Some things to read while making a beer run. (h/t Lange)
For the second straight game, a starting pitcher didn't fare well against the Brewers last night as the Crew teed off on Charlie Morton, ending his night early. Jayson Stark noted that the last two starters to face the Brewers (Morton and Jason Marquis) allowed 13 runs and recorded a combined three outs.
It was more of the same for Charlie Morton, who has a 16.55 ERA and 2.613 WHIP through his first three starts. Bucs Dugout says he's likely to remain in the rotation, though.
Rickie Weeks was on base three times again last night, going 2-for-3 with a triple and a walk. With the performance, Weeks raised his OBP to a team leading .484. He also leads the team in walks (10) and runs scored (11), and is second in strikeouts (12).
Ryan Braun went 1-for-3 last night with a double, two walks and his second stolen base of the season. The double came with a runner on second and extended Braun's hot start with runners in scoring position: Through 14 ABs, he's hitting .500 with two home runs and eleven RBI in RISP situations.
On the other end of the spectrum we have Prince Fielder. The USA Today notes that Fielder is one of ten active major leaguers who have hit at least 35 home runs in a season but have yet to connect for one in 2010. Fielder has a .286 slugging percentage, but has walked five times and been hit by five pitches to raise his OBP to .356. Over the course of his career he's had a .469 slugging percentage and .841 OPS in April, easily his lowest of any month.
Stan Kyles was in the Brewer bullpen last night and will remain with the team through the Pirates series before heading home Friday to undergo surgery for prostate cancer (FanShot). Kyles' prognosis is very good: the cancer was caught early, and he's only expected to be out 4-6 weeks. Brevard County pitching coach Fred Dabney will assume the bullpen coaching duties on an interim basis. On behalf of all of us here at BCB, I'd like to send Kyles best wishes for a speedy recovery.
Other notes from the field:
- Last night's pitching performance snapped a 22 game streak where Brewer pitchers had allowed four runs or more. The Brewers have now held an opponent to three runs or less in one straight game - In-Between Hops notes that the franchise record is nine.
- Ryan Braun, Dave Bush and Alcides Escobar are leading FanGraphs' Star of the Game Voting.
- CoolStandings has the Brewer playoff chances at 18.7%.
- Just 9386 fans attended last night's game.
After back-to-back wins, my optimism is actually up a little, but it's still down compared to where it was two weeks ago. With that said, even I was surprised to discover how far things have fallen in the BCB Tracking Poll. 50% of voters said their optimism level has fallen during the team's 5-7 start, and over 50% disapprove of Ken Macha for the first time. Howie Magner of Milwaukee Magazine says it's too early to give up, and he's right, but something needs to be done to right the ship.
In the minors:
- Jonathan Lucroy, who was hitting .452 with a .500 OBP in Huntsville, has been promoted to Nashville (FanShot). Ben Badler of Baseball America said his bat was "too advanced for AA." Lucroy will handle primary catching duties while Angel Salome is away - Salome left the team for a second time to be with his wife, who's expecting their second child any day now. Once Salome returns, the situation could get a little tricky. I'd expect both catchers to split time behind the plate and at DH for a while.
- Disciples of Uecker has notes from around the Brewer minor leagues.
In Power Rankings: SBNation has the Brewers at 20th.
Angels: Placed catcher Jeff Mathis on the DL with a fractured wrist.
Astros: Placed infielder Chris Johnson on the DL with a ribcage strain.
Orioles: Signed Corey Patterson to a minor league deal.
Red Sox: Placed outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury (rib cage) and Mike Cameron (lower abdominal strain) on the DL.
Elsewhere in former Brewer notes:
- Braden Looper threw for the Cubs this week, and is willing to take whatever role they're willing to offer him. Looper lives in Chicago and had previously expressed some interest in becoming a Cub. The rest of the NL Central would be excited to have him as a Cub, too.
- Jason Kendall continued his hot start with the Royals last night. He's hitting .360 in the team's first 14 games but, as Rany Jazayerli notes, the Royals are still 5-9. Plunk Everyone also points out that he has yet to be hit by a pitch.
The Brewers probably won't see Braden Looper this weekend, but they will most likely see Ted Lilly. He's expected to make his first start of the season in the Brewers-Cubs series (probably Saturday) after offseason shoulder surgery.
Earlier this week I mentioned Major League Baseball asking Rays manager Joe Maddon to stop wearing his hoodie. That decision has since been reversed.
On this day in 1987, the Brewers lost to the White Sox, 7-1, ending their 13-game winning streak to start the season.
Happy birthday today to:
That's all I've got for you today, unless you wanted Gaslamp Ball's Dream Diary.