Monday's Frosty Mug: A Red split

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Brewers move on from the Reds to the Redbirds tonight, and we'll talk about that and more in today's news roundup.

Some things to read while keeping a secret.

The Brewers wrapped up a four-game series split with the Reds with a 9-1 blowout loss yesterday. Noah focused on the positives (Khris Davis, mostly) in his recap, if you missed it.

Yesterday's game was over early as the Reds plated five runs in the second inning against Wily Peralta, whose recent hot streak was snapped with an ugly disaster start. Peralta allowed seven runs on eight hits and four walks over just 4.1 innings.

Things didn't get better after Tyler Thornburg entered the game, as he faced eleven batters and walked five of them, including two with the bases loaded. Thornburg is the first Brewer to walk five batters in a relief appearance since Tim Dillard in 2009, and only the second to do it since 2000. All told, Brewers pitchers tied a season-high with nine free passes yesterday. (h/t @Todd_Rosiak)

Despite being on zero days of rest, you might be able to make a case that Brandon Kintzler should have started yesterday's game. He pitched 1.2 scoreless innings on Saturday to extend his streak to 20.1 frames, which @joe_block notes is the second longest active streak in baseball. He's also tied with John Axford for the seventh longest streak in franchise history (by innings, not games).

Other notes from the field:

  • You Can't Predict Baseball notes that the Reds had five batters in their lineup yesterday with batting averages under .215 and scored nine runs anyway.
  • They scored nine, by the way, without an extra base hit.
  • Saturday's shutout win was the Brewers' eleventh in a 57-game span. (h/t @joe_block) They've lowered their team ERA from 4.39 to 3.88 over that stretch.
  • Also on Saturday, Aramis Ramirez was hit by a pitch for the 106th time in his career. Plunk Everyone has more on the accomplishment.
  • The PolishItalian and Hot Dog won this weekend's sausage races, in that order.

Let's wrap up the Reds series with a look at the weekend's home runs, with help from Hit Tracker and Larry Granillo of Wezen-ball (in three parts):

Day Hitter Distance Trot Time
Thursday Khris Davis 434 feet 19.7 seconds
Friday Juan Francisco 384 feet 22.44 seconds
Friday Jonathan Lucroy 378 feet 21.32 seconds
Saturday No home runs
Sunday Khris Davis 372 feet 19.64 seconds

The homestand continues tonight when the Brewers open a series against the Cardinals at 7:10. Marco Estrada will take on Shelby Miller in the opener, and Jeremy Warnemuende has the MLB.com preview.

Carlos Gomez will be with the team this week, but it's unlikely he'll see the field for a couple more days. On Friday the team announced he was day-to-day with a sprained knee, and yesterday he swung a bat and played catch for the first time since the injury. Gomez's situation necessitated a roster move: Alfredo Figaro was returned to AAA and Sean Halton was recalled to give the Brewers an extra outfielder on the bench. Also, Donovan Hand was returned to AAA to make room for Yovani Gallardo to come off the DL on Saturday.

Of course, the big story around the Brewers today will have nothing to do with Gomez or the Cardinals. Ryan Braun is expected to address the media today for the first time in weeks to discuss issues related to his suspension. That's really all we know at this point, as @AdamMcCalvy points out that no format plans or rules have been laid out at this point.

If Braun does take questions, here are some of the things he might be asked about:

  • Buster Olney of ESPN is quoting anonymous sources (always a reliable source of info) as saying that Braun lobbied veteran players for support during his appeals process, and accused sample collector Dino Laurenzi Jr. of anti-semitism as part of that process.
  • A man claiming to be a longtime friend of Braun's has filed a lawsuit and is alleging misconduct from Braun going all the way back to his days at Miami.
  • Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson got on his high horse before Sunday's game and made himself part of the story.
  • Braun has been reaching out to teammates and the coaching staff.

I've already mentioned that the Brewers made a couple of roster moves over the weekend, but another one is probably coming soon: Rob Wooten is expected to leave the team Wednesday morning to be present for the birth of his first child.

Juan Francisco went 0-for-4 yesterday and struck out four times, continuing his "all or nothing" season. Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs notes that he also had last week's wildest swing across baseball. Despite his 0-for yesterday Francisco is hitting .293/.383/.732 in August and ten of his 12 hits in the month have gone for extra bases.

Scooter Gennett had a double and drew a walk yesterday, continuing his hot streak. He's our reigning Brewer of the Week for the first time, and he and Khris Davis are listed on Brian Creagh of Fake Teams' collection of ten players owned in less than 10% of all fantasy leagues.

