Some things to read while turning red.
If you skipped yesterday you missed a pretty exciting day of Brewers baseball, as late inning heroics in both games led to a doubleheader sweep of the Cubs. Khris Davis' pinch hit homer was the big story in a 6-5 win in game one, and Jeff Bianchi's two out, two run single in the ninth led to a 3-2 win in game two. Follow the previous links for Eric's recaps of both games, if you missed them.
It's possible the MVP of yesterday's sweep could be Jim Henderson, who became the first Brewer since Mike DeJean in 2003 to record two saves in the same day (Twitter link). Henderson threw 42 pitches between the outings yesterday but was still clocked at 99 mph on his fastball in the nightcap (Twitter link).
Unfortunately, even on a good day there's still some bad news. Yovani Gallardo left the first game yesterday in the fifth inning with a tight left hamstring and is headed back to Milwaukee to be evaluated by Dr. William Raasch (Twitter link). He's day-to-day at this point.
Other notes from the field:
- Donovan Hand and Scooter Gennett went to the Starbucks near Wrigley Field in full uniform between games (Twitter link).
- Gennett, by the way, was called up to serve as the Brewers' 26th man yesterday (Twitter link) and will likely head back to Nashville today.
The series wraps up with another night game tonight, as Wily Peralta takes on Edwin Jackson at 7:05. Kevin Massoth has the MLB.com preview.
Meanwhile, we are counting down the hours to the 2013 non-waiver trade deadline, which expires at 3 pm Central time today. The Brewers have gone out of their way to say they don't expect to make any moves, but of course one phone call is all it takes to change that. Jaymes Langrehr summed up the situation nicely in a two-part Tweet of the Day:
BREAKING: GM for team that's selling says offers aren't appealing, threatens to not sell. http://t.co/Ujui4YGeyx— Jaymes Langrehr (@JaymesL) July 30, 2013
That's what the "not motivated" line has always meant for Melvin. "No one is offering me anything that I'd want." Not "I'm not trying."— Jaymes Langrehr (@JaymesL) July 30, 2013
With that said, Keep Turnin' Up the Heat! is bracing for disappointment at the deadline.
If the Brewers do opt to make a move today, one of the players who could be on the move is John Axford. As part of his most recent podcast, Jonah Keri of Grantland sat down with Axford, Burke Badenhop and Jim Henderson to talk about life in the Brewer bullpen.
Ryan Braun, however, will almost certainly still be a Brewer at the end of the day. Mark Attanasio sent out an email to the fans yesterday to talk about the Braun situation and the Brewers' efforts to proactively respond. I was quoted in The Huffington Post's story about the $10 vouchers the team is giving out in August.
Aramis Ramirez's injury situation also makes it difficult for the Brewers to move him. He took batting practice on Monday but expressed frustration about his knee's slower-than-expected healing process.
Meanwhile, Caleb Gindl is making the most of his first extended big league opportunity. He had a pair of hits in game one yesterday, is now hitting .321/.390/.491 through 23 big league games and has multiple hits in each of his last four starts. Adam McCalvy has a story about his rise to prominence.
The Brewers may be winners of three straight and eight of 13 since the All Star break, but Jonah Keri still has them 27th in his weekly power rankings.
In the minors:
- The affiliates went 1-3 yesterday with the lone win coming from Nashville, where Josh Prince homered and Johnny Hellweg worked six scoreless innings in a 3-1 victory over Las Vegas. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Looking back a day, Marco Estrada pitched 2.2 innings for the AZL Brewers on Monday in his first game action since June 23. He's been on the DL for almost two months now.
- Disciples of Uecker has posted a midseason update to their list of the Brewers' top 30 prospects, and they've got Tyrone Taylor moving into the #1 spot.
- Congratulations are due out today to Wisconsin pitcher Preston Gainey, recently named the Midwest League Pitcher of the Week. He worked seven shutout innings and allowed just one hit in his start last Wednesday.
- Preparations are underway for the 2013 Arizona Fall League. This year the Brewers will be one of five teams sending prospects to the Surprise Saguaros for the prospect league (Twitter link).
- Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem has an interview with Sounds manager Mike Guerrero, who is back to work following a brief health scare on Sunday.
- David Temple of NotGraphs has a photo from "The Million Dollar Man" Ted Dibiase's visit to Wisconsin to go with a post that more or less confirms he's never been to Appleton.
Angels: Designated 1B/OF Brad Hawpe for assignment.
Athletics: Acquired infielder Alberto Callaspo from the Angels for second baseman Grant Green.
Braves: Acquired reliever Scott Downs from the Angels for a minor league pitcher, placed outfielder Reed Johnson on the disabled list with left achilles tendonitis and designated Kameron Loe for assignment.
Cardinals: Are expected to place catcher Yadier Molina on the DL with a knee injury.
Dodgers: Signed reliever Brian Wilson to a minor league deal.
Giants: Placed infielder Tony Abreu on the DL with a knee injury.
Indians: Acquired reliever Marc Rzepczynski from the Cardinals for a minor leaguer and designated pitcher Joe Martinez' for assignment.
Mariners: Designated outfielder Jason Bay for assignment.
Phillies: Designated outfielder Steve Susdorf for assignment.
Pirates: Placed catcher Michael McKenry on the DL with a knee injury.
Rays: Acquired reliever Jesse Crain from the White Sox for future considerations.
Red Sox: Acquired pitchers Jake Peavy and Brayan Villareal in a three-team trade that sent second baseman Jose Iglesias to the Tigers and outfielder Avisail Garcia and three minor leaguers to the White Sox.
Tigers: Acquired reliever Jose Veras from the Astros for a minor leaguer.
Let's go around the NL Central:
- The Pirates took over first place in the division in a big way yesterday, sweeping the Cardinals in a doubleheader at PNC Park. Alex Presley's walkoff single was the difference in a 2-1, eleven inning win in game one, and Brandon Cumpton pitched seven shutout innings for his first MLB win in game two.
- The Reds are now losers of five straight after falling 4-2 to the Padres last night. Will Venable went 3-for-3 with two doubles in the win for San Diego.
- The Brewers, of course, swept a pair of one-run decisions against the Cubs.
You can read more about all of these games and last night's action in Beyond the Box Score's Smallest Sample Size.
Here are today's updated standings and probables:
|Pirates||64||42||--||v STL||6:05p||Jeff Locke v Adam Wainwright|
|Reds||59||49||6||@ SDP||2:40p||Homer Bailey v Eric Stults|
|Cubs||48||58||16||v MIL||7:05p||Edwin Jackson v Wily Peralta|
Today in former Brewers: The Associated Press has a story on Nyjer Morgan, who appears to be playing well and loving life over in Japan.
On Monday I was saddened to report that early Brewers great George Scott had passed away at age 69. We've later learned that Scott was struggling with issues related to diabetes. There are a lot of stories about Scott floating around this week, but if you're so inclined I'd strongly recommend you check out Bruce Markusen of The Hardball Times and Leigh Montville of Sports on Earth's memories.
Today in Brewer History is off this morning, but Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times has three bits of history:
- Today is the 17th anniversary of the Brewers trading Greg Vaughn to the Padres in 1996.
- It's also the 24th anniversary of Robin Yount's 200th home run in 1989.
- Finally, it's the 59th anniversary of Joe Adcock hitting four homers and a double in a single game for the Milwaukee Braves in 1954.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I ate too many.