Some things to read while waiting to read this.
I'll admit it: I was asleep in bed before the last out of this one. The Giants beat the Brewers 4-2 late last night, and Eric has the recap if you missed it.
Last night's game turned for the worse in the eighth inning, when John Axford and Michael Gonzalez combined to walk three of the four batters they faced as the Giants took the lead. Rob Wooten had to come in to bail them out, and Adam McCalvy notes the improbability of that statement in our Tweet of the Day:
Rob Wooten with the bases loaded in the eighth inning of a tie game ~ not exactly how they drew it up in the spring.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) August 6, 2013
The Brewers robbed Tyler Thornburg of what would have been his second MLB win following a very good start last night. He pitched six innings and scattered seven hits, allowing just one unearned run. Mike Vassallo noted on Twitter that Thornburg has yet to give up an earned run in his two starts.
Unfortunately, Thornburg's success didn't extend to the plate. He hung Scooter Gennett out to dry on a squeeze bunt attempt when he missed the pitch.
Other notes from the field:
- Brandon Kintzler pitched a scoreless seventh last night and has a 1.62 ERA in his last 34 appearances (h/t @MikeVassallo13).
The series continues with another 9:15 start tonight, as Wily Peralta takes on Matt Cain. Kevin Massoth has the MLB.com preview and notes that Jonathan Lucroy is expected to make his second career start at first base.
Lucroy started the season by hitting .208/.268/.328 in his first 36 games, so the fact that he's become a bat the Brewers need to keep in the lineup demonstrates a pretty impressive turnaround. Kenneth Arthur of Fake Teams noted that Lucroy has been one of baseball's best players over the last 30 days, and J.P. Breen of Disciples of Uecker says he's become a "near-elite" catcher.
Looking ahead a day, it appears a familiar face will return for game three of this series tomorrow night. Adam McCalvy notes on Twitter that most of the other callup options have already pitched so Chris Narveson appears to be the de facto choice to start in place of Tom Gorzelanny. Narveson is currently off the 40-man roster, so a move will have to be made to free up a spot for him.
Jean Segura had two more hits last night and continues to lead the NL with 136, but was also caught stealing. @Mass_Haas notes on Twitter that Segura has a chance to lead the NL in stolen bases now that Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera has been suspended.
Segura is a big reason the Brewers aren't higher on this list: MLB Trade Rumors' reverse standings project the Brewers to select fourth in the 2014 draft. The Crew is currently 3.5 games better than the #3 drafting Marlins and two worse than the Cubs. As owners of baseball's 27th best record, it's no surprise that Jonah Keri of Grantland has them 27th in his power rankings.
John Axford, meanwhile, has shared a role in both the Brewers' successes and failures. He's allowed one or more runs in five of his last six appearances, and talked to Adam McCalvy about his recent struggles.
Juan Francisco hit his 15th homer in the ninth inning last night but also committed his 15th error earlier in the game. Benjamin Orr of Reviewing the Brew wonders if the Brewers should re-sign Corey Hart to take Francisco's place at first base next season.
In the minors:
- The affiliates went 3-3 last night behind a big day from Sean Halton, who had four hits (including a walkoff single) in Nashville's 5-4 win over Tuscon. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Adam McCalvy notes on Twitter that the Sounds have won seven of their last eight.
- Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has highlights and much more from Wisconsin's 6-5 win over Beloit, which featured a five-run comeback in the bottom of the ninth.
- Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem has an interview with Sounds manager Mike Guerrero.
- AZL pitcher Will West has been suspended for 50 games for testing positive for a drug of abuse. West had appeared in three rookie league games in 2013 and posted a 5.06 ERA.
Of course, the big story around baseball yesterday was the long-anticipated announcement of the BioGenesis suspensions. If you somehow missed them, here's the list, with all but Alex Rodriguez getting 50 games:
- Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez (211 games, plans to appeal)
- Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz
- Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta
- Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli
- Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera
- Astros pitcher Sergio Escalona
- Phillies reliever Antonio Bastardo
- Mariners catcher Jesus Montero
- Yankees outfielder Fernando Martinez
- Mets outfielders Cesar Puello and Jordany Valdespin
- Free agent pitchers Jordan Norberto and Fautino De Los Santos
That's an odd list, but several players on it share an interesting connection: Jorge Castillo of the Newark Star-Ledger notes that a majority of them are clients of the ACES agency. Maury Brown of The Biz of Baseball has an interesting economic take on all of this, noting that the teams involved are saving almost $72 million in salaries over the course of these suspensions. Meanwhile, Old Time Family Baseball has a quote from Joe Sheehan on why he's reluctant to trust Bud Selig on this and other matters. Adam McCalvy talked to John Axford and Jonathan Lucroy for the Brewer reaction.
Elsewhere around baseball:
Angels: Released reliever Ryan Madson.
Cubs: Claimed outfielder Thomas Neal off waivers from the Yankees.
Rangers: Designated infielder Adam Rosales for assignment.
Yankees: Placed shortstop Derek Jeter on the DL with a calf strain and designated infielder Brent Lillibridge for assignment.
Let's go around the NL Central:
- The Cardinals couldn't stop the red-hot Dodgers, losing 3-2 at Busch Stadium. Zack Greinke pitched 6.1 innings for the victory as Los Angeles recorded their 15th consecutive road win.
- The Brewers, of course, lost to the Giants.
- The Pirates, Reds and Cubs were off Monday.
Here are today's standings and probables:
|Pirates||67||44||--||v MIA||6:05p||Jeff Locke v Pedro Alvarez|
|Cardinals||65||46||2||v LAD||7:15p||Joe Kelly v Clayton Kershaw|
|Reds||61||51||6.5||v OAK||6:10p||Mat Latos v Dan Straily|
|Cubs||49||62||18||@ PHI||6:05p||Edwin Jackson v Kyle Kendrick|
|Brewers||47||65||20.5||@ SFG||9:15p||Wily Peralta v Matt Cain|
For what it's worth, the Pirates bandwagon now includes friend of the site Justin Hull of 95.3 WSCO in Appleton.
Speaking of the Pirates, our best wishes go out this morning to longtime former Pirate and 1990 Brewer All Star Dave Parker, who is battling Parkinson's disease.
Meanwhile, one of baseball's best stories is coming from Kansas City where the Royals have won 14 of their last 17 games to creep back into the playoff picture at 57-52. They beat the Twins 13-0 last night in their largest shutout victory since beating the Brewers by the same score in 1987. I knew they were hot, but this Richard Justice tweet really brought it home for me:
Royals have won five straight series for the first time in 20 years.— Richard Justice (@richardjustice) August 5, 2013
Today In Brewer History is off this morning, but we do have two other bits of history:
- Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that today is the 39th anniversary of Hank Aaron's final multi-homer game.
- nullacct continued his "Face of the Franchise" series with a look at Gorman Thomas as the face of the 1979 team.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to wash my hands.