Some things to read while finding a mailbox.
For all the talk about Prince Fielder's body type, conditioning and whatnot, he's now arguably the most durable player in Brewer history. Fielder played in his 275th consecutive game last night, breaking Robin Yount's franchise record. It's also the longest active streak in all of baseball. Congrats to Fielder for the accomplishment.
Unfortunately, that was more or less last night's only good news as the Brewer bats went to sleep early and were unable to capitalize on a quality start from Dave Bush (his sixth in a row), losing 2-1. Before the game, Baseball Reflections had a look at how the Brewers could make the most of their 1% shot at making the playoffs. After the game, CoolStandings downgraded their chances to 0.7%.
Other notes from the field:
- Jim Edmonds got the start in center field last night, going 1-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts. Anthony Witrado says he'll start again against Tim Hudson on Saturday.
- Corey Hart picked up two hits last night, and his solo home run was the Brewers' only run. He's now riding a six game hitting streak, and has hits in 26 of his last 27 appearances. He's hitting .348/.390/.565 over that stretch.
- Jair Jurrjens, Billy Wagner and Chipper Jones are leading FanGraphs' Star of the Game voting.
- Here are last night's MLB.com video highlights.
Ryan Braun was in the lineup last night and went 1-for-4. Afterwards he told Guy Curtright of MLB.com that his wrist-bending All Star Game catch wasn't as painful as it looked.
Craig Counsell walked in a pinch hit appearance in the seventh inning, extending his streak to 44 consecutive games without an extra base hit. On the positive side, though, the B-Ref blog notes that Counsell is one of just three major leaguers with 300 games played at second, short and third base, and one of just two players with 350.
With the loss the Brewers are back to ten games under .500 and nine games back of the Reds. They'll almost certainly be a seller this trade season, but Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar makes the case that trading Corey Hart or Prince Fielder wouldn't necessarily mean punting on 2011.
Elsewhere in trade notes: Cork Gaines of Rays Index would love to have Prince Fielder as a Ray, but isn't sure Tampa can afford his remaining salary.
Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker has a look at the keys to Brewer success in the second half, and drops this tidbit: Brewer relievers had the lowest FIP (2.56) in baseball in June.
In the minors:
- Eric Arnett is on the move once again, as he's been promoted back to Wisconsin (FanShot). Arnett was knocked around a bit in his last outing on Tuesday, but before that he had allowed one run on five hits and struck out 15 in his previous eleven innings, stretching over three outings.
- The affiliates went 4-3 last night, but the star of the night was catcher Tyler Roberts, who went 3-for-4 with a walk, a home run and four runs scored in the AZL Brewers' 12-6 win over the AZL Cubs. Roberts was a 10th round pick in 2009 and is now hitting .453/.525/.755 in his first 14 AZL games, with four three-hit performances in his last ten appearances. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Also worth noting: LaTroy Hawkins started last night's game for Arizona and pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, allowing two hits, striking out two and walking none.
- Huntsville was one of last night's winners, and with a second half record of 12-9 they're now in sole possession of first place in the Southern League's North Division.
- I didn't realize this until Battlekow mentioned it on Twitter, but Brett Lawrie already has 25 stolen bases for Huntsville. He's 25-for-34 in SB attempts this season, a nice improvement from 19-for-32 in 2009.
- Here's a note I missed yesterday: Nashville reliever Mike McClendon pitched the seventh inning for the PCL in Wednesday's AAA All Star Game, and retired the side on just six pitches. Luis Cruz went 0-for-2 in the game with a strikeout.
- Mike Woods of the Appleton Post Crescent has a story about Kentrail Davis, explaining the logic behind his demotion to Wisconsin. Davis was having a hamstring issue, and the organization felt like he'd have an easier time healing in cooler weather.
- Jim Callis of Baseball America is pretty high on BC Manatee Cody Scarpetta, saying the young righty has "No. 2 ceiling, more realistic No. 3."
Whatever you're doing today, take a break for a moment and text "Brewers" to 76462 to help the Brewers win a Miracle League field as part of the Pepsi Refresh Project. The facility would provide an opportunity to play baseball for children with special needs.
On power rankings:
If you're checking in late this morning you might have missed FtJ's nomination post for Paul Molitor, our second nominee for the SBN Wisconsin Hall of Fame. Take a moment to relive the career of The Ignitor.
Or, if you're looking for more of me, I was the subject of this week's Thursday Q&A at Pocket Doppler.
Braves: Placed reliever Eric O'Flaherty on the DL with a viral infection.
Cardinals: Placed outfielder Nick Stavinoha on the DL with a shoulder strain.
Giants: Signed pitcher Dontrelle Willis to a minor league deal.
Mariners: Signed pitcher Jamey Wright to a minor league deal and announced that pitcher Chad Cordero has declined an outright assignment to the minors and is now a free agent.
Marlins: Released reliever Armando Benitez.
Orioles: Placed catcher Matt Wieters on the DL with a hamstring strain.
Padres: Placed Mat Latos on the DL with a side injury.
Phillies: Designated pitcher Nelson Figueroa for assignment. (h/t Hotstove.com)
Reds: Signed reliever Russ Springer to a minor league deal.
Twins: Placed Justin Morneau on the DL with a concussion.
As if Carlos Lee's contract wasn't a big enough problem for the Astros, now there's this: Lee missed a team workout yesterday because of travel issues returning from Panama, where he spent the All Star break. As a result, he might not start when the team resumes play tonight.
Whatever you do, don't forget to take the proper precautions around tables. Russell Branyan missed last night's Mariner game with an injured toe after being viciously attacked by the table in his hotel room.
I mentioned yesterday that All Star Game TV ratings set a new record low. This could be one reason why: You Can't Predict Baseball notes that the pregame ceremonies lasted longer than the first four innings.
The extended All Star pregame must have left Plunk Everyone with some time on their hands: They now have career HBP totals sorted by Chinese Zodiac sign. Former Brewers Mike Cameron, Jason Kendall and Fernando Vina are all on the list.
Elsewhere in former Brewer notes: Cecil Cooper is the first baseman on Baseball Past and Present's All Star team of players who received zero Hall of Fame votes. (h/t THT Links)
This is a topic that was covered in Moneyball, but apparently it's still an issue: Pat Andriola of FanGraphs has a look at the pitfalls of typecasting a player based on their size, look or makeup.
If you haven't yet, there's still plenty of time to order your copy of the Brew Crew Ball Trade Deadline Primer. Or, if you're a lurking Pirates fan, you could pick up the WHYGAVS version.
Happy birthday today to Nick Bucci, who turns 20.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to apologize for forgetting Cleveland.