Some things to read while the pressure gets to SgtClueLs.
Actually, it's possible the pressure is getting to me lately too. The handful of you who have been around here for a long time may remember when, in 2008, I got a little superstitious regarding pumpkin pie and it made Sports Illustrated. I went back to that well yesterday and made the pie you can see on your right.
As luck would have it, the pie paid immediate dividends: The Pirates beat the Cardinals last night to drop the Brewers' magic number to single digits at nine. Once again, it looks like I'm going to need a lot of pumpkins.
Meanwhile, the team is preaching patience and encouraging fans to remain calm down the stretch. Here's Randy Wolf:
"Obviously, we're having a tough stretch right now, but the worst thing you can do is panic. I think we have a good team, and we just have to get back on track and play the kind of baseball we can play."
Miller Park Drunk would also like you to stop panicking.
Unfortunately, not all the scoreboard-watching news is good. The Diamondbacks beat the Dodgers last night to tie the Brewers for the NL's second best record. Arizona holds the tiebreaker by virtue of winning the season series against Milwaukee, so if the playoffs started today the Brewers would open the NLDS in Philadelphia.
On the individual front, Ryan Braun got some help last night in the race for the NL batting title. Jose Reyes went 0-for-4 to snap a 14 game hitting streak in a 3-2 loss to the Nationals and fell to .329, putting Braun back in first place at .331. Neither a Brewer or a Met has ever won a batting title.
The Brewers could help themselves tonight and tomorrow by beating the Rockies, who just finished taking two of three from the Reds. CBSSports.com has a series preview.
Another day, another note on Prince Fielder's pending free agency: Satchel Price of Beyond the Box Score has a preview of this winter's first baseman market.
Elsewhere in stuff we talk about every day: Eric Young of the San Francisco Business Journal is the latest to write a profile of Nyjer Morgan.
I think he deserves a little more credit for some of the moves he's made this season, but Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated says Doug Melvin has been baseball's sixth best GM. He ranks Kevin Towers of Arizona #1.
Elsewhere in awards: Yovani Gallardo won this week's El Super with his 3.46 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 13 innings over two starts.
"Five tweets" is a pretty short timeframe, but Peace and Glove made it work in their interview with Mitch Stetter.
In power rankings:
- Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk has the Brewers holding steady at fourth, and compared them to The Kinks.
- Beyond the Box Score has the Brewers fifth.
- FanGraphs has the Brewers holding steady at fifth.
- ESPN has the Brewers sixth, down two spots.
If you have a moment this morning and you haven't taken part already, please take a moment to vote in this week's BCB Tracking Poll. It will remain open throughout the day today and results will be posted tomorrow. Also, if you have ideas for the next generation of Brew Crew Ball shirts, we're accepting those too.
Blue Jays: Placed pitcher Jon Rauch on the DL with torn cartilage in his knee.
Marlins: Released outfielder Mike Cameron.
Today in former Brewers: Paul Molitor is the only player in major league history with 400 stolen bases, 200 home runs and 100 triples, but Johnny Damon is one steal away from joining him.
Prince Fielder still has baseball's longest home run this season at 486 feet, but that record survived a worthy challenge: Juan Francisco of the Reds became just the second player ever to clear the right field bleachers at Great American Ball Park last night (video) and Hit Tracker is estimating the ball's distance at 482 feet, four short of Fielder. It's the closest anyone has come to 486 all season.
There are 76 Venezuelan players who have appeared in a major league game this season, but it appears that pipeline is starting to dry up. the Pirates are closing their Venezuelan academy this winter, leaving just five teams in the country's summer league. You know that and much more if you've read this morning's edition of Around the NL Central.
It didn't impact the outcome of the game one way or the other, but The Good Phight has an interesting post on a run credited to Casey McGehee Friday night and whether or not it should have counted.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History celebrates Rickie Weeks' 29th birthday. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also the 28th anniversary of the Brewers purchasing Teddy Higuera from the Mexican League.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to making fun of you.