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Wednesday's Frosty Mug

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Will Dale Sveum make the difference in the Brewer playoff run? Too early to tell. Was he heavily photographed in his debut? Yes, absolutely, without question. Dale Sveum might be the most photogenic manager the Brewers have ever had.

Win Probability Graph
BR Box Score

Dale Sveum said the Brewers showed more life in his debut as manager last night than they'd shown in previous games. The Brew Town Beat says the Brewers were Sveumed last night. I will say this: I thought the Brewers had an opportunity to win last night. I didn't feel that way when they fell behind in games over the previous week or two.

The Official Site says the team is hoping for a lift from the return of Robin Yount as bench coach. Hopefully that lift is just slow developing. At least the coaching staff's sense of humor is improving:

Other than his baseball wisdom and timely advice, Yount seemed confident that Sveum could handle the job on his own.

If anything, Yount's presence alone will help push the Brewers toward their first playoff appearance since 1982.

"From a strategic standpoint, Dale doesn't need any help when it comes to that stuff," Yount said. "I'm here to be a cheerleader. I brought my pom-poms and my cheerleading skirt. I hope my legs look good in it. We'll see what happens."

Five Yost stories today, five bullet points.

So, now that we're past the transitional phase, what still needs fixing? Sveum has moved Manny Parra out of the rotation, to keep his arm from falling off. He's sent David Riske off to get his arm fixed. But he still has a sputtering offense. FanGraphs takes a look at the heart of the Brewers order in September. The Brewers have scored five or less runs in 13 straight games, the fourth longest streak in franchise history and the longest since 1972. Amazingly, the Brewers had similar streaks of 12, 15 and 17 games in the same season in 1972. That team won 65 games under three managers.

Dayn Perry now lists the Mets as the favorites to win the Wild Card. If the Brewers miss the playoffs, we'll have one final question to answer: is this "a" historic collapse or "an" historic collapse?

On injuries:

Padres C Josh Bard has been shut down for 2008 after suffering a triceps injury.
Erik Bedard is done for 2008 and will undergo exploratory surgery on his shoulder to see if they can find and correct any problems.
Phillies SP Joe Blanton apparently pitched through a bout with shoulder tendinitis. That's not something I'd advise.
Rockies SP Jeff Francis will be shut down for the remainder of 2008 to allow his sore shoulder to recover.
Scott Kazmir pitched through an illness Monday that left him weak and out of sorts.
Dodgers RP Hong-Chih Kuo won't throw at all for a few days to recover from triceps tendinitis.
Fernando Tatis, who was having a surprising comeback season with the Mets, left last night's game in the fifth inning with a separated shoulder and is done for the season.

Ok, it's probably safe to assume the Cubs will make the playoffs now. So what should their rotation look like? Normally, articles about playoff rotations posted weeks in advance bore the crap out of me, but this one raises some interesting points.

Oh, and apparently Fans Bring the Sperm Day at Kleenex Stadium Miyagi in Japan was a rousing success.

Drink up.