Some things to read while rocking the shirsey.
Hangwith'em Rach compared last night's game to a terrible reality show, and it certainly was at least that frustrating. The Brewer defense gave up two runs last night, but the offense and coaching staff blew some pretty significant opportunities to take them off the hook. Most notably, they failed to score in the ninth after getting back-to-back walks to lead off the inning.
The failure started when Yuniesky Betancourt was unable to advance the runners to second and third on a bunt. This Adam McCalvy tweet sums that play up nicely:
RRR said he let Betancourt bunt because he was running out of players, and a positional regular should be able to bunt.
Roenicke is right, clearly. A major league regular should be able to get a bunt down nearly every time. The problem is that nearly every available measure clearly shows that Yuniesky Betancourt is not qualified to be a major league regular. He's now 0-for his last 21, his OBP has dropped to a career-low .267 and he's hitting .102/.117/.203 in his last 15 games. He also hasn't missed a game since July 18.
Then, following fail with more fail, Ron Roenicke lifted Jerry Hairston Jr. from the game in favor of Mark Kotsay, who ended the game by grounding into a double play. Kotsay's -.346 WPA in the game is the third worst for a Brewer this season. Nicole pointed out the bizarre logic involved in pinch hitting for Hairston but not Betancourt. Meanwhile, Taylor Green still hasn't made his major league debut.
Other notes from the field:
- Corey Hart went 2-for-4 with a double yesterday to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. That ties Nyjer Morgan for the third longest streak by a Brewer this season. Ryan Braun has both of the top two.
- Albert Pujols, noted protector of all things respectful to the game, flipped his bat after a walk and taunted the fans with a foul ball. I'm glad he'll have plenty of time to discuss those moves on the golf course in October.
- Edwin Jackson, Fernando Salas and Mark Kotsay are leading FanGraphs' Star of the Game voting.
- 42,384 fans paid to see last night's game.
Chorizo won the Sausage Race.
The two teams renew hostilities tonight, with Randy Wolf taking on Jake Westbrook. Doug Miller of MLB.com has the preview.
Even after last night's loss, the Brewers are still just the sixth team in franchise history to win 50 home games in a season. They need five more wins in their final 14 games to break the franchise record of 54, set in 1978.
Before last night's game Cory Provus highlighted the importance of this series and a strong finish for the Crew. Their magic number remains at 18 this morning but could drop to 14 if they win the next two games. Tom Haudricourt talked to the Cardinals about the deficit they'd have to overcome to make the postseason.
I wasn't expecting a Brewer transaction before, but I am now: Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt the team "doesn't anticipate" making a trade before tonight's postseason eligibility deadline.
Looking ahead, the Brewers will face rookie starting pitchers on back to back days this week. Brandon Dickson is scheduled to start for the Cardinals tomorrow and Lucas Harrell will make his first start as an Astro (and the fourth of his career) in place of Brett Myers on Friday. You already know that and much more if you've read this morning's edition of Around the NL Central.
By the way, tomorrow's game is a somewhat weird 3:10 pm start. Adam McCalvy says the Brewers are experimenting with a new start time for ticket sales purposes, but it seems like virtually any start time would sell out at this point.
Today in injury notes:
- Carlos Gomez played his final rehab game for Wisconsin last night, and is expected to rejoin the team today and the active roster when it expands on Thursday (FanShot).
- Rickie Weeks' timetable is still a little longer. This week's edition of A Simple Kind of Fan looks at the ways his return will help this team.
- Manny Parra underwent arthroscopic surgery on his elbow yesterday to remove a bone spur and clean things up a bit. He's still expected to be ready for spring training next season.
Congratulations to longtime Brewer broadcaster Merle Harmon and current TV analyst Bill Schroeder, who are the Brewer nominees for the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting. Follow the link to see how you can vote.
In the minors:
- 2011 first round pick Jed Bradley is the biggest name on the list of Brewer minor leaguers headed to the Arizona Fall League in October. He'll be joined by pitchers Brandon Kintzler, Santo Manzanillo, Dan Meadows, Cody Scarpetta and position players Scooter Gennett, Zelous Wheeler, Kentrail Davis and Logan Schafer. Follow that link for video from Bradley's appearance during the FS Wisconsin broadcast last night.
- Bradley told BA and Rock he expects to start the 2012 season with Brevard County.
- The affiliates went 4-1 last night, with Eric Marzec and two relievers holding Clearwater to three hits in Brevard County's 1-0, seven inning victory. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
As of yesterday the Brewers were projected to pick 28th in the 2012 draft.
I haven't seen my glove in years, but reading this article made me want to go dig it out: David Laurilia of FanGraphs talked to John Axford, Ryan Braun and Nyjer Morgan about the fun of playing catch.
If it wasn't for that post, then this interview of Miller Park organist Dean Rosko would be the best thing I've read today.
It's another relatively quiet day around baseball:
Also, it isn't official yet but Bob Nightengale of USA Today is reporting that Orioles GM Andy MacPhail, whose contract expires following the season, will not seek a new deal.
In former Brewers:
- The Indians have sent Matt LaPorta back to AAA after he posted a .238/.289/.404 line in 97 games this season.
- David Schoenfield of ESPN ranked Greg Vaughn's 1995 season as the fifth worst since 1974 for a cleanup hitter.
- The B-Ref blog lists Bob Hamelin, Ted Savage and Gabe Gross among the career leaders in walks among players with less than 1500 career at bats.
Today in baseball economics:
- Earlier this season I mentioned that the Pirates were planning on raising ticket prices for 2012. The team has gone into a freefall since then and I think that might have impacted the plans: The projected increase is now just 81 cents per seat.
- A former Giants team employee has been charged with embezzling over $1.5 million in salaries from players and other team employees.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History covers CC Sabathia's near no-hitter on this day in 2008. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that this is also the anniversary of two pretty notable Brewer trades: One in 1996 that sent Kevin Seitzer to the Indians for Jeromy Burnitz and one in 2002 that sent Mark Loretta to the Astros for Keith Ginter. Burnitz and Loretta each started an All Star Game after their respective trades.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to write a check.