Some things to read while identifying spring garlic.
In a game that inspired @notkenmacha to do the humpty dance on the counter at Perkins, the Brewers somehow found a way to overcome a 3-0 first inning deficit and hold on to beat the Twins 7-5 last night.
A big part of last night's victory was John Axford's six out save, the first Brewer save of two innings or more since Todd Coffey pitched the final 2.2 innings of a game against the Mets last April. Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker is pleading with Ken Macha to use Axford in situations like that more often.
The Brewers probably could have used Zach Braddock last night, but announced after the game that he was unavailable: He left the team following a death in the family. He could be placed on the bereavement list if he won't be back in the next couple of days.
Speaking of players who have missed a few days, Jim Edmonds was back in the lineup last night, and went 3-for-4 with two doubles and scored twice. He'll likely soak up as much of Carlos Gomez's playing time as he can handle over the next couple of weeks.
Meanwhile, it was more of the same for Chris Narveson, who allowed three runs before the Brewers came to bat last night and has been lit up in the first inning this season. Tom Haudricourt noted that Narveson has a 12.27 ERA in the first inning of his 11 starts. He has a 4.01 ERA as a starter the rest of the time.
With John Axford having pitched two innings last night, the door could be open for Trevor Hoffman to pitch if there's a save situation tonight. Ken Macha raised the possibility of Hoffman's return while talking to reporters before the game last night. Axford was already warming in the seventh inning: If he'd been needed that early, Hoffman would have likely been the choice to pitch the ninth.
Other notes from the field:
- John Axford, Jim Edmonds and Casey McGehee are leading FanGraphs' Star of the Game voting.
- CoolStandings has the Brewer playoff chances at 1.7%.
- Here's MLB.com's video highlights.
Last night's game opened a key stretch for the Brewers, as they play 16 of 20 games at home and have a chance to make a pretty significant run. Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar looks at what it might mean if the Brewers could find a way to win 13 or 14 of these games.
He also lists Yovani Gallardo and Casey McGehee as candidates, but in the end Matthew Pouliot of Hardball Talk predicts the Brewers will have just two representatives on the All Star team: Ryan Braun and Corey Hart. Braun is still the NL's leading votegetter among outfielders and has expanded his lead to roughly 30,000 over Atlanta's Jason Heyward.
It's been a long six months for Chris Smith. Before spring training he was removed from the 40 man roster. He then pitched well enough to earn his way back on, only to find himself outrighted back to AAA after just three appearances. With that said, Tom Haudricourt reports Smith has accepted his assignment to the minors and rejoined the Sounds last night in Memphis.
Elsewhere in the minors:
- Second round pick Jimmy Nelson was in attendance at Miller Park last night, and signed his contract. He'll report to Helena later this week, and told Tidesports.com he expects to "have a role out of the bullpen."
- While Nelson comes in two others are on their way out: The Brewers have released pitchers A.J. Murray and Brian Bruney (FanShot), both of whom had been pitching in Nashville.
- On the field, the Helena Brewers improved to 2-0 with their second walkoff victory in as many nights. Last night they scored four runs in the ninth on four walks, two HBP, an error, four wild pitches and one hit.
- Cody Hawn also hit his first two professional home runs for Helena last night, and Brett Lawrie went 2-for-3 for Huntsville with a double, a triple and two walks. Overall the affiliates went 4-1, and you can read more about it in today's Minor League Notes.
- That wasn't yesterday's only good news for Lawrie: He also found out he'll be representing the Brewers on the "World" team in this year's Futures Game.
- The Midwest League All Star game was last night: Scooter Gennett went 1-for-2, Khris Davis went 0-for-2, and Nick Bucci and Jake Odorizzi each retired the only batters they faced to represent the Timber Rattlers.
- Brewer fourth round pick Hunter Morris wasn't with the Timber Rattler contingent at the All Star game: Instead, he used the break to head down to Milwaukee for last night's game.
Here's an interesting side note on Craig Counsell's greatness: Beyond the Box Score reports Counsell has the third least career plate appearances by a player that's been worth at least 100 runs in the field.
On power rankings: SBNation has the Brewers holding steady at 23.
If you're in Lake Geneva and looking for something to do this week, here you go: Jordan Schelling reports that Ryan Braun's Tavern and Grill is set to open tomorrow.
Angels: Are expected to place shortstop Erick Aybar on the DL with a knee injury.
Athletics: Designated second baseman/outfielder Eric Patterson for assignment.
Mariners: Signed pitcher Joe Nelson to a minor league deal.
Marlins: Released pitcher Hunter Jones.
Orioles: Designated pitcher Cla Meredith for assignment and acquired 1B/OF Jake Fox from the A's for pitcher Ross Wolf.
Phillies: Designated third baseman Greg Dobbs for assignment and placed C Carlos Ruiz on the DL with a concussion.
Rockies: Designated pitcher Juan Rincon for assignment.
I have sad news for Brewer fans hoping to get to watch the team tee off on Jeff Suppan next week. Suppan is scheduled to pitch on Friday, which would leave him on pace to pitch again on Wednesday, June 30 and miss the Brewers series.
History was made last night as Jamie Moyer allowed a solo home run to Russell Branyan. The homer was the 505th Moyer has allowed, tying him with Robin Roberts for the most all time. The Hall of Very Good has ten numbers you should know about the accomplishment.
If you've been watching the Brewers on FS Wisconsin you've probably heard BA and Rock discuss knuckleballers and the special mitt used to catch them. Big League Stew has a story on the mitt former Brewer farmhand R.A. Dickey carries with him.
Another day, another umpiring note. "Cowboy" Joe West, who made headlines earlier this season by complaining about the pace of game, delayed Pirates games on two consecutive days when his umpiring crew was late to the field.
Happy birthday today to 1970-72 Brewer manager Dave Bristol, who turns 77.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go get an air horn.