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Friday's Frosty Mug

HOUSTON - MAY 17:  Norichika Aoki #7 of the Milwaukee Brewers reacts after being hit by a pitch in the seventh inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on May 17, 2012 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON - MAY 17: Norichika Aoki #7 of the Milwaukee Brewers reacts after being hit by a pitch in the seventh inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on May 17, 2012 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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Some things to read while getting the right zise.

I skipped last night's game and I really don't feel bad about it. Nicole recapped the 4-0 loss to the Astros in my place, if you missed it. For whatever it's worth, Craig Calcaterra seems to think this week's 0-for-2 in Houston shouldn't be called a sweep.

The Brewers even lost last night despite a 3-for-4 day for Norichika Aoki (his first), who was also hit by a pitch for the first time as a major leaguer. Plunk Everyone notes that the Brewers are 11-5 in games where they've been hit by a pitch this season, and 5-17 in games where they haven't.

Other notes from the field:

  • Brooks Conrad started at first base (!) last night and went 0-for-3. He's now 0-for-19 this season.
  • Astros reliever Wilton Lopez walked a batter last night for the first time all season.
  • Carlos Lee's 25.91 second home run trot Wednesday was the slowest in all of baseball on that day. Corey Hart circled the bases in 21.91 seconds following his solo shot.
  • Mike Vassallo has a picture of the Astros' welcome message for Bob Uecker in the Minute Maid Park press box.

The Brewers return home tonight to open interleague play against the Twins, and Evan Drellich has the preview. Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs gave tonight's Scott Diamond/Marco Estrada matchup a six out of ten on his NERD scale.

Rickie Weeks batted second again last night and went 1-for-5, but at least he only struck out once. The Brewers Bar has a point/counterpoint on Weeks and the #2 spot.

Ryan Braun's 5 HBP this season have already matched his total from all of last year. Glenn Sattell of talked to Braun about it, and he said he's not concerned.

Alex Gonzalez had his ACL surgery yesterday as scheduled, and his recovery time is expected to be around six months. He obviously won't reach the 525 plate appearances needed to vest his contract option for 2013, but the Brewers still could exercise it anyway if they feel he's still their best option at shortstop.

In the minors:

For whatever it's worth, FanGraphs' final radio broadcast rankings are out and they have last season's Brewer team (Bob Uecker and Cory Provus) #2 overall. I'm not sure how the switch from Provus to Joe Block would impact the ranking.

In power rankings: Tim Brown of Yahoo has the Brewers 23rd, down one spot.

Finally, congratulations are due out this morning to Yar Nivek, our winner in yesterday's SB Nation Pick 6 contest. Here's the full leaderboard:

Rank Player Points
1 Yar Nivek 74.6
2 Kiev 'n Rice 74.1
3 MadtownTim 72.3
4 aaronetc 70.1
5 c.stet 67.5
6 brewjoles 53.7
7 sauveb 45.0
8 esoxfly 44.1
9 infinityera 44.1
10 Cecil Cooper's Love Child 42.9

As of this writing you still have about two and a half hours to make your picks for today.

Around baseball:

Athletics: Placed infielder Brandon Inge on the DL with a groin injury.
Blue Jays
: Third baseman Brett Lawrie dropped his appeal and started serving his four game suspension last night.
Cubs: Reliever Kerry Wood is expected to retire today.
Padres: Claimed pitcher Eric Stults off waivers from the White Sox, placed shortstop Jason Barlett on the DL with a knee strain and designated infielder Orlando Hudson for assignment.
Twins: Did not place catcher Ryan Doumit on the DL as previously reported, but did place pitcher Nick Blackburn (quad strain)
Yankees: Claimed infielder Matt Antonelli off waivers from the Orioles.

The Brewers narrowly avoided falling back into last in the Central last night as the Phillies beat the Cubs 8-7. You know that and more if you've read this morning's edition of Around the NL Central.

Today in awful umpiring: Baseball Nation has a look at a call made by home plate umpire Laz Diaz that turned what would have been an inning-ending double play into an RBI bunt single that sent yesterday's A's game into extra innings. Diaz was screened on the play but refused to ask for help.

If you're spending the day stranded on a desert island and you can only take one infographic with you, Flip Flop Fly Ball's look at offensive performance by position over time might be your best bet.

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks longtime major league catcher and one-time Brewer All Star Jim Sundberg's 61st birthday. 2002-03 Brewer Eric Young is also celebrating his (45th) birthday today, and Plunk Everyone notes that has 89 career HBP are the second most ever for a player born on May 18.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to answer this.

Drink up.