Some things to read in public.
The Brewers dropped to 9-19 in day games this season with a pretty lackluster effort, losing 7-2 to the Cubs yesterday to fall back into sole possession of last place in the NL Central. We've got the recap, if you missed it.
With that said, Brewer relievers did a great job again yesterday with four scoreless innings. Mike Vassallo notes that they posted a 0.39 ERA on the homestand.
The Brewers got a successful major league debut from Sean Halton yesterday, who singled as a pinch hitter in the fifth inning. Halton was called up when Scooter Gennett was sent to the minors following Tuesday's game. Nathan Petrashek of Cream City Cables has a post mortem on the "Great Grindy Scooter Experiment."
Other notes from the field:
- Rickie Weeks went 1-for-4 yesterday to extend his hitting streak to a career-high eleven games overall and 19 consecutive starts.
- Weeks was also hit by a pitch yesterday for the 112th time in his career. Plunk Everyone has more on the accomplishment.
- Jean Segura also had a hit yesterday and has a ten-game streak. Overall he has hits in 20 of 21 games.
- The Hot Dog won the Sausage Race. Big League Stew has a story on the 20th anniversary of cased meat athletic competitions.
The Brewers move onto Pittsburgh tonight for a pretty fascinating pitching matchup, as Johnny Hellweg will make his major league debut against top prospect Gerrit Cole at 6:05. Stephen Petrella has the MLB.com preview.
Let's put a bow on the Cubs series with home run distances and trot times with help from Hit Tracker and Wezen-ball (Wednesday here, Tuesday and Thursday here):
|Tuesday||Juan Francisco||353 feet||21.74 seconds|
|Tuesday||Rickie Weeks #1||380 feet||21.42 seconds|
|Tuesday||Rickie Weeks #2||424 feet||22.68 seconds|
|Wednesday||Juan Francisco||383 feet||21.99 seconds|
|Wednesday||Aramis Ramirez||392 feet||23.25 seconds|
|Thursday||Juan Francisco||384 feet||20.07 seconds|
Despite getting three home runs in three days from Juan Francisco, Brewer first basemen are still hitting just .187/.230/.322 on the season. That's the worst team OPS at the position since 1947.
Yuniesky Betancourt is, of course, a large part of that problem. His pinch-hit appearance in the ninth yesterday preserved this stat: The Brewers are now 26-45 when Yuni appears in a game, and 6-0 when he doesn't. Nullacct has a FanPost looking at the decision to continue to play him, and The Brew Crew Project has a look at the disparity between Yuni as a person and a ballplayer.
Meanwhile, the trade rumor mill continues to spin. Ken Rosenthal says the Brewers have been getting calls about Francisco Rodriguez, John Axford, Michael Gonzalez and, to a lesser extent, Yovani Gallardo. Rosenthal also suggests (via MLBTR) that the Diamondbacks are interested in Gallardo as a long term option. Enrique Bakemeyer of The Brewers Bar has a look at the challenges of trading a longtime star. Ryan Topp of Disciples of Uecker has a look at potential Brewer trade partners around the NL.
Considering position players, Norichika Aoki could also be an interesting trade candidate. David Manel of Bucs Dugout listed him as one of four right field options for the Pirates, while Mike Bauman of MLB.com noted Aoki's lack of strikeouts as an indication that he "plays the game the way it is supposed to be played."
He's not mentioned above, but Kyle Lohse is another name that could draw attention in the coming months. Buster Olney reports that scouts are evaluating him as a possible trade target. I was against the Lohse signing at the time and I'm still lukewarm at best on it, but if Doug Melvin can flip him for prospects it'll be one of his more impressive "something from nothing" moments.
Carlos Gomez, on the other hand, isn't going anywhere. He's expected to be back in the lineup tonight after missing the Cubs series with a shoulder strain. Michael Pina of The Brewers Bar explores the possibility that he could be the NL's most valuable player.
While Gomez gets healthy, Marco Estrada and Alfredo Figaro are still taking the long way back to the majors. Both are headed to Arizona to continue rehab.
The Brewers may be one of the trade deadline's more interesting teams, but on the field they're not much to look at right now. David Schoenfield of ESPN ranked them 25th in his "fascination factor."
They're also not very pedestrian friendly. Noted leisured gentleman Carson Cistulli of NotGraphs noted that Miller Park ranks 29th among all MLB ballparks in Walk Score.
In the minors:
- Congratulations are due out this morning to Nashville pitcher Jimmy Nelson, who has been named to the US Roster for the All Star Futures Game. Nelson has a 2.79 ERA in 15 starts this season between AA and AAA and has struck out 9.3 batters per nine innings.
- Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has a recap from Wisconsin's 5-4, eleven inning win over Clinton last night.
- Benjamin Hill of MiLB.com has part two of the recap of his visit to Wisconsin, and this portion of the story has infinitely more about me in it.
Blue Jays: Placed outfielder Melky Cabrera on the DL with knee tendonitis.
Phillies: Acquired infielder John McDonald from the Indians for a PTBNL.
Rockies: Signed infielder Reid Brignac to a minor league deal.
Let's go around the NL Central:
- The Cubs, of course, beat the Brewers 7-2.
- The Cardinals, Pirates and Reds were all off Thursday.
Here are today's standings and probables:
|Cardinals||48||30||--||@ OAK||9:05p||Shelby Miller v Bartolo Colon|
|Pirates||48||30||--||v MIL||6:05p||Gerrit Cole v Johnny Hellweg|
|Reds||45||34||3.5||@ TEX||7:05p||Johnny Cueto v Martin Perez|
|Cubs||33||44||14.5||@ SEA||9:10p||Travis Wood Hisashi Iwakuma|
Today in former Brewers: Alcides Escobar is hitting .254/.282/.338 for the Royals entering play Friday, and Joe Posnanski is pleading with Ned Yost to bat him ninth.
It may just be the fact that I haven't had breakfast yet, but this story on food options at Citi Field is making me want to go to the All Star Game. Immediately. (h/t Metsblog)
It's a silly comic, but it makes a really interesting point: Cubie Rue explores the possibility that fewer Cubs day games on WGN will lead to fewer Cubs fans in the decades to come.
No matter how bad the 2013 season has been at times, at least the Brewers haven't reached the "things are on fire" stage yet. The Diamondbacks and Nationals played on in the eleventh inning last night despite a fire at the top of one of the light towers.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks outfielder and Brewer single-game hit record-holder Kevin Reimer's 49th birthday. Here are today's other bits of history:
- Today is 2006 Brewer Corey Koskie's 40th birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his 56 career HBP are the fourth most ever for a player born on June 28.
- It's also 1970 Brewer Al Downing's 72nd birthday, and his 31 plunkings are the most ever for a pitcher born on this day.
Now, if you'll excuse me, it's almost done.