Some things to read while innovating.
The most unlikely of outcomes is exactly what we saw this week, as the struggling Brewers swept a three game set against the red hot Reds at Miller Park. Rubie Q has a recap of yesterday's finale, if you missed it. The Crew has now won six straight home games to go with nine consecutive road losses.
Carlos Gomez was the offensive hero for the Brewers yesterday as he either scored the run, drove it in or both on all three Brewer tallies. Gomez is a .276/.333/.521 hitter since July 1, prompting The Common Man of The Platoon Advantage to say this:
But if he's turned himself into a league average hitter by cutting down on his strikeouts and changing his swing to generate more power (small sample size applies, obviously), you're looking at an all star caliber CFer.
I feel like we've said things like this about Gomez before, but hopefully it's true this time. Gomez, by the way, circled the bases in roughly 19.5 seconds following his home run.
It was a series of firsts for the Brewers this week, capped by Jean Segura's first Brewer hit yesterday. BrewGIFs has a look at his infield single. He also picked up his first RBI and Jim Henderson was awarded his first major league save on Tuesday.
Henderson followed up major league save #1 on Tuesday with #2 yesterday. John Axford called him "a pretty wicked Canadian." Here's what Matthew Pouliot of Hardball Talk said about his sudden contributions to this team:
"The Brewers probably aren't really looking at him as any sort of fixture in the closer's role, but with the way he's throwing, there's reason to think he could be a useful piece in the pen beyond this season."
Marc Normandin of Baseball Nation has a look at Henderson, Fiers and Marco Estrada, three late 20's pitchers making an impact for the Brewers this season despite being early in their MLB careers. Dave Cameron of FanGraphs asks if you'd rather have Fiers or Marco Estrada for the rest of their careers. David Golebiewski of Baseball Analytics is the latest to look at Fiers' remarkable fastball.
Fiers, of course, made headlines by carrying a perfect game into the seventh inning on Tuesday. He was the first Brewer to do that since Ben Sheets in 2006. Fiers has a 1.90 ERA through 12 starts, the lowest mark at that point of any pitcher in Brewer franchise history.
Other notes from the field:
- Yesterday's win was just the second time all year the Brewers have won when trailing after seven innings.
- Ryan Braun drove in Carlos Gomez with a double to give the Brewers the lead yesterday and snap an 0-for-18 slump.
- Norichika Aoki had two of the Brewers' six hits yesterday and now has a hit in eleven straight games, tied for the fifth longest streak by a Brewer this season.
- The Reds have tied a season-high with four consecutive losses.
- Reds relievers had allowed just one run in 17.1 innings in August before Jonathan Broxton gave up two yesterday.
- Aramis Ramirez's home run Tuesday was estimated at 425 feet by the team and 413 feet by Hit Tracker. Either way, he rounded the bases in 23.58 seconds.
- Randy Wolf threw a 49 mph curveball yesterday, the slowest pitch thrown in all of baseball this season.
- The Italian won Wednesday's sausage race, with the Brat taking a close race on Tuesday.
The Brewers are off today but resume play with an epic struggle tomorrow, as they drag a nine-game road losing streak into Houston to face baseball's worst team. Zack Meisel has the MLB.com preview.
Aramis Ramirez went 0-for-2 yesterday but drew a pair of walks. Jeremy Warnemuende says he's proving to be a worthy replacement in the Brewer lineup behind Ryan Braun.
Meanwhile, Jean Segura went 1-for-10 while starting all three games at shortstop in his debut series. Mike Newman of FanGraphs says Segura "is likely to need additional seasoning at the minor league level before cementing himself as an everyday player."
Despite not going on the DL, Manny Parra has now been inactive for 15 days with irritation in his shoulder. He did, however, pitch a simulated game yesterday and could return to game action soon.
The Brewers may be off today but there's a game worth noting in Appleton, where (weather permitting) Shaun Marcum will make a rehab start for Wisconsin as they take on Cedar Rapids.
Elsewhere in the minors:
- The Brewers put two top prospect pitchers, Jed Bradley and John Hellweg, on the DL yesterday to limit their innings. Hellweg may still return and pitch in relief, but Bradley is likely done for the season.
- The affiliates went 2-4 last night with one win coming from Huntsville, where Hunter Morris went 2-for-4 with a home run and drove in four runs in the Stars' 7-2 win over Tennessee. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Rattler Radio has "highlights," if you'd like to call them that, from Wisconsin's 15-1 loss to Cedar Rapids.
- Baseball America notes that the Brewers' player development contracts with Huntsville and Nashville expire this winter but says change is unlikely in both cities.
- Josh Weir of CantonRep.com has a story on Brevard County reliever Eric Marzec, who is done for the season after contracting mono.
- Bruce Gallaudet of The Davis Enterprise has a feature on Helena catcher Mike Turay. (h/t to @Mass_Haas for the last two links.
The Brewers' next homestand is a little lacking in pizzazz as they welcome in the Phillies and Cubs, two teams that enter play today a combined 34 games under .500. Don Walker of the Journal Sentinel notes that tickets for the Cubs series are available on Groupon this week.
If you'd like more Brewer coverage today but you're sick of reading, I'll be making my weekly appearance on The Home Stretch with Justin Hull on AM 1570/95.3 FM The Score in Appleton at 4 pm today. I'll be there for most of an hour taking your calls and Tweets, so listen in live and join the conversation.
Finally, congratulations are due out this morning to mls4, yesterday's winner in our SB Nation Pick 6 contest. Here's the full leaderboard:
The deadline to make your picks for today was 11:10, but there's still time to make your picks for tomorrow.
Astros: Designated pitcher Juan Abreu for assignment and placed outfielder Jordan Schafer on the DL with a separated shoulder.
Blue Jays: Placed third baseman Brett Lawrie on the DL with an oblique injury and announced that pitcher Andrew Carpenter has rejected an outright assignment to the minors and is now a free agent.
Giants: Placed pitcher Shane Loux on the DL with a neck strain.
Indians: Designated infielder Jose Lopez for assignment.
Marlins: Placed infielder Donnie Murphy on the DL with a hamstring strain.
Rangers: Intend to release catcher Yorvit Torrealba.
Rays: Designated infielder Brooks Conrad for assignment.
Red Sox: Placed pitcher Vicente Padilla on the DL with a groin strain.
- George Kottaras homered off Zack Greinke in the A's/Angels game yesterday.
- Francisco Cordero passed the written test and is close to becoming a US citizen.
- Richard Barbieri of The Hardball Times has Ted Simmons and Rollie Fingers on his all-August birthday team.
This is one of the more fascinating things I've read today: Jeff Zimmerman of Royals Review once had a written interview for a position as a Data Analyst with the Diamondbacks, and posted the questions along with his answers.
In baseball economics:
- The Astrodome has been around since the 1960's and has been vacant for more than a decade but the city of Houston still owes $29 million on the financing for its construction.
- The Astros, by the way, are looking to expand their reach into Mexico and could start playing spring training games there as soon as 2014.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks 1990s Brewer Scott Karl's 41st birthday. Today is also 1980s Brewer Ted Simmons' 63rd birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his 39 career HBP are the second most ever for a player born on August 9.
Now, if you'll excuse me, more study is needed.