Some things to read while asking the tough questions. (h/t @beckjason)
Don't look now, but the Brewers' 5-2, 10 inning win over the Diamondbacks last night pushed the "terrible on the road" Crew to 4-3 on this west coast road trip. Last night's win came at a price, though: Carlos Gomez broke his collarbone while making a diving catch and may be out for the rest of the season.
While many of us were expecting Brandon Boggs to get the call to fill Gomez's roster spot, the Brewers have called up Nashville outfielder Brett Carroll instead. He's 28 years old, spent parts of the last four seasons playing with the Marlins and was hitting .281/.356/.469 in 93 games for Nashville this season. Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker has a scouting report that details Carroll's abilities as a defense-first outfielder with a strong arm.
Nyjer Morgan was pressed into duty when Gomez had to leave the game last night and ended up going 1-for-3, driving in the winning run and scoring one of his own in the tenth inning. Howie Magner of Milwaukee Magazine says the trade that brought him to Milwaukee keeps looking better and better.
John Axford pitched a hitless tenth to record his 23rd consecutive save last night. Doug Harrison of CBC.ca has a feature on Axford and the way he's handled the K-Rod deal. Axford is now tenth on the Brewer all time list with 51, and could move all the way up to fifth with 15 more saves in 2011.
Other notes from the field:
- Arizona shortstop Stephen Drew left the game one play before Gomez after fracturing his right ankle on a play at the plate. He's likely to need surgery and is done for the season.
- The game went to extra innings after Francisco Rodriguez allowed two runs in the eighth to tie the contest. He was put into the game in place of Chris Narveson, who had thrown just 87 pitches over seven shutout innings and retired the last ten batters he'd faced.
- The Diamondbacks had a runner on third and no outs in the ninth, but the Brewers went to the five infielder alignment and were able to get out of the jam.
- Ryan Braun's first inning homer gave him three in his last four games at Chase Field. A ball that would have been his second homer of the game was overturned by replay.
- He knocked these numbers down a bit by going 1-for-5 with three strikeouts last night, but Casey McGehee entered the game as a .482 career hitter against Arizona, the best of any player since 2009.
- Chris Narveson, Ryan Braun and Ryan Cook are leading FanGraphs' Star of the Game voting.
The two teams play one last 8:40 start in the series finale tonight, and Audrey Snyder of MLB.com has the preview.
Yuniesky Betancourt went 1-for-3 last night, drawing a walk for the first time in over 40 plate appearances and getting caught trying to steal third with two outs and the top of the order due up. Here are today's Yuni notes:
- If you've been watching many Brewer games on FS Wisconsin this season, then you've probably noticed this too: Rubie Q is sick of listening to BA and Rock make excuses for Yuni.
- He also noted that last night's excuse du jour was Yuni putting too much pressure on himself.
- Yuni was one of two Brewers (Mark Kotsay is the other) on The OC Register's list of eleven candidates for the worst position player in baseball.
I don't want to read too much into this, but I thought it was interesting. Rickie Weeks (23.88 seconds) and Corey Hart (22.71 seconds) both trotted slower than Ryan Braun and his bad leg (22.45 seconds) following their home runs on Tuesday. And somehow, both of Yuni's trots were faster than all of these.
Meanwhile, the search for a viable alternative at short continues. Jerry Crasnick says the Brewers have had internal conversation about Clint Barmes of the Astros. Meanwhile, Buster Olney (via Metsblog) is reporting that the Brewers are trying to find a way to get Carlos Beltran from the Mets.
Yovani Gallardo struck out six Diamondbacks on Tuesday, and is tied for baseball's second longest active streak with at least one K in 21 consecutive outings. The longest active streak belongs to White Sox reliever Sergio Santos, who has done it in 22 games.
We have more bad news this morning regarding Zach Braddock. He's still on the inactive list at Nashville, and the team is saying they can't discuss the reason.
In the minors:
- The affiliates went 2-3 last night, and Wily Peralta allowed just one run on three hits and struck out nine in seven innings in Huntsville's 3-1 win over Chattanooga. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- 2011 fourth round pick Nick Ramirez was MLB Depth Charts' Under the Radar NL Minor League Hitter of the Week.
- The voters have spoken, and Wisconsin will be giving away Khris Davis bobbleheads on August 29.
Dodgers: Fired hitting coach Jeff Pentland.
Tigers: Acquired infielder Wilson Betemit from the Royals for two minor leaguers and designated third baseman Brandon Inge for assignment. (FanShot)
On the surface Inge seems like someone who could be a somewhat interesting target for the Brewers, but he's really struggling this season. He's hitting .170/.242/.242 through 70 games, and has a lower career OPS than Casey McGehee (.761 to .693). He says he'll accept an assignment to AAA Toledo if it comes to that.
By now you've probably heard that last night's win pushed the Brewers back into sole possession of first place in the NL Central. If you're interested in doing some more scoreboard watching today, the Cardinals and Mets finish off a four game set in New York at 11:10. You already know that and much more if you've read this morning's edition of Around the NL Central.
Today in former Brewers: Alcides Escobar has played in every game and only missed 13 innings for the Royals this season.
We're far enough into the season that it's hard to treat this as a statistical anomaly anymore: David Pinto of Baseball Musings points out that run scoring is down across about half a run per game across baseball this season.
Today in baseball economics:
- It's possible the trade deadline's biggest story will be a fire sale in Houston. Jon Heyman is reporting that new Astros ownership has asked management to cut the payroll to $60 million, and as a result the Astros are shopping pitchers Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers in addition to outfielder Hunter Pence. The A's are looking to sell too.
- Maybe the Astros should start selling bobbleheads: The Twins released 1000 sets of bobbleheads for their entire 1991 World Series team and sold them all yesterday at a price of $391 each, raising nearly $400,000.
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times has a reminder that annual profits and losses for major league teams pale in comparison to the return on investment they're seeing when it comes to the growth of franchise values.
There is no asset in baseball greater than young pitching. When David Price took the mound for the Rays last night, it was the 698th consecutive time they've started a pitcher under age 30. (h/t @robneyer)
Meanwhile, rookie outfielder Bryan Petersen pitched a scoreless ninth for the Marlins in last night's 14-3 loss.
Today's edition of Today In Brewer History is celebrating Geoff Jenkins' 37th birthday, but Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also the 23rd anniversary of Robin Yount's 100th triple. Yount and Paul Molitor (86) are the only Brewers to break 50 for a career. Rickie Weeks and Corey Hart are tied for sixth on the all time list with 26.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go back to the store.