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Tuesday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while removing the technology from your tarot cards.

If you went to bed at a reasonable hour last night, you missed some late-night drama for the Brewers, ending in a bases loaded, two out confrontation between Trevor Hoffman and Manny Ramirez with the game on the line. Ken Macha was holding his breath in the dugout, but Hoffman retired Ramirez to end the game and bring the Brewers back to .500 on the season.

The Brewers played the ninth inning last night without Ryan Braun, who left the game with tightness in his elbow after uncorking a wild throw in the seventh. Braun says it doesn't hurt to hit, so don't be surprised if he's held out of today's game and used as a pinch hitter.

It was fitting, in a way, that the final out of last night's contest was hit to Bill Hall, playing his first career game in right field. Hall went 0-for-3 but drove in a run with a bases loaded walk last night, and told Adam McCalvy before the game that the Brewers need him to step up. Meanwhile, Ian Casselberry of Bless You Boys wonders if Hall might be a candidate to fill the vacancy at third base in Detroit.

If you were at last night's game, you might have seen Kenny Mayne. You'd know him if you saw him, because he's very tall and was wearing a Seattle Pilots jersey. I'm not sure I've ever even seen one.

Yovani Gallardo takes the mound tonight for the Brewers. He's been much better over his last three starts, and is crediting a mechanical adjustment for the improvement. After Manny Parra was able to go eight innings last night, a long outing by Gallardo would give most of the Brewer bullpen two days off, which would be nice.

Adam McCalvy has a look at the soft underbelly that is the Brewers' upcoming schedule, and reminds us that the Brewers won 20 games in August last year on their way to the playoffs. Now that the team has played reasonably well for a couple of games, I feel better talking about beating up on weaker opponents in August. I wasn't comfortable having that conversation while they were struggling to beat the Nationals and Padres.

National pundits continue to pile on the Brewers for failing to make a major splash at the trade deadline. Today, it's Jon Heyman listing the Brewers among trade deadline losers. With that said, I do have a handful of notes on a move the Brewers did make: Baseball Digest Daily continues to unveil their defensive rankings, with J.J. Hardy coming in third among shortstops and Bill Hall checking in at second among third basemen.

In the minors:
  • Jeff Sackmann and Sean Smith have come together once again to apply the TotalZone defensive metric to minor league players. Alcides Escobar and former Brewer prospect Cole Gillespie are among the leaders at their positions, while Huntsville CF Adam Stern brings up the rear at 23 runs below average. (h/t Chone Smith)
  • Corey Patterson appears to have signed his minor league deal and was in uniform for Nashville last night.
  • The Brewers promoted SS Josh Prince and pitcher Mike Fiers, both 2009 draftees, to Wisconsin and demoted Michael Marseco to Helena.
On Power Rankings: Around baseball:

D-Backs: Signed Daniel Cabrera to a minor league deal.
Dodgers: Acquired minor leaguer Harvey Garcia from the Pirates to complete the Delwyn Young deal.

How good would Gabe Kapler look in a Brewer uniform right now? Tommy Rancel of DRaysBay says the Rays made the right decision by picking Kapler up last offseason. I'd feel a lot better about the bench right now if Kapler had Jody Gerut's spot.

Perhaps if I report on it every day, I can help Major League Baseball's umpiring situation reach its tipping point. David Weathers was ejected from yesterday's game for the Reds, and after the game Reds beat reporter Mark Sheldon (@M_Sheldon) had this quote in his Twitter:
Weathers on his ejection by HP ump Paul Emmel: "I said 'why are you staring at me?' He said 'you're outta here.'"
Looking for a few extra hours of work and the opportunity to do it for a prominent baseball analyst? Keith Law is looking for an intern to do some databasing work. I'm not sure if I'm qualified, but you might be.

On this day in 1973, Johnny Briggs led off the game and went 6-for-6 as the Brewers beat the Indians, 9-4. Only one other Brewer (Kevin Reimer in 1993) has ever collected six hits in a game, and Briggs is both the only one to do it in a nine inning game, and in six plate appearances.

It's a big day for Brewer birthdays today: Happy birthday to B.J. Surhoff, who played in 1102 games as a Brewer between 1987 and 1995 (10th most all time), and turns 45 today. On the other end of the spectrum, Troy O'Leary, who played in 46 games as a Brewer in 1993 and 1994, turns 40. Scott Linebrink, who threw 25.1 innings for the 2007 Crew, turns 33.

If you've finished the Mug and you're still looking for something to read, here's my open letter to the ice cream truck.

Drink up.