Some things to read while finding inspiration.
Last night wasn't Randy Wolf's best night, as he allowed 13 baserunners and three runs in just five innings of work. He also stole a base, becoming the first Brewer pitcher ever to do so. After the game Wolf told reporters he "just didn't feel good" before last night's game, where the game time temperature was 88 degrees. Also at that link, Ken Macha questioned his decision to attempt a stolen base in those conditions.
Before yesterday's game, Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker had a look at the upswing in Wolf's recent performance, and said that while Wolf's contract will likely be a net loss, Wolf "should be able to contribute for the remainder of the contract, particularly if he can sustain his performance over the last two months."
Other notes from the field:
- The Brewers stole a season high four bases, including Wolf's. No Brewers were caught stealing, but Ryan Braun was picked off second base.
- Lorenzo Cain made one of the season's best defensive plays last night (video), crashing into a chain link fence in left center field to rob an extra base hit. Cain was down for several minutes and underwent a round of tests from trainer Dan Wright, but remained in the game.
- Jay Bruce, Nick Masset and Juan Francisco are leading FanGraphs' Star of the Game voting.
- Here are the MLB.com video highlights.
- Just 14,589 fans came to Great American Ball Park to see the first place Reds last night, and Adam McCalvy says a fair number of them left early.
- Randy Wolf hit Jonny Gomes with a pitch, and has hit a batter in three straight starts. Plunk Everyone has more.
- Gregg Zaun was around the ballpark yesterday visiting teammates and talking to reporters, and he's still saying he wants to play next season.
The Brewers and Reds will be back at it tonight, and Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs lists tonight's Gallardo/Harang matchup as the third most interesting on the schedule.
It could get even more interesting if it turns out to be the major league debut of Aroldis Chapman. The Cuban defector who was rumored to have hit 105 on radar guns last week is expected to join the Reds today, as he would need to be added to the roster before September 1 to be playoff eligible. (h/t Baseball Musings)
When September 1 rolls around tomorrow, the Brewers are expected to call up three players. Ken Macha didn't name any names, but said it will be two pitchers and a position player. The Brewers only have two minor league position players on the 40 man roster (Mat Gamel and Luis Cruz), so it'll likely be one of them, Carlos Villanueva and perhaps Mitch Stetter.
If there was any doubt that the Brewers won the Jim Edmonds/Chris Dickerson deal, we can end it now. Edmonds hit just .138/.208/.364 in nine games as a Red before heading to the DL with an oblique injury that could end his season, and told Adam McCalvy that he's leaning towards retiring after the season. The Brewers Bar has a deeper look at the trade that sent him to Cincinnati.
I've been warned a handful of times now that I might be jinxing Rickie Weeks by mentioning his health/performance, so I'll skip over that and just tell you that Jeff Zimmerman of FanGraphs has an interesting look at Weeks as an example for the extended recovery period from wrist injuries.
Trevor Hoffman is sitting on 599 saves as the season that will likely be his last winds down. At The Book Blog, MGL wants to know why he's still allowed to pitch, given how ineffective he's been at times. Even including last night's loss, Hoffman has a 2.73 ERA in his last 26 appearances.
If John Axford hadn't exploded onto the scene months ago, Hoffman would probably have the full time closer's role back at this point. Tom Oates of Madison.com lists Axford as one of five Brewer rookies that have made an impression this season.
In the minors:
- The affiliates went 2-2 last night, with the AZL Brewers beating the Rangers to advance to the championship game, where they'll face the AZL Reds tonight. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- The Brewers have named their representatives for the Arizona Fall League: Brett Lawrie, Jeremy Jeffress, Logan Schafer, Eric Farris, Michael Fiers, Brandon Kintzler, Mike McClendon, Lucas Luetge and Dan Merklinger will play for the Surprise Rafters, who will be managed by Huntsville manager Mike Guerrero (FanShot). This is probably be the most interesting group of prospects the Brewers have sent to the AFL in my memory.
- Lawrie recently missed the cut in Project Prospect's rankings of the top five second base prospects in the minors. If you're wondering why, Adam Foster answered reader questions here.
- After pitching eight innings in a combined no-hitter, Jake Odorizzi was the easy pick for Midwest League Pitcher of the Week. He's the first Timber Rattler to win the award this season.
- DSL Brewer Eduard Reyes has been suspended for 50 games for using performance enhancing drugs. The DSL season is over, so Reyes' suspension will carry into 2011.
I know some people love bobbleheads and others don't, but even if you don't I think you might find this interesting: Flip Flop Fly Ball has a visual breakdown of bobblehead giveaways in 2010, including these tidbits: The Brewers' seven giveaways this year are the second most in the majors (the Astros have nine), and of the 25 teams giving away bobbleheads this season, the Brewers are one of just four teams featuring no current players.
The lack of current player bobbleheads didn't keep Dan Tobin of Bugs & Cranks from enjoying his trip to Milwaukee, though.
On power rankings:
- MLB FanHouse has the Brewers down two spots at 19.
- Craig Calcaterra has the Brewers at 21, and thoroughly enjoyed the Macha Rhapsody.
If you're just checking in for the first time this morning, take a minute to scroll down and vote in this week's BCB Tracking Poll. The poll will remain open until sometime tomorrow, and results will be posted after tomorrow's game.
A quick Twitter side note: if you're not already, go follow Jordan Schelling.
It's a pretty quiet day around baseball:
The news is good for Pirates reliever Evan Meek, who left Sunday's game after taking a Ryan Braun liner off his hand: Meek told Dejan Kovacevic he "got really lucky," and that the swelling and bruising on his hand are minimal.
Elsewhere on the Pirates, file this under "it's always someone else's fault:" Charlie Morton fell to 1-10 and saw his ERA climb up over 10.00 Sunday, so the Pirates are fixing it by changing his catcher. Dejan Kovacevic makes the case that this is the worst Pirate team in the franchise's 124 year history.
Here's today's update on the potential offseason shuffle: T.R. Sullivan is confirming the Rangers will be leaving their AAA affiliate in Oklahoma City, but raises the possibility that the Astros may take their place. The Rangers have also extended their deal with AA Frisco, removing one of the Brewer options from the table.
On this day in 1996, the Brewers traded third baseman Kevin Seitzer to the Indians for Jeromy Burnitz. Burnitz hit .258/.362/.508 over six seasons as a Brewer, including his lone All Star appearance in 1999.
On this day in 2002, the Brewers traded infielder Mark Loretta to the Astros for Keith Ginter. Loretta had been on the bench for most of the season for the Brewers (managed by Davey Lopes and Jerry Royster), but would go on to play seven more seasons and make two All Star teams.
On this day in 2008, CC Sabathia pitched a near no-hitter against the Pirates. He allowed one (questionable) infield single over nine innings.
Happy birthday today to:
- Huntsville Star Caleb Gindl, who turns 22.
- 2008 Brewer Gabe Kapler, who turns 35.
- 1999 Brewer Hideo Nomo, who turns 42.
- 1983-84 Brewer Tom Candiotti, who turns 53.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I was talking to the ball.