Some things to read while making sure they heard you.
The Brewers' improbable run towards the playoffs continued yesterday behind a strong outing from Wily Peralta and two home runs from Ryan Braun as they beat the Mets 3-0. Hangwith'em Rach has the recap, if you missed it.
It's worth noting that yesterday was only Wily Peralta's third major league start, but his dominant performance has given us a fair amount to get excited about. Peralta pitched eight innings yesterday for the first time since 2010 and allowed just two hits and a walk while striking out five. Adam McCalvy says Ryan Braun said "I look at his stuff, I don't know how he's not the top prospect in baseball."
Meanwhile, Peralta was also the subject of a Carson Cistulli tweet I'm awarding Tweet of the Day status:
If Wily Peralta's body type is any indication, they did NOT break the mold after making Livan Hernandez.— Carson Cistulli (@cistulli) September 16, 2012
Of course, Peralta got some help from his defense yesterday. BrewGIFs has captured Carlos Gomez's leaping grab against the wall in the seventh inning.
The Brewers scored three runs yesterday on three solo home runs, including the 200th and 201st of Ryan Braun's career. The 200th made him the fifth fastest active player to reach that mark, and the 201st tied him with Cecil Cooper for fifth on the franchise's all time list. The 201st was also his 40th of 2012, and he now has the seventh 40 HR season in franchise history. Jon Heyman says Braun "has to be in" the NL MVP debate but still says Giants catcher Buster Posey is probably the favorite.
Braun, by the way, traded a signed bat and some other memorabilia for the ball from his 200th home run.
Aramis Ramirez followed Ryan Braun's 200th home run with a moon shot of his own, which Hit Tracker Online says traveled 458 feet and was the longest home run in baseball yesterday. Carson Cistulli of NotGraphs has a gif of Ramirez's reaction. You can see full video of the play here. Dave Cameron of FanGraphs notes that Ramirez's weighted runs created (wRC+) has been better than David Wright's this season.
Other notes from the field:
- The Brewers are two games over .500 for the first time since they were 4-2 and are above fourth place for the first time since May 12.
- John Axford recorded the save yesterday and now has 100 for his career. He's one save away from joining Dan Plesac as the only Brewers ever to record back-to-back 30 save campaigns.
- Ryan Kartje of FS Wisconsin has a story on Axford leading the bullpen back to respectability.
- One of Wily Peralta's strikeouts yesterday was the Brewers' 1259th of the season, setting a new franchise record.
- Peralta also collected his first MLB hit yesterday, a double. John Steinmiller has a picture of the baseball.
- Hangwith'em Rach has a transcript of Ron Roenicke's postgame comments.
- Yesterday was Aramis Ramirez bobblehead day.
- The Brat won Friday's sausage race, with the Chorizo winning on Sunday. No results were posted from Saturday's race.
The Brewers are off today but resume play tomorrow as the hottest team in baseball, winners of 20 of their last 26 games. Here are some notes on the playoff chase the Brewers have streaked their way back into:
- Jon Morosi notes that it's possible the Greinke-less Brewers could make the playoffs while Zack Greinke and the Angels do not.
- Jeff Passan of Yahoo echoed something I said last week: This playoff race is exciting, but having .500 teams in play also makes things feel a bit watered-down.
- We've got up-to-the-minute (at the moment, anyway) standings in our Wild Card Update.
Things only get tougher from here, though, as the Brewers depart tomorrow on a ten game, ten day road trip that will take them to Pittsburgh, Washington and Cincinnati. Grant Brisbee of Baseball Nation has a look at the gauntlet the Brewers have to run to remain in contention. Jake Kaplan of MLB.com has a preview of Yovani Gallardo's start against A.J. Burnett tomorrow.
The Pirates have bumped James McDonald from their rotation and the Brewers will swap Yovani Gallardo and Marco Estrada this week, so here are the expected pitching matchups:
|Tuesday||Yovani Gallardo||A.J. Burnett|
|Wednesday||Marco Estrada||Kyle McPherson|
|Thursday||Mike Fiers||Wandy Rodriguez|
Ron Roenicke also told Adam McCalvy that there will be more adjustments made after the Pirates series.
The Pirates won't face Shaun Marcum this week, but the Nationals are expected to over the weekend. Marcum was able to finish just four innings against the Mets on Saturday and has been ineffective since coming off the DL, but Ron Roenicke says he's planning on sticking with him in the rotation.
Meanwhile, the Pirates and Nationals both might not face Corey Hart. Hart suffered a setback in his recovery from his foot injury and was unable to finish baserunning drills over the weekend. His return date is still up in the air.
Rickie Weeks had a hit yesterday and three over the weekend, including his 20th home run of the season on Saturday. He's our reigning Brewer of the Week for the second time this season and the second time in five weeks.
Like that smell coming from the back corner of your refrigerator, Tony La Russa will never go away. In his new book he's got some pointed remarks about Nyjer Morgan that show that he'll never quit whining. He's still holding a grudge against Keith Law, too.
Ron Roenicke, by the way, praised Morgan for the way he's handled his reduced role with the team this season.
In the minors:
- The 2012 minor league season ended with a bang yesterday as Wisconsin beat Fort Wayne 4-2 to clinch the Midwest League championship (FanShot). Morineko has more about the game in today's Minor League Notes.
- The Fort Wayne Press Gazette has video of the game's final out. (h/t @CMehring)
- The Midwest League season just ended, but the Instructional League season in Arizona opens tomorrow. Adam McCalvy notes that the Brewers' top nine picks from the 2012 draft will all be there, including first rounders Victor Roache and Clint Coulter.
- Coulter, by the way, was the Rookie league catcher in Baseball America's Classification All Stars. He's the only Brewer to make a team at any level.
Finally, congratulations are due out this morning to arails4, yesterday's winner in our SB Nation Pick 6 contest. Here's the full leaderboard:
Today's action starts at 1:10, so you're running out of time to make your picks for today.
Dodgers: Extended general manager Ned Coletti's contract.
Tigers: Placed outfielder Ryan Raburn on the DL with a strained right quad.
Today in former Brewers:
- The Royals have called up pitcher Jake Odorizzi, and he's expected to make his major league debut this weekend.
- David Golebiewski of Baseball Analytics notes that Carlos Villanueva's 24.2% swing-and-miss rate is the 12th highest among major league starters this season.
Above we mentioned that the Brewers set a new franchise record for strikeouts this season. This would be the year to do it: Baseball In-Depth notes that big leaguers are averaging 7.47 strikeouts per nine innings this season, up from 7.1 in 2011.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the first anniversary of a 10-1 Brewer win over the Reds in 2011 where Yovani Gallardo collected 13 strikeouts. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times also notes all of these milestones:
- It's been 4000 days since Devon White's final major league game as a member of the 2001 Brewers.
- It's been 20 years since Jose Valentin's major league debut in 1992.
- It's been 27 years since Rollie Fingers' final major league game in 1985.
- It's been 29 years since Don Money's final major league game in 1983.
- It's been 36 years since the Brewers held "Hank Aaron Day" at County Stadium in 1976.
- It's been 50 years since Warren Spahn became the winningest lefthanded pitcher of all time in 1962.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to hand off my leftovers.