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Wednesday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while getting your hand swatted.

I won't speak for everyone, but last night's win was a long overdue breath of fresh air for me. The Brewers edged out a 2-1 win over the Dodgers behind Ryan Braun's home run and seven solid innings from Michael Fiers and we've got the recap here, if you missed it.

Fiers was the big story last night, allowing a run on five hits over seven innings while striking out three and walking none. As you might expect, we've got lots more on him:

Ryan Braun drew one of the louder negative reactions he's seen all season last night, as Dodger fans that used to cheer Manny Ramirez voiced their displeasure over his alleged positive test from last season. Braun told Adam McCalvy he's not fazed by it.

Other notes from the field:

The Brewers are now one win away from turning a rough series in Arizona into a winning west coast road trip. They'll get their first shot at it tonight when they face the Dodgers again at 9:10, and Tyler Emerick has the preview. Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs gave tonight's Yovani Gallardo/Clayton Kershaw matchup a 5 out of 10 on his NERD scale.

The Brewers had to clear a spot on the roster for Fiers before last night's game and did so by returning Mike McClendon to Nashville (FanShot). McClendon's only outing in his second stint with the team this season was his 2.2 scoreless innings in relief of Zack Greinke on Saturday.

Martin Maldonado had a good first game last night (and his presence behind the plate likely also helped Fiers, a former AAA teammate), but that doesn't change the fact that people are still talking about how this Brewer team will miss Jonathan Lucroy while he rehabs his broken hand. Howie Magner of Milwaukee Magazine says Lucroy's injury "defies belief," which makes it a perfect fit for the 2012 Brewers. Jeremy Blackman of NotGraphs compared Lucroy's injury to other, fictional, suitcase-related baseball injuries.

Watching the 2012 Brewers unravel a bit has been disconcerting for Brewer fans, but it's also raised an alarm elsewhere: Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times notes that the Mariners' decision to follow the Brewer model of rebuilding doesn't look as good as it used to. In a related note, Nicholas Zettel of Disciples of Uecker has a look at the decision to dismantle or not dismantle an expected winning team.

In the minors:

If frequently complain (and intend to continue complaining) when Brewer games go untelevised, because it seems like a waste to keep games off the air when an established market of people will watch them. With that said, it's worth noting that baseball has come a long way in this regard: In 1991 the Brewers were one of four teams with no cable agreement whatsoever, and the only way you could see the games was over-the-air via WCGV.

If you'd like more Brewer coverage today but you're sick of reading, my appearance last night on The Watercooler with Jimmie Kaska on Sports Radio 1400 in Eau Claire has been archived.

Or, if you'd prefer to talk Brewers in person, you could make plans to attend Miller Park Drunk's Pants Party 2 on July 15. My face was even photoshopped onto a picture to help promote it. I'll be stopping by to collect my royalties.

If you haven't yet, please take a moment today to vote in our BCB Tracking Poll. It will remain open through the day today and results will be posted tomorrow.

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

Rank Player Points
1 coolig 79.1
2 Uhhhhdel 74.5
3 Infield Fly Rule 73.6
4 brewman70 69.7
5 aaronetc 69.3
6 Cecil Cooper's Love Child 66.4
7 Berryjs 59.3
8 brewjoles 58.3
9 bfarr112 57.8
10 Jeo 55.0

I finished 60th out of 60 yesterday, which makes sense because I spent the minimum $3 on my team. Today's first game starts at 11:05, so by the time you read this it'll probably already be too late to make your picks for today.

Around baseball:

Angels: Placed pitcher Jered Weaver on the DL with back spasms.
Indians: Placed DH Travis Hafner on the DL with a knee injury.
Padres: Signed pitcher Jason Marquis to a minor league deal.
Phillies: Placed pitcher Roy Halladay on the DL with a shoulder strain.
Rangers: Signed pitcher Roy Oswalt.
Twins: Returned outfielder Erik Komatsu, a rule 5 pick, to the Nationals.
Yankees: Claimed reliever Ryota Igarashi off waivers from the Blue Jays.

A 3-2 road trip to this point has allowed the Brewers to gain a couple of games in the standings on the Astros, who have lost four straight. A win and an Astro loss tonight would tie the Brewers for fourth place in the division. You know this and more if you've read this morning's edition of Around the NL Central.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to cover up this bite mark.

Drink up.