We can complain about a lot of topics regarding the 2013 Brewers, but it's worth noting that one longtime gripe has faded away. Ron Roenicke Stole My Baseball has a look at which Brewers have been sacrifice bunting, and finds no major problems on the list.

In with our complaints, we can also find some silver linings. Kevin Kimmes of Cream City Cables discussed some of this year's performances from young players as a positive outcome from a lost season.

After going 2-2 this weekend, the Brewers are now 35-37 since May 31. Adam Wieser of Disciples of Uecker notes the recent turnaround in the Brewer pitching staff and asks which Brewer team is the real one.

That's a question the Brewer front office is also going to have to ask themselves as they build a roster for 2014. Kristin Zenz of PocketDoppler.com has a list of three moves she'd like to see the Crew make this winter.

In the minors:

  • Adam McCalvy has a look at how the Brewers' crowded starting rotation could impact their September callup plans. Jimmy Nelson is one of a handful of Brewers that have likely earned an opportunity, but may not get a big league start.
  • The affiliates went 3-3 yesterday and outfielder Jose Pena had a big day for Helena, going 4-for-5 with a home run and three doubles in their 13-5 win over Grand Junction. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
  • Wisconsin remains on the edge of the Midwest League playoff picture, sitting three games back of a postseason berth with 15 games to play. Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has lots of notes from their 4-3, ten inning win over Beloit on Sunday.
  • Meanwhile, Alfredo Figaro made his first AAA start yesterday and allowed a run on five hits over four innings. (h/t @AndrewGruman)
  • Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem has an interview with Donovan Hand from shortly after his return to the Sounds.
  • Next season Nashville's schedule will be shuffled a bit. The Pacific Coast League is realigning for 2014 and Nashville and Memphis will be paired with Round Rock and New Orleans in the American Southern Division. The two Tennessee teams are currently in a division with Omaha and Iowa.

Around baseball:

Athletics: Placed pitcher Bartolo Colon on the DL with a groin strain and signed reliever Mike Zagurski to a minor league deal.
Braves: Signed infielder Tyler Greene to a minor league deal and released infielder Blake DeWitt.
Mets: Placed pitcher Jenrry Mejia on the DL with bone spurs in his elbow.
Nationals: Placed pitcher Taylor Jordan on the DL with a back injury and shut him down for the season.
Phillies: Placed pitcher John Lannan on the DL with knee tendonitis, fired manager Charlie Manuel and replaced him with third base coach Ryne Sandberg.
Pirates: Signed reliever Kyle Farnsworth to a minor league deal.
Rays: Placed DH Luke Scott on the DL with back spasms.
Royals: Infielder Miguel Tejada has been suspended 105 games after testing positive for adderall.
White Sox: Placed pitcher Ramon Troncoso on the DL with inflammation of the lining around his heart and designated infielder Luis Cruz for assignment.

Let's go around the NL Central:

  • The Pirates are now 2-7 in their last nine games after a 4-2, 16 inning loss to the Diamondbacks yesterday. Arizona walked Andrew McCutchen three times yesterday (twice intentionally) and had it pay off as the three hitters behind him combined to go 1-for-19.
  • The Cardinals took two of three from the Cubs this weekend, including a 6-1 victory yesterday. Jon Jay went 2-for-3 with a walk and drove in four of St. Louis' six runs.
  • The Reds, of course, finished off a series split with the Brewers with a 9-1 win Sunday.

You can read much more about these games and all of yesterday's action in Beyond the Box Score's Smallest Sample Size.

Here are today's updated standings and probables:

Team W L GB Today Time Matchup
Pirates 72 51 -- @ SDP 9:10p Francisco Liriano v Andrew Cashner
Cardinals 71 52 1 @ MIL 7:10p Shelby Miller v Marco Estrada
Reds 70 54 2.5 v ARI 6:10p Bronson Arroyo v Randall Delgado
Brewers 54 70 18.5 v STL 7:10p
Cubs 53 70 19 v WAS 7:05p Jeff Samardzija v Jordan Zimmermann

The Reds were able to gain a little more ground on the Pirates this weekend and continue to lurk just outside the spotlight in the Central. Their underdog status might be changing, though, as David Schoenfield of ESPN says they've become the team to beat in this division.

Outside the NL Central, the red hot Dodgers remain one of baseball's best stories. They recently wrapped up a 42-8 50-game span, which prompted Ground Ball with Eyes to look at some of the best similar stretches in history. The Brewers' best record over 50 games was a 36-14 run in 2011.

Today In Brewer History was off this morning but we'll make up for it with a heaping dose of bits of history:

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've been spotted again.

Drink up.

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