Some things to read while trying to say it with a straight face.
A long rain delay and an even longer offensive drought were the story yesterday as the Pirates beat the Brewers 2-1 in 14 innings to complete a sweep in Pittsburgh. Noah has the recap, if you missed it. The Brewers went just 4-for-46 as a team yesterday, with Martin Maldonado going 3-for-5 and everyone else combining to go 1-for-41.
The Brewers stayed in yesterday's game as long as they did mainly because of some pretty remarkable efforts from a couple of relievers. Tyler Thornburg pitched five scoreless innings following the rain delay and Kyle Lohse's early departure, and Brandon Kintzler set a new career high by pitching three scoreless innings despite also having appeared in Saturday's game.
Thornburg, by the way, was recalled from Nashville following Friday's game. Caleb Gindl was optioned out to make room for him.
John Axford's outing was much shorter (he faced one batter and recorded one out), but he's now gone 22 consecutive outings without allowing a run and is one away from tying Doug Jones for the longest streak in franchise history.
Other notes from the field:
- The Pirates have now won nine consecutive games.
- Jean Segura snapped a 12-game hitting streak with his 0-for-6 yesterday.
- Before allowing the winning run in the 14th Francisco Rodriguez had thrown 39 pitches over 1.1 innings. Both of those are Brewer career highs. Before yesterday's game he was officially reinstalled as closer.
- This wasn't Ron Roenicke's best managerial weekend. Dave Radcliffe of Yahoo has a list of ten reasons why it's fair to criticize him.
|Friday||No home runs|
|Saturday||No home runs|
|Sunday||No home runs|
This is the fifth time this season the Brewers have gone three consecutive games without a home run.
The road trip continues tonight as the Brewers open a four-game series in Washington. Yovani Gallardo will take on Jordan Zimmermann in the opener tonight, and Kevin Massoth has the MLB.com preview.
The Nats picked up a win yesterday to improve to 41-40 on the season, and they're expected to get another boost tonight: Bryce Harper is scheduled to rejoin the team this week after missing over a month with knee bursitis.
Elsewhere in health, Carlos Gomez returned to the lineup on Friday after missing the Cubs series with a strained shoulder. Dave Radcliffe of Yahoo has a list of five reasons why he should start the All Star Game.
Of course, the Brewers are almost more interesting off the field than on right now as we approach the trade deadline. Doug Melvin continues to confirm that teams are interested in several Brewer relievers, but postured a bit by noting that he doesn't have to trade either Yovani Gallardo or Kyle Lohse.
Now that he's hitting a little better, there's still a chance the Brewers could look to move Rickie Weeks before the deadline. He's our reigning Brewer of the Week for the second time this season.
Jonathan Lucroy got the day off behind the plate yesterday but continues to lead the Brewers with 42 RBI on the season. Unfortunately, he also showed up on Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs' list of last week's worst swings.
Corey Hart, on the other hand, may already have collected his last Brewer RBI. On Friday the team announced he now needs surgery on his left knee, and his season is over before it starts. Curt Hogg of Reviewing the Brew says this should be the end of Hart in Milwaukee.
Elsewhere in sore knees, Aramis Ramirez was also out of the starting lineup yesterday. Adam Wieser of Disciples of Uecker has a look at his struggle against breaking balls this season.
The Nationals series will wrap up with an early matinee on Thursday, and that game is scheduled to feature Donovan Hand's third start. He allowed two runs over five innings on Saturday in a performance that was pretty good when you consider it was only seventh professional start since 2009.
In the minors:
- The affiliates went 2-3 yesterday but Wisconsin's loss wasn't Michael Reed's fault: He went 2-for-3 with two walks and scored twice in their 4-3 loss to Kane County. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has more from the Wisconsin game, including video highlights.
- I was in attendance for Wisconsin's 10-9, extra inning win on Saturday and documented the experience with over 2000 words in the Timber Rattlers Notebook.
- Adam Rygg of Brewer Nation was also at Saturday's game and has audio interviews with Tyrone Taylor, Victor Roache and Chris McFarland.
- Meanwhile, Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem has an interview with Brewer minor league pitching coordinator Rick Tomlin.
Back in Milwaukee, the Brewers will return home on Friday to open a six-game homestand against the Mets and Reds. Joe Mock of BaseballParks.com rated Miller Park as MLB's 20th best venue.
Astros: Placed outfielder Justin Maxwell on the 7-day concussion DL.
Blue Jays: Signed catcher Ramon Hernandez to a minor league deal.
Cubs: Placed outfielder Ryan Sweeney on the DL with a fractured rib.
Diamondbacks: Designated infielder/outfielder Eric Hinske for assignment.
Dodgers: Designated infielder Luis Cruz and reliever Matt Guerrier for assignment.
Mariners: Designated infielder/outfielder Alex Liddi for assignment.
Orioles: Designated first baseman Travis Ishikawa and pitcher Jair Jurrjens for assignment and acquired oufielder Eric Thames from the Mariners for a minor leaguer.
Red Sox: Designated pitcher Clayton Mortensen for assignment.
Reds: Placed pitcher Johnny Cueto on the DL with a lat strain.
Rockies: Signed first baseman/outfielder Xavier Nady to a minor league deal.
Royals: Released reliever George Sherrill and outfielder Xavier Nady and designated outfielder Jeff Francoeur for assignment.
Let's go around the NL Central:
- The Cardinals are looking up at first place in the NL Central after losing two of three to the A's this weekend, including a 7-5 decision yesterday. Matt Carpenter went 3-for-5 with two doubles and a homer but it wasn't enough.
- The Reds are also falling back and are 2-7 in their last nine games following Sunday's 3-2 loss to the Rangers. Yu Darvish pitched 6.2 scoreless for the win in that game and Joe Nathan recorded his 27th save.
- The Cubs are 17-15 in their last 32 games and completed a series victory with a 7-6 win over the Mariners on Sunday. They led that game 7-1 in the fourth but had to hold on for the win.
- The Brewers, of course, got swept by the Pirates this weekend.
Here are today's standings and probables:
|Reds||46||36||5.5||v SFG||6:10p||Bronson Arroyo v Mike Kickham|
|Brewers||32||48||18.5||@ WAS||6:05p||Yovani Gallardo v Jordan Zimmermann|
Today in former Brewers: Manny Parra pitched a scoreless third of an inning (although he walked a guy first) in the aforementioned Reds game, and has now pitched ten consecutive scoreless outings for Cincinnati. Reds.com has more on his hot streak.
As the calendar turns to July, friend of the site and baseball historian Chris Jensen of Baseball: State by State stopped by to profile Ginger Beaumont, Wisconsin's best July-born player. Today is also 2005 Brewer Nelson Cruz's 33rd birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his 17 career HBP are tied for the third most ever by a player born on July 1.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to upgrade my system.