Leading off for the Frosty Mug this morning is a Brewers analysis from Mike Hunt. Have you ever noticed that awful columnists try to "dress up" their piece by writing something and then comparing it to something totally different, in order to create a hip pop-culture reference? I have noticed this. Overall, this is the type of piece you'd expect to see in a newspaper when a team loses a few 1-run games in a row. Bad stretches happen over the course of the season. Soon, you'll see Hardy start to get hits falling in again, and some of the tight games will go the other way. Just be glad the Brewers have built enough of a cushion to deal with a poor stretch and maintain first place.
Melvin also discussed the options to start on June 27th, the next time the Brewers will need a number 5 starter. They have ruled out Parra. The main two discussed in the article are Dillard and McClung. I don't think we should just be ignoring the fact that McClung has walked 5.15 per 9 this year, while the "intellectually challenged" Parra has walked 5.71-- and Parra has a better strikeout rate. I also want no part of Dillard in the starting rotation, where he has utterly failed to do anything but depend on his defense-- 25 strikeouts and 27 walks in 75 innings is just awful. If he's healthy, my vote would go to Nick Green first and then McClung. I could also understand calling up Burns again.
At Goat Riders of the Apocalypse, Cubs fans examine the fact that only one of their regular position players is performing up to preseason expectations. Most of those expectations were set a bit too high, but they still have underperformed. You could make the case that 4 Brewers (Hardy, Kendall, Hart, and the third basemen) are performing well below expectations-- but you should probably assume that half will beat their projection and half will not. It appears that Cubs fans are slumping as well, and... Milton Bradley, ladies and gentlemen.
Murray Chass blogged about Trevor Hoffman and about how Andrew Friedman is mad at him. He's still insisting that his blog is a website.
In the news: walks matter a lot re: scoring runs, and strikeouts don't matter very much re: scoring runs.
Ryan Braun tops the list of the best Jewish baseball players, ahead of Kevin Youkilis and Ian Kinsler.
Bryce Harper was a Sports Illlustrated cover boy last week, and it was announced this weekend that the 16-year old will earn his GED this summer and enroll in Junior College for the next baseball season. Depending on how some rules are interpreted, he could and probably will be eligible for next June's draft. Nationals fans are already on the watch.
Cliff Lee crushed the Cardinals last night with a 3 hit, 93 pitch shutout. It's notable in three ways: the Brewers play the Indians tonight, the Cardinals lost, and Cliff Lee could be a Brewer trade target if the Indians fall out of contention. The Brewers are weighing their roster options for the interleague road trip.
Wily Peralta is finally starting to get some recognition. He struck out 8 and walked 1 in 5 innings for the T-Rats yesterday. He's the prospect of the week at Between the Green Pillars.
Eric Arnett's signing press conference was Sunday. He will report to Helena as soon as they begin playing. They haven't ruled out a Wisconsin promotion this year, but because the Brewers want to monitor his workload, I'd see it as unlikely.
Read the caption of the photo accompanying this article.
Tomorrow I will be missing in action, as the state baseball tournament's opening round gets underway (want to see a Brewer draft pick in action? Show up at Fox Cities Stadium at 8:00 tomorrow morning!). If I can't secure a fill-in, we'll just post a community mug.
Tonight's game is at 6:05 central in Cleveland, Dave Bush vs. Carl Pavano. The game thread will post at 5.