Some things to read while getting an approved haircut.
A thunderstorm raged through Milwaukee last night but via the magic of Miller Park the Brewers were able to play on anyway. Maybe they'd have been better off if the game was rained out. At least the offense improved: After being held to one run each of the three previous days, the Brewer bats exploded for two runs last night...and lost 15-2.
Chris Narveson allowed nine earned runs in just 3.1 innings in what might be his final day as a member of the starting rotation, but at least his day wasn't a total loss: He teamed up with Manny Parra and Jen Lada to do some grocery shopping for charity.
The Brewers tinkered with the lineup a bit last night, moving Ryan Braun back into the #3 spot in an effort to wake up his bat. He responded by going 0-for-2 with a pair of strikeouts before being removed as part of a double switch.
Facing a big early deficit, the Brewers emptied their bench last night. That led to an interesting moment in the ninth when Alcides Escobar was forced to play right field after Jim Edmonds left the game with a sore Achilles. Joe Inglett played left field for much of the game last night and will likely be the fourth outfielder today if Edmonds can't go.
Other notes from the field:
- The Giants hit three home runs in the first inning last night for the first time since 1999, when they also did it in Milwaukee.
- Buster Posey, Tim Lincecum and Aubrey Huff are leading FanGraphs' Star of the Game voting.
- CoolStandings has the Brewer playoff chances at .6%.
- Here are last night's MLB.com video highlights.
- Casey McGehee went 0-for-3 with a walk last night, ending his hitting streak at three games. Yovani Gallardo now has the Brewers' longest active streak, at three games. Rickie Weeks and Joe Inglett each have hits in two straight.
The product on the field at Miller Park hasn't looked very good this week, so it was time to direct attention elsewhere: The Brewers announced plans yesterday to add a new HD video board that's probably bigger than your house in center field. It'll be just the fifth "true 1080 display" in a sports venue, and the third in baseball. In-Between Hops has a wish list for the new display.
Meanwhile, the race for "best quote about the scoreboard" ended in a tie. First, from Battlekow:
I would rather the Brewers sign Daniel Gibson or an int'l free agent than upgrade their scoreboard or war room or Doug Davis's bank account.
Then, from a friend of mine on Facebook:
Brewers to install 1,500" scoreboard in 2011 (3rd biggest in baseball). So, to recap: giant awesome TV? Check. Good baseball players? Um. Oops.
Will Prince Fielder get to play in front of the new scoreboard? Matt Swartz of Baseball Prospectus thinks the Brewers should trade him.
Elsewhere on the trade front: Ken Rosenthal is reporting that Doug Melvin and Brian Sabean are expected to meet to discuss a potential Corey Hart trade before the Giants leave town today. Rosenthal reports the Brewers are interested in Jonathan Sanchez. Sanchez is having the best season of his career (3.15 ERA, 98 strikeouts in 100 innings pitched), but is a lefty with a career ERA of 4.49 over five seasons. If that sounds familiar, it should.
LaTroy Hawkins took a step closer to returning yesterday, throwing 52 pitches in a "high intensity" bullpen session. He could pitch in a simulated game before the All Star Break, then head off on a rehab assignment.
Meanwhile, Corey Hart is getting ready for the Home Run Derby. He told Tom Krasovic of MLB FanHouse that his last derby was in A-ball, where he hit one home run.
In the minors:
- On the field the affiliates went 2-5. If you think you had a long day, Mat Gamel's was longer. He went 1-for-11 as Nashville needed 20 innings to drop both halves of a doubleheader, and committed two errors in the first game. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Not all the Brewer farmhands are bad defensively, thankfully. At The Hardball Times, Jeff Sackmann notes that Luis Cruz (at short), Lorenzo Cain (in center) and Taylor Green (at third) are among the best defensive players at their positions in the minor leagues. The news isn't very good for Caleb Gindl, though: At 11 runs below average, he's among the minors' worst corner outfielders.
- The Windsor Star noted that Brewers 7th round pick Joel Pierce is working out in Toronto with the Canadian Junior National Team. Pierce is the Brewers' second-highest unsigned draft pick, behind Dylan Covey.
- Meanwhile, Angel Salome can't catch a break. He's been placed on the DL in Brevard County.
- In this week's All Questions Answered thread, John Sickels of Minor League Ball passed along several tidbits on Brett Lawrie: He still thinks Lawrie will end up in right field (and doesn't like his chances at third base, either), but loves his bat and thinks he could be a 20/20 player right away.
- If you're looking for a chance to become a Brewer minor leaguer yourself, then you might be interested in the July 22 tryout camp at Greer Stadium in Nashville.
On power rankings: SB Nation has the Brewers at 22 (down from 19).
Over at Bucky's 5th Quarter, voting is now open for their nominees for the SBN Wisconsin Hall of Fame. Head over there to cast your vote, and don't forget to cast your vote here if you haven't already. Voting will remain open through tomorrow, and nominees will be announced starting next week.
Cardinals: Placed pitcher Adam Ottovino on the DL with a shoulder strain and are reportedly going to sign pitcher Mike MacDougal to a minor league deal.
Dodgers: Placed pitcher Ronald Belisario on the restricted list and signed outfielder Trent Oeltjen to a minor league deal.
Cubs: Placed reliever Brian Schlitter on the DL with a shoulder impingement.
Pirates: Acquired pitcher Sean Gallagher from the Padres for cash.
Red Sox: Designated infielder Niuman Romero for assignment.
Rockies: Placed Todd Helton on the DL with back stiffness.
White Sox: Placed Jake Peavy on the DL with a detached muscle behind his shoulder.
If you're wondering where a former Brewer farmhand went, the Albuquerque Isotopes should be your first place to look. The Dodgers' affiliate now has Claudio Vargas, J.D. Closser, Jay Gibbons and Trent Oeltjen, and Jesus Colome was there at one point as well.
Speaking of former Brewer farmhands, one could be in serious trouble. Darren Ford, who was traded to the Giants in 2008 as part of the Ray Durham deal, has been arrested for multiple charges including theft stemming from an incident involving his offseason job. Ford allegedly claimed he was robbed and a deposit bag was taken, but kept the contents. Ford was invited to major league spring training for the first time this season.
In another former Brewer note: If you've ever wondered what happened to 1993-94 Brewer Tom Brunansky, wonder no longer. He's coaching in the Gulf Coast League for the Twins.
In All Star notes:
- Padres closer Heath Bell will take Yovani Gallardo's place on the NL staff.
- Rays closer Rafael Soriano will replace Mariano Rivera for the AL.
- Robinson Cano will skip the Home Run Derby with tightness in his back.
Today's strangest story comes from the Braves: Outfielder Matt Diaz just returned from a DL stint after having surgery to remove an infected splinter in his thumb. At the time the splinter was believed to be from a broken bat, but it was actually a palm frond.
Today's statistical quirk comes from Houston: STATS LLC notes that Casey Daigle of the Astros picked up his first win since 2004 last night, giving him the longest drought among active pitchers.
On this day in 1979, Ben Oglivie homered in three consecutive at bats as the Brewers beat the Tigers, 5-4.
Happy birthday today to 1970-72 Brewer Ken Sanders, who turns 69. Sanders still holds the Brewer record for games pitched in a season with 83, set in 1971.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some cleaning to do.