Some things to read while looking for the right word.
It was an emotional day at Miller Park yesterday, and the tears flowed as fans said goodbye to several popular Brewers potentially playing their last home game at Miller Park. The most notable of those players was Prince Fielder, who went 1-for-3 with a solo home run and a pair of walks before being lifted for a pinch runner in the eighth inning and received a standing ovation as he left the field. After the game, he gave this quote to Anthony Witrado:
"I’m still here but there’s been more talk about (a trade). … I like all my teammates and I grew up with these guys. It would be disappointing if I had to leave but as of now I’m still a Brewer."
The game ended with fans getting to hear Hells Bells one last time, as Trevor Hoffman recorded the final three outs. Adam McCalvy and Craig Calcaterra noted that it was Hoffman's 35th game finished this season, which raised the buyout on his 2011 option from $500k to $750k.
Meanwhile, yesterday might have been Chris Capuano's final 2010 start, and he made it a good one. Capuano needed just 72 pitches to work his way through six innings, allowing a run on four hits, walking and striking out just one before leaving the game with a strained left groin. His spot in the current six-man rotation would come up again on Saturday, but it would be just as easy to skip him if he's not 100%.
Capuano has used September to make a strong statement to the Brewer organization. He's posted a 2.37 ERA over five September starts, going at least six innings in each of his last four outings. He's benefiting from a very low opponents BABIP (.203 in September), but he's also throwing a lot of strikes (17 K to 9 BB) and keeping the ball in the park (3 HR over 30.1 IP). It'll be interesting to see what the Brewers do with Capuano going forward: He most likely deserves a chance to win a spot in the starting rotation, but his injury history makes him difficult to rely on.
With Capuano and Mark Rogers starting over the weekend, the Brewers sent two pitchers to the mound with extensive rehab histories. Hang With 'em Brewers! put the challenge of those rehabs into perspective. Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker recapped Rogers' long and winding road.
Mark DiFelice is hoping to follow the path those two have left behind. After spending the entire 2010 season rehabbing from shoulder surgery, DiFelice signed a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training for 2011 (FanShot).
Ryan Braun went 2-for-4 yesterday with a pair of two run home runs, giving him 25 HR and 100 RBI this season. By doing so he became just the third Brewer ever to post three consecutive 100 RBI seasons, joining Richie Sexson (2001-03) and Prince Fielder (2007-09). Fielder could extend his streak to four straight if he drives in 20 runs this week.
The attendance for yesterday's home finale was 29,059, putting the Brewers at 2,776,531 for the season. That's the lowest figure since 2006, when the 75-87 Brewers drew just 2.3 million. With the win, the Brewers finished 40-41 at home.
Other notes from the field:
- Craig Counsell started at shortstop and went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. He has a hit in four straight games for just the second time this season.
- Lorenzo Cain's second inning solo home run was his first in the major leagues. Here's video of it. (h/t @TimberRattlers)
- Ryan Braun, Chris Capuano and Lorenzo Cain are leading FanGraphs' Star of the Game voting.
- Here are the MLB.com video highlights.
- Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar credits the Brewers for showing some class with the way they handled several players' potential final appearance.
- The next game at Miller Park is scheduled for April 4, 2011.
- Jordan Schelling noted that it was also the final game for the Miller Park scoreboard, which the Brewers have been using since the County Stadium days and will replace with a video board before 2011.
The Chorizo (and mini-Chorizo) won the season's final sausage race yesterday. Wezen-ball has a look at the Brewers' record when various sausages triumph: The Crew went 17-9 this season when the Brat or Chorizo won, but just 23-32 when the Polish, Hot Dog or Italian came out on top.
Looking ahead, the Brewers open their final road trip of the season as they start a four game set against the Mets tonight. Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs isn't too excited for tonight's game, giving the Dave Bush/Mike Pelfrey matchup a 4 out of 10 on his NERD scale.
The Brewer rookies will likely be happy to get this road trip over with: The trip to New York was the Brewers' annual "rookie hazing day," and Adam McCalvy reports costumes included Mike McClendon dressed as a dominatrix and Jeremy Jeffress as a giant slice of pizza.
