Some things to read while going back home.
Last night probably wasn't the lasting memory Dave Bush would have liked. In what will likely be his final start at Miller Park as a member of the Brewers, Bush allowed four runs (two earned) on ten baserunners over 5.1 innings and picked up his 13th loss. Because the Brewers will move to a six man rotation to make room for Mark Rogers to start on Friday, Bush's next scheduled start is the first game of the Mets series next week.
Adam McCalvy noted that only eleven pitchers have started more games in a Brewer uniform than Bush. Howie Magner predicts Bush will be the first of many Brewers with a "last ______ at Miller Park" this week.
Last night's game might have also featured Jim Edmonds' final major league plate appearance. He homered off Dave Bush in the second inning, then "felt a pop" in his right Achilles while circling the bases. Edmonds told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer he's been expecting something like this, as the same Achilles has flared up multiple times this season. Wezen-ball, by the way, reports that Edmonds' home run trot took 28.24 seconds. Even with a potentially ruptured Achilles, Edmonds still trots faster than David Ortiz.
Edmonds started at first base in place of Joey Votto, who was a late scratch with a sinus infection.
It's possible this isn't Craig Counsell's final homestand after all. He told Tom Haudricourt he's "definitely going to play" in 2011, and will wait to see if the Brewers make him an offer. Counsell is hitting .246/.321/.299 on the season, and is on pace to make less than 250 plate appearances for the first time since 2000. He got a rare start at shortstop last night and went 1-for-2 with a walk.
Other notes from the field:
- Just 22,761 fans paid to see last night's game, a new season low.
- Hang With 'em Brewers! compared the game to a Smirnoff Wild Grape.
- Rickie Weeks scored a run in the ninth inning to tie Fernando Vina's franchise record for second basemen with 101. It was also Weeks' 100th run from the leadoff spot, making him just the fourth Brewer ever to do that.
- Carlos Gomez struck out swinging from the heels to end the rally in the ninth inning, and broke the bat over his knee on his way back to the dugout.
- Last night's loss was the 3501st in franchise history, and Dusty Baker's 1400th managerial win.
- Ryan Braun was hit by a pitch in the ninth inning, his third of the season. Plunk Everyone has more.
- Edinson Volquez, Jim Edmonds and Dave Bush are leading FanGraphs' Star of the Game voting.
- Here are the MLB.com video highlights.
- The Italian won the sausage race.
Trevor Hoffman was inactive last night and still hasn't pitched since recording save #600 two weeks ago. Hoffman told reporters he's "comfortable" with the recent lull in activity, and doesn't feel the need to pitch in mop-up duty when the team has so many young arms available.
One of those young arms belongs to Zach Braddock, who's struggled a bit lately. Braddock has retired just seven hitters and allowed six baserunners in six September outings, and Ken Macha said he needs to work on his slider to get more consistent outs.
Speaking of things that need work, Dale Sveum says he's found a flaw in Alcides Escobar's swing that the young shortstop will need to work to correct this winter. Sveum says Escobar has been dipping his front shoulder, causing him to elevate pitches.
With the season winding down, Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker has a review of the Brewer starting rotation. Clearly, it's not all sunshine and rainbows, but the outlook also isn't as dark as you'd expect.
From the "I'm not sure where this rumor came from" file: Ken Macha is still likely out as Brewer manager after the season, but Tom Haudricourt reports that the team will not pursue Joe Torre as his replacement.
Meanwhile, at least a few Brewer fans are starting to regain faith in Doug Melvin: This week's BCB tracking poll shows his approval rating at 51%, the highest it's been since June.
On power rankings: SB Nation has the Brewers at 23, down one spot.
This might be this week's least surprising development: The Red Sox do not plan to exercise Bill Hall's team option for 2011, which would have paid him $9.25 million. Hall has hit .241/.306/.448 while playing six positions for Boston this season.
Rays owner Stu Sternberg deserves some kind of award for creating this week's most significant buzzkill. His team is a near lock to make the postseason, but Sternberg told reporters yesterday that the team "can't come close" to turning a profit this season, and plans to slash payroll considerably for 2011.
The 2001 Brewers have had a good run, but their time at the top (of the all time strikeout leaderboard) is over. TheJay notes that Adam LaRoche struck out in the sixth inning last night for the Diamondbacks to record K #1400, setting a new single season record. Yesterday, he (TheJay, not LaRoche) penned this look back at the 2001 team that now holds second place.
Happy birthday today to:
- Wisconsin Timber Rattlers manager Jeff Isom, who turns 38.
- 1994-98 Brewer Mike Matheny, who turns 40.
- 1988 Brewer Jeffrey Leonard, who turns 55.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to cross state lines.