Some things to read while checking if Will Smith is available.
The Brewers started off this road trip the same way they finished the last one, with an embarrassing interleague loss. Last night Zack Greinke was the story, allowing seven runs and being lifted from the game after just two innings. As you might imagine, the internet is abuzz:
- Before last night Greinke had struck out at least one batter in each of his 179 career starts. That was the 40th longest streak in major league history.
- Lucas Apostoleris of Don't Bring In The Lefty notes that this is Greinke's first below-average kwERA start of the season.
- Greinke now has an 11.29 ERA in his five career starts in New York.
- Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar says blaming Greinke's bad start on his anxiety issues is lazy.
- Ben Badler of Baseball America has a great analogy on the subject.
- Tom Haudricourt has several other possible answers.
- Danny Knobler of CBS, though, says Greinke is still a good fit with the Brewers.
- Josh Weinstock of Beyond the Box Score notes that, before last night, hitters have swing and missed at 39.1% of Greinke's breaking pitches this season.
Greinke's first inning runs were largely attributable to some shoddy defensive play, and things didn't get better for the Brewers from there. River Avenue Blues has a list of six sloppy moments from last night's game, and nearly all of them cost the Brewers runs. (h/t You Can't Predict Baseball)
Other notes from the field:
- Ryan Braun doubled in his final at bat last night to extend his hitting streak to 18 games.
- Braun and Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner were both hit by pitches in the first inning. Plunk Everyone reports that it's the first time both left fielders have been hit in the first since 1985.
- Last night's game was the first time the Brewers have ever outhit their opponent and still lost by ten runs or more.
- Kameron Loe and John Axford were the only available players who didn't appear in yesterday's game.
- Here's a brief transcript of Ron Roenicke's postgame comments.
- Freddy Garcia, Nick Swisher and Zack Greinke are leading FanGraphs' Star of the Game voting.
- Adam McCalvy took this photo of Mark Attanasio, Bob Uecker and Reggie Jackson talking during BP, and this one from the press box.
- Nyjer Morgan took some time before the game to take a picture in Monument Park and answer ten questions for Todd Rosiak.
Mat Gamel went 2-for-4 in his 2011 debut last night, even though he only saw four pitches in his first three at bats. He told Adam McCalvy he's more comfortable now following his move to first base.
Prince Fielder went 1-for-3 last night and now has a ten game hitting streak of his own. Ted Youngling of The Outside Corner says to expect Fielder to "lead the Brewers deep into the playoffs as they may be a dark horse for the NL pennant." Fielder is so popular he's even being targeted by fictional teams: The Platoon Advantage listed him as the primary free agent objective for the 2012 Brooklyn Hipsters. Fielder told reporters yesterday that he's not ruling out the possibility of DH'ing for an AL team next season, but would prefer to play first base. Hopefully he won't mind DH'ing for Baseball Junkies' All Time Brewer team.
Fielder and Ryan Braun, by the way, are currently 1-2 on Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated's NL MVP ballot. Ron Roenicke is third in the race for NL Manager of the Year (h/t Howie Magner). Braun and Fielder could use some help, though: this week's edition of A Simple Kind of Fan says the Brewers have the most top heavy offense in baseball.
Fielder and Braun are both near certainties to make the NL All Star team, but what about LaTroy Hawkins? He pitched a perfect seventh last night to lower his ERA to 0.44 and extend his scoreless streak to 19.2 innings. Bob Nightengale of USA Today says he's deserving of All Star consideration. Meanwhile, Matthew Leach of MLB.com makes the case for Rickie Weeks.
The Brewers have been pretty lucky to this point when it comes to starting pitchers: Despite the fact that Zack Greinke missed a month, they've still only needed six all season. The Rockies, for comparison purposes, have already used ten. That's unlikely to last for a full year, so Toby Harrmann of Disciples of Uecker has a look at the next three guys on the likely depth chart.
Here's a somewhat bizarre roster note: Yesterday I mentioned that the 40 man roster is at 35, but it's actually at 36 because Daniel Ray Herrera wasn't removed after he was designated for assignment last week
Here's today's most obscure trivia: Chris Narveson's next major league win will be his 20th, and The Asheville Citizen-Times says he'll be just the fifth pitcher from western North Carolina ever to reach that mark.
In the minors:
- Brock Kjeldgaard, who has already tied Brevard County's single season home run record, is being promoted to Huntsville.
- Kjeldgaard and Mat Gamel are tied for tenth in all of Minor League Baseball with 18 home runs. Tyler Thornburg is third in ERA at 1.59 and 14th in opponent batting average at .198.
- The affiliates went 3-2 last night, and Helena shortstop Yadiel Rivera hit a grand slam in their 5-4 win over Great Falls. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Rattler Radio has video highlights of Wisconsin's 4-1 loss to Peoria.
- Brewersprospects.com named Taylor Green, Sean Halton, Khris Davis and T.J. Mittlestaedt as their players of the month for June.
- @SessileFielder is excited about Dominican outfielder Ruben Ozuna, who has already picked up five extra base hits in seven AZL games.
Even if you missed yesterday, there's still a chance to join in the fun in this week's edition of Prognostikeggers.
The 2011 season is now half over, so it's a good time to look back. Nullacct added his thoughts (and pictures) to our BCB First Half Review series.
Astros: Placed outfielder Jason Bourgeois on the DL with a quad strain.
Athletics: Placed pitcher Grant Balfour on the DL with an oblique strain.
Nationals: Front office assistant Pat Corrales is expected to become the team's new bench coach.
Phillies: Placed pitcher Ryan Madson on the DL with a bruised hand.
Pirates: Placed outfielder Jose Tabata on the DL with a quad strain.
You already know about Bourgeois and Tabata if you've read this morning's edition of Around The NL Central, which is like happiness in a tin can.
All Star voting has just about concluded, and here's another reminder that the balloting is a joke: Rays Index has a story about a family of three that's turned in 33,000 ballots marked with all Rays.
Speaking of the Rays, Joe Posnanski and I were both surprised to discover that Johnny Damon has 2,653 hits, and is now just one away from tying Ted Williams on the all time list.
Today in former Brewers:
- Lyle Overbay is apparently no longer welcome in the Blue Jays' clubhouse.
- David Weathers and Eric Plunk are two of nine pitchers who won 70 or more games in their career without ever winning ten in a season.
- Don Mincher is one of eight retired players with more than 15 career multi-homer games and 200 or fewer career home runs. One of those games came as a member of the Pilots on July 6, 1969.
If you only click one Mug link this morning, it should be this one: Big League Stew has the video of the coolest first pitch you'll see all season.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'd better get to the doctor.