Some things to read while solving the puzzle.
While most of you were off watching football, the Brewers wrapped up a series win with a 3-1 victory over the Cubs. Noah has the recap, if you missed it.
The Brewers picked up a relatively rare day game win yesterday behind a solid outing from Yovani Gallardo, who allowed a single run on just three hits over seven innings. @AndrewGruman notes that he has a 1.35 ERA over his last five starts, all of which have been quality starts.
Yesterday's win improved the Brewers to 24-24 since the All Star break. Manny Randhawa of MLB.com has a look at how the Brewers have (at least partially) turned around after a bad first half.
Other notes from the field:
- The Brewers still haven't lost a road series since late July. (h/t @joe_block)
- Jean Segura's lone hit Sunday was an infield single, and he now leads all of baseball with 43 on the season. (h/t @Todd_Rosiak)
- Norichika Aoki went 0-for-3 with a walk Sunday, snapping an eight-game hitting streak. He's still hitting .320/.386/.370 in his last 28 games, though, and he's our reigning Brewer of the Week.
- Aramis Ramirez had a pair of doubles Sunday and was also hit by a pitch on Saturday for the 108th time in his career. Plunk Everyone has more on the accomplishment.
- Ramirez also scored his 1000th run with a solo home run on Friday. We've got more on that moment.
- Yuniesky Betancourt started Sunday's game at first base despite the clear objections of the BCB Tracking Poll.
Let's put a bow on the Cubs series with a look at the weekend's home runs, with help from Hit Tracker:
|Friday||Aramis Ramirez||411 feet|
|Friday||Scooter Gennett||371 feet|
|Saturday||No home runs|
|Sunday||No home runs|
The Brewers are off today before resuming play in St. Louis tomorrow. Wily Peralta will take on Shelby Miller in the series opener, and Andrew Simon has the MLB.com preview. Marco Estrada and Tyler Thornburg will pitch the series' other games.
When Estrada takes the mound on Wednesday he'll be pitching for the first time in September. He told Manny Randhawa of MLB.com he's not worried about the extended break between outings.
The Brewers took game two of the Cubs series behind a solid outing from Johnny Hellweg, who pitched his first MLB quality start and collected his first win despite allowing a pair of home runs (h/t @AndrewGruman). The Brewers haven't announced their rotation plans beyond the Cardinals series, but it's probably safe to expect him to pitch at home against the Reds this weekend.
The Brewers got through the weekend without Khris Davis, who was scratched from Friday's lineup and held out of the series with a sore wrist. An MRI was negative, though, so the plan remains to rest and wait. Davis, by the way, is on Twitter now. So is teammate Sean Halton.
Despite taking two of three from the Cubs this weekend, the Brewers stand on the brink of playoff elimination this morning. Their elimination number in the Wild Card race stands at one, meaning they could be out of playoff contention before tomorrow's game if both the Reds and Pirates win tonight.
I've already mentioned that Norichika Aoki has been hot lately, but did you realize he's one of the game's best leadoff hitters? GammonsDaily.com notes that his .354 OBP is the fourth best in all of baseball among primary #1 hitters.
Aoki's hot streak has come in the midst of a lull for Jean Segura, who is just a ,246.,271.,320 hitter in his last 43 appearances. Nonetheless, Charlie Wilmoth of MLB Trade Rumors wonders if Segura could be an extension candidate for the Brewers this winter. He says Jose Altuve's four year, $12.5 million extension could be a starting point, but also says Segura is a better player.
The Brewers have had some luck extending young players recently, as Ben Horrow of Beyond the Box Score suggests that Jonathan Lucroy might have the best contract in all of baseball. Benjamin Orr of Reviewing the Brew says Lucroy is building a legacy in Milwaukee.
Segura and Lucroy are, of course, a key parts of Justin Schultz of Reviewing the Brew's projected 2014 lineup. Schultz also veers off the likely path a bit, though, by penciling Mat Gamel in at first base and Juan Francisco at third. Todd Rosiak has a look at the recent downturn in Francisco's audition at first base.
