Some things to read while continuing the search.
The Brewers wrapped up a weekend sweep of the Marlins in dramatic fashion yesterday, as Caleb Gindl's walk-off homer in the 13th was the only scoring in a 1-0 win. Noah has the recap, if you missed it.
Gindl's blast was his first major league home run, and his first walk-off home run at any level (Twitter link). It's also the first walk-off homer by a Brewer this season (Twitter link) and led to him being buried in baby powder.
Yesterday's win completed a weekend series where the Brewers kept the Marlins off the board for three consecutive games. It's the first time in franchise history they've shut a team out for three consecutive games in the same series, and their 35 inning shutout streak is the longest in franchise history (Twitter link). The Marlins, meanwhile, are now owners of the longest scoreless streak in the majors in 28 years.
The Brewers may have beaten up on baseball's worst offensive team over the weekend, but their feat is still pretty impressive. I estimated the odds of recording 31 consecutive shutout innings against the Marlins at one in 1324. In our Tweet of the Day Howie Magner notes that this performance could have some long-term inplications:
The longer #Brewers pitchers continue their turnaround, the more complex that 2014 planning becomes.— Howie Magner (@howiemag) July 22, 2013
Jean Segura had a hit and stole a base yesterday, claiming his own bit of history: At 23 years old, he's the youngest Brewer to steal 30 bases in a season since Paul Molitor in 1979.
Other notes from the field:
- Yesterday's game was the longest scoreless contest in baseball since the Red Sox and Rays played a 1-0, 16 inning game in 2011 (Twitter link).
- John Axford pitched two innings yesterday for the first time since July 25 a year ago (Twitter link).
- On top of hitting the game-winning home run, Caleb Gindl also had a double Sunday. Those were the Brewers' only extra base hits in the game.
- The Brewers' four-game winning streak is the longest active streak in the NL (Twitter link).
- Inexplicably, in the ninth inning of a scoreless game yesterday, the lower bowl of Miller Park erupted into the wave.
- The Italian swept this weekend's sausage races including a pair of wins on Sunday.
Let's put a bow on this weekend's series with a look at the home runs, with help from Hit Tracker and Larry Granillo of Wezen-ball:
|Sunday||Caleb Gindl||18.55 seconds||356 feet|
|Saturday||Rickie Weeks||not available||421 feet|
|Saturday||Jonathan Lucroy||not available||350 feet|
|Friday||Juan Francisco||not available||408 feet|
|Friday||Carlos Gomez||18.73 seconds||405 feet|
Lucroy's home run got a bit of an assist from Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, who had the ball bounce off the heel of his glove and over the fence in right. BrewGIFs captured the moment for posterity. Adam Weiser of Disciples of Uecker used that homer as a jumping off point for a look at some statistical home run highlights from this season.
The homestand continues tonight as the Brewers welcome the Padres for the first of four games. Adam Berry has the MLB.com preview and CBS Sports also has a series preview. Noted leisured gentleman Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs gave tonight's Andrew Cashner/Tom Gorzelanny matchup a five out of ten on his NERD scale.
It remains to be seen if we'll see Carlos Gomez back in the lineup tonight. He sat out yesterday's game to rest a sore elbow, the latest in a series of nagging injuries that have slowed his career year. Ground Ball with Eyes listed Gomez as one of several players he would include on his midseason MVP ballot.
Jonathan Lucroy, meanwhile, will almost certainly be back in the lineup after sitting out so Martin Maldonado could catch Wily Peralta yesterday. Lucroy told Adam McCalvy he'll look to get some work at first base or in the outfield to help him prepare for days like this next season.
Aramis Ramirez also could return from the DL today, but it seems unlikely. Ramirez is eligible to return but the team will likely give him a few more days at least to rest his sore knee.
Juan Francisco's recent play has helped ease the blow of losing Ramirez. Ron Roenicke told reporters Francisco's recent work has raised the possibility that he could move into the first base role on a long-term basis.
Meanwhile, Alfredo Figaro is on his way back. He started a rehab assignment with rookie league Arizona yesterday and will rejoin the bullpen once he's ready (Twitter link).
Maybe Figaro will fill a roster spot created by a trade. Here are today's trade deadline notes:
- Over the Monster looked at Francisco Rodriguez as a possible trade target for the Red Sox.
- MLB Trade Rumors listed Michael Gonzalez and Tom Gorzelanny among 16 left-handed relievers that could be on the move.
