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Wednesday's Frosty Fireworks

July 3, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA;  Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez (16) celebrates hitting a 2-run home run in the 10th inning to beat  the Miami Marlins 13-12 at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE
July 3, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez (16) celebrates hitting a 2-run home run in the 10th inning to beat the Miami Marlins 13-12 at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

Some things to read while taking one for the team.

If you missed yesterday's game you missed a superheated roller coaster, as the Brewers took a seven run lead, blew said lead, fell behind in the tenth and walked off with a 13-12 win on Aramis Ramirez's home run. We've got the recap here, if you missed it, and You Can't Predict Baseball also has more on it.

The Brewer bullpen may have been the big story yesterday, as six relievers combined to give up ten runs on ten hits (including four homers), walk three and hit a batter in just four innings. Jose Veras started the meltdown by allowing three runs in the seventh, but Adam McCalvy credited him for being willing to talk about it afterwards. Every member of the Brewer bullpen now has an ERA over 4.21.

Lost in the shuffle of yesterday's bullpen meltdown was one of the more interesting "on the bases" moments we've seen all season. Ryan Braun and Norichika Aoki scored runs within a split second of each other on Aramis Ramirez's third inning double when Aoki was fooled by an outfield deke but Braun kept running behind him. The Catlantis has a gif.

The video of that play is great, but this Braun quote from Jeremy Warnemuende's story might be even better:

As he approached the bag, Braun said he thought Ed Sedar was telling him to stop while sending Aoki home.

"But that wasn't happening, so fortunately it worked out well," Braun said.

My question is this: If two players are so close together that it's hard to wave one and stop the other at third, why on earth would you consider stopping one? If one can score and the other one is half a second behind, isn't it a no-brainer to send both?

The Marlins played yesterday's game without two of their stars, as Hanley Ramirez and Giancarlo Stanton each sat out for the day with knee soreness. Stanton is expected back in the lineup today, but I haven't heard anything regarding Ramirez.

It wouldn't be an Ozzie Guillen series without more ranting from MLB's loudest manager. He threw another tantrum after yesterday's loss. (h/t BBTF)

Other notes from the field:

The Brewers have a chance to clinch another series victory today when Randy Wolf takes on Josh Johnson at 3:10. Tom Green has the preview.

If the Brewers can win today they'll be back within three games of .500 for the first time since May 12. They've been four games under six times since then: On May 13, May 15, June 8, June 10, June 22 and now July 3.

We suspected this was coming but it was made official yesterday: Ryan Braun will start the All Star Game after Matt Kemp was removed from the roster due to injury (FanShot). Chipper Jones will take Kemp's spot on the roster and celebrated with his first five hit game in a decade. His last four hit game came against the Brewers in June of 2009.

Another day, another collection of Zack Greinke notes:

  • Jon Heyman says the Brewers and Greinke have not had any recent developments in their contract talks.
  • Jon Morosi reports the Brewers have a special assignment scout watching Frisco, the Rangers' AA affiliate.
  • Mark Bowman of says the Braves have "the willingness and the flexibility" to make a Greinke deal.
  • Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi (via MLB Daily Dish) report the Yankees are not interested.

If Greinke is traded this month then this problem may become moot, but as long as he's on the roster the Brewers face a pending rotation decision with Mike Fiers and Marco Estrada facing off for one spot. Reviewing the Brew has a look at the situation.

No Brewers were hit by pitches yesterday, which is somewhat unusual. Plunk Everyone notes that Rickie Weeks and Nyjer Morgan are two of just 13 active players averaging more than 20 HBP per 1000 plate appearances.

Jonathan Lucroy has been out for quite some time now with his broken hand, but we finally have a timetable for his return. Assuming all goes as planned he's expected to rejoin the team for a trip to Cincinnati on July 20.

Of course, Lucroy's absence has been softened by the play of Martin Maldonado, who had a hit yesterday and is now hitting .266/.324/.436 in 32 games. Adam McCalvy has a story on his three bunt singles.

In the minors:

If you're headed out to today's game be prepared for heat and perhaps a little rain. The Brewers have adjusted their roof policy and will attempt to get by without closing the roof even if it rains this week. With this week's extreme temperatures it gets stiflingly hot inside once the roof is closed.

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

Rank Player Points
1 jarlbartar 86.2
2 Samuel1 82.8
3 coolig 72.9
4 sjlee 72.7
5 Jeo 72.1
6 Cecil Cooper's Love Child 66.6
7 GoGregGo 65.7
8 Kiev 'n Rice 65.4
9 texwestern 64.7
10 proachinf 62.2

Today's action starts at 10:05(!), so you're already running out of time to make your picks for today.

Around baseball:

Athletics: Designated pitcher Brian Fuentes for assignment.
Dodgers: Todd Coffey needs Tommy John surgery and is out for the season.
Nationals: Placed pitcher Chien-Ming Wang on the DL with a hip strain. Also, outfielder Xavier Paul has opted out of his minor league deal and is now a free agent.
Orioles: Placed second baseman Brian Roberts on the DL with a groin injury.
Red Sox: Placed pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka on the DL with a neck strain.
Tigers: Designated infielder/outfielder Matt Young for assignment.
White Sox: Are expected to place pitcher Jesse Crain on the DL with a shoulder strain.

Fuentes was the subject of our inaugural installment of Freely* Available Talent.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to check my oven.

Drink up.