Some things to read while keeping your head.
The Brewers have only won twice in Cincinnati since July of 2009, but one of those wins came last night. Zack Greinke (who is also a recent winner of Hangwith'em Rach's El Super Award) held the Reds to two runs over six innings and the Brewers connected for two home runs in a 7-2 victory.
Last night's win improved the Brewers to 16-5 since May 9. They're the best team in baseball over that stretch. Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar says they still have nowhere to go but up on the road.
Unfortunately, Casey McGehee has not been participating in the Brewer hot streak. He went 0-for-4 last night and hit just .218/.275/.318 in May. Kevin Roberts of MLB Soup listed McGehee in this week's Major Slump Report.
Other notes from the field:
- Prince Fielder was hit by a pitch for the 75th time in his major league career yesterday, and as you might expect Plunk Everyone has much more.
- John Axford, who needed 28 pitches to work through the ninth in a non-save situation, took advantage of an opportunity to work on his tan before yesterday's game.
- Reds pitcher Chad Reineke, making a spot start, allowed six runs over 6.1 innings and was allowed to hit for himself with the bases loaded and no one out in the fourth inning. After the game, Dusty Baker told reporters that he only had four available relievers so he couldn't lift Reineke early.
- Here's a transcript of Ron Roenicke's postgame comments.
- Corey Hart, Zack Greinke and Chad Reineke are leading FanGraphs' Star of the Game voting.
- Last night's win was the Brewers' 17th in May, and they're celebrating by taking $17 off the price of Loge Outfield and Terrace Box tickets for next week's Mets series.
The two teams play the rubber match in the series tonight, with Shaun Marcum taking on Mike Leake. Jordan Schelling of MLB.com has the preview. Looking further ahead, the Brewers plan to pitch Randy Wolf, Yovani Gallardo, Chris Narveson and Zack Greinke in that order in this weekend's four game series with the Marlins.
Yuniesky Betancourt went 0-for-4 last night and finished May with a .178/.200/.289 batting line. Here are some related notes:
- Cory Provus listed Betancourt as a disappointment in his May thoughts.
- Josh Wussow of Inside Wisconsin Sports says Betancourt needs to go.
- Eno Sarris of FanGraphs listed the Brewers as candidates to acquire Mets SS Jose Reyes, Orioles SS J.J. Hardy, Dodgers SS Rafael Furcal and Mariners SS Jack Wilson.
- Toby Harrmann of You Know, And That has ten facts about Betancourt.
- Betancourt projects to be a Type B free agent this winter, but the Brewers would have to offer him arbitration to get any compensation in return for him.
If the Brewers would like to add another shortstop to their roster, they have room: MLB Trade Rumors notes that the Brewers only have 38 players on their 40 man roster.
They'll need one of those spots, though, when or if Takashi Saito is activated off the 60-day DL. Saito pitched a bullpen session yesterday and reported no issues.
Ryan Braun also went 0-for-4 last night but drew a walk and has now reached base safely in 21 of his last 22 games (with his May 24 ejection as the lone exception). Braun is also the leading All Star vote-getter among NL outfielders (FanShot). Dave Cameron notes that it might be hard to pick a center fielder out of the current leaders (Braun, Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman).
Jonathan Lucroy hit his sixth home run last night, snapping a brief 0-for-8 slump. This week's edition of A Simple Kind of Fan has praise for him for his excellent season to date.
One would imagine there's plenty of room on Josh Wilson's mantle for baseball memorabilia, but apparently he's not interested. He and the team made no effort to retrieve the ball from his first Brewer home run on Monday.
With last night's win the Brewers are past the 1/3rd mark for the 2011 regular season. ESPN asked their SweetSpot writers to grade their team's performances to this point, and Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker gave the Brewers a B+.
In the minors:
- The affiliates went 0-4 last night, with Zach Braddock walking three batters but allowing no runs over .2 innings in Nashville's 7-2 loss to Iowa. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Brevard County 1B/OF Brock Kjeldgaard was named the Florida State League Player of the Week yesterday. He hit .434/.519/1.000 over seven games and is now at .252/.346/.484 in the pitcher-friendly league this season.
- Kjeldgaard was 0-for-3 with a strikeout last night as the Manatees came two outs away from getting no-hit by Bradenton pitcher Kyle McPherson.
- Brewersprospects.com named Erik Komatsu and Tyler Thornburg their Players of the Month.
Today in power rankings: USA Today has the Brewers at 11, up five spots.
If you haven't yet, please take a moment this morning to vote in this week's BCB Tracking Poll. It will remain open until tonight and results will be posted tomorrow.
Cubs: Placed outfielder Alfonso Soriano on the DL with a groin strain.
Reds: Designated pitcher Tom Cochran for assignment.
Despite coming out on top in Cincinnati the Brewers still didn't gain any ground in the Central last night. The Cardinals picked up another late inning win and the Brewers remain 2.5 games back. You know that and much more if you've read this morning's edition of Around the NL Central.
In former Brewers: Brett Lawrie had a scary moment last night, as he left a AAA game and had to be taken to the hospital for X-rays after getting hit by a pitch on his left hand. The results came back negative and he's expected to be called up to the Blue Jays soon.
Today in baseball economics: The Mariners are 28-26 and only a half game back in the AL West, but apparently that's not enough to bring out the fans. The ten smallest crowds in Safeco Field history are all from this season. (h/t @JWuss)
Those small crowds, however, have an overabundance of people who like to run on the field. Jon Bois of SBNation.com has the most compelling story you'll read today about four people arrested for trespassing.
There's been a fair amount of conversation recently about a potential rule change to protect catchers in plays at the plate. Three catchers have been DL'ed after collisions since Friday, and Athletics GM Billy Beane reportedly has asked Kurt Suzuki to avoid those situations going forward.
I usually try not to post much about the Red Sox here, but in this case I'll make an exception: This .gif of Adrian Gonzalez using his bat to prevent a foul liner from entering the dugout is worth seeing.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History is up and deals with Tomo Ohka's AAA perfect game. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times has a couple of addendums: Today is the 32nd anniversary of Robin Yount's first inside-the-park home run and the 16th anniversary of the day the Brewers drafted Geoff Jenkins.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get back to my workout.