Some things to read while preventing slippage.
Coming into last night's game most of us didn't even expect Chris Capuano to complete five innings, so the fact that he picked up his first win in over three years is one of the more pleasant Brewer surprises in some time. Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar has a look at just how long it had been. Brett Christopherson of the Appleton Post Crescent thinks Capuano should replace Manny Parra in the rotation. Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker said he "certainly wouldn't mind seeing Capuano get another chance in the rotation, if the circumstances allow it."
Other notes from the game:
- Prince Fielder hit his 23rd home run last night, moving him into the NL lead. 16 of those homers have come in Fielder's last 43 games. He's hitting .261/.393/.618 over that stretch.
- Corey Hart went 0-for-4, ending his hitting streak at nine games. Rickie Weeks now has the Brewers' longest active streak, at six games.
- Last night's game was delayed for 50 minutes by rain, making it the Brewers' second delay in as many days.
- Weeks, Capuano and Kameron Loe are leading FanGraphs' Star of the Game voting.
- CoolStandings has the Brewer playoff chances at 0.5%.
- Here are the MLB.com video highlights.
The Brewer bullpen had a 1.69 ERA over their last seven games entering last night's contest. It's now 1.42 over eight games after Todd Coffey, Zach Braddock, Kameron Loe and John Axford combined for four scoreless frames last night.
Yovani Gallardo is expected to return on Thursday, and Adam McCalvy confirmed that Lorenzo Cain will likely be sent down to make room for him. Cain is 2-for-3 in his first few ABs as a Brewer, and it'd be nice to see him get a chance to start once before he's shipped out.
In trade notes:
- Corey Hart told Tom Haudricourt he's hoping none of the Brewers are dealt "because we think if we stay here, we can be pretty good."
- ESPN's John Kruk says the Rangers, Rockies, Rays, Giants and Dodgers could all use Prince Fielder, and his size shouldn't be an issue when considering dealing for the slugger.
- Jeff Fletcher says the Brewers have "no deals currently on table." I'm not sure if he means the Brewers have no deal in play with the Giants, or none at all.
Trevor Hoffman got the day off yesterday, but pitched two scoreless innings over the weekend against the Braves. Aaron Gleeman noted that Hoffman has a 3.38 ERA in 16 appearances since being removed from the closer role.
On the flip side, we have Randy Wolf and Dave Bush. The Hardball Times has them as the NL's second and third worst pitchers, rated by wOBA against.
We spent a fair amount of the day yesterday discussing Carlos Gomez. Jack Moore also weighed in, making the case that the Brewers should have held onto J.J. Hardy and traded Alcides Escobar for pitching.
Eric Arnett made his return to Wisconsin and the Midwest League yesterday and had a pretty good day: He allowed a solo home run but no other hits over six innings, walking three and striking out four. You can read about that performance and more in today's Minor League Notes. I'll stress the fact that I'm not a professional scout, but I was at the game and here's what I saw:
- Arnett did a nice job recovering from what could have been a disaster in the first. He started the game with six straight balls (including one to the backstop), and his velocity was down (topping out at 89-90). After a walk and an error put runners on first and second, he worked his way out of it with a soft line drive that turned into a double play and a strikeout.
- After the first, his velocity improved a bit - I saw him hit 92 on the scouts' guns several times between the second and fifth innings.
- Hitters seemed to have a tougher time than normal making solid contact against him. He got some swinging strikes and a fair amount of weak contact, which is something he struggled with the last time I saw him.
- Control still seems to be an issue. By my unofficial count he only threw first pitch strikes to two of the first seven batters he faced. Two of his three walks were to leadoff batters.
- His defense didn't do him a lot of favors. As mentioned above, he had to overcome a first inning error, and backup catcher Austin Stockfisch went 0-for-5 throwing out basestealers on the day.
Elsewhere in the minors:
- Cody Scarpetta's scoreless inning streak for Brevard County ended at 24 2/3 innings last night. He allowed four runs on five hits and lasted just 3.2 innings but BC won anyway, 8-4.
- Unsigned seventh round pick Joel Pierce pitched three shutout innings for Team Canada in their 4-0 loss to Taiwan in World Junior Baseball Championship exhibition play yesterday.
- Helena Brewer Stosh Wawrzasek leads four Brewer farmhands into MiLB.com's Moniker Madness tournament. Go cast your vote for the best names in the minor leagues. (h/t Brewerfan.net)
If you'd like to watch something baseball-related tonight but don't want to watch the Brewer game, you can catch the debut of ESPN's "The Homestand - Milwaukee," which was shot during the Brewers' June series against the Cubs and Rangers and features content shot at the park, in the clubhouse, and in players' homes. I set my DVR for it, but don't know when I'll get around to watching it. Airing it for the first time during a Brewer game is strange timing.
On power rankings:
- MLB FanHouse has the Brewers at 18, down three spots.
- Craig Calcaterra has the Brewers at 22.
- ESPN has the Brewers holding steady at 22.
If you're checking in late this morning, you might have missed Rollie Fingers' nomination post for the SBN Wisconsin Hall of Fame. FtJ is doing a great job with these, so make sure you check them out. Once you're done reading up on Fingers, head over to Anonymous Eagle (Butch Lee) and Bucky's 5th Quarter (Barry Alvarez) to read about their first nominees.
Braves: Reliever Jonny Venters has been suspended for four games and manager Bobby Cox has been suspended for one game. (FanShot)
Padres: Signed outfielder Wily Mo Pena to a minor league deal.
Rays: Signed outfielder Rocco Baldelli to a minor league deal.
Tigers: Are expected to place third baseman Brandon Inge on the DL with a broken bone in his left hand.
Prince Fielder, by the way, didn't want to talk about Venters' suspension.
Maybe Venters just misread Fielder's feet. The Book Blog has a quote from Cliff Lee about the importance of reading a hitter's feet. I'd never heard of that before, but I guess it makes sense.
Today's best charts and graphs come from Jeremy Greenhouse of the Baseball Analysts, who has a look at correlations between DL time and fastball velocity.
On this day in 1976, Hank Aaron hit his 755th and final major league home run. The Brewers went on to beat the Angels 6-2.
Happy birthday today to 1990-91 Brewer Mark Lee, who turns 46. (h/t FtJ)
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need another new board game.