Some things to read while speaking from experience.
Every winning streak has to end somewhere, and that's what happened last night when the Marlins beat the Brewers 5-4. We've got the recap, if you missed it.
Last night's game turned in the eighth inning when Giancarlo Stanton took Jim Henderson deep, giving the Marlins the lead for good. Joe Block notes that it was only the second big league home run Jim Henderson has allowed in 58 career games. It snapped a streak of 35 consecutive appearances without one.
Ryan Braun sat out for the second consecutive game last night, and Logan Schafer went 0-for-4 in his place. While he's unavailable the Brewers are down to three healthy outfielders, but Adam McCalvy says Yuniesky Betancourt, Jeff Bianchi and Juan Francisco could play left in a pinch. Francisco has played eleven games in the outfield in the minors, while Yuni's only experience was a single defensive substitution this season. Bianchi also played a single game in the outfield during his rehab in Nashville.
Schafer is likely to be back in left field tonight when the Brewers and Marlins wrap up the series. Todd Rosiak talked to him about making the most of his opportunity to play a few games in a row.
Other notes from the field:
- Yuniesky Betancourt's triple (the Brewers' only extra base hit) gave them at least one in five consecutive games and ten of their last 11.
- Norichika Aoki struck out to lead off the game, ending a streak of 72 consecutive plate appearances witohut a strikeout.
As mentioned above, the series wraps up tonight when Alfredo Figaro takes on Kevin Slowey at 6:10. Jeremy Warnemuende has the MLB.com preview.
Rickie Weeks was back in the lineup last night and went 1-for-3 with a walk. He now has a hit in each of his last 12 starts, and is batting .347/.396/.551 over that time. Lou Olsen of Reviewing the Brew speculated that the team's decision to call up Scooter Gennett may have caused Weeks to refocus.
Elsewhere in hot streaks, John Axford retired both batters he faced last night and is now unscored upon in 15 consecutive appearances. J.P. Breen of Disciples of Uecker gives Axford some credit for turning his season around.
Meanwhile, Norichika Aoki snapped an eleven game hitting streak with an 0-for-4 night. Earlier in the day I shared some concerns about his 2013 baserunning. I guess he showed me.
After wrapping up their lone visit to Miami tonight, the Brewers head to Cincinnati on Friday and Houston next week before coming home to take on the Braves and Cubs. Brandon Berg of Chippewa.com says these next few weeks could help determine how the Brewers will handle the trade deadline and their short and long-term futures.
If the Brewers are looking to shore up their rotation in the short term, at least one veteran pitcher is available: Nick Michalski of The Brewers Bar wonders if Jon Garland, recently released by the Rockies, could help this team.
In the minors:
- Good news continues on the draft pick signing front: Last night @Mass_Haas noted that the Brewers have reached a deal with fourth round pick Taylor Williams, meaning ten of the team's top eleven picks are believed to be in agreement. We've got that and more in our draft signings thread.
- Richard Skinner of Cincinnati.com has a story on 13th round pick Tanner Norton, who recently agreed to terms.
- Meanwhile, we're still awaiting word on two more draft picks: Chris Breece of KFSM talked to 17th round pick Brandon Moore and found he's unsure if he'll sign or return to college, and James O. Covington of the Brookhaven Daily Leader found that 35th round pick Jesse Travis is also weighing his options. (h/t @Mass_Haas for both stories)
- Jim Callis of Baseball America says the Brewers "got two first round-quality talents" with second round picks Devin Williams and Tucker Neuhaus.
- Back on the field, Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has notes from Wisconsin's 5-4 loss to Beloit.
- The Brewers have released reliever Clay Hensley after just four appearances with AAA Nashville.
- Speaking of Nashville, Dayn Perry of CBS Sports listed Sounds first baseman Hunter Morris as one of five hitting prospects who are ready for a callup to the majors right now. Morris is hitting .246/.329/.508 in AAA, including a .272/.359/.588 line since May 1.
- Elsewhere in encouraging prospect notes, Nashville pitcher R.J. Seidel was an honorable mention on noted leisured gentleman Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs' "Fringe Five" prospect list for this week.
Angels: Placed reliever Robert Coello on the DL with shoulder soreness.
Blue Jays: Released catcher Henry Blanco.
Cubs: Designated pitcher Eduardo Sanchez for assignment and acquired reliever Henry Rodriguez from the Nationals for a minor league pitcher.
Dodgers: Placed outfielder Scott Van Slyke on the DL with shoulder bursitis.
Giants: Placed third baseman Pablo Sandoval on the DL with a strained foot.
Mariners: Designated catcher Brandon Bantz for assignment.
Nationals: Signed pitcher Mark Lowe to a minor league deal.
Red Sox: Placed pitcher Clayton Mortensen on the DL with a hip injury.
Let's go around the NL Central:
- Rookie Michael Wacha pitched six innings and picked up his first MLB win as the Cardinals beat the Mets 9-2.
- The Reds kept pace with a 12-2 win over the Cubs. Cincinnati hit four homers in the game against Matt Garza and company.
- Gerrit Cole got the win in his major league debut as the Pirates beat the Giants 8-2. Pedro Alvarez went 3-for-3 with a home run in the game.
- The Brewers, of course, lost 5-4 to the Marlins.
Here are today's standings and probables:
|Cardinals||42||22||--||@ NYM||6:10p||Shelby Miller v Dillon Gee|
|Reds||39||26||3.5||@ CHC||1:20p||Mike Leake v Travis Wood|
|Pirates||38||26||4||v SFG||6:05p||Pedro Liriano v Barry Zito|
|Brewers||26||38||16||@ MIA||6:10||Alfredo Figaro v Kevin Slowey|
Over 36,000 fans paid to see Cole's debut for the Pirates last night, but many of them were still outside when he threw his first pitch because the team was unprepared for the crowd at the gates.
I know we're not Cardinals fans around here, and we've certainly gone out of our way to point out their flaws in the past, but I wanted to mention this today because it might be the coolest thing I've seen a player do in some time: Carlos Beltran spent St. Louis' off day on Monday back in Puerto Rico to witness the first graduation ceremony at his baseball academy. Kudos to him for taking an opportunity to improve the lives of young people and the game of baseball in his community.
Meanwhile in Los Angeles, things got ugly in last night's Dodgers/Diamondbacks game when an escalating beanball battle ended with Arizona pitcher Ian Kennedy hitting Zack Greinke in (or near) the helmet with a pitch. Baseball Nation has video of the incident which should likely net Kennedy a significant suspension.
When you consider the variety of issues they face across baseball, it's pretty amazing what big league grounds crews are able to do to keep fields playable. Yesterday in Texas, for example, batting practice had to be cancelled due to a sinkhole caused by an underground broken pipe behind the mound. Crews were able to dig a hole, replace the pipe, fill in the hole and replace the grass in time for the game to go on as scheduled.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm not supposed to talk about this.