Some things to read while taking the necessary precautions.
The Brewers clinched a winning road trip in a big way last night, beating the Rangers 5-1 in an interleague game in Texas. Eric has the recap, if you missed it.
The star of last night's game was unlikely hero Scooter Gennett, who homered twice and drove in three Brewer runs. At one point last night Gennett, not known for his power, had hit the last three Brewer home runs (h/t @MikeVassallo13). BrewGIFs captured his teammates making him jump for high fives.
Scooter's offensive outburst was more than enough to get a win for Marco Estrada, who pitched six innings and allowed a single run on four hits for his first win since May 24 (h/t @AndrewGruman). Mike Vassallo noted on Twitter that Estrada has allowed just one run over eleven innings since coming off the DL.
Elsewhere in returns from the DL, Aramis Ramirez was activated yesterday and played five innings at third base, going 0-for-3. With Ramirez back in the lineup, last night's game featured two third basemen who have hit a combined 699 home runs at the position (h/t @MikeVassallo13).
Last night's game also featured some pretty poor baserunning, although some of it paid off. Jean Segura was credited with a steal of home (@AndrewGruman notes it was the Brewers' first since Bill Hall in 2007) when he was picked off third but escaped the rundown. The steal was Segura's 34th of the season, making him the youngest Brewer ever to reach that mark (also h/t @joe_block).
Meanwhile, Jonathan Lucroy got caught off first base while attempting to tag up on a fly ball. Howie Magner reacted in our Tweet of the Day:
Thus ended the era of Jonathan Lucroy tagging up at first base.— Howie Magner (@howiemag) August 14, 2013
Other notes from the field:
- Jim Henderson entered last night's game with the bases loaded in the eighth inning and recorded the final four outs for his 17th save.
- The Rangers entered play last night on an eight-game winning streak. (h/t @joe_block)
- Carlos Gomez was hit by a pitch last night for the eighth time this season. Plunk Everyone has more on the accomplishment.
- The start of last night's game was delayed 42 minutes due to rain.
- Last night's Brewer win and Cubs loss means Milwaukee is now tied for fourth place for the first time since June 26.
The Brewers' brief stop in Texas wraps up tonight when Tyler Thornburg takes on Matt Garza at 7:05. William Boor has the MLB.com preview, while Dave Sessions of MLB.com says that this could be Thornburg's last start for a while.
Thornburg's opportunity may dry up when Yovani Gallardo is ready to come off the DL, and that day is coming soon. Gallardo pitched a bullpen session yesterday and could be ready to start Saturday's game against the Reds.
I've mentioned above that the Brewers made a roster move before yesterday's game, activating Aramis Ramirez off the DL. The other half of that move was optioning Caleb Gindl back to AAA. Gindl was 3-for-21 after his brief hot streak to wrap up July, but is still hitting .282/.364/.423 in his first 90 MLB plate appearances. He told Dave Sessions that he's hoping to return as a September callup.
Meanwhile, the fact that Gindl is going down is actually pretty good news for Khris Davis, who projects to get more playing time as the fourth outfielder. Noah, as usual, is the most excited among us. Davis started at DH and hit his fourth homer last night.
The Brewers are now 52-67 on the season, and 33-34 since May 31. The Brew Crew Project makes the case that their struggles were mostly confined to one month, making them "the most deceptively decent team in the majors."
The fact that the Brewers are treading water has taken some of the heat off of Ron Roenicke. David Schoenfield of ESPN lists Roenicke among five candidates to be let go, but notes that it's possible we'll get through the season without a single firing.
In the minors: The affiliates went 2-3 last night and Jason Rogers had a pair of hits in Huntsville's 4-3 win over Mobile. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
Blue Jays: Placed pitcher Josh Johnson on the DL with a sore forearm.
Braves: Placed second baseman Dan Uggla on the DL to undergo eye surgery.
Rangers: Released outfielder Manny Ramirez.
Red Sox: Pitcher Koji Uehara has reached his $4.25 million vesting option for 2014.
Tigers: Acquired catcher Ronny Paulino from the Orioles for cash.
Let's go around the NL Central:
- The game of the night last night was played in St. Louis, where the Pirates blew a 3-2 lead in the ninth inning and lost 4-3 in 14. Cardinals reliever Sam Freeman pitched a scoreless 14th for his first MLB win.
- Elsewhere in extras, the Reds got a two-run single from Shin-Soo Choo in the top of the eleventh to beat the Cubs 6-4. Brandon Phillies had three hits and stole two bases in the game.
- The Brewers, of course, beat the Rangers.
You can read more about those games and all of last night's action in Beyond the Box Score's Smallest Sample Size.
Here are today's updated standings and probables:
|Pirates||70||48||--||@ STL||7:15p||Francisco Liriano v Shelby Miller|
|Reds||67||52||3.5||@ CHC||1:20p||Bronson Arroyo v Chris Rusin|
|Brewers||52||67||18.5||@ TEX||7:05p||Tyler Thornburg v Matt Garza|
Today in former Brewers: MLB Network analyst Billy Ripken called J.J. Hardy the best shortstop in baseball yesterday.
And in baseball economics:
- Houston voters will face a referendum to approve $217 million in funding to turn the currently-abandoned Astrodome into a convention center.
- The Marlins are offering $1 tickets to more or less anyone who will take them.
There are an awful lot of ways to waste time at your desk, and I've always appreciated you choosing the Frosty Mug and BCB from among that list of options. If you have six more minutes to waste, though, you could do worse than watching Flip Flop Fly Ball draw Safeco Field.
Today In Brewer History was off this morning, but bits of history never sleep:
- Today is Mark Loretta's 42nd birthday and Plunk Everyone notes that his 71 career HBP are the second most ever for a player born on August 13.
- nullacct continued his "Face of the Franchise" series with a look at Lary Sorensen and the 1980 Brewers.
- Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that the Royals released Yuniesky Betancourt a year ago today.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need a new mask.