Some things to read while buying a test. (h/t @BNightengale)
I was excited before, but I must admit that seeing this Daniel Hudson tweet this morning made me even more eager to watch the Brewers end the Diamondbacks' season sometime in the coming days:
#beastmode just got #goldschmidtedon
That tweet is likely something we'll remember and laugh about when we see it in Howie Magner's Brewer movie.
After spending two days watching Arizona manager Kirk Gibson take a beating for intentional walk strategy, Ron Roenicke apparently decided he wanted in on the fun last night. He walked Miguel Montero in the fifth inning and watched him score Arizona's sixth run as Paul Goldschmidt hit a grand slam. Steve Henson of Yahoo is giving Roenicke a pass for the decision. Meanwhile, Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker wants to know why Shaun Marcum was still in the game at that point.
Marcum's outing last night was the kind of performance we may still be analyzing years from now, but here are my early impressions: Brooks Baseball says he was averaging over 87 mph on his fastball, so his velocity wasn't down. For whatever reason, though, he only threw his changeup seven times out of 78 pitches. He usually throws it roughly once every four pitches. Tom Haudricourt was one of many to suggest he's hurting.
I'm guessing this wasn't the memorable moment Marcum was hoping for last night: Jeff Sullivan of Lookout Landing says his glove throw following the grand slam (captured here in gif form) was "maybe the best pitcher reaction to allowing a home run of the year."
Really, though, in the end it may not have mattered: The Brewers couldn't hit Josh Collmenter again last night and seemed unlikely to recover from any deficit. Carson Cistulli noted the difference in break (about five inches) between a normal four seam fastball and Collmenter's, which he throws straight over the top.
Other notes from the field:
- Paul Goldschmidt's grand slam was the first ever by a Diamondback in the playoffs and the first in the majors by a rookie since Ricky Ledee in 1999. He also joined Robinson Cano and Kelly Shoppach as one of three players with five RBI in a game this postseason.
- Grant Brisbee of Baseball Nation noted that Marcum and Collmenter threw baseball's third and seventh slowest fastballs this season, respectively.
- If you didn't stay up late last night you might have missed Ron Roenicke's postgame comments, this note on Corey Hart becoming the tenth Brewer ever to homer in a postseason game and links to video highlights of last night's turning points.
- Craig Counsell received a standing ovation from the Arizona fans during a pinch hit appearance.
- Trevor Hoffman was in the clubhouse before yesterday's game.
- Goldschmidt, Montero and Collmenter are leading FanGraphs' Star of the Game voting.
- 48,312 fans paid to see last night's game, a last second sellout.
- The roof was closed at Chase Field due to high winds and dust outside.
Via Larry Granillo of Baseball Prospectus, here are yesterday's home run trot times:
|Corey Hart||19.84 seconds|
|Paul Goldschmidt||20.44 seconds|
The Brewers get another chance to end the series tonight, as Randy Wolf starts against Joe Saunders at 8:30. Mike Bauman of MLB.com has the preview, and Jordan Bastian of MLB.com talked to Wolf about the game. Keith Law thinks the Diamondbacks are making a mistake by not starting top prospect Jarrod Parker.
Meanwhile, this narrative continues: By winning last night's game the Diamondbacks continue to mirror the 2008 Brewers. Here's hoping Joe Saunders is 2011's Jeff Suppan.
The Brewers have used the same lineup in each of the first three games in this series, but will likely change things up tonight: With Randy Wolf on the mound we'll almost certainly see George Kottaras behind the plate in place of Jonathan Lucroy. Lori Nickel of the JS has a reminder that this is still Lucroy's first full major league season.
As it turns out, this series' controversy involving Lucroy may have been a misunderstanding: Diamondbacks pitcher Ian Kennedy claims reporters misunderstood him when they quoted him as saying Lucroy was "a guy who can't really hit" following Saturday's game.
Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun were on base a combined three times last night (a single, walk and HBP), but the rest of their teammates reached a combined four times. This week's edition of A Simple Kind of Fan looks at how opposing teams are able to keep the Brewers in check if they limit Braun and Fielder's opportunities.
If you watched last night's game, you probably saw the Diamondbacks players doing "The Snake" after hits. Yes, it's meant to be a ripoff of "Beast Mode." I guess some people are probably annoyed by the imitiation, but from my perspective it's preferable to lecture on "respecting the game." And really, I'm more irritated by Racing Sausage ripoff/beatdowns.
I don't recall being wowed by their performance to this point, but maybe I'm missing it: Rob Neyer makes a strong case for Gerardo Parra, Chris Young and Justin Upton as the best defensive outfield in the National League.
John Axford got the night off last night, but hopefully he'll be back in there protecting a ninth inning lead tonight. Reviewing the Brew has another edition of John Axford Mustache Facts.
Meanwhile, the playoffs are the perfect opportunity for your hometown paper to write a story about you: The Orlando Sentinel and Naperville Patch have stories on Jonathan Lucroy and Jerry Hairston Jr.
In the minors:
- Arizona Fall League play kicked off yesterday, but it was a quiet day for Brewer prospects. Kentrail Davis was the only Brewer to play in Peoria's 12-9 loss and went 1-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts. You know that already if you've read this morning's AFL Notes.
- By the way, the Brewers have 14 AFL alums on their postseason roster, tied for the most among the eight contenders.
The Brewers had a bad day yesterday, but we're all still infinitely better off than we would have been if Miller Park hadn't been built. Doug Russell has a look at the alternate reality (FanShot).
Many if not most of you probably saw this FanPost last week by stigmo on how the Brewers have helped him and his family get through a tough summer dealing with a miscarriage. Yesterday I got a call from Fox 6 News letting me know they were doing a story on Steve and his family, which is awesome (FanShot).
If you missed it yesterday, please take a moment today to participate in this SB Nation survey to help improve Brew Crew Ball and the network going forward.
Dodgers: Declined pitcher Jon Garland and third baseman Casey Blake's club options for 2012.
Rockies: Are removing third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff from their 40 man roster. He'll be a free agent this winter.
The Brewers weren't the only team burned by an intentional walk yesterday: Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa walked Carlos Ruiz of the Phillies last night to bring up pinch hitter Ben Francisco, who hit a three run homer to plate the eventual winning run. You already know that and much more if you've read this morning's edition of Around the MLB Playoffs.
LaRussa, by the way, was fined an undisclosed amount for his comments about the umpiring during Sunday's game.
Hopefully you're enjoying this October's added suspense: Entering 2011 13 of the last 24 Division Series had ended in sweeps, but none will this year for the first time since 2003. More playoff games, of course, means more opportunities for playoff puns.
Several Brewers had bad days yesterday, but most of them can't compare to the TBS cameraman who fell down following Adrian Beltre from third to home after a home run yesterday.
Elsewhere in bad days: Astros outfielder Jordan Schafer was arrested and charged with felony marijuana possession after officers in an unmarked police car saw him smoking pot while driving.
Today in baseball economics:
- Moments after his team lost their ALDS series against the Rangers, Rays owner Stu Sternberg painted a bleak image of his organization's future. He said MLB will "vaporize" the team.
- The Mets are the latest team to move up their season ticket renewal deadline. They're asking fans to make their plans known before November 7, meaning they'll almost certainly have to make a decision before the team makes any notable offseason moves.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History remembers the final day of the 2008 season. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also the 53rd anniversary of the Milwaukee Braves winning Game 4 to take a 3-1 World Series lead over the Yankees, and the anniversary of these former Brewers' final games:
All three finished their careers as Brewers.
We close today with a sad note: Our condolences go out today to the family of Wausau native Johnny Schmitz, who passed away yesterday at the age of 90. Schmitz played 13 major league seasons between 1941-56 as a member of the Cubs and six other teams, and spent three years serving in the Navy during World War II.