It's hard to believe we're only two weeks away from the Brewers' final home game, but the game is a little further away than it used to be. The 1:10 pm start has been moved to 7 to accomodate an ESPN Sunday Night Baseball telecast.
In the minors:
- Helena became the last affiliate to wrap up their regular season on Sunday, losing 7-4 to Great Falls despite two-hit games from Adam Giacalone, Angel Ortega and Jose Pena. You can read more about that in today's Minor League Notes.
- Helena opens the Pioneer League playoffs tonight when they face Great Falls again. Game one of the best-of-three series is on the road, with tomorrow and Wednesday's games scheduled to be played at Kindrick Field.
- Congratulations are due out to Johnny Hellweg and Huntsville first baseman Jason Rogers, the Brewers' minor league Pitcher and Player of the Year. It's an especially surprising development for Rogers, who was a 32nd round pick in 2010. @AdamMcCalvy notes that every Brewer Minor League POY not named Hunter Morris has eventually reached the majors.
- Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has a look at Wisconsin's 2013 season by the numbers.
- Jason Arndt of Brewers Farm Report has a story on 2013 Brevard County reliever Tommy Toledo, who posted a 2.11 ERA with 20 games in 43 appearances for the Manatees this season.
- The Baseball Historian has an interview with fellow Brevard County reliever Stephen Peterson, a former undrafted free agent who has posted a 3.20 ERA over three professional seasons.
Back in Milwaukee, damage control continues for Ryan Braun. He's been individually calling season ticket holders to apologize for his suspension, and the SURG restaurant group has announced plans to remove his name from their properties, including Graffito and 8-Twelve (FanShot).
Braun may or may not also be apologizing for the barrage of music at Miller Park. Larry Granillo of Baseball Nation was on hand for the Labor Day game against the Pirates and cataloged over 150 musical interludes played in three hours.
If you weren't around the site this weekend, take a moment to check out JP's recap of what we learned last week. Despite the fact that the season is winding down, there's still a lot going on.
Astros: Claimed OF Eric Thames off waivers from the Orioles and designated pitcher Hector Ambriz for assignment.
Cubs: Designated infielder Cody Ransom for assignment.
Nationals: Claimed 1B/3B Mauro Gomez off waivers from the Blue Jays.
Orioles: Designated third baseman Alex Liddi for assignment.
Pirates: Designated pitcher James McDonald for assignment.
Let's go around the NL Central:
- The Cardinals swept a three-game series against the Pirates this weekend and now have their biggest lead since July. They took the final game 9-2 yesterday, with rookie Michael Wacha throwing seven scoreless innings for the victory.
- The Reds swept a three-game set with the Dodgers, walking off with a 3-2 win Sunday. Ryan Hanigan's walkoff double was the difference in this one.
- The Brewers, of course, completed a series win over the Cubs with a 3-1 win Sunday.
You can read more about those games and all of Sunday's action in the Monday edition of Around the Bases at SBNation.com.
Here are today's updated standings and probables:
|Reds||82||62||1.5||v CHC||6:10p||Bronson Arroyo v Travis Wood|
|Pirates||81||61||1.5||@ TEX||7:05p||Gerrit Cole v Yu Darvish|
Today in former Brewers:
- John Axford was ejected from Friday's Cardinals/Pirates game for intentionally throwing at a batter, so now we know how long it takes a new Cardinal to be infected.
- Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times lists Cal Eldred as the sixth best rookie of the 90's.
- Zack Greinke, who recently stole a base for the Dodgers, was also the last pitcher to steal a base for the Brewers.
Today is the Brewers' final off day of the 2013 season, as they play their final 20 games in the next 20 days. Jonah Keri of Grantland lists the uneven distribution of off days and the unbalanced Wild Card race as two reasons it's time to fix the MLB schedule.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the 34th anniversary of Gorman Thomas becoming the first Brewer ever to hit 40 home runs in a season. He finished the year with 45, a franchise record that stood for decades.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to find another door.