Yovani Gallardo is scheduled to make his final start of the season on Wednesday, in game three of the Mets series. Jim Breen of Bernie's Crew has a look at how opposing batters are handling the Brewers' ace, and says he needs to throw more strikes to force opposing batters to swing more often.
If you were at Friday's game, it's possible you witnessed a piece of history: Joe Inglett's eighth inning pinch hit triple was his fourth of the season. TheJay has been unable to find anyone who ever matched that feat.
Rickie Weeks picked up an award this weekend: Fans selected him as the Brewers' 2010 We Energies High Energy Player of the Year.
Another day, another post mortem: Baseball Reflections has a look at what happened to the 2010 Brewers.
While most of the Brewers will see their season end this weekend, Brian Anderson still has a few weeks left. Bob Brainerd of Fox Sports Wisconsin has a look at some of Anderson's national work this season (calling weekly games and postseason broadcasts for TBS), and how it's impacted his travel schedule.
As for Ken Macha, he's still not sure if this is the end. Doug Melvin told reporters he will wait until after the season to announce a decision on the Brewer manager.
In the minors:
- Erik Komatsu of Brevard County and Jake Odorizzi of Wisconsin were named the Brewers' minor league player and pitcher of the year over the weekend. Komatsu hit .323/.414/.442 in a very difficult offensive environment in the Florida State League this season, while Odorizzi posted a 3.43 ERA and struck out 135 batters in 120.2 Midwest League innings.
- John Sickels of Minor League Ball is answering all reader questions today, including one of mine regarding Cameron Garfield. Follow the link to submit yours.
- Jim Callis of Baseball America answered a reader question this week about Brewer second basemen: He doesn't think Brett Lawrie will play second in the majors, but says Scooter Gennett might be the organization's second sacker of the future.
- Dan Szymborski of Baseball Think Factory has completed work on his 2010 minor league park factors. According to his stats, Huntsville was a good place to hit home runs this season, Brevard County was not and Wisconsin and Nashville were both relatively neutral.
- Ben Hill of MiLB.com listed Huntsville's "Car Survivor" stunt among baseball's best miscellaneous promotion ideas of 2010.
Also in the minors: Minor League Baseball Prospects has unveiled their lists of the top prospects in each league in 2010. Here are the Brewers listed:
- Zach Braddock was the only Nashville Sound on the Pacific Coast League list.
- Brett Lawrie (#1), Caleb Gindl, Zelous Wheeler, Taylor Green, Lee Haydel and Jeremy Jeffress made the Southern League list.
- Erik Komatsu and Cody Scarpetta made the Florida State League list.
- Jake Odorizzi, Scooter Gennett and Kentrail Davis made the Midwest League list.
Red Sox: Signed infielder Felipe Lopez.
Memories of Kevin Malone is a Dodgers blog with a weekly feature called Memorabilia Monday. If you're into that sort of thing, this week's post has a Milwaukeeish feel to it as the items purchased include autographed photos of Warren Spahn and Gary Sheffield (in a Brewer jersey).
With the minor league season over, many Brewer farmhands are currently in Arizona taking part in instructional league. If you've ever wondered, Space Coast Baseball lists the differences between instructs and the Arizona Fall League. AFL play opens on October 12.
The AFL will fill some offseason time for a fair number of us, but if you're looking for something else to do Tangotiger could use your help selecting the best baseball movie of all time. I clicked through about 6-8 matchups and realized there's a lot of baseball movies I haven't seen.
With those two distractions, the offseason should go by faster than an Aroldis Chapman fastball. Chapman broke the major league record again when he was clocked at 105.1 mph Friday night.
Roughly a week from today the Brewers will likely be in the market for a replacement for Ken Macha, and one can only hope the search will not include Cubs broadcaster Bob Brenly. Brenly is reportedly interested in several openings, but has removed himself from consideration for the Cubs' job.
On this day in 1974, the Brewers and Orioles played 16 scoreless innings before Baltimore plated a run in the 17th to win 1-0.
Happy birthday over the weekend to:
- AZL Brewer Travis Stortz, who turns 22 today.
- 2006-08 Brewer Brian Shouse, who turned 42 Sunday.
- 1998-01 and 2009 Brewer David Weathers, who turned 41 Saturday.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to do some circling.