Some things to read while sitting quietly.
The Brewers are back within a game of .500 this morning and they're undefeated in interleague play after riding a big first inning to a 6-3 win over the Rangers last night. Nicole has the recap, if you missed it.
It's worth noting that last night's late innings represented a slight change from the Brewers' recent setup patterns. Tom Gorzelanny pitched a hitless seventh inning and was followed to the mound by Brandon Kintzler (not John Axford or Burke Badenhop) in the eighth. Kintzler allowed a hit but nothing else while getting the ball to Jim Henderson.
Gorzelanny, by the way, has now appeared in 18 of the Brewers' 31 games to this point. He's on pace to make 94 appearances this season after setting a career high with 45 in 2012. This is only his second full season as a reliever.
Carlos Gomez drove in a pair of runs with his first inning double last night, extending his hitting streak to 13 games. It's the longest streak by a Brewer since Norichika Aoki snapped his 15-game streak last July. Joel Sherman of the New York Post says Gomez turned out to be the best player in the Mets' trade for Johan Santana.
Despite his hot streak, don't be surprised if Gomez gets a night off tonight. Tom Haudricourt reports that he had an ice pack on his bruised left hand after being hit by a pitch last night. Home plate umpire Laz Diaz ruled that the ball hit Gomez's bat.
Other notes from the field:
- Yuniesky Betancourt's first inning home run gave him eight on the season, and he now leads the Brewers in that category.
- Ryan Braun's first inning RBI single gave him a hit in 29 consecutive interleague games.
- Rickie Weeks went 1-for-3 with a walk and has reached base safely in 18 consecutive games despite the fact that he's hitting just .197/.338/.295 over that stretch. He's drawn a walk in seven of his last eight games.
- We've got video from Ron Roenicke's postgame comments.
- Rangers catcher A.J. Pierzynski was scratched from the lineup with a "tight" right oblique.
- The Italian won the sausage race.
The brief series against the Rangers wraps up tonight when Kyle Lohse takes on Derek Holland at 7:10. AJ Cassavell has the MLB.com preview.
Aramis Ramirez is expected back in the lineup today after hitting a solo home run last night. Unless something changes he'll be playing in back-to-back games for the first time since early April. He played seven innings last night before being lifted for a defensive replacement.
Hopefully today we'll see a continuation of the Yuniesky Betancourt Golden (Hands) Era. Doug Melvin was asked about Yuni on FS Wisconsin last night and my wife captured the following quote:
Melvin: "I've always liked Yuni...he's got a great personality."— Laura Lobner (@MrsBrewCrewBall) May 8, 2013
Norichika Aoki had a pair of hits last night and enters play Wednesday batting .276/.359/.405 through 30 games, a line roughly comparable to his .288/.355/.433 mark from a year ago. Christina Kahrl of ESPN has a look at the value he's brought to the Brewer organization, while David Schoenfield uses him as part of a case for the current era as a golden age of leadoff hitters.
Mitch Moreland took Wily Peralta deep last night and Brewer pitchers have now allowed 42 home runs in 31 games this season, including 20 times in their current 4-8 stretch. J.P. Breen of Disciples of Uecker has more to back up the assertion that home runs have been a problem.
Moving on to other problems, despite the fact that he's been better lately Rickie Weeks continues to be a hot topic of conversation. Nathan Petrashek of Cream City Cables was asked about Weeks on the radio yesterday and has the latest reminder of why the Brewers haven't made a move at the position.
Jean Segura singled and doubled last night and remains one of the most consistent Brewers. Entering play yesterday Bill Chuck of Baseball Analytics noted that Segura was hitting .333 both at home and on the road in 2013, giving him the NL's most symmetrical line.
This week's pair of off days allowed the Brewers to shuffle their rotation a bit and as a result Hiram Burgos is available out of the bullpen for a few days. He's not expected to be needed as a starter until either May 12 or 14.
In the minors:
- The affiliates went 0-3 last night but it wasn't Robinzon Diaz's fault: He had three hits and finished a triple shy of the cycle in Huntsville's 8-3 loss to Jackson. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- The most-discussed outing in the organization last night probably belongs to Francisco Rodriguez, who pitched a hitless inning with two strikeouts and a walk in his debut appearance for Brevard County.
- Elsewhere in Florida, Mike Fiers will start for Brevard County this morning after being moved down from Nashville this week. He's been sent to the Manatees to be closer to home while dealing with a family issue, and the organization hopes he'll be back in AAA for his next start.
- Meanwhile, the news is not good for Mark Rogers. He allowed a home run and a four-pitch walk to back-to-back batters for Huntsville yesterday before walking off the field with the trainer.
- Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem has interviews with Sounds outfielder Khris Davis, reliever Donovan Hand and manager Mike Guerrero.
- Wisconsin was off yesterday, and pitcher Eric Semmelhack spent the evening at Fridays in Miller Park.
It's time for my daily reminder that there's still a few days left to sign up to attend Miller Park Drunk's Pants Party 3, the hottest tailgate party of the summer. If you needed more convincing, MPD has more convincing. Yesterday I mentioned that Nicole, Hangwith'em Rach and I will be in attendance, and today I can tell you that Nathan Petrashek will be too.
Marlins: Placed second baseman Donovan Solano on the DL with an intercostal strain.
Pirates: Placed pitcher James McDonald on the DL with shoulder discomfort.
Red Sox: Placed reliever Joel Hanrahan on the DL with forearm inflammation.
White Sox: Claimed first baseman Mike McDade off waivers from the Indians.
Meanwhile, the baseball world is thinking of Blue Jays pitcher J.A. Happ this morning. He was carted off the field on a stretcher after being hit in the head by a liner last night and remains in the hospital. The news particularly caught the attention of Brevard County reliever Tommy Toledo, who was injured in a similar incident while in college at Florida.
Let's look around the NL Central:
- The Cubs slowed down the red-hot Cardinals with a 2-1 win powered by a Nate Schierholtz home run and Travis Wood's solid 6.2 innings.
- Dusty Baker picked up career managerial win #1600 as the Reds scored two in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Braves 5-4. Cincinnati got back-to-back home runs from Devin Mesoraco and Shin-Soo Choo with two outs in the final frame.
- The Pirates also picked up a game in the standings with a 4-1 win over the Mariners. Jason Grilli picked up his MLB leading 13th save, and has closed out all but five of his team's wins.
- The Brewers, of course, beat the Rangers 6-3 to snap a five game losing streak.
So, all told, everyone gains a game on the Cardinals. Here are today's standings and probables:
|Cardinals||20||12||--||@ CHC||1:20p||Jake Westbrook v Carlos Villanueva|
|Reds||19||15||2||v ATL||11:35a||Mike Leake v Mike Minor|
|Pirates||18||14||2||v SEA||11:35a||A.J. Burnett v Felix Hernandez|
|Brewers||15||16||4.5||v TEX||7:10||Kyle Lohse v Derek Holland|
In former Brewers: Joe Posnanski attempted to understand a recent Ned Yost quote and spent about a thousand words arriving at the conclusion that Yost "has gotta raise his game" as skipper of the newly-contending Royals.
Today in baseball economics: The Marlins, in year two of their new facility, are going to start tarping off the upper deck for weeknight home games next week. The Brewers are scheduled to visit Miami for a Friday-Sunday series on July 19-21.
Say what you will about Marlins Park, but at least we can be certain it's structurally sound. Jason Brannon of of Baseball Nation caught a disconcerting quote from a recent Will Leitch podcast about the construction of the new Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need another fish.