Some things to read while singing "Reunited."
The Brewers dropped their seventh consecutive game last night, and for the first time in a while it wasn't even close. They lost 8-2 to the Nationals, and morineko has the recap if you missed it. Larry Granillo of Baseball Prospectus wonders if the Brewers are in an everlasting nightmare.
Yesterday's big story may have come in the eighth inning, when Tyler Thornburg left the game with the trainer a few pitches into his second inning of work. His outing ended seconds after I had finished typing this tweet:
So now Tyler Thornburg is pitching multiple innings on the second of back-to-back appearances. They're determined to break him.— Brew Crew Ball (@BrewCrewBall) July 27, 2012
The Brewers' management of Thornburg over the last few weeks has been somewhere between "head scratching" and "criminal." Consider this pattern of usage:
- Thornburg missed most of the month of June, wrapped around a single spot start for the Brewers and an appearance for Nashville.
- On July 14 he pitched two innings in relief.
- On July 18 he pitched 4.2 innings and threw 103 pitches on short rest.
- On Tuesday he'd accumulated five days rest, so he threw a side session.
- On Wednesday he pitched a scoreless inning in relief.
Thursday, the Brewers took a 23-year-old top prospect with almost no experience pitching in relief and had him throw for the third consecutive day. And he finally broke down when they tried to send him out for multiple innings. I'm almost certain the Brewers aren't actually trying to injure one of their most valuable prospects, but if they were this is how you'd do it: Inconsistent work, long layoffs and overuse.
The Brewers appear to have dodged a bullet, as the team says Thornburg left the game with "arm fatigue." Rubie Q points out, though, that Shaun Marcum has been out for over six weeks with "a little tightness" in his elbow.
Thornburg's ill-fated appearance followed a perfect sixth inning from Jim Henderson in his major league debut. Reviewing the Brew has more on Henderson, while @Mass_Haas notes that he'll likely be the last former Expos draft pick to make his major league debut.
Elsewhere in bullpen notes: Before the game last night Ron Roenicke told reporters he's going to move to closer by committee in an attempt to address his team's recent ninth inning struggles. Of course, when you play like they did last night the closer role really isn't an issue.
Other notes from the field:
- The Brewers had won eight straight home games against the Nationals before last night's loss, and hadn't dropped a home game against Washington since July 28, 2009.
- Rickie Weeks was hit by a pitch yesterday for the second consecutive day and has now been hit 103 times in his career. Plunk Everyone has more.
- We've got video from Ron Roenicke's postgame comments.
- The Chorizo won the sausage race.
The Brewers will get another chance to snap their seven game losing streak tonight when Mike Fiers takes on Ross Detwiler at 7:10. Mike Flammeta of MLB.com has the preview.
Joe Block points out that Michael Fiers' ERA through his first nine starts is actually lower than one-time rookie phenom Mark Fidrych's. You really can't overstate how good Fiers has been, especially when compared to expectations.
The Brewers made a series of roster moves yesterday: First, Jonathan Lucroy was activated off the DL. He caught seven innings last night and went 1-for-3, and both of his outs were hard hit balls to the outfield.
Second, as alluded to above, Jim Henderson was called up from Nashville. Last night's game was his first in the big leagues after 313 appearances over ten seasons as a member of three organizations in the minors. Henderson is wearing #51.
The Brewers cleared one roster spot by returning Jeff Bianchi to AAA. Bianchi went 0-for-12 in limited opportunities as a Brewer, and @Mass_Haas notes that this is his final option year.
Finally, the Brewers made room for Lucroy by designating George Kottaras for assignment. He's remaining in Milwaukee while Doug Melvin tries to work out a trade to keep him in the majors.
Meanwhile, the tires keep spinning on the Zack Greinke Trade Express. Here are today's notes:
- Doug Melvin's tone seemed to change a bit on Greinke yesterday, as he either implied or flat-out said to several sources that Greinke will be traded before Tuesday's non-waiver deadline.
- Howie Magner notes that Melvin said Greinke is "like a son" to him.
- Grant Brisbee of Baseball Nation and Jon Heyman evaluated the field of contenders for Greinke's services.
- Jerry Crasnick of ESPN thinks the Rangers will eventually get Greinke.
- Danny Knobler of CBS says the White Sox "still seem completely focused on trying to get Greinke."
- Mark Bowman of MLB.com says the Braves are continuing to evaluate Greinke.
- The Nationals aren't expecting to face Greinke when his spot in the rotation comes up on Sunday.
Elsewhere in trade notes, Aramis Ramirez's name keeps coming up too. McCovey Chronicles says he'd be a bad fit for the Giants, who have nowhere to play him.
In the minors:
- The affiliates went 3-1 last night and starting pitchers Chad Pierce, Josh Stinson and Wily Peralta combined to allow just three earned runs with 21 strikeouts over 19 innings in wins for Wisconsin, Huntsville and Nashville. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Wisconsin infielder Brandon Macias tied a franchise record by being hit by his 18th pitch last night.
- Mitch Stetter has been promoted from Huntsville to Nashville to fill Jim Henderson's roster spot.
If you're headed out to tonight's game and would like a distraction from what could potentially be more bad baseball, the Chef's Table on the loge level is serving "DC TaKorean Food Truck Tangy Chicken Tacos."
If you'd like more Brewer coverage today but you're sick of reading, I've got a couple of options for you:
- I'll be making my weekly appearance on The Home Stretch With Justin Hull on 95.3 FM/AM 1570 The Score in Appleton at 2 pm today. I'll be live in studio taking your questions with Justin and special guest co-host Brett Christopherson of the Appleton Post Crescent.
- I'll also be appearing on The Watercooler with Jimmie Kaska on Sports Radio 1400 in Eau Claire sometime during the 5 pm hour.
Finally, congratulations are due out to baldywi, yesterday's winner in our SB Nation Pick 6 Contest. Here's the full leaderboard:
|10||Cecil Cooper's Love Child||36.3|
Tonight's action starts at 1:20, so there's still plenty of time to make your picks for today.
Angels: Released pitcher Trevor Bell.
Dodgers: Placed infielder Adam Kennedy on the DL with a groin strain.
Mets: Released pitcher Miguel Batista.
Phillies: Placed third baseman Placido Polanco on the DL with a back injury.
Twins: Are expected to place pitcher Anthony Swarzak on the DL with a rotator cuff strain.
Today in former Brewers: Reviewing the Brew has a team of Brewers they miss from the 2000s.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need another nap.