Monday's Frosty Mug: Heading west, drifting south

Mark Hirsch

The Brewers momentum is carrying them in the wrong direction as they head west tonight. We'll talk about that and more in today's news roundup.

Some things to read while accepting your punishment.

The Brewers wrapped up a brief homestand and narrowly avoided getting swept with an 8-5 win over the Nationals yesterday. Noah has the recap, if you missed it.

Other notes from the field:

  • Kyle Lohse had faced 925 consecutive batters without hitting one before hitting two Nationals in the second inning yesterday. Plunk Everyone has more on the accomplishment.
  • Michael Gonzalez's appearance on Sunday (.2 IP, 1 HR) was his 56th appearance of the season. He's tied for second in all of baseball in that category. (Twitter link)
  • Before being shut out on Saturday the Brewers had scored at least one run in 86 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the majors. (Twitter link) That honor now belongs to the Braves, who have scored in 36 straight contests.
  • The Brewers failed to score Saturday despite Rickie Weeks' 117th career HBP. Plunk Everyone notes that he's now tied for 49th on the all time list.
  • 105,569 combined fans paid to see this weekend's games, which included Harvey Kuenn bobbleheads on Sunday and $10 giveaway vouchers all weekend.
  • Reader @Jcollins205 reported seeing a line of fans waiting to get into the team store on the Terrace Level for the first time ever.
  • The Hot Dog, Polish and Chorizo won this weekend's sausage races, in that order.

It won't take long to wrap up the Nationals series with a look at this weekend's home runs, with help from Hit Tracker Online and Larry Granillo:

Day Hitter Distance Trot Time
Friday Jonathan Lucroy 419 feet 22.07 seconds
Saturday No home runs
Sunday No home runs

The Brewers headed out to the west coast following yesterday's game and will open a four-game set with the Giants tonight. Tyler Thornburg will take on Chad Gaudin in the opener, and Andrew Simon has the MLB.com preview.

Aramis Ramirez is unlikely to appear in the Giants series, but could rejoin the team over the weekend. Ron Roenicke told reporters that Ramirez could be activated and used as the DH when the Brewers head to Seattle on Friday and Texas next week.

Reliever Michael Gonzalez is headed west with the team this week, but by the time they return home on August 15 there's a strong chance he'll be pitching for someone else. The Brewers placed Gonzalez on revocable waivers in the interest of working out a possible trade over the weekend. This isn't really all that surprising, as most teams put multiple players on waivers if they think any trades might be possible.

It wouldn't be surprising to discover that John Axford is also on trade waivers. Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs notes that Axford and Alfredo Figaro were the beneficiaries of the two wildest swings in all of baseball last week.

Even if Gonzalez and Axford remain with the team, the Brewers will almost certainly have to make another roster move to add a pitcher before Wednesday. Tom Gorzelanny left Friday's start early and is unlikely to pitch this week after getting hit on his throwing arm by a line drive. Ron Roenicke told reporters Gorzelanny's replacement is likely to be called up from the minors if needed.

Elsewhere in injured pitchers, Noah took a great look this weekend at Yovani Gallardo's 2013 velocity drop and how it compares to other pitchers who have thrown lots of pitches over the last four and a half years. After reading that post, I feel like Gallardo's struggles may have been more predictable than I previously thought.

The news is better, however, on Marco Estrada. He pitched 2.2 innings for Nashville on Friday and is expected to make one more rehab appearance before rejoining the team as early as next week.

Meanwhile, the Brewers are running out of prospective big league debuts. @Mass_Haas notes on Twitter that every healthy position player on the 40-man roster has already appeared in a game for the Brewers this season.

Caleb Gindl is one of the players that's already debuted this season, and his hot start continued with a triple yesterday. He's our reigning Brewer of the Week, and the tenth Brewer to win that honor this season.

