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Monday: The best around
We'll get you all the details on baseball's hottest team in today's roundup of all things Brewers.

Some things to read while taking it all in.

As we open Monday morning, the Brewers are still the hottest team in baseball, having completed a sweep over the Pittsburgh Pirates with a 4-1 victory on Sunday. Noah Jarosh of Brew Crew Ball has the recap from the Crew's ninth consecutive win.

As you might expect, the red-hot Brewers are a story all over baseball this morning. Here are some of my favorite entries on the subject:
With all of that said, Jaymes Langrehr took a little wind out of my sails with our Tweet of the Day:
If not for the winning streak, yesterday's top story would have been a remarkable outing for Kyle Lohse. He nearly went the distance and allowed a single run on four hits, walking none and recording nine strikeouts. At one point, he struck out five Pirates in a row, which is a pretty remarkable feat for a pitcher averaging just 5.7 strikeouts per nine innings for his career. Lohse now has 21 strikeouts in 20 2/3 innings this season.

Lohse was not, however, allowed to finish what he started. Ron Roenicke lifted him from the game with two outs in the ninth inning and inserted Will Smith, who struck out Pedro Alvarez on three pitches for his first MLB save (h/t @MikeVassallo13). Lohse was the first Brewer to pitch 8 2/3 innings in a game since Ben Sheets in May of 2008, and only the third since 2001.

Other notes from the field:
  • Kyle Lohse was hit in the left knee by a pitch from Charlie Morton of the Pirates in the fifth inning Sunday, making him the first Brewer pitcher to get plunked since Donovan Hand got hit last July. Plunk Everyone notes that Lohse has been hit four times in his career, making him the active leader among pitchers.
  • Carlos Gomez was credited with a TOOTBLAN (an acronym for "thrown out on the bases like a nincompoop") for a play in the seventh inning Sunday. He was caught off second base, then thrown out trying to score when the ball got away. He's now tied for the MLB lead with four on the season and has one in every series.
  • @jh_moore notes that the Brewers' aggressiveness is also paying dividends, though, as they led baseball in extra bases taken entering play Sunday.
  • Two runs scored in the sixth inning on Sunday when Scooter Gennett ran to first after a dropped third strike and Pirates catcher Tony Sanchez's throw sailed into right field. MLB.com has video of what they're calling a "Must C" play.
  • Elsewhere in unusual events, a pop up to Jonathan Lucroy turned into a 2-6-1 double play on Saturday, as Jim Henderson tagged out Starling Marte trying to score what would have been the go-ahead run in the eighth inning.
  • An inning later, the Brewers needed replay to confirm that Mark Reynolds had kept his foot on first base while laying out to catch a throw from Scooter Gennett to complete a double play.
  • Reynolds also had the weekend's longest home run, a 435-foot blast on Friday. Carlos Gomez had the weekend's fastest trot, coming home in 18.26 seconds after his leadoff shot on Saturday.
  • MLB.com has video from Ron Roenicke's postgame press conference Sunday.
  • With yesterday's win, Roenicke is now 28 games over .500 in four seasons as manager of the Brewers, the second-best mark in franchise history. He's passed George Bamberger (26), Tom Trebelhorn (25) and Buck Rodgers (22) in the last week.
  • Ryan Braun went 1-for-4 with a double on Sunday and now has a hit in seven consecutive games. That's the longest streak for a Brewer this season.
  • The Hot Dog won Friday and Sunday's Sausage Races, with Italian sneaking in a win in the middle on Saturday
  • As of this morning, Baseball Prospectus is giving the Brewers a 54 percent shot to make the playoffs. That number has gone up more than 20 percent in the last week.
The homestand continues with the Brewers looking for their 10th consecutive win tonight as they open a series with the Cardinals at 7:10 p.m. Matt Garza will take on Lance Lynn and the defending NL champions, and Matt Slovin has the MLB.com preview.

The Brewers will have to get through tonight's game and the next couple of weeks without Brandon Kintzler, who was placed on the DL before Sunday's game with what's being called a "mild" rotator cuff strain. Rob Wooten was recalled from Nashville, and J.R. Radcliffe of MLB.com talked to him about being the first minor leaguer to rejoin the team this season.

Francisco Rodriguez, on the other hand, could be back in action today after getting the day off on Sunday. J.R. Radcliffe has a look at how he's solidified his position as the Brewers' closer over the first couple of weeks. If K-Rod does pitch, keep an eye on his velocity: @alecdopp notes that his average fastball is sitting around 89 mph this season after being between 90-92 in each of the last six seasons. His abbreviated spring training could have something to do with this, though. 

Tyler Thornburg has also pitched his way into some high-leverage opportunities in the season's first two weeks, striking out 10 without issuing a walk in his first 7 2/3 innings of work. Derek Harvey of Brew Crew Ball has assigned him the label of Brewers bullpen ace.