While Brewer relievers have been great this season, the bench has left a lot to be desired at times. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that the Brewers have had baseball's best bullpen this season, but bench woes leave them in the middle of the road in overall contributions from non-starters.
We've spent a lot of time over the years lamenting Yovani Gallardo's struggles with getting outs early in the count, but I thought this counterpoint was pretty interesting: Value Over Replacement Grit notes that he's one of the best pitchers in baseball history in 3-2 counts. Former Brewers Chris Bosio and Doug Jones are also among the leaders.
The Brewers are winners of four in a row, but they've still got a long way to go to get out of this hole: Barry Zvrluga of The Washington Post and Jonah Keri of Grantland agree that they're baseball's fourth worst team at this point.
Things also project to get tougher for the Crew from here on out. Nathan took a chilling look at the Brewers' strength of schedule down the stretch.
In the minors:
- The affiliates went 2-3 yesterday and Khris Davis went 2-for-4 with a home run, driving in four runs in Nashville's 7-1 win over New Orleans. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio details the heartbreak of Wisconsin's 7-6 loss to to Dayton.
- Over at Brew Crew Scouting, Alec highlighted some notable minor league performances from the weekend.
- Adam McCalvy talked to Gord Ash about Micah Owings, a pitcher/outfielder the Brewers are hoping can become the next Brooks Kieschnick.
Back in Milwaukee, the Brewers wore 1923 Milwaukee Bears uniforms on Saturday for their annual tribute to the Negro Leagues (although Ron Roenicke's top had a spelling issue). The Bears unis were the 12th different jersey the Crew has worn this season (Twitter link). The Miami Herald has a look at the 1956 International League Miami Marlins uniforms the Marlins wore.
Angels: Designated infielder Brendan Harris for assignment.
Astros: Designated first baseman Carlos Pena and shortstop Ronny Cedeno for assignment.
Cardinals: Placed outfielder Matt Holliday on the DL with a hamstring strain.
Giants: Placed reliever Jeremy Affeldt on the DL with a groin strain.
Orioles: Designated outfielder Chris Dickerson for assignment.
Red Sox: Placed reliever Andrew Bailey on the DL with a shoulder injury and signed relievers Jose Contreras and Brandon Lyon to minor league deals.
Rockies: Placed reliever Rafael Betancourt on the DL with appendicitis.
Yankees: Placed Alex Rodriguez (quad strain) and infielder Zoilo Almonte (ankle sprain) on the DL, released outfielder Brennan Boesch and designated infielder Alberto Gonzalez for assignment.
Let's go around the NL Central:
- The Cardinals opened the second half by taking two of three from the Padres, including a 3-2 win yesterday. David Freese's two-run double was the difference.
- The Reds took two of three from the Pirates, but Pittsburgh avoided the sweep with a 3-2 win yesterday. Cincinnati pitcher Homer Bailey recorded 12 strikeouts in the loss.
- The Cubs lost two of three to the Rockies, including a 4-3 defeat yesterday. Starlin Castro had four hits for Chicago but it wasn't enough.
- The Brewers, of course, swept the Marlins.
Here are today's updated standings and probables:
|Pirates||57||39||2||1-2||@ WAS||6:05p||Charlie Morton v Dan Haren|
|Reds||55||43||5||2-1||@ SFG||9:15p||Bronson Arroyo v Tim Lincecum|
|Cubs||43||53||16||1-2||@ ARI||8:40p||Matt Garza v Tyler Skaggs|
|Brewers||41||56||18.5||3-0||v SDP||7:10p||Tom Gorzelanny v Andrew Cashner|
Today in former Brewers:
- Kameron Loe is back in the big leagues as a member of the Braves.
- ESPN's SweetSpot blog lists the 2008 CC Sabathia trade as the best deadline deal in franchise history.
- Jeff Passan of Yahoo has a look at the childhood event that led to Prince Fielder becoming a baseball iron man.
- Baseball Card Vandals had some fun with a Pete Vuckovich card.
For the second time this season the Miller Park grounds crew has had the difficult task of repairing the field following an on-field, in-season rock concert. If it makes you feel any better, though, they're not alone: Nats Enquirer reports Paul McCartney and company also ruined the grass at Nationals Park.
At least the Brewers have avoided this problem: The Giants have been left without a solution to their increasingly-bad late inning seagull population.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to take this.