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Monday's Frosty Mug: The Battle of Who Can Win Less

Two disappointing teams open a series at Miller Park Monday as the Brewers host the Dodgers. We'll get you ready for that and more in today's daily news roundup.

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Dilip Vishwanat

Some things to read while jumping.

The Brewers wrapped up a dreadful road trip with a 4-2 loss to the Cardinals yesterday, No one wanted to recap the loss, so we've just got an open thread to talk about it.

One big inning doomed Kyle Lohse yesterday, as he allowed four runs in the fourth inning and picked up his fifth loss. He also had a minor confrontation with Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and third base coach Jose Oquendo, although no one wanted to talk about it after the game. Adam McCalvy also asked Lohse about some poor body language after the big inning, but Lohse just blamed it on the heat.

A day after starting at second and getting the game-winning hit on Saturday, Jeff Bianchi was back in the lineup at third base and went 2-for-4. Aramis Ramirez got the day off, and Adam McCalvy notes that he continues to be limited by his knee injuries.

Other notes from the field:

It won't take long to wrap up this weekend's home runs (with help from Hit Tracker Online and Wezen-Ball):

Day Player Distance Trot Time
Friday Aramis Ramirez #1 377 feet 26.43 seconds
Friday Aramis Ramirez #2 419 feet 24.86 seconds
Saturday No home runs
Sunday No home runs

Ramirez's trots, by the way, were the two slowest of the day in all of baseball on Friday.

The Brewers returned home last night and will open a series with the Dodgers at Miller Park tonight. Yovani Gallardo will take on Clayton Kershaw at 7:10, and Tyler Emerick has the preview. Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs gave tonight's matchup a six out of ten on his NERD scale.

There's an outside chance that by the time the Dodgers take the field tonight they'll have announced a managerial change. Rumors have been circulating that they could fire Don Mattingly today, although the club has stated publicly that's not the case. If a firing was going to happen one would assume they'd do it before the team flew to Milwaukee, not after.

Jonathan Lucroy got the day off yesterday but is still hitting just .175/.244/.225 in May and .215/.276/.339 for the season. Adam Wieser of Disciples of Uecker has a look at Lucroy's rough first quarter of the season, but also notes that his struggles aren't as plainly apparently as Rickie Weeks. It's also worth pointing out that Lucroy is hitting just .221 on balls in play.

Speaking of Weeks, he got a pair of days off on the road trip after starting every game for the first month and a half of the season. Ron Roenicke told Todd Rosiak he's going to play matchups at second base for a while.

By the way, for as maligned as Weeks and others have been, it's worth noting that no Brewers made Rob Neyer of Baseball Nation's list of MLB's ten worst hitters.

Elsewhere in poor hitting, Yuniesky Betancourt went 1-for-3 with a walk yesterday but is still hitting just .100/.143/.125 in his last eleven games. He recently shaved off his mohawk in an effort to change his fortunes, and gave this quote to Adam McCalvy:

Asked about the source of his sudden slump, Betancourt said, "I'm swinging too much at balls off of the zone. I feel a little off. The last days, I feel a little tired. But the last two days I feel much better. [I am] seeing the ball and I'm getting my timing back."

While we're talking about struggles, we might as well mention Michael Gonzalez, who allowed a key hit to a lefty Saturday night and is allowing same-handed hitters to go 10-for-32 against him this season. He talked to Adam McCalvy about doing his only job better.

One other lefty option could be on his way back soon: Chris Narveson pitched a 40-pitch bullpen session on Saturday and could be close to heading out on a rehab assignment. Ron Roenicke hasn't decided if he'll use Narveson as a starter or a reliever once he's ready to pitch again.

Meanwhile, Jean Segura had two more hits yesterday and enters play today leading the NL with a .364 batting average. He's our reigning Brewer of the Week, a title either he or Carlos Gomez have held for five consecutive weeks now. He was also guilty of one of the week's worst swings, according to Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs. His recent performance has Jonathan Mayo of thinking back to his time as a prospect.

