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Friday's Frosty Mug: Back to baseball

The Brewers are back in action tonight after a pair of days off, and we'll get you ready in our daily news roundup.

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Dilip Vishwanat

Some things to read while rinsing off.

After back-to-back off days the Brewers are back in action tonight, traveling to St. Louis to take on the Cardinals. Kyle Lohse will take on Shelby Miller and his former teammates at 7:15 and Paul Casella has the preview.

At least the weather should be better today. The Weather Channel shows a dry forecast for St. Louis today and tonight, although temperatures may drop into the 30's during the game.

By the way, the Brewers and Cardinals will be using special Stan Musial logo baseball's during tonight's contest. Joe Block has a picture.

Wednesday's rainout was a welcome development for many of the Brewers who are nursing minor injuries or have simply been overused in the season's first week. The game will be made up as the afternoon portion of a day-night doubleheader on July 30.

However, another prolonged stretch without baseball came at the worst time for John Axford, as it gave fans two days to continue to discuss his prolonged struggles. Joe Block told WTMJ he sees Axford's fastball getting hit pretty hard, but thinks his slider looked ok on Tuesday. The Book of Gorman asks why Ron Roenicke still trusts Axford after his extended issues.

Looking back on the abbreviated Cubs series, Tom Stadler of The Book of Gorman named Wily Peralta the series MVP. Vineet Barot of Disciples of Uecker says Peralta is the key for the Brewers to have a winning season.

The extra days off this week aren't that big of a change for Khris Davis, who has logged just eleven plate appearances in the season's first eight games. Jim Polzin of the Wisconsin State Journal has a look at Davis' adjustment to life in the big leagues.

This week's postponement and off day gave everyone a little more time to spend on social media, and Matt Hoffman's latest Twitter roundup has a look at the various topics the Brewers have been discussing.

In the minors:

  • The Brewer system was marred by rainouts yesterday, but Brevard County still picked up a 2-0 win over Lakeland despite getting just one hit. You can read more about that in today's Minor League Notes.
  • Noted leisured gentleman Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs listed both Hunter Morris and Tyler Thornburg among the early PCL leaders in his SCOUT stat.
  • Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has photos of icy conditions at Fox Cities Stadium that led to Wisconsin postponing games on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and now today.

In power rankings: Tim Brown of Yahoo has the Brewers at 26, down five spots.

If you'd like more Brewer coverage today but you're sick of reading, I'll be appearing on the Generic Sports Show with Justin Hull on 95.3 FM WSCO in Appleton at noon today. I'll be spending most of an hour in studio taking your calls, emails, tweets and more.

Finally, a quick site note in case you missed it yesterday: We've decided to cancel this weekend's scheduled meetup to view "42" on Saturday. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Around baseball:

Athletics: Infielder Scott Sizemore has a torn ACL and is out for the season.
Blue Jays: Claimed outfielder Casper Wells off waivers from the Mariners and designated pitcher Alex Burnett for assignment.
Braves: Acquired pitcher Luis Ayala from the Orioles for a minor league pitcher.
Mariners: Acquired pitcher Aaron Harang from the Rockies for a minor leaguer, placed outfielder Michael Saunders on the DL with a shoulder injury and designated pitchers Kameron Loe and D.J. Mitchell for assignment.
Rangers: Placed pitcher Matt Harrison on the DL with a back injury.
Red Sox: Placed pitcher John Lackey on the DL with a biceps strain.
Reds: Placed reliever Sean Marshall on the DL with shoulder tendonitis.

Today's NL Central scoreboard will be brief, as the Cubs were the only team in action yesterday and lost 7-6 to the Giants (Bleed Cubbie Blue recap). Here are the updated standings and probables for Friday:

Team W L GB Today Time Matchup
Reds 5 4 -- @ PIT 6:05 pm Mike Leake v. A.J. Burnett
Cardinals 5 4 -- v MIL 7:15 pm Shelby Miller v. Kyle Lohse
Cubs 3 5 1.5 v. SFG 1:20 pm Carlos Villanueva v. Matt Cain
Pirates 3 6 2 v CIN 6:05 pm
Brewers 2 6 2.5 @ STL 7:15 pm

Somehow, despite the fact that no one in the Central won last night, CoolStandings has downgraded the Brewer playoff chances from 15.5 to 15.3%.

The big news around baseball yesterday came late last night in San Diego, where an altercation followed after Zack Greinke hit Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin with a pitch and led to Greinke breaking his collarbone.

Elsewhere in former Brewers:

While the Brewers move on to St. Louis for a weekend series, the Twins are headed home to host the Mets at snowy Target Field. The Associated Press has a look at the challenges the Twins face to get their ballpark ready for games.

Today in baseball economics: The Red Sox's streak of 820 consecutive sellouts at Fenway Park came to an end this week.

Brewer batters have struck out 66 times in eight games this season, but that's only the tenth-highest total in the National League. Baseball In-Depth has a look at the explosion in strikeout rates across baseball, with teams on a record pace at 7.76 K's per nine innings this season.

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the 12th anniversary of Jose Hernandez tying the Brewer franchise record by driving in seven runs in a game on 2001. Today also would have been Wisconsin native Addie Joss' 133th birthday, and yesterday Chris Jensen of Baseball: State by State named him Wisconsin's best April-born player.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm getting off this bus.

Drink up.