Some things to read while math is on your side.
I'm not sure what you say after you spend several days talking up the importance of a road trip, and then the team goes out and lays an egg. The Brewers were non-competitive for three straight days in Cincinnati this weekend, capped off by a 5-1 loss to the Reds yesterday. Noah has the recap if you missed it. The Brewers have now lost each of their last eight games against NL Central opponents.
Yesterday's game may have been decided in the second inning when Reds rookie outfielder Donald Lutz hit his first career home run, giving Cincinnati a 3-0 lead. After the game the Brewers credited Lutz for hitting a good pitch.
Mike Fiers pitched two innings and allowed a single run yesterday in his first appearance in a Brewer game since April 16. Fiers was recalled following Saturday's game when Tom Gorzelanny had to go on the DL with shoulder tendonitis. It's a bittersweet return to the majors for Fiers, who had been in Florida where his mother is in the hospital.
Elsewhere in roster moves, the Brewers have a few days left before they have to make a decision on Francisco Rodriguez. He's been promoted to Nashville and will pitch there Monday and Tuesday with Doug Melvin in attendance.
Other notes from the field:
- Bronson Arroyo was sick yesterday, which explains why he was only able to hold the Brewers scoreless for 6.2 innings.
- When Bronson Arroyo hit Logan Schafer with a pitch yesterday, it was the 100th time a Red has hit a Brewer. Plunk Everyone has more on this accomplishment.
- Mike Vassallo has a picture of Jean Segura's pink cleats from Sunday.
- Blake Lalli was under consideration to pitch on Saturday following Hiram Burgos' short start.
- The Brew Crew Project has a series recap.
Here are this weekend's home run distances (via Hit Tracker) and trot times (Friday and Saturday via Larry Granillo):
|Friday||Jean Segura||360 feet||18 seconds|
|Friday||Ryan Braun||409 feet||24 seconds|
|Saturday||Jean Segura||370 feet||19.5 seconds|
|Saturday||Norichika Aoki||392 feet||22.57 seconds|
At least we have this: If anything can fix the 2013 Brewers, it's a four game set against a Pirates team they've owned in recent years. Marco Estrada takes on A.J. Burnett at 6:05, and Joey Nowak has the MLB.com preview. Mike Vassallo notes that, as bad as the Brewers have been, they're still undefeated on Mondays.
It's tough to tell what to expect from Marco Estrada today, as he's been bumped back in the rotation after struggling recently. Estrada threw an extra bullpen session during the time off and told Adam McCalvy his confidence is back.
With that said, the Brewers may have to look for a win without Ryan Braun. He told Adam McCalvy he may take a day to rest today. He went 0-for-4 yesterday and snapped his 12 game hitting streak.
Carlos Gomez was out of the starting lineup yesterday but told Adam McCalvy it was just a routine day off. He's our Brewer of the Week for the second consecutive week. Over at Baseball Nation, Grant Brisbee has a look at how Gomez will annoy other teams in the future.
With Aramis Ramirez out of the lineup, Yuniesky Betancourt batted cleanup yesterday and went 2-for-4 to snap an 0-for-15 skid. I've been tepid at best in my support of the "Yuni for All Star" campaign, but I think Michael Clair of Old Time Family Baseball nailed one possible reason to vote for him:
I do like random statistical blips, especially for utility infielders, and I do enjoy chaos, so perhaps we all should vote Yuniesky Betancourt to the All-Star game and see what kind of mess that makes.
The middle game of this weekend's series was almost certainly the worst one, as Hiram Burgos became just the fourth pitcher in franchise history to allow 12 runs in an outing. Tom Haudricourt talked to Ron Roenicke about his decision to leave a young pitcher in there to get knocked around.
Aggressive play remains a hot topic of conversation around the Brewers this season. Tim Muma of Brewers Mix says outs on the bases are out of control under Ron Roenicke.
If you're counting on Corey Hart to help turn this team around, you may have to keep waiting. Adam McCalvy talked to Hart about his rehab and discovered the first baseman isn't sure if he'll be ready to play when he's eligible to come off the DL on May 30.