I know the Brewers' rough start has many of us ready to punt the 2013 season, but that comes with a pretty significant financial impact. @Mass_Haas estimates that an attendance drop could cost the Brewers something like $25-30 million over the course of the year. In a related note, Ken Woolums of Beyond the Box Score notes that Milwaukee is both the majors' smallest city and has its lowest GDP.

In the minors:

Back in Milwaukee, while the Brewers were in St. Louis Saturday night Miller Park hosted a Kenny Chesney concert. The Milwaukee Business Journal has photos from the event and called it a "big money hit" for the Brewers.

If you weren't around the site this weekend you might have missed Nicole's look at the Brewers' upcoming "Brewed for Her" event, a 3000+ word takedown of the team's decision to replace the popular "Brewers All-Access for Women" event with an event that focuses much less on baseball and more on "girly" things. Enrique Bakemeyer of The Brewers Bar has a response that seems to be largely centered around the fact that he asked his sister and she's not offended, so it must be ok.

Around baseball:

Angels: Claimed third baseman Chris Nelson off waivers from the Yankees and designated outfielder Scott Cousins and pitcher Barry Enright for assignment.
Athletics: Designated first baseman Daric Barton and reliever Chris Resop for assignment.
Blue Jays: Claimed pitcher Thad Weber off waivers from the Padres.
Braves: Placed reliever Eric O'Flaherty (torn UCL) and reliever Jordan Walden (shoulder inflammation) on the DL and signed reliever Joe Beimel to a minor league deal.
Cardinals: Placed pitcher Jaime Garcia on the DL with a shoulder impingement.
Cubs: Are expected to designate pitcher Michael Bowden for assignment.
Marlins: Designated pitcher Jon Rauch for assignment.
Nationals: Placed catcher Wilson Ramos on the DL with a hamstring strain.
Orioles: Placed outfielder Nolan Reimold on the DL with a hamstring strain.
Rangers: Placed second baseman Ian Kinsler (intercostal strain) and pitcher Alexi Ogando (biceps tendonitis) on the DL.
Rays: Placed pitcher David Price on the DL with a triceps strain.
Royals: Placed outfielder Jarrod Dyson on the DL with an ankle sprain.
Yankees: Acquired infielder Reid Brignac from the Rockies for cash and designated infielder Alberto Gonzalez for assignment.

With Garcia hitting the DL, the Cardinals will now move forward with three rookie pitchers in their rotation: Shelby Miller, John Gast (who pitched yesterday) and Tyler Lyons, who will start on Wednesday.

Let's go around the NL Central:

  • Aroldis Chapman allowed a pair of ninth inning home runs as the Phillies walked off with a 3-2 win over the Reds. Chapman has two blown saves on the season, but they've come in his last two outings.
  • Jeff Locke and the Pirates outdueled Lucas Harrell and the Astros in a 1-0 victory. Pedro Alvarez's solo home run was the difference in the game.
  • The Mets came from behind to beat the Cubs 4-3, tying the game in the seventh on rookie Juan Lagares' first MLB home run.
  • The Cardinals, of course, beat the Brewers 4-2.

Here are today's standings and probables:

Team W L GB Today Time Matchup
Cardinals 28 15 -- @SDP 9:10p Shelby Miller v Jason Marquis
Reds 26 18 2.5 @ NYM 6:10p Johnny Cueto v Shaun Marcum
Pirates 26 18 2.5 OFF
Cubs 18 25 10 OFF
Brewers 17 25 10.5 v LAD 7:10p Yovani Gallardo v Clayton Kershaw

Today in former Brewers: Carlos Villanueva is out of the rotation with the Cubs and Ned Yost is still doing the same kind of stuff in Kansas City that we complained about when he was in Milwaukee. Meanwhile, Jake Odorizzi will make his Rays debut today.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to eat a banana while I still can.

Drink up.