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Monday's Frosty Mug: Back from the coast

The Brewers are back home tonight following a 3-3 west coast road trip, and we're talking about that and more in our (mostly) daily news roundup.

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Some things to read while rotting your brain.

A west coast road trip that got off to a promising start ended with a whimper on Sunday as Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers shut out the Brewers 2-0. Noah has the recap, if you missed it.

The Brewers' lone win in the Dodgers series came on Saturday, when Yuniesky Betancourt batted cleanup for the first time in his life. He was back down in the #7 spot and went 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts yesterday. As part of their series recap The Brew Crew Project noted that the Brewers are undefeated with Yuni batting fourth, but it's worth noting that they're also 1-0 when he doesn't play at all.

Saturday's win was also played without Jean Segura, who sat out a day after a batting practice ground ball separated a fingernail from a finger on his throwing hand. Segura was back in the lineup Sunday and had one of just four Brewer hits. He's our reigning Brewer of the Week and also one of just four Brewers in franchise history to record a stolen base in five consecutive games.

Other notes from the field:

Here's this weekend's home run roundup, with help from Hit Tracker Online and Larry Granillo of Baseball Prospectus:

Day Batter Distance Trot Time
Friday Yuniesky Betancourt 397 feet 20.89 seconds
Friday Ryan Braun 389 feet 22.72 seconds
Saturday Carlos Gomez 405 feet 18.77 seconds
Saturday Martin Maldonado 394 feet 21.58 seconds
Sunday No home runs

Looking ahead, the Brewers are back in action at home tonight as they open a series with the first place Pirates (weird, right?) at 7:10. William Boor has the preview, and noted leisured gentleman Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs gave the Yovani Gallardo/Wandy Rodriguez matchup a five out of ten on his NERD scale. A win tonight or tomorrow would give the Brewers a winning month of April.

That winning month would be especially impressive when you consider the hole the Brewers dug themselves early in the month. Tim Brown of Yahoo talked to Carlos Gomez and Jim Henderson, two players from completely disparate backgrounds who have each played significant roles in the turnaround.

Don't be surprised if the Brewers make a roster move before today's game. There's apparently a meeting scheduled for today to discuss Khris Davis and Josh Prince, who remain on the roster despite having been almost completely unused lately. Davis' strikeout yesterday was his first at bat in a week. One of these two will almost certainly be optioned when Aramis Ramirez is ready to return.

Meanwhile, the closer role remains a question mark for another week. Last week Ron Roenicke suggested that Axford may return to the role sooner than later, but Axford himself said he thinks Jim Henderson should keep it for now. Henderson told reporters he's still looking for more efficiency in his outings. All of this (and some recent dietary mistakes) are causing some intestinal issues for Rubie Q.

Elsewhere in maladies, Rickie Weeks went 1-for-3 with a double yesterday but is still hitting just .172/.273/.264 through 99 plate appearances in 2013. 45% of voters in this Reviewing the Brew poll think Weeks should sit down for a couple of days.

Finally, we have an injury update on Chris Narveson. He played catch yesterday for the first time since going on the DL weeks ago, but remains a long way away from being ready to pitch in games.

In the minors:

Around baseball:

Angels: Placed pitcher Sean Burnett on the DL with left forearm irritation.
Athletics: Designated outfielder Casper Wells for assignment.
Blue Jays: Designated pitcher Aaron Laffey for assignment.
Cardinals: Placed first baseman Matt Adams on the DL with an oblique strain.
Dodgers: Placed pitcher Stephen Fife on the DL with shoulder bursitis.
Indians: Placed catcher Lou Marson on the DL with shoulder inflammation.
Orioles: Placed catcher Taylor Teagarden on the DL with a dislocated thumb and acquired catcher Chris Snyder from the Angels for pitcher Rob Delaney.
Phillies: Designated catcher Humberto Quintero for assignment.
Pirates: Pitcher Jonathan Sanchez has been suspended for six games for throwing at Cardinals first baseman Allen Craig on Friday, but plans to appeal.
Reds: Placed reliever Manny Parra on the DL with a strained pectoral.
Rockies: Designated infielder Chris Nelson for assignment.
White Sox: Placed pitcher Gavin Floyd on the DL with a strained forearm.

Sanchez, by the way, is still listed as the probable starter for Wednesday's game.

Here's today's NL Central update:

  • The Pirates enter play Monday in sole possession of first place following a 9-0 win over the Cardinals yesterday. Russell Martin had a pair of home runs in the victory.
  • The Reds snapped a streak of four straight losses by beating the Nationals 5-2, and pitcher Tony Cingrani tied a major league record by recording four strikeouts in the fourth inning.
  • The Marlins came from behind to beat the Cubs 6-4. Both Cubs pitchers used in the game (Carlos Villanueva and Kameron Loe) are former Brewers.
  • The Brewers, of course, lost 2-0 to the Dodgers.

Here are today's updated standings and probables:

Team W L GB Today Time Matchup
Pirates 15 10 -- @ MIL 7:10 pm Wandy Rodriguez v. Yovani Gallardo
Cardinals 14 10 .5 v CIN 7:15 pm Adam Wainwright v. Mat Latos
Reds 14 12 1.5 @ STL 7:15 pm
Brewers 12 11 2 v PIT 7:10 pm
Cubs 9 15 5.5 v SDP 7:05 pm Jeff Samardzija v. Clayton Richard

Today in former Brewers: Jim Baker of Baseball Nation spotted this Hank Aaron-endorsed wiffleball bat from the 1960's on Ebay.

Today in terrible umpiring: An incident started in Sunday's game when home plate umpire Tom Hallion yelled something at Rays pitcher David Price while Price was headed off the field following an inning. What Hallion said is a matter of dispute but doesn't change the fact that he's the one that provoked the confrontation.

As someone who enjoys keeping score when I'm at games, I've been frustrated this season by my inability to find a good scorebook that's not enormous, designed for softball/little league or both. So the Eephus League HalfLiner Scorebook Kickstarter came at the perfect time for me. I'm in for two. (h/t Old Time Family Baseball)

Elsewhere in user-funded events, Miller Park Drunk is turning to Indiegogo to fund their third annual Pants Party. They'll be tailgating at the June 23 game against the Braves, and if you go you'll see me there. I was literally the first person to sign up.

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks longtime Brewer reliever Bob McClure's 61st birthday. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes the following milestones:

  • It's been 1000 days since the Brewers beat the Cardinals 18-4, finishing off a two-game stretch where they scored 36 runs.
  • 33 years ago today Sal Bando had his 16th and final multi-homer game.
  • Today is the 60th anniversary of Milwaukee Braves first baseman Joe Adcock becoming the first player ever to homer into the center field bleachers at the Polo Grounds in New York, which were 475 feet from home plate.

Today also would have been Beloit College alum Amby McConnell's 130th birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his 27 career HBP are tied for the fourth most ever for a player born on April 29.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to look something up.

Drink up.