Thursday's Frosty Mug: A good start to the trip

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The Brewers are 5-2 in their last seven games, and we're talking about that and more in today's news roundup.

Some things to read while considering alternate transportation options.

The Brewers have won five of their last six games and ran away with a victory last night, taking a lead in the first and never looking back in a 10-1 win over the Marlins. Rach has the recap, if you missed it.

Brewer batters had 12 hits last night but the bigger story may have been pitching, as Alfredo Figaro worked seven innings for the first time in his career and did not allow a run on three hits, walking none and striking out four. It was the Brewers' fourth consecutive quality start.

With last night's win, the Brewers have more victories in the first 12 days of June (seven) than they had in all of May (six). This is also the first time in 2013 they've won back-to-back road series.

Other notes from the field:

  • The Brewers had three triples last night, including two for Carlos Gomez. Gomez and Jean Segura are now tied for the major league lead with eight.
  • Kevin Slowey hit Aramis Ramirez with his 102nd career plunking. Plunk Everyone has more on the accomplishment.
  • David Villavicencio of MLB.com talked to Burke Badenhop about going back to Miami, where he made his MLB debut in 2008.

The Brewers are off today before heading to Cincinnati to open a series against the Reds tomorrow night. Kyle Lohse will take on Bronson Arroyo in the opener, and Kevin Massoth has the MLB.com preview. Jim Henderson summed up the difference between Miami and Cincinnati:

Hopefully Ryan Braun's hand will be feeling better by the time the team takes the field tomorrow night, but I wouldn't count on it. Yesterday he told reporters he's getting frustrated with the lack of improvement on the injury, and for the first time it's starting to sound like the DL is a possibility.

For as long as Braun's hand hurts I don't even want to think about him hitting in exhibitions, but Grant Brisbee of Baseball Nation is still listing him as a likely candidate to represent the NL in the Home Run Derby. I think Carlos Gomez is probably more likely to represent the Brewers, but that scares me too.

Speaking of Gomez, Mark Simon of ESPN notes that his defense has been excellent again this season, especially on balls hit to deep center. Gomez has hauled in 34 of 35 balls hit to that area, saving something like 6-8 doubles an average center fielder wouldn't reach. Gomez, Braun and Jean Segura made Dave Cameron of FanGraphs' likely NL All Star team.

Rickie Weeks probably won't make the All Star team or the Home Run Derby, but his recent resurgence has many of us reconsidering our stance on him going forward. This week's BCB Tracking Poll showed that nearly two thirds of voters prefer him at second base over the other internal options.

Yovani Gallardo has also struggled in 2013, but Bill Chuck of Baseball Analytics has a look at his 1000th strikeout and the pitches that got him there.

The Brewers' recent hot streak may reignite a little enthusiasm for this team around the state, but even if their season continues to trend downward Wisconsin Sports Tap has a good list of reasons to continue to support them.

At least at the moment, Juan Francisco is not one of those reasons. He started at first base and went 0-for-4 again last night. Enrique Bakemeyer of The Brewers Bar used Francisco as an example of how defense at first base may not be as difficult as some make it sound.

In the minors:

  • The Brewer Nation has an interview with 2013 eleventh round pick Andy Hillis.
  • Preston Williams of The Washington Post has a story on 26th round draft pick Ky Parrott, who is still trying to decide if he'll sign with the Brewers or go to college at James Madison. (h/t @Mass_Haas)
  • @Mass_Haas also notes the Brewers have signed undrafted free agent pitcher Sean Wardour out of Cal State Dominguez Hills.
  • John Sickels of Minor League Ball selected two Brewer draft picks (tenth round pick Michael Ratterree and 21st round pick Tristan Archer) in his shadow draft for the Twins organization.
  • Back on the field, the affiliates went 2-0 last night and Mitch Haniger went 2-for-3 with a walk and a home run in Brevard County's 2-0 win over Jupiter. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
  • As the first half of the Florida State League season nears its conclusion, the Manatees are just half a game back of Dunedin and Clearwater for a playoff spot. They enter play Thursday at 33-30.
  • Wisconsin was rained out last night and will play a doubleheader in Beloit today. One of those games is expected to feature Hiram Burgos' first rehab appearance.
  • Brevard County first baseman Nick Ramirez has been invited to participate in the Florida State League Home Run Derby. He leads the FSL with 14 home runs despite playing in a very poor hitters' park.
  • Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem has part one of a two-part interview with Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash.

Back in Milwaukee, the Brewers have attracted 1.112 million fans to their first 36 home games, as compared to 1.263 million at this point last year. Ignoring that decline, though, Terence Moore of MLB.com writes about Brewer fans coming out to support their disappointing team.

If you'd like more Brewer coverage today but you're sick of reading, I'll be making my weekly appearance on The Sports Den with Downtown Ollie Burrows on SportsFan 100.5 in Wausau at 5:30.

Around baseball:

Cubs: Placed reliever Zach Putnam on the DL with a bone spur in his elbow.
Giants: Pitcher George Kontos has been suspended for three games for throwing at Andrew McCutchen on Tuesday.
Rockies: Designated second baseman/outfielder Eric Young Jr. for assignment.

Let's go around the NL Central:

  • Shelby Miller's ten strikeouts weren't enough as the Mets beat the Cardinals 5-1. Yadier Molina had three of St. Louis' six hits in the game.
  • Mike Leake and the Reds gained a game in the standings by outdueling Travis Wood and the Cubs in a 2-1 win. Todd Frazier's seventh inning home run was the difference.
  • The Pirates also gained ground with a 12-8 win over the Giants. Starling Marte, Jordy Mercer, Andrew McCutchen and Gaby Sanchez all had at least three hits in the game.
  • The Brewers, of course, beat the Marlins 10-1.

Here are today's standings and probables:

Team W L GB Today Time Matchup
Cardinals 42 23 -- @ NYM 12:10p Adam Wainwright v Matt Harvey
Reds 40 26 2.5 @ CHC 1:20p Mat Latos v Jeff Samardzija
Pirates 39 26 3 v SFG 6:05p Charlie Morton v Matt Cain
Brewers 27 38 15 OFF
Cubs 25 38 16 v CIN 1:20p

Today in former Brewers:

Meanwhile across the Pacific, Major League Baseball has announced that the 2014 season will open in Australia, with the Dodgers and Diamondbacks playing a pair of games next March in Sydney. Flip Flop Fly Ball has an artist's rendering of what baseball may look like at the Sydney Cricket Grounds.

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the 16th anniversary of the first-ever meeting between the Brewers and Cubs in 1997. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that is also the 57th anniversary of Danny O'Connell tripling three times in a game for the Milwaukee Braves in 1956 and the ninth anniversary of Ben Sheets recording three strikeouts on nine pitches against the Astros in 2004. Today is also Jonathan Lucroy's 27th birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his nine career HBP are tied for the most ever for a player born on June 13.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need another drink.

Drink up.

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