Some things to read while coming back from Honalee.
Maybe good pitching is contagious. After a couple of rough starts to open the season Randy Wolf pitched 6.2 scoreless innings last night to lead the Brewers to a 4-1 win in Pittsburgh. Wolf also struck out ten batters in the game, crossing into double digits for the first time as a Brewer. The Brewers narrowly missed their fourth shutout in 12 games and completed the sweep of the Pirates.
Jonathan Lucroy was back in the lineup yesterday for the second straight day, going 1-for-4. Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar has a look at Lucroy's offensive value and compares him to A's catcher Kurt Suzuki. Lucroy had previously had some issues catching Randy Wolf which led to George Kottaras becoming Wolf's personal catcher last season, but Tom Haudricourt says the two were able to put that behind them. In that post he also says that Wil Nieves will catch Chris Narveson tonight.
Other notes from the field:
- Nyjer Morgan drove in a run with a ninth inning double in his only plate appearance last night, but fell down between second and third and was tagged out.
- Morgan entered the game off the bench because Erick Almonte started in right. He went 0-for-3 with a strikeout and Jack Moore can't believe he's still with the team.
- Wolf's ten strikeout game was the 14th of his career, but only his fifth since 2002.
- Randy Wolf, Prince Fielder and Paul Maholm are leading FanGraphs' Star of the Game voting.
- Here's a transcript of Ron Roenicke's postgame remarks.
- Steven Pearce started at third base for the Pirates last night for the first time in his major league career. He's played in 56 games at first and 49 in the outfield.
- 10,517 fans paid to see last night's game.
The Brewers are in Washington today to open a series against the Nationals, with Nyjer Morgan returning to the nation's capital for the first time as a member of the Brewers. Morgan talked to Tom Haudricourt about the incidents that led to his departure, and The Nationals Enquirer accused him of taking a cheap shot at Nats manager Jim Riggleman. It could be an interesting weekend.
Speaking of Morgan, Tim Young (aka tcyoung) of MLB Soup has a look at Morgan's abysmal 2010 season in Washginton, and suggested that a 5% increase in Morgan's O-Swing% (swinging at pitches outside the strike zone) may have led to a dip in his numbers.
We'll have our series preview up in a couple of hours, but in the meantime Tom Singer of MLB.com looks ahead to this weekend's games.
Since starting 0-4, the Brewers are 7-1 over their last eight games. Brewers Daily has a look at how the Brewers have overcome losing Zack Greinke, Corey Hart et al for the first month.
It's been a pretty unique start to the 2011 season for Prince Fielder. He's showing more power than he typically shows in April, but he's also not striking out much: Dave Cameron of FanGraphs notes that Fielder entered play yesterday among the league leaders in strikeout percentage. Of course, as soon as Cameron put those words on the internet Fielder went out and K'd twice against Paul Maholm to double his season total.
I'm guessing Fielder will eventually work his way off of this list, but the B-Ref Blog notes that Fielder has the ninth fewest career home runs (195) among players who have hit at least 40 in a season. Ben Oglivie is 20th on the list with 235.
In the minors:
- LaTroy Hawkins' rehab is coming along: He's finished his work in Brevard County and is expected to report to Nashville.
- Corey Hart should also be in Nashville soon. He took batting practice with the team again on Thursday.
- Catcher Shawn Riggans has been activated from the minor league DL and assigned to Huntsville. He missed all of spring training with pneumonia.
- As part of yesterday's All Questions Answered thread, John Sickels of Minor League Ball said Wily Peralta could start generating some significant buzz as a prospect if he puts together two or three more good starts.
- On the field the affiliates went 2-2 last night, with Erik Komatsu going 2-for-3 with a double and a walk in Huntsville's 6-2 win over Carolina. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
@TugHaines was in attendance for last night's Brevard County game, and sent in these excellent pictures.
- Wisconsin second baseman Nick Shaw walked five times in five plate appearances last night. He's now hitting .227/.469/.364 in 32 Midwest League PAs.
- Also at Wisconsin, catcher Cameron Garfield has been placed on the DL, but the team isn't revealing why.
- Baseball America reports the Brewers have released 2008 30th round pick Wayne Dedrick. He hadn't played in a game since appearing for the AZL Brewers in 2009 and was recently suspended for testing positive for a drug of abuse.
On power rankings: Yahoo has the Brewers at 14, up one spot.
Red Sox: Signed first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to a seven year, $154 million contract extension.
Royals: Placed reliever Robinson Tejeda on the DL with shoulder inflammation. (h/t Royals Review)
Twins: Placed catcher Joe Mauer on the DL with bilateral leg weakness.
Yesterday in the NL Central:
- The Cardinals beat the Dodgers 9-5 to improve to 4-3 on their West Coast road trip.
- Houston beat San Diego 1-0.
The Reds and Cubs were off last night, so here are today's updated standings:
Today in baseball economics:
- It seems like we're talking about a new record low attendance every day this spring: The USA Today notes that six ballparks have set new record lows in 2011 and five others have produced notably small crowds.
- With that said, baseball must be doing something right: The Biz of Baseball is reporting that MLB revenues have grown from $1.4 to $7 billion since 1995.
And in former Brewer notes: Chris Capuano and Jorge de la Rosa faced each other in a Mets-Rockies game yesterday. JDLR came out on top as the Rockies won the game 9-4.
Here's the most interesting stat I've seen today: Braves outfielder Jason Heyward, who has been batting sixth this season, has walked eleven times in 2011 and hasn't scored a run following any of them.
I doubt the Mrs. would ever let me have it in our living room, but since seeing this Baseball Glove Chair I keep thinking I want one. Maybe if I got rid of the office couch...
Odds are, Cliff Lee is wealthier and more talented than you. As it turns out, he's also better at handling traffic. And since he pitched last night, he's on pace to face the Brewers on Tuesday.
If you only look at one incredible picture of a baseball player's hair today, make sure that hair belongs to Coco Crisp.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to cuddle this wombat.