Some things to read while checking your local listings.
The Brewers' effort to finish the season on a positive note took another step forward Thursday night as they scored four runs in the second inning en route to a 4-2 win over the Mets. morineko has the recap, if you missed it.
Last night was another challenging night for rookie Johnny Hellweg, who wrapped up his debut season by allowing a single run on two hits over four innings but also walked four batters, hit two more and threw a wild pitch. One of Hellweg's hit batsmen was David Wright, who left the game after being hit in the helmet. After the game Ron Roenicke said Hellweg was "a long ways to go." (h/t @AdamMcCalvy)
Here's a quick note to put Hellweg's struggles into perspective. Among pitchers who have thrown at least 30 innings in an MLB season, Hellweg's 9:26 K:BB ratio is the worst since Mike Morgan in 1979. The good news is that Morgan went on to pitch 21 more seasons in the majors.
Of course, all of this winning does come at a cost. Buster Olney notes via Twitter that the Brewers have fallen all the way to tenth in the projected 2014 MLB draft order. Things could change quickly, though, as the Brewers, Phillies, Rockies and Blue Jays all enter play tonight at 72-87. The most the Brewers could lose is three more spots, as the Mets (one game), Giants (two games) and Padres (three games) are the only three teams within three games ahead of the Crew at this point.
Draft position is the only thing on the line for the Mets and Brewers this weekend. Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs did the math and discovered that 17.3% of the Brewers' games this season came after the team's playoff odds had reached 0%.
Other notes from the field:
- Mets outfielder Josh Satin was granted a home run in the ninth inning after a replay review showed that his fly ball to left off Jim Henderson had hit above the yellow line before caroming back onto the field.
- Norichika Aoki went 0-for-4 with a walk last night in his first start of the season in center field. (h/t @Haudricourt)
- In addition to (and perhaps in response to) Hellweg hitting David Wright and Lucas Duda last night, Mets reliever David Aardsma hit Jonathan Lucroy with a pitch in the eighth inning. (h/t @Haudricourt)
- Lucroy, by the way, was the only player from the Brewers' Opening Day lineup to play his original position last night. (h/t @AndrewGruman)
- Mets starting pitcher Dillon Gee pitched six innings last night and will finish the season with 199. After the game he talked to reporters about falling just short of 200.
The series continues tonight, with Yovani Gallardo taking on Carlos Torres at 6:10. Kevin Massoth has the MLB.com preview. Before that, though, Scooter Gennett and Khris Davis are scheduled to visit the MLB Fan Cave at 11 am Eastern time.
Davis and Gennett will likely be allowed to change out of their costumes before visiting the Cave. They were two of 18 players involved in "rookie dress-up night" for Wednesday night's road trip to New York.
The Brewers played last night's game without Carlos Gomez, who was suspended for a game for his actions in the finale of the Braves series Wednesday night. Braves outfielder Reed Johnson was also suspended, while catcher Brian McCann and first baseman Freddie Freeman were not. Tom Haudricourt later reported (via Twitter) that McCann and Freeman were both fined, though.
Of course, there's lots more about Gomez and McCann coming from around the web:
- The Baseball Codes suggests that teams will notice that they can get into Gomez's head by hitting him with pitches.
- Tim Brown of Yahoo acknowledges that Gomez was disciplined, but also says he was vindicated by homering off Maholm months after getting hit by a pitch.
- Kevin Kimmes of Cream City Cables says no one was right in this dispute.
- Larry Granillo of Baseball Nation explains why Gomez's run still counted despite the fact that he never touched home plate.
- Lookout Landing had some fun inserting Brian McCann into various historic celebrations.
- Someone also made some modifications to McCann's Wikipedia page.
Gomez will almost certainly be back in the lineup tonight, while Aramis Ramirez will probably not. He's still bothered by his sore knee, which he tweaked in the melee Wednesday night, but told Adam McCalvy he still wants to get back into a game this weekend.
Here's something else to watch this weekend: While Jean Segura rehabs his sore hamstring, Mets outfielder Eric Young Jr has stolen his 44th base (he got #43 and 44 last night) to tie him for the National League lead (h/t @AdamMcCalvy). So, if you're following along at home, the NL stolen base champion for 2013 is likely to be a guy who was designated for assignment by the Rockies in June. That says a lot about how much teams value base stealing in the current era.
One of this weekend's games almost has to be Yuniesky Betancourt's final appearance in a Brewer uniform. Justin Schultz of Reviewing the Brew went way out on a limb to suggest that it's time for the Brewers to part ways with him and his .240 on-base percentage. Adam McCalvy reports (via Twitter), though, that Yuni flew to Miami on Tuesday while the Braves were in Atlanta to begin the process of becoming a US citizen.
In the minors:
- John Sickels of Minor League Ball has updated his list of baseball's top 75 prospects and there's nary a Brewer to be found. Jimmy Nelson did get an honorable mention, though.
- Brewers Farm Report has a look back at the 2013 season for Brevard County.
- Blake Lalli has cleared waivers and been outrighted to the minors. He'll be a free agent at season's end.
With all due respect to Greg Dobbs, yesterday's biggest transaction around baseball was the announcement that Bud Selig will officially retire as commissioner of baseball following the 2014 season. This is likely to lead to months of speculation about who his successor might be, but Jack Moore notes that one potential answer is significantly more wrong than any other:
If Tony La Russa is named commissioner of baseball I will lose my damn mind— Jack Moore (@jh_moore) September 26, 2013
Howie Magner also notes (via Twitter) that this is likely to mean the end of the Commissioner's office being located in Milwaukee.
Going around the NL Central won't take long this morning:
- The Brewers, as I've told you several times, beat the Mets last night.
- The Cardinals, Pirates, Reds and Cubs were all off Thursday.
You can read more about that game and all of Thursday's other action in this morning's edition of Around the Bases at SBNation.com/MLB.
Here are today's updated standings and probables:
|Cardinals||94||65||--||v CHC||7:15p||Lance Lynn v Travis Wood|
|Pirates||91||68||3||@ CIN||6:10p||A.J. Burnett v Homer Bailey|
|Brewers||72||87||22||@ NYM||6:10p||Yovani Gallardo v Carlos Torres|
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History looks back to Phil Niekro's final major league appearance in 1987. Niekro, who made his MLB debut as a Milwaukee Brave in 1964, was the last former Milwaukee Brave to play in the majors.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I still can't get an invite.