Some things to read while choosing wisely.
Sometimes all you can do is flush and move on.
Entering this week the Brewers were 21-3 in their last 24 home games, but they're now 0-3 in their last three after getting thumped by the Cardinals for the second straight day. Brewers in 11 has a reminder that the sky is not yet falling, but this week's events clearly have not been encouraging. Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar says math is still on their side. Tom Haudricourt, though, says the Brewers have given the Cards hope.
The most troubling note from yesterday, at least to me, is this: The Brewer September callups have arrived and Ron Roenicke now has eight position players on his bench on any given day. He used just two of them yesterday: Craig Counsell (.475 OPS) and Mark Kotsay (.651). Roenicke says the September callups will play, but at this point I'm going to have to see it to believe it.
When the Brewers hired Roenicke, I think a fair number of us were excited to see what a longtime disciple of Mike Scioscia could do with this team. Scioscia is the guy who's given 241 plate appearances to a .178/.226/.258 hitting catcher (Jeff Mathis) in Anaheim this season, and it appears Ron Roenicke has brought tendencies like that with him to Milwaukee.
With that said, even with this week's failures the Brewers are in pretty good shape. This Adam McCalvy tweet sums it up:
In the interest of accuracy, Hart's quote was, "Seven and a half games is still plenty good."
Other notes from the field:
- Prince Fielder hit his 30th home run yesterday and is now the first player in franchise history to reach that mark in five straight seasons.
- Corey Hart went 2-for-5 with a homer yesterday to extend his hitting streak to 14 games. He rounded the bases in 22.35 seconds following his leadoff homer Wednesday.
- Matt Holliday's two run homer in the fifth inning was the 200th of his career.
- Holliday's homer was one of four given up by Yovani Gallardo, who had never allowed more than two in a game.
- Only two Cardinal starters were held hitless yesterday but one of them was Lance Berkman, who went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts.
- An 8-4 win and a sweep weren't enough to keep the Cardinals from complaining to the umpires.
- The Brat won the Sausage Race.'
- 34,080 paid to see yesterday's game, the smallest crowd at Miller Park since June 10. I doubt we'll be seeing another 3:10 pm weekday start again for a while.
- The Brewers had some fun before the game recreating Ryan Braun's fall between third and home from Wednesday, but in retrospect it seems like less fun.
With that embarrassing series behind them, the Brewers left for Houston last night and will open a three game series against the Astros tonight. Brewers in 11 Googled a series preview, and we'll have ours later today. Christina De Nicola of MLB.com has a preview of tonight's Zack Greinke/Lucas Harrell matchup.
Harrell is starting today in place of Brett Myers, whose wife gave birth to a baby boy (their fourth) yesterday.
Yesterday's best news came away from the field, where we all learned we spent much too much time worrying about the PTBNLs in the trade that brought Francisco Rodriguez over from the Mets. The two players headed to New York are Wisconsin reliever Adrian Rosario and Nashville reliever Daniel Ray Herrera, who the Brewers just claimed off waivers a few months ago (FanShot). Here's some reaction:
- Jim Callis of Baseball America called Rosario a "sleeper RHP w/ potential solid stuff across the board."
- Ben Badler, also of Baseball America, called them "filler-type pen arms."
Here is proof, once again, that virtually nothing Doug Melvin says publicly is worth believing. On Tuesday he told Tom Haudricourt he didn't anticipate acquiring a player before Wednesday's postseason roster deadline. Yesterday he told reporters he tried to acquire new Texas reliever Mike Gonzalez.
In the minors:
- Brewerfan.net has a list of Brewer minor leaguers who will be eligible for free agency following the season. Your opinion may vary, but in my mind the most notable players on the list are Brandon Boggs, Edwin Maysonet and Hainley Statia.
- Hunter Morris homered on Wednesday to tie Brevard County's single season record with 18. Brock Kjeldgaard also tied that record earlier this season.
- Outfielder Reggie Keen stole his 40th base of the season for Wisconsin yesterday, becoming just the sixth Timber Rattler ever to do so and the first since the team became a Brewer affiliate. He's the organizational leader in steals this season: Kentrail Davis is second with 32 for Brevard County. In terms of steals per game Helena outfielder John Dishon is the leader with 20 in 51 games.
- Baseball America has posts on Wily Peralta and Mark Rogers, but both are subscriber-only.
The Brewer magic number is still at 18 this morning, where it's remained stagnant for four days now. If you're in need of a remedial math lesson, the Janesville Gazette can teach you how to calculate the number.
In power rankings: Yahoo has the Brewers holding steady at 4.
Elsewhere in rankings: Reviewing the Brew says Robin Yount had the fourth best Brewer mustache of all time.
Braves: Released Wes Helms.
Mariners: Released infielder/outfielder Matt Tuiasosopo.
Yankees: Designated pitcher Ryan Pope for assignment.
There's a strong chance this is the end of the road for Helms, who is 35 and hit .191/.276/.236 in 69 games for the Marlins this season, then was picked up and released by the Braves in the span of a month. Then again, he has a .644 OPS over the last five seasons. That's only marginally worse than Mark Kotsay's .681.
As seen in this morning's Around the NL Central, the Cubs' current GM situation might impact their ability to retain free agent-to-be Aramis Ramirez. His agent is saying he'd like to remain in Chicago, but the current state of flux in the Cubs organization is likely going to force him to become a free agent and look elsewhere. Of course, it's entirely possible the next Cubs GM will have no interest in a mid-30's third baseman who's only been worth 3.6 rWAR since 2009.
Somehow this went completely under my radar until now: The Phillies have managed to power their way to the NL's best record while burning a roster spot stashing Rule 5 pick Michael Martinez all season. Martinez is an infielder and was selected from the Nationals last winter. He's appeared in 71 games and is hitting .212/.250/.297.
Today in baseball economics:
- It's not clear whether or not the offer is serious, but a group largely funded by Chinese investors appears to have offered $1.2 billion to buy the Dodgers.
- The Orioles and Blue Jays played in front of an announced crowd of less than 12,000 yesterday as setup for an Indy Car race created major traffic issues in downtown Baltimore. Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star reported that radio stations were advising residents to stay out of the area. Even the Blue Jays didn't reach Camden Yards until 10:50 for a 12:35 first pitch. Yet, somehow, it was only the fifth smallest paid crowd in Baltimore this season.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm driving to Burlington.