter. Adam McCalvy was the first reporter to talk to Gallardo about his loss.
Looking ahead to the series, I think Redleg Nation did a pretty good job summing up the Brewer season to this point in their series preview. We interviewed BK of Red Reporter for our preview, which will run later today.
Regardless of how the next ten days go, the Brewers have some work to do if they're going to beat this prediction the rest of the way: FanGraphs has the Brewers projected to finish at 78-84, which would only be the second time in seven years they've won less than 80 games.
You know it's a slow news day when Tom Haudricourt's JS chat is one of the day's most talked about-events. Ron Roenicke Stole My Baseball has some winners and losers from the occasion, while Enrique Bakemeyer of The Brewers Bar has a takedown of the fan who's always calling for someone's head.
Of course, no Brewer chat is complete without a mention of Yuniesky Betancourt. Yesterday Nathan launched our portion of the campaign to get Yuni into the All Star Game.
And if we're going to talk about Yuni, we're almost certainly also going to discuss Rickie Weeks. Jim Owcazrski of OnMilwaukee.com says we shouldn't be surprised by his early struggles.
In the minors:
- Mark Rogers' rehab assignment with Huntsville has been put on hold and he'll undergo another MRI after reporting tingling in his arm during his last outing.
- The affiliates went 3-0 last night and were led by Brevard County pitcher David Goforth, who allowed just one hit while pitching seven scoreless innings in the Manatees' 5-0 win over Tampa. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Goforth was followed to the mound by Francisco Rodriguez, who pitched a perfect eighth with a pair of strikeouts in his second minor league appearance.
- Scooter Gennett went 1-for-5 for Nashville last night and has now reached base in 27 consecutive games.
- Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem has an interview with Sounds reliever Jesus Sanchez.
Moving on to power rankings: Tim Brown of Yahoo has the Brewers 18th, down a spot.
If you'd like more Brewer coverage today but you're sick of reading, I'll be making my weekly appearance on The Home Stretch with Justin Hull on 95.3 FM WSCO in Appleton at 2 today. I'll be in studio for most of an hour taking your calls, emails and tweets and answering your questions.
Astros: Released outfielder Rick Ankiel.
Cubs: Reliever Kameron Loe has declined an outright assignment to the minors and is now a free agent.
Orioles: Placed pitcher Miguel Gonzalez on the DL with a wart on his thumb.
Yankees: Acquired infielder Alberto Gonzalez from the Cubs for a PTBNL or cash.
Most of the NL Central was off yesterday, so I'll skip the bullet point scoreboard and just tell you that the Mets beat the Pirates 3-2 at Citi Field. NL saves leader Jason Grilli picked up the loss on Mike Baxter's walkoff single in the ninth.
Here are today's updated standings and probables:
|Cardinals||21||12||--||v COL||7:15p||Shelby Miller v Jon Garland|
|Reds||19||16||3||v MIL||6:10p||Tony Cingrani v Yovani Gallardo|
|Pirates||18||16||3.5||@ NYM||6:10p||Wandy Rodriguez v Shaun Marcum|
|Cubs||13||21||8.5||@ WAS||6:05p||Jeff Samardzija v Ross Detwiler|
If the Nationals beat the Cubs tonight, keep an eye out for this: The Nationals' "new" habit of untucking after wins is growing...although not everyone is doing it by choice.
Today in former Brewers: Earlier this week Noah interviewed Trevor Hoffman as part of a Pepsi Max promotional campaign. I think he did a great job and Hoffman provided a lot of interesting material.
Before I forget, I'd like to take a moment this morning to welcome longtime friend of the site Larry Granillo to the SB Nation network. His debut post is about the challenges inherent in being a Larry.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the 44th anniversary of a game where the Seattle Pilots set a franchise record by allowing 13 runs and winning anyway. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times also notes the following anniversaries:
- Hank Aaron's only inside-the-park home run of his career in 1967.
- Hank Aaron moving into first place on the all-time RBI list in 1975.
- The first of Paul Molitor's 33 career leadoff home runs in 1978.
- Jeromy Burnitz's three-homer game against the Cubs in 2001.
Today is also 1974 Brewer Ken Berry's 72nd birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his 30 career HBP are the third most ever for a player born on May 10.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to call again.