Wednesday's Frosty Mug: Baseball is a crazy game

Patrick McDermott

Brewers break their losing streak in an unexpected way, another pitcher goes down, and the team makes a big splash on international signing day. We've got these stories and more in today's round-up of Brewers news, notes, and links.

Some things to consider while expecting the worst.

It was a total mismatch of a game yesterday, but that didn't stop the Brewers from getting a win over the Nationals 4-0. Kyle has the recap, if you missed it.

It would have been a positive day overall for the Brewers had they not lost another player to injury. Wily Peralta had to leave the game in the sixth inning when he started landing oddly in his pitching motion. The issue was originally called left hamstring tightness, but it was later upgraded to a left hamstring strain. Tom Haudricourt notes that Peralta is the third Brewers pitcher this year to leave a game due to a hamstring issue. Jim Henderson and Marco Estrada both left games with hamstring issues as well and ended up on the DL due to their injuries.

The win yesterday came despite many of the Brewers regulars getting a day off. Jean Segura and Carlos Gomez were both out of the lineup to get a little rest for their nagging injuries, and Jonathan Lucroy also got the day off (though did pinch hit in the game).

Other notes from the field:

  • Stephen Strasburg pitched seven strong innings yesterday, but took a no-decision in the game when the Nationals offense failed to score. In his 16 starts, the offense for the Nationals has scored a total of 35 runs. By comparison, Kyle Lohse has received 37 runs in his 16 starts.
  • Juan Francisco got the Brewers on the board first yesterday with a two-run double in the eighth inning.
  • John Axford finished the sixth inning after Wily Peralta left and worked around a walk for a clean inning. It was his 23rd straight appearance without allowing a run.
  • The new bullpen lineup appears to be in full effect, as Jim Henderson pitched the eighth inning last night and Francisco Rodriguez got the ninth in a non-save situation. Rodriguez also got his ERA back under 1 with his scoreless appearance.
  • Teddy Roosevelt won the Presidents race, and Adam McCalvy was happy to see it.

The series continues today with game three at a special 5:05 pm start time. Kyle Lohse, making an early start after his last start on Sunday was cut short, will match up against Ross Detwiler. Zack Meisel of MLB.com has the preview for today's game.

News is getting better for Ryan Braun, who took some swings in the batting cage yesterday. However, the Brewers are still preparing to be without Braun until after the All-Star break. The key right now is for Braun to swing the bat and then feel no pain the next day. Once that happens, he can accelerate his rehab.

The final voting update for the All-Star Game came out yesterday, and it looks like the Brewers will not have a player elected by the fan vote for the first time since 2007. Jean Segura is third in shortstop voting, but has nearly been doubled-up by injured Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki. Ryan Braun and Carlos Gomez remain among the leaders in the outfield at 8th and 12th respectively, but will need a big push to be voted into the game. Segura remains the Brewers best chance to start in the game. With Tulowitzki likely out through the break, the manager would choose the starter at shortstop if he is elected and can't play.

Ron Roenicke and Doug Melvin have taken a lot of heat from fans this season with the way things have gone. Behind the JS Online paywall, Michael Hunt has an argument for why the Brewers should not fire either of them.

Until the trade deadline passes, opinions about who the Brewers should target in trades will continue to fly around. On Yahoo! Sports, Dave Radcliffe has an opinion about which five players the Brewers should target when trading their players. Players have their own opinions as well, as Michael Gonzalez believes there's a 75 percent chance he will be traded before the deadline.

In the minors:

The international signing period opened yesterday, and for the first time in a long time, the Brewers were active players. The Brewers signed a total of five players, which included four position players and a pitcher. Shortstop Franly Mallen and center fielder Nicolas Pierre received Brewer record contracts of $800,000, the most they had spent on an international player since 2005. These two players were in the top 30 of MLB.com's international prospects. They also signed catcher Johel Atencio, shortstop Henry Correa, and right-handed pitcher Nelson Hernandez. All of these players will report to the Brewers academy in the Domincan Republic to begin training following their physicals and age investigations. All five players are listed as 16 years old.