In the minors:

Back in Milwaukee, the Brewers drew nice crowds for the weekend series against the Nationals but attendance is still significantly down overall. On Sunday Maury Brown of The Biz of Baseball noted on Twitter that the Brewers are averaging 3,422 fewer fans per game than they were at this point last year, the sixth largest drop in baseball.

There are also plenty of seats available on the Ryan Braun bandwagon. Over the weekend Nike became the latest company to cut ties with the 2011 NL MVP.

If you weren't around the site this weekend you missed the debut of a new Saturday feature titled "What we learned this week." Check out the inaugural installment and make plans to check back each Saturday for a recap of what you might have missed during the week.

Around baseball:

Blue Jays: Placed reliever Steve Delabar on the DL with shoulder inflammation.
Braves: Placed catcher Gerald Laird on the DL with a kidney stone.
Cubs: Designated outfielder Julio Borbon for assignment and placed infielder Luis Valbuena on the DL with an oblique strain.
Diamondbacks: Designated reliever Tony Sipp for assignment.
Dodgers: Released pitcher Ted Lilly.
Mets: Are expected to place third baseman David Wright (hamstring) and pitcher Josh Edgin (stress fracture in ribs) on the DL.
Nationals: Placed pitcher Ross Ohlendorf on the DL with shoulder inflammation.
Padres: Signed shortstop Ronny Cedeno to a minor league deal.
Phillies: Placed pitcher Jonathan Pettibone on the DL with a shoulder strain and designated reliever J.C. Ramirez for assignment.
Rangers: Claimed infielder Adam Rosales off waivers from the Athletics.
Royals: Placed catcher Salvador Perez on the 7-day DL with a concussion and placed pitcher Wade Davis on emergency leave.
White Sox: Are expected to release outfielder DeWayne Wise.
Yankees: Designated outfielder Thomas Neal for assignment.

I've previously reported that Mariners manager Eric Wedge was away from the team and dealing with a medical issue. That issue has since been revealed to be a stroke, and Wedge will not rejoin the team this week.

Today has a chance to be a major day for transactions around baseball, as MLB is expected to announce the BioGenesis suspensions at 11 am Central time. With that said, they were also expected to announce suspensions last week and the week before, so temper your expectations. Cubie Rue adds a sense of perspective to some of the talk radio blather on this issue.

Meanwhile, today's most fascinating read may have come from the New York Times, which details how this entire scandal came to light because of a dispute over $4,000. (h/t BBTF)

Let's go around the NL Central:

  • The Pirates finished off a series win over the Rockies with a complete game, 5-1 victory from A.J. Burnett on Sunday. Russell Martin's three-run homer provided a majority of the offense.
  • The Cardinals scored four or more runs in three different innings en route to a 15-2 victory over the Reds Sunday to complete a series win. St. Louis had ten extra base hits in the game.
  • The Dodgers completed a four-game sweep of the Cubs with a 1-0 win yesterday behind Stephen Fife and three relievers. Los Angeles has now won 14 consecutive road games.
  • The Brewers, of course, avoided getting swept by beating the Nationals 8-5 yesterday.

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 standings and probables:

Team W L GB Today Time Matchup
Pirates 67 44 -- OFF
Cardinals 65 45 1.5 v LAD 6:05p Adam Wainwright v Zack Greinke
Reds 61 51 6.5 OFF
Cubs 49 62 18 OFF
Brewers 47 64 20 @ SFG 9:15p Tyler Thornburg v Chad Gaudin

Today in former Brewers:

Today in umpiring: The Crawfish Boxes documented how 9.4 seconds outside the batters box led to minor leaguer Vinnie Catricala becoming the victim of a one-pitch strikeout.

Today In Brewer History was off this morning, but I do have one bit of history: Today is Menasha, Wisconsin native Eric Hinske's 36th birthday and Plunk Everyone notes that his 30 career HBP are the third most ever for a player born on August 5.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have integrity to uphold.

Drink up.

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