I think Adam McCalvy's tweet from after last night's game pretty much sums things up:
The Brewers fell behind 6-0 early last night and chipped away at the lead but never came all the way back, losing 6-5 to the Cardinals. Morineko has the recap, if you missed it.
Carlos Gomez was on base three times last night with two hits and a walk and stole two bases, extending his hitting streak to nine games. Brandon Berg of Chippewa.com listed Gomez as one of three Brewers who have kept the team afloat through April. The Book of Gorman also named him the MVP of the Pirates series.
Rickie Weeks was also on base three times last night, giving him five hits and three walks in his last three games. Earlier this week in the BCB Tracking Poll, though, a majority of fans voted for him to get a day or two off.
Other notes from the field:
- Last night's win was Jake Westbrook's 100th as a major leaguer. He's one of 32 active pitchers who have reached that mark.
- Rickie Weeks was credited with a TOOTBLAN for getting doubled off second on a line drive in the sixth inning.
- Yuniesky Betancourt's HBP was the 700th in the history of Miller Park. Plunk Everyone has more on the accomplishment.
- The Brat won the sausage race.
The series continues tonight when Kyle Lohse takes on Shelby Miller at 7:10. Cash Kruth has the MLB.com preview.
Tonight's game will also feature the return of Aramis Ramirez, who has been activated off the DL. Josh Prince was optioned back to Nashville to make room for him. Ramirez didn't go on a rehab assignment, so it'll be interesting to see how he's used and if he's ready to play nine innings.
Meanwhile, last night was Jeff Bianchi's first game back on the bench after being reinstated off the DL. Adam McCalvy talked to him about his new utility role.
It's possible the biggest unsung hero from last night was Alfredo Figaro, who pitched 2.2 scoreless innings after Wily Peralta's short start and saved the bullpen from what could have been a very long night.
One of the pitchers who didn't work last night was John Axford, who had appeared in each of the previous two games and was loudly booed at Miller Park after blowing a lead on Wednesday. That sparked Enrique Bakemeyer of The Brewers Bar to reopen the conversation on when it is or isn't acceptable to boo your home players. Axford's recent relapse caused Ron Roenicke to rethink his eighth inning assignments.
Speaking of frequently booed relievers, Francisco Rodriguez's work visa issue is resolved and he's reporting to Brevard County to start his minor league contract with the Brewers. The 30-day clock for his minor league tryout continued to run while he couldn't pitch because of the visa issue, so the Brewers still only have until mid-May to decide what to do with him. Over at Cream City Cables Nathan has chronicled K-Rod's return.
In the minors:
- Tom Haudricourt has an update on the minor league rehab of Mark Rogers. The short version is that progress has been slow.
- The affiliates went 1-4 last night with the lone win coming from Wisconsin, where Mitch Haniger homered as the Timber Rattlers beat Lansing 9-3 to salvage a doubleheader split. You can read more about that in today's Minor League Notes.
- Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem has an interview with Sounds pitcher Kyle Heckathorn.
- Baseball Reference has added minor league splits and game logs, inching them a step closer to being the only stats site you'll ever need.
I won't get a chance to try this in all likelihood, but if you do I'd love to hear your thoughts: The "Double Clutch" stand on the loge level at Miller Park is selling Beef Barbacoa Tacos for the weekend.
Today in power rankings: Nats Insider has the Brewers 15th, down five spots.
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 pm today. I'll be live in studio for an hour taking your calls, emails and tweets.
Also, my scheduled Thursday appearance on The Watercooler with Jimmie Kaska on Sports Radio 1400 in Eau Claire was pushed back a day, so I'll be stopping by there during the 5 pm hour today.
Blue Jays: Are expected to designate pitcher Justin Germano for assignment and placed pitcher Josh Johnson on the DL with triceps inflammation.
Indians: Claimed outfielder Ezequiel Carrera off waivers from the Phillies and designated first baseman Mike McDade for assignment.
Rockies: Signed pitcher Roy Oswalt to a minor league deal.
Yankees: Placed pitcher Joba Chamberlain on the DL with an oblique strain.
Let's look around the NL Central:
- The Brewers weren't the only NL Central team to lose yesterday, as the Padres came from behind to beat the Cubs 4-2. Former Brewer farmhand Joe Thatcher retired the only batter he faced and received the win.
- The Cardinals, of course, beat the Brewers 6-5.
- The Reds and Pirates were off.
Here are today's standings and probables:
|Cardinals||17||11||--||@ MIL||7:10p||Shelby Miller v Kyle Lohse|
|Pirates||16||12||1||v WAS||6:05p||A.J. Burnett v Ross Detwiler|
|Reds||15||14||2.5||@ CHC||1:20p||Mike Leake v Carlos Villanueva|
It's a long season, which is why it's important that you space out your interesting discussions or you'll be left with nothing but stuff like this: Red Reporter has a look at the Reds players' favorite brands of peanut butter.
No matter how many games we watch, though, there's always a chance you'll see something you've never seen before. Yesterday, for example, was a remarkably rare snow-out in Kansas City. Rays Index has a picture of a few dozen fans in attendance before the game was called.
Today in former Brewers:
- Hardball Talk notes that Casey McGehee is hitting .396/.476/.637 with five home runs over his first 91 at bats in Japan.
- Dante Bichette's Inferno found an old B.J. Surhoff card.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the 14th anniversary of the passing of longtime Milwaukee Brave first baseman Joe Adcock. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times also notes the anniversaries of these events:
- Lew Burdette's ninth consecutive win in 1959.
- The Brewers setting a record by laying down six sac bunts in a 4-3 win over the Yankees in 1975.
- Robin Yount's sixth and final inside-the-park home run in 1990.
Finally, today is also 2000-02 Brewer manager Davey Lopes' 68th birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his 31 career HBP as a player are the most ever for someone born on May 3.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to run.