Tuesday's Frosty Mug: A long weekend filled with sighs

Mike McGinnis

If you missed the Brewers over this long weekend, we'll help you catch up in our daily news roundup.

Some things to read while living in the past.

It was more of the same for the Brewers at Miller Park yesterday, as they fell to eleven games under .500 with a 6-3 loss to the Twins. Alec has the recap, if you missed it.

Ryan Braun was held out of the starting lineup with a sore thumb yesterday, but was still called upon to pinch hit (for Logan Schafer, not a pitcher) with two outs and none on, trailing 6-3 in the ninth inning. Braun lined out to end the game, snapping his 30-game interleague hitting streak. Justin Schultz of Reviewing the Brew has a look at some of the reasons Braun has been publicly unhappy lately.

The best news from yesterday's game came from Carlos Gomez, who batted third in place of Braun and hit a pair of home runs to take over the team lead with 10. Howie Magner noted that it's pretty remarkable that Gomez has gone from a negligible offensive contributor to a legitimate #3 candidate in the last two years. Adam McCalvy has a story on Gomez's week against the team that traded him to the Brewers in 2009.

If you don't mind, I think this weekend's lackluster performance calls for a double-decker Tweet of the Day:

Other notes from the field:

The Miller Park half of this home-and-home series wraps up tonight when Alfredo Figaro makes his first Brewer start against Scott Diamond at 7:10. AJ Cassavell has the MLB.com preview.

Yovani Gallardo's rough season continued on Saturday when he was only able to complete four innings in a loss to the Pirates. Adam McCalvy has the full transcript from his postgame comments where he discussed his velocity loss, and more. Actually, Sunday's bad game might not be the worst news Gallardo received this week. He was also fined $865, will have his driver's license revoked for seven months and will have an ignition interlock device in his vehicle for a year after pleading no contest for drunken driving.

Sunday's game featured the major league debut of reliever Donovan Hand, who pitched two innings following Gallardo's short start. Mike Vassallo reports that Hand is wearing #48, and he's also on Twitter.

Hand was the last in a series of four roster moves from over the weekend. It all started on Friday when Hiram Burgos was placed on the DL with a right shoulder impingement to make room for Tom Gorzelanny, who was activated. The next day Jim Henderson had to be lifted from a save opportunity with a strained hamstring, and he was added to the DL to make room for Hand. In addition, Mark Rogers was moved to the 60-day DL to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.

There is some good injury news, though: Kyle Lohse threw a bullpen session yesterday and expects to be ready to take the mound on Thursday for the finale of the Minnesota half of this Twins series. He missed a start over the weekend with elbow soreness. Chris Narveson is also tentatively scheduled to pitch on Thursday for Nashville, where he'll be stretched back out to start.

The possibility that Lohse and Narveson will rejoin the rotation soon casts a question on the future of Mike Fiers, who started on Saturday and allowed four runs over four innings. At least Fiers can rest a little easier knowing this, though: His mom is doing better in her battle with lupus and has been removed from intensive care.

Elsewhere in playing through injuries, Aramis Ramirez played three consecutive games from Friday-Sunday but missed yesterday's game as he continues to deal with his sore knee. Kevin Massoth of MLB.com talked to him about getting back into a routine. Despite appearing in just four of six games last week, though, he's our reigning and defending Brewer of the Week.

John Axford's scoreless ninth yesterday was his seventh consecutive scoreless outing, and he's now lowered his ERA from 24.30 to 6.33 over his last 20 appearances. He also found some time over the weekend to have a thoroughly silly film conversation with noted leisured gentleman Carson Cistulli of NotGraphs.

The month of May's continued poor showing continues to turn up the heat on Ron Roenicke, who fair or unfair has been tasked with finding a way to right the ship. In the FanPosts over the weekend aaronetc took a look at baserunning in the Roenicke era in response to criticism about the extra outs on the basepaths.

In the minors:

  • The Brewers have signed veteran reliever Clay Hensley and assigned him to Nashville to fill Donovan Hand's roster spot. Hensley is 33 and a veteran of seven major league seasons, last pitching in the big leagues with the Giants in 2012.
  • The affiliates went 0-3 yesterday but it wasn't second baseman Nick Shaw's fault: He went 3-for-4 with a home run in Huntsville's 8-6 loss to Tennessee. You can read more about that in today's Minor League Notes.
  • Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has video highlights and more from Wisconsin's 4-3, 12 inning loss to Peoria.
  • Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem has a two-part interview (Part 1, Part 2) with Brewers minor league infield coordinator Bob Miscik.
  • Michael Hunt of the JS has a post arguing that the Brewers farm system isn't as bad as you might think, although he removes some credibility from his own argument by touting players like "Brooks Hill" and "Brooks Suter" when he probably meant Brooks Hall and Brent Suter. He also completely overlooked 2012 first round picks Clint Coulter, Victor Roache and Mitch Haniger.
  • The Crawfish Boxes has a look at the draft possibilities for Brewer 2010 first round pick Dylan Covey, who did not sign with the team three years ago and is now eligible to be selected again.

