Some things to read while getting the truth.
The Brewers took two of three from the Cubs over the weekend, but the main topic of conversation coming off the series is the second straight homestand where a pitcher has thrown near Ryan Braun's head. Ken Macha wants MLB to look into it. Baseball Musings likes the way Braun responded to it. Adam McCalvy noticed the difference between Braun's reactions to the Dempster pitch and the Jeff Karstens pitch from two weeks ago. The Brewers are tied for the major league lead with 17 HBP, and Braun, Prince Fielder and Jason Kendall have taken 14 of them.
Baseball Musings thinks the Brewers should have scored more runs yesterday. They went just 6-for-33 at the plate, but five of the six hits went for extra bases and the Brewers had six walks. Timing just didn't work out.
Some would argue that continuing to send Jason Kendall to the plate also doesn't help. Balking Traditionalism is working on a formula to determine when it makes sense to pinch hit for Kendall. We'll also have more on the topic later today.
The issue will probably come up more often once Mike Rivera is back. Rivera is in Omaha today to start a three-game rehab assignment with the Nashville Sounds, and if all goes well he's expected back in the lineup on Thursday when Dave Bush returns to the mound. The whole rehab assigment concept seems a little strange in this case: Certainly, Rivera is used to going 15 days between games, but it's been years since he's played in four straight, which is what he'll be doing on Thursday.
Speaking of Dave Bush: he picked up a no-decision on Friday, meaning he's still just 1-0 despite having pitched 40 innings this season, easily the most innings pitched by someone with just one decision.
Elsewhere in statistical anomalies: Saturday night's game featured a combined 40 strikeouts and walks, the sixth most since 1970.
Bill Hall is hitting .292/.364/.483 through 99 plate appearances, and while his numbers are significantly higher against lefties, he's not looking completely outmatched either, drawing ten walks to keep his line at .222/.329/.349. Ken Macha, though, is expected to start Craig Counsell at third when the Brewers open their series with the Marlins tomorrow. Take a moment to consider these numbers:
Counsell since Opening Day 2007: .233/.349/.322
Bill Hall against righties in 2009: .222/.329/.349
Hall has posted a .678 OPS against righties in 2009, so Macha is replacing him with Craig Counsell's .671 OPS? I'm confused.
The Marlins series will also mark the return of our old friend Wes Helms. Wes doesn't understand why he gets booed in Milwaukee:
"I don't know what they're going to do. They might throw rocks at me," said Helms, who is puzzled by the recent chilly receptions he has received. He played well in his three seasons as a Brewer (2003-05).
"I can understand Philly booing me because I struggled there, but Milwaukee? I had good years there," he said. "I never said anything in the paper. I never did anything, so I don't know. Part of the game, I guess."
Wait...what? Helms' best season as a Brewer was in 2003, when he was barely above average as a hitter.
One minor note today: Cole Gillespie continues to struggle in AAA after getting a late start due to injury, and At The Old Ball Game says he's not ready for AAA. Gillespie is the #10 prospect in our community rankings.
I expected people to notice the recent Brewer hot streak, but this might be a little much: Foul Balls has moved the Brewers up to second in the NL and third overall in their power rankings.
Here's one ranking that is deserved, though: Home Run Derby gave the Racing Sausages a #1 seed in their bracket to determine baseball's best mascot.
Around the league:
A's: Designated Ben Copeland, their 2009 Rule 5 pick, for assignment and acquired Adam Kennedy from the Rays for Joe Dillon (h/t FanShot).
Cubs: Placed Aramis Ramirez on the DL with a dislocated shoulder, DL'ed Chad Fox with elbow inflammation, and acquired Ryan Freel from the Orioles for Joey Gathright. (h/t FanShots)
Diamondbacks: Placed Yusmeiro Petit on the DL with a shoulder strain.
Mariners: Carlos Silva has been placed on the DL with stiffness and inflammation in his shoulder.
Nationals: Released Gary Glover.
Pirates: Signed catcher Adam Melhuse to a minor league deal.
Red Sox: Designated reliever Javier Lopez for assignment.
Royals: Placed Joakim Soria on the DL with shoulder soreness.
Yankees: Designated relievers Steven Jackson and Eric Hacker for assignment.
Chad Fox's most recent elbow injury will likely end his major league career. Fox, a former Brewer, has already had multiple Tommy John surgeries and has three screws in his elbow. He sounds like he's glad he gave it one last shot.
The Cub Reporter has done the math and expects Aramis Ramirez to miss around 50 games. The Cubs, however, only play the Cardinals and Brewers in five of those games.
Major League Baseball briefly slammed on the brakes on a cool promotion yesterday, stopping players from wearing black and pink cleats which would later be auctioned off to raise money for a cancer-related charity. MLB had not approved the charity, so they ordered players across baseball, including Prince Fielder, not to wear the cleats. A resolution was later reached to allow players to wear them, but I didn't see if Fielder had his on.
Do you like living in the country and want to own a piece of baseball history? Cy Young's birthplace is for sale, and Let's Go Tribe contacted the realtor to ask some questions about it.
Ryan Braun still has a long way to go to reach this record: Carlos Delgado was plunked by Ian Snell yesterday and now has been hit by pitchers from 36 states, a major league record.
Want to work in baseball? The Book Blog has links to three internships with the Yankees.
Oh, and if you're an opposing closer in Denver, you may witness an episode of Mascots Gone Wild.