Looking ahead a day, tomorrow is the anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier and becoming MLB's first black player. As has become tradition, every player will wear  No. 42 to mark the occasion. J.R. Radcliffe of MLB.com talked to Khris Davis about what it means to him to be able to honor Robinson's legacy.

In the minors:
Back in Milwaukee, if you were at Miller Park on Saturday night, you likely noticed that some rain was making it inside the ballpark through some leaks in the roof. The issue causing the leak has been identified and repairs are expected to be made over the weekend while the Brewers are in Pittsburgh. The team returns home a week from today for a six-game homestand with the Padres and Cubs.

If you were near the ballpark this weekend, you also may have gotten as many as a dozen opportunities to see the Brewers' new "Happy" music video. AK of Ron Roenicke Stole My Baseball has nine of his favorite screen captures from the project.
 
Today in power rankings and predictions:
If you'd like more Brewers coverage today but you're sick of reading, then you may be happy to know that I'll be guest hosting The Home Stretch on 95.3 FM WSCO in Appleton from 2-4 p.m. today. I have a jam-packed lineup of guests scheduled, including:
  • Bill Pollock of Missourinet to preview the Cardinals series.
  • J.R. Radcliffe of MLB.com to look back at the Pirates series.
  • Alec Dopp of Gammons Daily to talk about his recent look at Yovani Gallardo.
  • Benjamin Worgull of Badger Nation to talk about Wisconsin's spring football game.
I'll also be taking your calls (866-653-1570) and tweets (@BrewFrostyMug) on the air, so listen in and get your voice heard.

I'll also be appearing this afternoon on Talking Cheeseheads with Ben Larson. You can listen in live on Sports Fan 100.5 FM in Wausau or Sports Talk AM 1090 WAQE in Rice Lake, or check out Cheeseheadtalk.com for the archived audio.

Around baseball:

Angels: Pitcher Joe Blanton has elected to retire.
Athletics: Designated OF Sam Fuld for assignment.
Blue Jays: Placed infielder Maicer Izturis on the DL with a knee sprain. 
Cardinals: Extended general manager John Mozeliak's contract through 2018. 
Diamondbacks: Signed pitcher Randy Wolf to a minor league deal. 
Nationals: Placed infielder Ryan Zimmerman on the DL with a fractured thumb and OF Denard Span on the seven-day DL with a concussion. 
Rangers: Placed third baseman Adrian Beltre on the DL with a quad strain, acquired pitcher Hector Noesi from the Mariners for cash and returned Rule 5 pick Seth Rosin to the Phillies. 
Rays: Placed pitcher Alex Cobb on the DL with an oblique strain. 
Rockies: Placed pitcher Brett Anderson on the DL with a broken index finger. 
Yankees: Are expected to place catcher Francisco Cervelli on the DL with a hamstring strain. 

Let's go around the NL Central:
  • The Cardinals took two of three from the Cubs this weekend, wrapping up the series with a 6-4 victory on Sunday. St. Louis third baseman Matt Carpenter only had one hit in the game but drove in three runs as the Cardinals held on to win.
  • The Reds avoided getting swept by the Rays with a 12-4 win on Sunday. Cincinnati hit three home runs in the game, including a pinch-hit grand slam for Chris Heisey and a three-run shot for catcher Devin Mesoraco.
  • The Brewers, as you likely know, finished off a sweep of the Pirates with a 4-1 win on Sunday.
That Reds/Rays game featured a pair of unlikely events: Starting pitcher Tony Cingrani held the Rays to five hits and has now allowed no more than five hits in each of his first 21 MLB starts. Also, the Reds grounded into a double play that saw both outs recorded at home.

Here are today's updated standings and probables:
Team  GB  Today  Matchup 
Brewers  10  --  vs Cardinals, 7:10 pm  Matt Garza vs Lance Lynn 
Cardinals  @ Brewers, 7:10 pm  Lance Lynn vs Matt Garza 
Pirates  @ Reds, 6:10 pm  Wandy Rodriguez vs Homer Bailey 
Cubs  OFF   
Reds  vs Pirates, 6:10 pm  Homer Bailey vs Wandy Rodriguez 
Today in former Brewers:
And in baseball economics:
Finally, with help from Brewerfan.net and the Baseball Reference Play Index, we'd like to wish a happy birthday today to:
Plunk Everyone notes that Zaun's 29 career HBP are the third-most ever for a player born on April 14. 

Today is also the 21st anniversary of pitcher Graeme Lloyd and catcher David Nilsson appearing in a game together for the first time in 1993, making them the first all-Australian battery in MLB history, and the 14th anniversary of the Brewers trading for reliever Ray King in 2000. Follow the links above for those events' respective entries in Today In Brewer History.

Now, if you'll excuse me, he's floating away.

Drink up.

Don't forget to follow Kyle on Twitter @BrewFrostyMug, and check out and "like" the Mug's new Facebook page. The Frosty Mug runs mornings Monday-Friday and is brought to you by Legends of the Field, a sports memorablila company you can trust.




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