Some things to read while reading backwards.
Where would the 2010 Brewers be without John Axford? Axford pitched the final 1.2 innings en route to his sixth multi-inning save (and 18th overall) of the season in the Brewers' 3-2 win over the Cardinals last night. Axford's six multi-inning saves are the most by a Brewer since Bob Wickman had eight in 1998, and the second most by a Brewer since 1990. With the outing, Axford earned some adulation from Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker.
The Brewers Bar also noted that Axford is only 13th in the NL in saves, but is second in multi-inning saves behind Brian Wilson of the Giants, who has seven.
Kameron Loe also appeared in last night's game, working a 1-2-3 seventh and recording the first out in the eighth in his ninth appearance in the Brewers' last 15 games.
Axford and Loe were needed to pitch three innings last night after Dave Bush was pulled (relatively) early: Bush was pulled after six innings and just 91 pitches because of a blister on his right index finger (FanShot). Apparently it's an issue he's been dealing with all season, and it's not expected to cause him to miss any time.
At the plate the Brewers managed just seven hits, but five of them came off the bats of Casey McGehee (3-for-4 with a home run) and Lorenzo Cain (2-for-4). Jordan Schelling noted that all three of McGehee's hits were straight up the middle.
Other notes from the field:
- Before the game, Cardinals outfielder Colby Rasmus told reporters he'd miss this week's series with a calf strain, but he was called upon to pinch hit in the ninth last night and doesn't sound too happy about it.
- John Axford, Dave Bush and Felipe Lopez (stay classy, folks) are leading FanGraphs' Star of the Game voting.
- Here are the MLB.com video highlights.
It's a quick turnaround today, as the Brewers return to action this afternoon looking to sweep the Cardinals. TheJay sent me these notes this morning on the relative rarity of a Brewer road series victory:
- The Brewers dropped a 6-5 decision in Colorado on Sunday and lost the weekend series to the Rockies, 2-1. Milwaukee has won just one road series over the last two months (1-4-3 road series record since June 18).\
- The Brewers are averaging 5.1 runs per game on the road this season -- best in the NL and second-best in baseball (Rays -- 5.6).
Yesterday I mentioned that Craig Counsell had cleared waivers and could be traded to any team. Counsell told Tom Haudricourt he's open to a trade, but Ken Rosenthal (via MLB Trade Rumors) reports that the organization is seeking "a legit return" for the 40 year old that's hardly hitting his weight, and the Cardinals inquired but decided not to pursue it.
Elsewhere in trade notes: Bob Nightengale of USA Today is reporting Jim Edmonds was "close to calling it a career because of his ailing Achilles" before being traded to the Reds. This report has me wondering if Edmonds threatened to retire if the Brewers placed him on the DL.
We've probably seen the last of LaTroy Hawkins this season. A second MRI revealed no apparent cause for his recurring shoulder issues, so Hawkins is considering undergoing exploratory surgery in an effort to find the root cause.
Have the Brewers learned their lesson about signing relievers to multi-year deals? Matthew Pouliot of Hardball Talk predicts they'll sign Twins reliever Jesse Crain to a two year deal this offseason. He also lists Mitch Stetter, Carlos Villanueva and Todd Coffey as relievers that could be traded.
After a day of speculation, we now know for sure how the Brewers will be compensated for failing to reach an agreement with Dylan Covey: The other two unsigned first rounders are not a factor, and the Brewers will receive pick #15. Baseball America and The USA Today both listed the Brewers among their signing deadline losers. At the very least, though, the situation has Keith Law suggesting we might start seeing predraft physicals next year.
Elsewhere in the minors:
- The affiliates went 1-2 last night. The lone win came from Nashville, where Brendan Katin went 2-for-3 with a walk, a home run and scored three times to power the Sounds to a 7-5 win over Colorado Springs. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Helena lost 11-10 in 11 innings last night, but got some good news off the field: The Brewers have extended their player development contract with the H-Brewers through the 2012 season. The deal was previously set to expire in September.
- The Brewers might be considering a change in AAA when their deal expires with Nashville following the season. The Oklahoman is suggesting the Brewers could be a fit to take over as the major league parent club of the Oklahoma RedHawks, who will likely be left without a dance partner this offseason. The RedHawks have been a Rangers' affiliate for nearly 30 years, but the Rangers are expected to select Round Rock, which is also owned by Nolan Ryan, as their affiliate next season.
- Elsewhere in Nashville news, the Sounds have a profile of shortstop Luis Cruz.
Bob Uecker is with the Brewers in St. Louis this week, and announced that he is hoping to work all of the Brewers' remaining games. In other news: Bob Uecker is tougher than you.
On power rankings: SB Nation has the Brewers at 19, down two spots.
Another day, another nominee for the SBN Wisconsin Hall of Fame: Brew Hoop presents Ray Allen.
Dodgers: Released pitcher Claudio Vargas.
Phillies: Designated third baseman Greg Dobbs for assignment.
Rangers: Signed infielder Alex Cora and pitcher Jesus Colome to minor league deals.
Red Sox: Mike Cameron won't play again this season with an abdominal tear.
Reds: Designated pitcher Micah Owings for assignment.
Rockies: Placed reliever Taylor Buchholz on the DL with a stiff back.
Royals: Placed pitcher Brian Bannister on the DL with rotator cuff tendinitis.
The Brewers' situation with first round pick Dylan Covey was a unique one, but it turns out it won't be the strangest case this year. The Diamondbacks elected not to sign the #6 overall pick, Barret Loux, after his physical showed damage to his labrum and elbow. Loux, however, had already hired an agent and was ineligible to return to college. As such, Major League Baseball is bending the rules a bit and allowing Loux to become a free agent on September 1. The Astros have already expressed interest.
Elsewhere in draft rumbling: Once again, the massive over-slot contracts given to 2010 draft picks has spurred a conversation about hard-slotting future drafts. Kristi Dosh makes a case against it, Sean Forman of Baseball Reference looks at some of the likely unintended consequences, and The Biz of Baseball did the math and found over $40,000,000 spent over slot this season.
Congratulations are due out today to Kate Bilo (#8), Joe Inglett (#37), Jonathan Lucroy (#51), Adam McCalvy (#60) and Brewer media relations manager John Steinmiller (#86) for making OnMilwaukee.com's list of the 100 hottest Milwaukeeans.
On this day in 1960, Lew Burdette provided what might be the greatest pitching performance in Milwaukee history. He no-hit the Phillies, facing the minimum 27 batters with the only baserunner reaching on an HBP and later getting doubled off, and scored the game's only run in a 1-0 victory.
Happy birthday today to:
- 2002-03 Brewer Jayson Durocher, who turns 36.
- Emerald, WI native and Hall of Famer Burleigh Grimes, who would have turned 117. Grimes played 19 major league seasons with seven teams, and managed the Brooklyn Dodgers for two seasons.
Oh, and today is a Woot-off day.