Some things to read while saving the world.
I guess I'll just lead with Tweet of the Day today, because Howie Magner summed things up nicely:
The modern #Brewers prescription reads something like this: Play the Pirates and call me in the morning.— Howie Magner (@howiemag) May 14, 2013
The Brewers are now 16-20 on the season but they're 3-1 against the Pirates following a series-opening 5-1 win in Pittsburgh last night. Eric has the recap, if you missed it.
Despite Ryan Braun being out of the lineup last night, the Brewers' 1-3 hitters combined for seven of the team's nine hits and stole six bases. Jean Segura had hits in each of his first three plate appearances and at one point had reached in 13 of his last 16 PAs. Yesterday he was also named NL Player of the Week, and Alec Dopp took a great look at the sources behind his recent power surge.
Segura's hot night last night moved him a few points ahead of Carlos Gomez in the race for the NL batting title. Perhaps not surprisingly, Andrew Ball of Beyond the Box Score has Gomez on a list of baseball's luckiest hitters in 2013. Jonathan Lucroy, meanwhile, has been among the unluckiest.
If I don't point this out, someone else certainly will: The Brewers are now 1-0 on days when Rickie Weeks doesn't play. Yuniesky Betancourt moved to second base to fill in for him yesterday and went 0-for-4, while Blake Lalli started at first and also went 0-for-4. Adam McCalvy wondered if Weeks will also sit today before the Brewers face lefties on Wednesday and Thursday. George Von Benko of MLB.com captured this Roenicke quote about taking Weeks out of the lineup:
"He's not going to like it," Roenicke said. "I already mentioned to him to make sure he is going to be ready when I need him for a pinch-hitter. He told me before that: 'When you want me off, tell me I'm off. If you ask me whether I want a day off, I'm never going to tell you I need it.' So I don't ask him. I thought it was a good day today and so I told him he was off."
Other notes from the field:
- Pirates closer Jason Grilli wasn't needed last night, but if he had been he wouldn't have been available after rushing out of the clubhouse to deal with a personal matter several hours before the game.
- Pirates second baseman Neil Walker went 0-for-4 with a strikeout in his first game since April 26. He had been on the DL with a laceration on his right hand.
The series continues tonight when Kyle Lohse takes on Jeff Locke at 6:05. Paul Casella has the MLB.com preview.
This is probably too late to help any of us this week, but if you're planning a trip to Pittsburgh in the future it may come in handy: Big League Stew has a visitors guide to PNC Park.
The Brewers stole six bases without making any outs on the bases last night, so that's a welcome change. If you're one of the many who have been complaining about the Brewers' over-aggressiveness on the basepaths, though, here's something to notice: TOOTBLAN Tracker says the Cardinals have actually made more bad outs. In a related note, Ron Roenicke Stole My Baseball says Roenicke has not been the problem this season.
Looking ahead, Yovani Gallardo is scheduled to take the mound in tomorrow's game for his latest opportunity to turn around his recent struggles. Tim Muma of Brewers Mix suggests that both pitch selection and velocity could have something to do with Gallardo's tough outings recently.
Looking further ahead, the Brewers return home on Monday to take on the Dodgers and there's a pretty good chance they'll get to see Zack Greinke when they do. Greinke is expected to pitch tomorrow, although the team has not yet decided if it'll be in the majors or on a rehab assignment. Either way, he'd be on normal rest for the Brewers series opener on Monday.
Looking still further ahead, the Brewers are going to have an interesting decision to make this winter regarding Corey Hart. He's due to become a free agent and the Brewers could get a compensatory draft pick if they offer him a contract and he signs elsewhere, but there's always a risk he'd accept a qualifying offer. As of this writing just 12.2% of voters in this MLB Trade Rumors poll think the Brewers will extend an offer.
I don't think Corey Hart is a correct answer to any of Jess Lemont of The Brewers Bar's Brewer Anagrams. My favorite from this batch is "Yucky Baritone Tunes."
Ryan Braun may have gone 2-for-12 over the weekend and sat out of Monday's game, but he's still done one great thing recently: Steve Garczynski of Disciples of Uecker documented his recent visit to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. Ava, the little girl he was visiting, went home for the first time yesterday.
