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Tuesday's Frosty Mug: On to Texas

We're getting ready for a Texas two-game in today's roundup of all things Brewers.

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Ronald Martinez

Some things to read while getting full.

The Brewers were off yesterday but resume play in Texas tonight with 44 games remaining on the schedule. If you needed some motivation to stick with this team down the stretch, Adam McCalvy has six things to watch for.

Martin Maldonado probably won't be behind the plate for tonight's opener in Texas, but this stat will make you wonder if he should be: Yesterday Noah looked at the differences between how Maldonado and Jonathan Lucroy handle Wily Peralta, and also noted on Twitter that Brewer pitchers have a 2.80 ERA when throwing to Maldy this season.

Improved pitching hasn't been enough to get the Brewers out of the cellar, though: Jonah Keri of Grantland continues to rank them 27th in his power rankings.

Maldonado wasn't actually drafted by the Brewers (he was signed as a minor league free agent), but fellow catcher Jonathan Lucroy was. As part of our ongoing discussion about the merits and demerits of the Brewer development team Cheeseandcorn took a look at the Brewers' ability to find value in the draft's later rounds. In a related note, It's About The Money has a look at the current major leaguers drafted and developed by each franchise.

The Brewers also didn't draft Carlos Gomez, but they acquired him by trading a player they developed in-house (J.J. Hardy). Adam Wieser of Disciples of Uecker attempted to identify some of the reasons Gomez has struggled in the second half.

In the minors:

  • The affiliates went 1-4 yesterday and the lone win came from Wisconsin, where Austin Ross pitched six shutout innings in a 9-1 win over Quad Cities. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
  • Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has more from Wisconsin's win.
  • Wisconsin's big win yesterday is all the more impressive when you remember that it came against 2013 #1 overall pick Mark Appel. (h/t @CMehring)
  • As part of his All Questions Answered thread yesterday John Sickels of Minor League Ball predicted Tyler Thornburg can be "a competent fourth starter" but expressed some skepticism over Clint Coulter's ability to play good defense in the outfield if he doesn't stick behind the plate.
  • Will Wojcik of Disciples of Uecker has an interview with Nashville Sounds pitcher Jimmy Nelson.

If you haven't yet, please take a moment today to vote in this week's BCB Tracking Poll. It will remain open through the day today and results will be posted tomorrow.

Around baseball:

Diamondbacks: Placed outfielder Cody Ross on the DL with a dislocated hip.
Indians: Released 1B/3B Mark Reynolds.
Pirates: Signed catcher Kelly Shoppach to a minor league deal.
Rangers: Claimed infielder Adam Rosales off waivers from the A's.
Rays: Acquired reliever Wesley Wright from the Astros for cash.
Royals: Re-signed catcher Adam Moore to a contract for 2014.

Let's go around the NL Central:

  • The Reds gained half a game on the division leaders yesterday by beating the Cubs 2-0. Brandon Phillips' seventh inning homer broke the scoreless tie.
  • The Pirates, Cardinals and Brewers were all off Monday.

You can read more about yesterday's Cubs/Reds game and all of the day's action in Beyond the Box Score's Smallest Sample Size.

Here are today's standings and probables:

Team W L GB Today Time Matchup
Pirates 70 47 -- @ STL 7:15p Charlie Morton v Adam Wainwright
Cardinals 67 50 3 v PIT 7:15p
Reds 66 52 4.5 @ CHC 7:05p Homer Bailey v Jeff Samardzija
Cubs 52 66 18.5 v CIN 7:05p
Brewers 51 67 19.5 @ TEX 7:05p Marco Estrada v Alexi Ogando

The big story around baseball last night was Yu Darvish's near no-hitter for Texas, which is also the source of today's "today in umpiring" note. Darvish's perfect game bid ended on a pretty badly called ball, and home plate umpire Ron Kulpa compounded the mistake by ejecting Rangers catcher A.J. Pierzynski for arguing it.

Today in former Brewers: DRaysBay has an interview with 2008 Brewer and new Fox Sports 1 baseball analyst Gabe Kapler.

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the 34th anniversary of Ben Oglivie's walkoff, pinch hit home run to beat the Royals in 1979, one of just six in franchise history. Here are today's other bits of history:

  • Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that today is the 50th anniversary of Warren Spahn recording career strikeout #2382 to become the all-time lefty leader and the 22nd anniversary of Paul Molitor's first walkoff homer, and it's also been 4000 days since the Brewers traded Mark Loretta to the Astros.
  • Today is La Crosse, Wisconsin native and UW-Oshkosh alum Jarrod Washburn's 39th birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his 65 career plunkings are the most ever for a player born on August 13.
  • Today is also Corey Patterson's 34th birthday, and his 31 career HBP are the fourth most ever for a player born on this day.

Finally, yesterday we mentioned that longtime Milwaukee baseball great Johnny Logan had passed away. His funeral is scheduled for Thursday at 3 pm at the Chapel of the Chimes at Wisconsin Memorial Park.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm just hanging out in the airport.

Drink up.