Tuesday's Frosty Mug: Questionable calls, bullpen breakdowns

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

We're talking about a series-opening loss to the Cardinals and more in today's daily news roundup.

Some things to read while burying yourself in your work.

The Brewers came all the way back to take a 5-4 lead in the seventh inning last night, but couldn't hold it and lost 8-5 to the Cardinals. Eric has the recap, if you missed it.

Last night's game went sideways in the eighth inning when Brandon Kintzler allowed five straight hits with two outs, allowing the Cardinals to plate four runs and snapping his long scoreless streak. Kintzler has been dominant against lefties this season, but allowed five hits to them last night (h/t @AndrewGruman).

Cardinals rookie Kolten Wong had the first of those hits, an infield single where the Brewers insist he should've been out. It would've been the third out and could have changed the outcome of the game.

The Brewers took the lead in the seventh on an Aramis Ramirez home run, his first since June 26 (h/t @AndrewGruman). It was only his second hit in six games since coming off the DL, and his first extra base hit.

Juan Francisco, meanwhile, made a much smaller contribution. He struck out four times last night for the second consecutive day, becoming just the third major leaguer to manage that feat in 2013 (h/t @AdamMcCalvy).

Other notes from the field:

The series continues tonight when Kyle Lohse takes on Lance Lynn and his former teammates at 7:10. Chad Thornburg has the MLB.com preview.

Meanwhile, yesterday's most anticipated event, Ryan Braun addressing the media, didn't happen. There's some confusion about whether Braun plans to address the media personally or simply issue a statement, but at the moment we're still waiting for either.

In the meantime, though, some of Braun's fellow players have reached out to throw cold water on the reports that he accused sample collector Dino Laurenzi Jr of anti-semitism. Troy Tulowitzki says he talked to Braun several times during the appeal process and it never came up, and Joey Votto says Braun never reached out to him at all (h/t @BrewerNation). Jason Brannon of Baseball Nation looks at the process of sullying the good name of a urine collector.

We may or may not see Ryan Braun this week, but we're getting closer to seeing Carlos Gomez: He was able to run in the outfield yesterday and Ron Roenicke hasn't ruled out using him off the bench during the Cardinals series.

We also could see Tyler Thornburg pitching in relief again sometime in the next couple of days. Adam McCalvy talked to him about adjusting to life in his new role after his struggles on Sunday.

The Brewers are back in last place this morning after the Cubs won while they lost, and they also remain near the bottom here: Jonah Keri of Grantland has the Crew holding steady at 27 in his weekly power rankings, two spots behind Chicago.

They're also pretty low in these rankings: Paul Lukas of Uni Watch ranked the Brewers' 2013 jerseys 25th out of 30.

In the minors:

If you're coming to Miller Park for tonight's game but you'd rather just spend three hours wandering around, then the Brewers' new "Miller Park Passport" may be just the promotion for you. John Steinmiller and Caitlin Moyer have more about it.

Around baseball:

Marlins: Placed infielder Placido Polanco on the seven-day DL with a concussion.
Nationals: Acquired outfielder David DeJesus from the Cubs for a PTBNL and released outfielder Roger Bernadina.
Padres: Designated pitcher Sean O'Sullivan for assignment.
Red Sox: Released pitcher Jose Contreras.

Let's go around the NL Central:

  • Francisco Liriano pitched seven scoreless innings and recorded 13 strikeouts in the Pirates' 3-1 win over the Padres.
  • Brandon Phillips had three hits in the Reds' 5-3 win over the Diamondbacks.
  • The Cubs hit five home runs (including two more from Donnie Murphy) in an 11-1 win over the Nationals.
  • The Cardinals, of course, beat the Brewers.

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:

Team W L GB Today Time Matchup
Pirates 73 51 -- @ SDP 9:10p A.J. Burnett v Tyson Ross
Cardinals 72 52 1 @ MIL 7:10p Lance Lynn v Kyle Lohse
Reds 71 54 2.5 v ARI 6:10p Tony Cingrani v Patrick Corbin
Cubs 54 70 19 v WAS 7:05p Chris Rusin v Dan Haren
Brewers 54 71 19.5 v STL 7:10p

The Astros had a rough night last night, allowing eleven runs to the Rangers in the third inning. The blowout did, however, allow infielder Jake Elmore to become just the 14th player in major league history to both catch and pitch in the same game.

Today in former Brewers: Ben Sheets has been named an assistant baseball coach at Louisiana-Monroe (h/t @AndrewGruman).

Today in umpiring: Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs has a look at four missed calls from Sunday and ranks them by egregiousness. Phil Cuzzi's refusal to ask for help on a check swing is a perfect example of the kind of behavior we've railed against in the past.

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the 52nd anniversary of the Phillies beating the Milwaukee Braves in 1961 to snap an MLB-record 23 game losing streak. Today is also 1993-94 Brewer Tom Brunansky's 53rd birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his 30 career HBP are the third most ever for a player born on August 20.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've connected the dots.

Drink up.

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