Wednesday's Frosty Mug: The Summer of Rickie

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Rickie Weeks is heating up with the temperature, and we're talking about that and more in today's roundup of all things Brewers.

Some things to read while getting weird.

After struggling mightily through April and May, it's possible Rickie Weeks has been June's best Brewer. He had a double and a pair of home runs in last night's 9-3 win over the Cubs and Eric has the recap, if you missed it. The Brewers have now won nine consecutive Miller Park games against Chicago.

Last night was the fourth time Weeks has posted three hits in a game this season, and the second time in June. Tom Haudricourt notes that he's raised his batting average 47 points since the end of May. Rubie Q has more on this development in our Tweet of the Day:

Weeks' big night overshadowed a quality start for Kyle Lohse, who now has five of them in five appearances in June. He has a 2.45 ERA this month over 33 innings.

Weeks and Lohse helped the Brewers recover from some truly dreadful baserunning. Norichika Aoki and Logan Schafer combined for three TOOTBLAN last night, with Aoki and Schafer each getting picked off first base and Aoki getting thrown out at home on the contact play. Aoki is now tied for the league lead with eight bad outs on the bases this season.

Other notes from the field:

  • The Brewers are now 6-0 this season in games where Yuniesky Betancourt does not play.
  • Rickie Weeks and Jean Segura extended their hitting streaks to nine and eight games, respectively.
  • Edwin Jackson is now one of three major leaguers with ten losses this season, joining Cole Hamels (11) and Joe Blanton (10).
  • The Polish won the sausage race.

The series continues in Milwaukee tonight when Yovani Gallardo takes on Scott Feldman at 7:10. Mark Emery has the MLB.com preview.

Following last night's game the Brewers made a roster move, placing Alfredo Figaro on the DL with an oblique strain and calling up Johnny Hellweg from AAA. Hellweg has been excellent in AAA lately but it still walking better than five batters per nine innings on the season, so this could be interesting. He'll wear #40 and is scheduled to start against the Pirates on Friday. When he does he'll be the seventh Brewer to make his major league debut this season.

Ron Roenicke told reporters that Figaro's oblique had been bothering him for his last few starts, and he now joins an extended list of injured Brewer starting pitchers. Marco Estrada, also on the DL with a strained hamstring, has suffered a setback in his rehab and is not as close to returning as previously hoped.

Elsewhere in setbacks, Corey Hart is now having issues with his other (left) knee and is headed out to Los Angeles for a second opinion on it. Even before that news came out, I wrote this piece encouraging the Brewers to give up the expectation that we'll see Hart this season.

As mentioned above, last night's game continued a pretty predictable 2013 trend: When Yuniesky Betancourt does not play, the Brewers win. Ron Roenicke Stole My Baseball has a list of Yuni career milestones that may be leading Roenicke to continue to write him into the lineup.

Carlos Gomez also sat out last night's game as expected with his strained shoulder, but is still having the best season of his career. Beyond the Box Score has him as the NL's starting center fielder in their All Star lineup.

Last night's win improved the Brewers to 12-10 in June, but they're still eleven games under .500 overall. Kristin Zenz of PocketDoppler.com has a look at what's gone wrong for this team.

Yovani Gallardo used to be one of the things going wrong for this team, but his performance has been much better lately. Nicholas Zettel of Disciples of Uecker has a look at a pitch selection change that may have contributed to the turnaround.

Elsewhere in hot streaks, John Axford has been great lately. Our own Alec Dopp has a piece over at Baseball Analytics looking at how his performance against lefties has changed during his hot streak.

In the minors:

  • The Brewers have agreed to terms with one of their top unsigned draft picks, 14th round selection Hobbs Johnson. Johnson had been pitching for North Carolina in the College World Series and may be due for a break: He recently threw 130 pitches in a game.
  • The affiliates went 4-2 yesterday and 2013 23rd round pick Eric Williams had four hits in the AZL Brewers' 17-5 win over the Indians. You can read about that and much more in today's Minor League Notes.
  • Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has more from Wisconsin's 2-1 loss to Clinton.
  • Speaking of Wisconsin, Benjamin Hill of MiLB.com has part one of the report from his recent visit to Appleton. There's much more to come here.

Back in Milwaukee, the Double Clutch stand on the loge level at Miller Park is selling "Chicago's Greektown Gyro Nachos" for the Cubs series this week. If you get a chance to try them, let us know what you think.

Around baseball:

Cubs: Designated pitcher Carlos Marmol for assignment.
Mariners: Placed outfielder Franklin Gutierrez on the DL with a hamstring strain.
Red Sox: Placed pitcher Franklin Morales on the DL with a pectoral strain.
Reds: Placed second baseman Brandon Phillips on the paternity list.
Royals: Designated pitcher Francisely Bueno for assignment.

Let's go around the NL Central:

  • The Cardinals rode a seven-run fourth inning to a 13-5 win over the Astros. Allen Craig had four hits for St. Louis, including a home run.
  • The Pirates kept pace with a 9-4 win over the Mariners. Starling Marte had three hits, including a pair of home runs.
  • The Reds dropped a game in the standings with a 7-3 loss to the A's. Bronson Arroyo allowed all seven runs for Cincinnati.
  • The Brewers, of course, beat the Cubs 9-3.

Here are today's updated standings and probables:

Team W L GB Today Time Matchup
Cardinals 48 29 -- @ HOU 7:10p Lance Lynn v Erik Bedard
Pirates 47 30 1 @ SEA 2:40p Jeanmar Gomez v Felix Hernandez
Reds 45 33 3.5 @ OAK 2:35p Homer Bailer v A.J. Griffin
Brewers 32 43 15 v CHC 7:10p Yovani Gallardo v Scott Feldman
Cubs 31 44 16 @ MIL 7:10p

Today in former Brewers: Let's Go Tribe rated Tom Candiotti as the 47th greatest Cleveland Indian of all time.

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the 36th anniversary of Cecil Cooper's walkoff grand slam to lead the Brewers to an 8-6 win over the Mariners in 1977. Here are today's other bits of history:

  • Today is Jason Kendall's 39th birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his 254 career HBP are easily the most ever for a player born on June 26.
  • 1998-99 Brewer Mike Myers is 44 today, and they also note that his 43 career plunkings are the most ever for a pitcher born on June 26.
  • Kevin Kimmes of Cream City Cables continued his series on "The Cards That Made Milwaukee Famous" with a profile of 1909 American Association Brewer Newt Randall.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to figure it out.

Drink up.

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