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Monday's Frosty Mug: Return and regroup

The Brewers are back home today following a tough road trip, and we've got all the details in today's news roundup.

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Some things to read while throwing it all away.

The Brewers salvaged the last game of what was otherwise a terrible weekend series in St. Louis yesterday, coming from behind to beat the Cardinals 4-3 in ten innings. Eric has the recap, if you missed it. Ryan Braun called it "as improbable a victory as I have been a part of."

Before scoring four runs in the final three innings yesterday, the Brewers set a franchise record by going 32 consecutive innings without pushing a run across. Joe Block points out that the last time the Brewers went 30+ innings without scoring a run they were facing Orioles greats Jim Palmer, Dave McNally, Doyle Alexander and Mike Cuellar. Block also notes that the Brewers have now started a new streak.

It's hard to believe we're saying things like this when most of the last week has been dreadful, but Jaymes Langrehr points out that the Brewers are coming home off a 2-3 road trip, which really isn't that bad.

Other notes from the field:

The Brewers are back in Milwaukee and off today before opening a series against the Giants at Miller Park tomorrow. Wily Peralta will face Barry Zito in the first of a three-game set, and Cash Kruth has the preview.

The Brewers have really been struggling to score runs without Corey Hart and Aramis Ramirez, but it doesn't look like that problem's going to get better in the short term future. According to Ramirez is still "a few weeks away" from being able to run again after spraining his knee, and of course Hart is still on the 60-day DL through May. Nathan Petrashek is optimistic, though, saying this team "is fully capable of treading water for the next month or so." Dave Radcliffe of Yahoo has a look at what the Brewers have to do to hold on until they're back to full strength.

By the time Ramirez is ready to return, it's possible another 2012 Brewer could be back on the roster. Jon Heyman is reporting that the Brewers are one of the teams that's inquired about Francisco Rodriguez, who remains a free agent after posting a 4.38 ERA and getting into legal issues in Milwaukee last season.

Meanwhile, Norichika Aoki had a hit again yesterday and continues to carry much of the load in Hart and Ramirez's absences. He's now hitting .333/.396/.479 out of the leadoff spot and is our reigning Brewer of the Week.

Once the Brewers get past their series with the Giants, the Cubs come to town on Friday for what has traditionally been one of the more unbearable series of the season at Miller Park. Brewer executive Rick Schlesinger talked to Adam McCalvy over the weekend in an effort to convince fans that things are different now. Friday night's game was the 81st and final game selected when my group held our season ticket draft in March.

In the minors:

  • The affiliates went 1-2 yesterday and Cameron Garfield went 2-for-3 with a triple in Brevard County's 2-1 win over Clearwater. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.

Around baseball:

Angels: Placed shortstop Erick Aybar (bruised heel) and pitcher Kevin Jepsen (triceps strain) on the DL and signed pitcher Kip Wells to a minor league deal.
Athletics: Placed outfielder Yoenis Cespedes on the DL with a hand sprain.
Blue Jays: Placed shortstop Jose Reyes on the DL with a severe ankle sprain.
Cubs: Placed pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa on the DL with a forearm strain, claimed reliever Kameron Loe off waivers from the Mariners and signed reliever Kevin Gregg to a minor league deal.
Diamondbacks: Placed outfielder Jason Kubel on the DL with a quad strain.
Indians: Pitcher Carlos Carrasco has been suspended for eight games for throwing at Yankees infielder Kevin Youkilis on Tuesday.
Marlins: Signed pitcher David Aardsma to a minor league deal.
Nationals: Placed catcher Wilson Ramos on the 15-day DL with a hamstring strain.
Orioles: Claimed pitcher Alex Burnett off waivers from the Blue Jays.
Padres: Designated infielder Cody Ransom for assignment.
Pirates: Designated pitcher Chris Leroux for assignment.
Reds: Are expected to place pitcher Johnny Cueto on the DL with a lat strain.
White Sox: Placed infielder Angel Sanchez on the DL with a back strain and designated pitcher Charlie Leesman for assignment.

Here's this morning's NL Central update:

  • The Pirates are now winners of five of six and beat the Reds 10-7 yesterday to complete a three game sweep. It was the first time this season they've scored more than six runs, and only the fourth time they've scored more than three. (Bucs Dugout recap)
  • The Cubs took a lead into the ninth inning but the Giants got a home run from Hunter Pence to tie the game and scored three more in the tenth to win 10-7. The winning run scored on a Shawn Camp balk. (Bleed Cubbie Blue recap)
  • And, of course, the Brewers avoided a sweep in St. Louis with a 4-3 win over the Cardinals.

So here are the new standings and today's probables:

Team W L GB Today Time Matchup
Cardinals 7 5 -- @ PIT 6:05 pm Lance Lynn v. James McDonald
Pirates 6 6 1 v STL 6:05 pm
Reds 5 7 2 v PHI 6:10 pm Bronson Arroyo v. Cliff Lee
Cubs 4 8 3 OFF
Brewers 3 8 3.5 OFF

Today in former Brewers: Rob Neyer has an excerpt about Gorman Thomas from Tom Haudricourt's new book.

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the 26th anniversary of Juan Nieves throwing the only no-hitter in franchise history. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also the 61st anniversary of longtime Milwaukee Brave Eddie Mathews' major league debut. It's also 1996-2001 Brewer Jeromy Burnitz's 44th birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his 78 career HBP are the most ever for a player born on April 15.

Finally, today is Jackie Robinson Day around baseball, although the Brewers are one of several teams that are off and will celebrate it tomorrow. For much more on Robinson and his lasting legacy around baseball, check out's roundup of content from around the network.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need a hug.

Drink up.