Meanwhile in Nashville, Francisco Rodriguez pitched a scoreless inning last night and has yet to allow a run in three minor league appearances. He's expected to pitch again today, and the Brewers have until Thursday to decide what to do with him. Despite his success in the minors, Jaymes Langrehr says he thinks everyone in the current bullpen except John Axford is still a better option than K-Rod.
Elsewhere in the minors:
- The affiliates went 2-2 last night and Wisconsin outfielder Michael Reed went 3-for-6 with a double in the Timber Rattlers' 5-4, eleven inning win over Burlington. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has video highlights from the Wisconsin win, which ended on a walkoff walk.
- Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem has an interview with Sounds manager Mike Guerrero.
Back in Milwaukee, the Brewers have unveiled a promotion to help name a new Leinenkugels beer that will be sold at the ballpark for the rest of the season. Follow that link to learn how to voice your opinion on favor of "Brew Crew Brew," "Bernie's Barrel Man Ale" or "Brewers All-Star Ale."
Elsewhere in voting, the Brewers are likely to be knocked out in the first round of ESPN.com's Battle of the Jerseys, a tournament to select baseball's best uniforms. They're facing the Dodgers in the first round and trail by 54% at this point. (h/t Baseball Nation)
While we're talking about unis, the Brewers and Twins will wear 1948 throwbacks when the two teams meet in Minnesota on May 30. The Twins will be representing the 1948 St. Paul Saints, while the Brewers will wear throwbacks from the American Association team. The 1948 Brewers featured future major leaguers Del Crandall and Johnny Logan.
If you haven't yet, please take a moment this morning to vote in our BCB Tracking Poll. It will remain open through the day today and results will be posted tomorrow.
Finally, just 41 hours remain to purchase your tickets to Miller Park Drunk's Pants Party 3, the best tailgate party of the summer. This morning Vince announced on Facebook that two lucky attendees will received a framed photo of the 1982 Brewers wearing cowboy hats. That might be worth the price of admission by itself.
Astros: Team president and CEO George Postolos has resigned.
Mets: Signed outfielder Rick Ankiel to a one-year contract.
Orioles: Are expected to place pitcher Wei-Yin Chen on the DL with an oblique strain.
Rays: Signed pitcher Cory Wade to a minor league deal.
Tigers: Placed outfielder Austin Jackson on the DL with a hamstring strain.
In addition to their sudden management departure, the Astros made news in another way yesterday by cancelling their annual "Black Ties and Baseball Caps" fundraiser for the Houston Area Women's Center. That decision has led to SB Nation Astros site The Crawfish Boxes going dark for the day.
Meanwhile, the Astros were also involved in one of two scary moments around baseball last night: Houston second baseman Jose Altuve suffered a dislocated jaw following a collision with outfielder Jimmy Paredes in last night's game, and Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper required eleven stitches after crashing into the fence at Dodger Stadium. Both players are expected to be ok.
It's time to go around the NL Central:
- The Cardinals have won ten of their last 12 games, including a 6-3 decision over the Mets last night. Matt Holliday's home run was part of a three-run seventh that decided the game.
- The Cubs kept pace with a 9-1 win over the Rockies, powering eight extra base hits in support of Travis Wood. Wood pitched seven shutout innings.
- The Brewers, of course, beat the Pirates 5-1.
- The Reds were off Monday.
Here are today's standings and probables:
|Cardinals||24||13||--||v NYM||7:15p||John Gast v Dillon Gee|
|Reds||22||16||2.5||@ MIA||6:10p||Homer Bailey v Ricky Nolasco|
|Pirates||21||17||3.5||v MIL||6:05p||Jeff Locke v Kyle Lohse|
|Cubs||16||22||8.5||v COL||7:05p||Carlos Villanueva v Jeff Francis|
Today in Brewer History was off this morning, but Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times is here to fill in the gap. He notes that today is the 25th anniversary of Don Sutton's 324th and final major league win, and the first anniversary of MLB firing arbitrator Shyam Das.
Finally, I wanted to take a moment this morning to offer best wishes to Tom Haudricourt, who needs surgery to repair an issue with his foot and will be away from the team for a while. Get well soon, Tom.
Now, if you'll excuse me, someone needs to finish this drink.