Back in Milwaukee, FS Wisconsin reporter Sophia Minnaert was probably lucky to avoid serious injury on Saturday when she was struck by an errant ball during a report between innings. She deserves a lot of credit for picking the microphone right back up and picking up where she left off.

Elsewhere in the ballpark, the Brewers unveiled new Miller Park-exclusive Leinenkugels beer "Bernie's Barrelman Ale" for Monday's game. If that's not quite your style, Tyler Maas of the A.V. Club (who walked right past me at the park yesterday and didn't say anything) has seven alternate drinks to consider.

Around baseball:

Angels: Designated pitcher Billy Buckner for assignment.
Blue Jays: Placed reliever Darren Oliver on the DL with a shoulder strain.
Cardinals: Placed pitcher John Gast on the DL with shoulder tightness.
Cubs: Placed reliever Kyuji Fujikawa on the DL with a forearm strain and claimed pitcher Alex Burnett off waivers from the Orioles.
Indians: Placed reliever Chris Perez on the DL with shoulder soreness.
Mariners: Designated outfielder Francisco Martinez and infielder Robert Andino for assignment.
Marlins: Placed pitcher Alex Sanabia on the DL with a groin strain.
Nationals: Placed pitcher Ross Detwiler on the DL with an oblique strain and designated pitcher Yunesky Maya for assignment.
Pirates: Placed outfielder Jose Tabata on the DL with an oblique strain.
Rangers: Claimed outfielder Joe Benson off waivers from the Twins.
Reds: Placed reliever Sean Marshall on the DL with a shoulder sprain.
Royals: Placed catcher Salvador Perez on the bereavement list.
Yankees: Placed outfielder Curtis Granderson on the DL with a broken knuckle, claimed pitcher David Huff off waivers from the Indians and designated outfielder Ben Francisco and pitcher Francisco Rondon for assignment.

Let's go around the NL Central:

  • Since we last spoke the Cardinals have climbed to 16 games above .500, reaching that mark for the first time with a 6-3 win over the Royals yesterday. Yadier Molina went 2-for-2 with a pair of walks and a home run, driving in four runs in the game.
  • The Reds kept pace by scoring two runs in the bottom of the eighth to beat the Indians 4-2. Joey Votto's ninth home run of the season was the difference.
  • The Pirates' late comeback effort fell short as they lost 6-5 to Justin Verlander (who struck out 13) and the Tigers.
  • The Cubs climbed into fourth place with a 7-0 win over the White Sox. Jeff Samardzija pitched a two-hit shutout with eight strikeouts.
  • The Brewers, of course, resumed their role as the divisional anchor with a 6-3 loss to the Twins.

Here are today's updated standings and probables:

Team W L GB Today Time Matchup
Cardinals 33 17 -- @ KCR 7:10p Tyler Lyons v Ervin Santana
Reds 32 19 1.5 v CLE 6:10p Mat Latos v Zach McAllister
Pirates 31 20 2.5 @ DET 6:08p Jeanmar Gomez v Rick Porcello
Cubs 20 30 13 @ CWS 7:10p Edwin Jackson v Chris Sale
Brewers 19 30 13.5 v MIN 7:10p Alfredo Figaro v Scott Diamond

Today in former Brewers: Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star has an extended profile of Royals manager Ned Yost, which features a long retrospective on his firing in Milwaukee. Yost says he was let go for being too negative but, as Rubie Q notes, there may have been more to Yost's dismissal than simply issues with his personality.

Today's best sabermetric note comes from Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk, who wrote an extended piece yesterday arguing for "luck" as a segment of skill in baseball, not necessarily the antithesis of skill. I hadn't really considered things from this angle before, and I'd recommend you do the same.

One of the quirks of a holiday weekend schedule is the fact that God Bless America was played/performed at every MLB game on Sunday (per usual), but was also played again at every game on Monday (for Memorial Day). It's debatable whether or not that's overkill, but it did serve a useful purpose when it broke up an argument between Indians manager Terry Francona and an umpire.

Diamondbacks pitcher Ian Kennedy apparently spent part of the weekend cleaning his kitchen, and had to be scratched from his scheduled start Monday after cutting his right index finger while doing dishes. Be careful out there, folks.

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the 31st anniversary of a 1982 game where the Brewers hit back-to-back-to-back home runs but lost to the Angels anyway. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's been 51 years since Warren Spahn's 200th loss and the Red Sox signing George Scott as an amateur free agent. Today is also 1993 Brewer Bill Doran's 55th birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his ten career HBP are the fourth most ever for a player born on May 28.

Now, if you'll excuse me, it's starting to rain.

Drink up.

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