It's hard to find much positive to say about this team right now, so perhaps we should look to history to find something to feel good about. Tom Stadler of The Book of Gorman has part one of a list of Doug Melvin's best moves.
Elsewhere in looks back, Tom Oates of Madison.com handed out 2012-13 awards over the weekend and said Ryan Braun was 2012's top individual performer, Aramis Ramirez was the state's best debut, the Zack Greinke trade was the best personnel move and John Axford was the state's biggest bust.
In the minors:
- The affiliates went 1-2 yesterday but neither of the losses were Khris Davis's fault: He homered twice in Nashville's 6-5 loss to Sacramento. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has video highlights from Wisconsin's 8-3 loss to Burlington.
- Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem has an interview with Brewers minor league pitching coordinator Rick Tomlin.
Back in Milwaukee, the Brewers were up early this morning placing sausages around the Miller Park parking lots for their "Where's Polish?" giveaway. The lots were opened at 5 am and by 6:30 everything was cleaned out.
We're down to three days left to pick up your tickets for Miller Park Drunk's 2013 Pants Party, and he still needs your help to fund the best tailgate party of the summer. Looking at the recent funders I see that Dikembe Meiztombo will be there, which is awesome because he still owes me two bottles of good mustard.
Angels: Placed pitcher Tommy Hanson on the restricted list.
Astros: Designated pitcher Phil Humber for assignment.
Blue Jays: Placed outfielder Rajai Davis on the DL with an oblique strain.
Braves: Signed pitcher Kameron Loe to a minor league deal.
Cardinals: Placed pitcher Jake Westbrook on the DL with elbow inflammation.
Cubs: Are expected to sign first baseman Anthony Rizzo to a seven year, $41 million contract extension.
Nationals: Placed outfielder Jayson Werth on the DL with a strained hamstring.
Padres: Designated pitcher Fautino De Los Santos for assignment.
Rays: Placed pitcher Brandon Gomez on the DL with a lat strain.
Red Sox: Placed catcher David Ross on the seven-day DL with a concussion.
Reds: Designated catcher Corky Miller for assignment.
Rockies: Placed outfielder Michael Cuddyer on the DL with a bulging disc in his back.
Yankees: Placed infielder Eduardo Nunez on the DL with sore ribs.
Let's look around the NL Central:
- The Cardinals took two of three from the Rockies this weekend but the lone loss came yesterday, as Jorge De La Rosa shut them out for seven innings en route to an 8-2 final score.
- The Pirates are back up to five games over .500 after sweeping the Mets this weekend. Jeanmar Gomez and four relievers combined to hold New York to just four hits in a 3-2 win yesterday.
- The Cubs won a series against the Nationals over the weekend, and scored single runs in the eighth and ninth innings to take a 2-1 win yesterday. Kevin Gregg pitched a perfect ninth for his sixth save.
Here are today's updated standings and probables:
|Cardinals||23||13||--||v NYM||6:05p||Lance Lynn v Jeremy Hefner|
|Pirates||21||16||2.5||v MIL||6:05p||A.J. Burnett v Marco Estrada|
|Cubs||15||22||8.5||v COL||7:05p||Travis Wood v Juan Nicasio|
Jason Linden of The Hardball Times has an update on the Central to this point.
Today in baseball economics: When the Marlins built their new ballpark they added retail space to four new parking garages, but their recent fire sale and low attendance have made that less-than-prime territory. Fish Stripes reports that "not a single business is operating in the 8,500 square feet of retail space available in three of the four garages fronting the ballpark."
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the 39th anniversary of former Seattle Pilot and inaugural Brewer Mike Hegan's return to Milwaukee in 1974. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also been 57 years since Warren Spahn homered and pitched a complete game shutout in a 15-0 win over the Reds in 1956, 54 years since Spahn's 250th career win in 1959 and 2000 days since the Brewers signed Jason Kendall as a free agent.
Speaking of Spahn, Joe Posnanski has a great look at the Braves' decision to avoid having him face the Dodgers for several years.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need a flashlight.