Some things to read while finding your limit.
An ugly road trip/season took another turn for the worse in Pittsburgh last night, where the Brewers needed 12 innings to settle a 4-3 loss to the Pirates. We've got the recap, if you missed it.
The Brewers carried a 3-2 lead into the eighth inning last night, but some questionable bullpen management put them in a tough spot. Ron Roenicke played matchups in the sixth and seventh and had used Burke Badenhop, Brandon Kintzler and Mike Gonzalez to record a combined four outs, leaving John Axford to pitch the eighth inning. His rough season continued as he allowed a run, tying the game and eventually sending it to extra innings.
Axford's latest rough outing somewhat overshadowed the fact that the bullpen was asked to cover 5.1 innings last night and had allowed just one run on four hits when Andrew McCutchen ended the game with a walkoff homer off Mike Fiers (the Brewers' last available arm) in the 12th.
Meanwhile, an announcement on Francisco Rodriguez could come anytime now. He pitched a scoreless eighth in his first back-to-back outing of the season last night, striking out the side for Nashville. The Brewers have to make a decision on him by tomorrow.
On the bright side, Jean Segura homered again last night. Joe Block notes that he's slugging .854 against left-handed pitchers this season after posting a .081 mark a year ago. Entering last night's game noted leisured gentleman Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs listed Segura as baseball's fourth most improved hitter. Carlos Gomez is #1.
Segura is still a long time away from being eligible for free agency, but apparently the Brewers looked into the possibility of planning ahead. Yesterday his agent told reporters the Brewers have discussed a long-term contract extension with their young shortstop, but the discussion took place about a month ago and doesn't seem to have gone anywhere. His value has probably gone up since then, as demonstrated by the fact that Mike Bauman of MLB.com is comparing his first full MLB season to Mike Trout's.
Segura isn't specifically mentioned in this piece, but he's part of the reason the Brewers entered play yesterday ranked fourth in all of baseball in John Dewan's "runs saved" defensive stat.
Other notes from the field:
- Joe Block noted that the Brewers are 16-21 after 37 games for the third consecutive season.
- Carlos Gomez was awarded a TOOTBLAN for being caught off second base on a fielder's choice in the fourth inning.
- The Brewers went 6-for-6 stealing bases on Monday, but last night Pirates catcher Russell Martin was back in the lineup and they went 0-for-1.
- Brandon Inge entered the game late last night at shortstop for the Pirates, and it was the first time he's played there in his 13 MLB seasons.
- Home plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth had to leave last night's game in the eleventh inning after being hit in the collarbone by a foul ball.
The series continues in Pittsburgh tonight, with Yovani Gallardo taking on Wandy Rodriguez at 6:05. Mark Emery has the MLB.com preview.
Kyle Lohse only allowed two runs last night, but Brewer starting pitchers are still dragging a 5.06 ERA this season. J.P. Breen of Disciples of Uecker has a look at what each Brewer starter needs to do to improve his numbers.
Elsewhere in disappointing numbers, we have Rickie Weeks. He went 1-for-4 with a walk last night and enters play today hitting .183/.305/.275 over 37 games. Ron Roenicke Stole My Baseball wonders if Weeks has become a bad player who has occasional hot streaks instead of a good player who occasionally slumps.
It's looking increasingly likely that the Brewers will get to face Zack Greinke when they take on the Dodgers next week. He's expected to start for Los Angeles today, which would leave him lined up to pitch on normal rest on Monday. He's several weeks ahead of schedule in his recovery from a broken collarbone.
In the minors:
- The affiliates went 2-2 last night and Taylor Jungmann pitched six shutout innings in Huntsville's 5-0 win over Mississippi. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has video highlights from Wisconsin's 9-7 win over Quad Cities, including home runs for both Victor Roache and Mitch Haniger.
- Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem has an interview with Doug Melvin.
- Ben Hill of MiLB.com was recently in Nashville and posted a great review of the ballpark (the phrase "ramshackle charm" was frequently used) and a profile of Brewers video intern Adam Hayes.
It's time to go around the NL Central:
- The Cardinals gave John Gast nine early runs and he cruised to his first major league victory in a 10-4 win over the Mets. Carlos Beltran's home run was his tenth of the season.
- The Reds scored five runs in the second en route to a 6-2 win over the Marlins. Xavier Paul drove in three of those runs with a bases loaded double.
- The Pirates, you may have heard, beat the Brewers 4-3 in 12 innings.
- As is frequently the case, the Cubs were the other loser in the division yesterday, falling 9-4 to the Rockies. Carlos Villanueva allowed 12 of Colorado's 17 hits in the game, including a pair of home runs.
Here are today's standings and probables:
|Cardinals||25||13||--||v NYM||7:15p||Shelby Miller v Shaun Marcum|
|Reds||23||16||2.5||@ MIA||6:10p||Mike Leake v Alex Sanabia|
|Pirates||22||17||3.5||v MIL||6:05p||Wandy Rodriguez v Yovani Gallardo|
|Cubs||16||23||9.5||v COL||7:05p||Jeff Samardzija v Jon Garland|
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need more exclamation points.