Around baseball:

Astros: Optioned Hector Ambriz to Triple-A Oklahoma City and recalled Brett Oberholtzer.
Marlins: Recalled Donovan Solano from Triple-A New Orleans and optioned Jordan Brown.
Mets: Recalled Gonzalez Germen from Triple-A Las Vegas and optioned Zack Lutz.
Orioles: Activated Nolan Reimold from the 15-day DL.
Pirates: Recalled Brandon Cumpton from Triple-A Indianapolis and Josh Harrison optioned.
Rangers: Designated Kyle McClellan for assignment and recalled Josh Lindblom from Triple-A Round Rock.
Rockies: Placed Dexter Fowler on the 15-day DL with a right hand bone bruise and activated Edgmer Escalona from the DL.
Tigers: Activated Alex Avila from the 15-day DL, optioned Bryan Holaday to Triple-A Toledo, and Rick Porcello suspended six games for hitting Ben Zobrist and will appeal.
Twins: Placed Josh Willingham on the 15-day DL retroactive to Monday and activated Aaron Hicks from the 15-day DL.

I kept the Cubs for last because their moves will take up a paragraph. Their first move of the day sent Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger to the Orioles for Jake Arrieta, Pedro Strop, and two international signing bonus slots, and the Cubs sent Arrieta right to Triple-A Iowa. They followed that up by trading Carlos Marmol to the Dodgers for Matt Guerrier. Their final trade sent Ronald Torreyes to the Astros for two more international signing bonus slots. They rounded out the day by placing Ryan Sweeney on the 60-day DL and recalled Dave Sappelt and Chris Rusin to fill out the 25-man roster. In total, the Cubs traded away four major league players for two other major league players, a minor-league player, and four international signing bonus slots.

Looking around the NL Central yesterday:

  • The biggest game of the day took place in Cincinnati. Homer Bailey threw his second career no-hitter and was one walk away from a perfect game as the Reds defeated the Giants 3-0. He is the first pitcher to throw two straight no-hitters without another pitcher throwing one since Nolan Ryan in 1974 and 1975.
  • In Pittsburgh, the Pirates couldn't push their winning streak into double-digits as they fell to the Phillies 3-1. A solo home run from Garrett Jones provided the only offense for the Pirates, and Brandon Cumpton kept the Pirates in the game fresh off of his call-up from the minors.
  • Meanwhile, the Cardinals helped keep another winning streak going. In the Cardinals first trip to Anaheim in franchise history, the Angels scored five runs in the second inning, and a solid start from Jered Weaver gave the Angels their seventh straight win with a 5-1 victory. No last laugh for Albert Pujols, though, as he is hitless in the game.
  • Carlos Marmol may have left Chicago, but that won't stop the Cubs from blowing saves. The Cubs made their debut trip to Oakland, where James Russell was guilty of another Cubs blown save. Derek Norris hit a three-run home run in the eighth inning, and the Athletics held on to win 8-7.
  • The Brewers defeated the Nationals 4-0.

Today's standings and probables:

Team W L GB Today Time Matchup
Pirates 51 31 -- vs PHI 6:05 PM Jeff Locke vs. John Lannan
Cardinals 49 33 2 vs LAA 9:05 PM Shelby Miller vs. Jerome Williams
Reds 48 36 4 vs SFG 6:10 PM Tony Cingrani vs. Barry Zito
Cubs 35 46 15.5 @ OAK 9:05 PM Matt Garza vs. Bartolo Colon
Brewers 33 49 18 @ WAS 5:05 PM Kyle Lohse vs. Ross Detwiler

MLB has been consistent on cracking down on the performance-enhancing drug problem, and that doesn't just extend to the players. Yesterday, a story came out that umpire Brian Runge had been fired by MLB for a failed drug test. If this is accurate, it would be the first time MLB has fired an umpire for a failed drug test.

Finally, like Chipper Jones last year, Mariano Rivera has been getting some interesting gifts during his last season in MLB. The Twins added on to that by giving Rivera a rocking chair made of broken bats. Some of the bats used in the chair were bats broken in at-bats by Twins against Rivera. They also made a $10,000 donation to one of his charities, though the chair may end up being the more special part of this gift.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to start writing Betancourt's farewell song.

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