Monday: Ugly wins still count
We're wrapping up a hot weekend and some hot tempers in today's roundup of all things Brewers.
Some things to read while jumping in.
The Milwaukee Brewers return home today as the proud owners of baseball's best record and have two wins more than any other National League team, but it wasn't easy on Sunday. They needed 14 innings to pull out a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates, and Noah Jarosh of Brew Crew Ball has the recap if you missed it.
The end result, however, may have been overshadowed a bit by an ugly incident in the third inning that could have lasting ramifications for this week's games. Carlos Gomez (and bench coach Jerry Narron) were ejected from Sunday's game after a series of events that included Gomez hitting a triple to center, Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole taking objection to Gomez taking too long to run, Pirates outfielder Travis Snider coming off the bench to charge Gomez, and Martin Maldonado throwing a pretty solid punch in retaliation. You can see video of the incident here or catch it in gif form here.
Bucs Dugout did a great job of collecting postgame quotes from both clubhouses. Here's a quick summary:
Many fans will likely recall that Gomez was also involved in an incident last September with the Atlanta Braves. He apologized following those events, but yesterday he said he will not say he's sorry for this one and will appeal if he's suspended.
- Both Gomez and Cole seem to agree the incident started when Cole said something to Gomez. Cole admits he said something out of frustration, but the two players disagree on what was said. Gomez appears to have heard Cole curse at him, and Cole denies that.
- Gomez acknowledged the back-and-forth with Cole but said things would have been over if Snider hadn't "come like a superhero trying to throw punches at everybody."
- Maldonado, who almost certainly landed the fight's most visible punch, says he entered the melee to protect his teammate when he saw two Pirates holding Gomez.
As you might expect, we have much more reaction from around the web:
In the end, I think Jonah Keri summed up the situation nicely in our Tweet of the Day:
Mark your calendar to meet Brewers relievers Jim Henderson and Brandon Kintzler at Legends of the Field's Greenfield location on April 26 from 11 a.m.-noon. Click here for more information on this and other upcoming events.
It's also worth noting that this was the final act in a long weekend for Gomez, who snapped a bat over his knee after a strikeout Friday night while dealing with a family medical scare involving his young son. The issue turned out to be relatively minor, but he didn't learn that until later in the game.
With that said, the brawl is over now and the Brewers may have to face the consequences this week. A Gomez suspension could leave the Brewers with three healthy outfielders, as Logan Schafer was placed on the disabled list before Sunday's game with a hamstring strain. Elian Herrera was forced into duty in center field after Sunday's fracas. It's a side note at this point, but it's also worth noting that the Brewers are giving away Gomez bobbleheads on Sunday when he could potentially be serving his suspension.
Things could also get a little messy behind the plate if Martin Maldonado is suspended. The Brewers likely won't want to go without a backup catcher while he's out, so @Mass_Haas wonders if they'll consider moving Tom Gorzelanny to the 60-day DL to free up a 40-man roster spot for someone like Robinzon Diaz or Matt Pagnozzi. That move would keep Gorzelanny on the shelf through most of May.
Yesterday's game would've ended with a Brewers loss in regulation if not for the heroics of Ryan Braun, who hit a ninth-inning home run off Pittsburgh closer Jason Grilli for the second time in as many days to send the game to extra innings. Braun acknowledged the Brewers didn't play all that well overall this weekend, telling @AdamMcCalvy, "We could have easily been swept."
A few innings later, Khris Davis provided the fireworks with a go-ahead home run in the 14th inning, his first of the season. His three hits Sunday raised his OPS (on-base plus slugging) from .587 to .669 and may have eased some concerns about his ability to remain viable as an everyday left fielder. Nathan Petrashek of Cream City Cables says expectations are too high for Davis after his hot finish to the 2013 season.
Other notes from the field:
- With the win, the Brewers are now 9-1 on the road this season (h/t @joe_block). They're the first NL team to win nine of their first 10 road games in 20 years (h/t @AndrewGruman).
- Yesterday's win wrapped up a season-opening stretch in which the Brewers played 2013 playoff teams 16 times in 19 games. They went 14-5 in that span.
- Lost in all of the day's other excitement was this fun fact: Mark Reynolds also homered yesterday for the second consecutive day, and now has five on the season.
- Francisco Rodriguez pitched a scoreless 14th inning yesterday for his seventh save, tying him for the MLB lead. It was also the 311th of his career, tying him with longtime Blue Jay Tom Henke for 19th on the all-time list. (h/t @AndrewGruman)
- Ron Roenicke challenged a call at first base when Pirates outfielder Jose Tabata reached on a two-out infield single in the eighth inning, but the call was upheld. Roenicke is now 1-for-2 in challenges this season.
- The Pittsburgh series featured the FS Wisconsin debut of longtime Badgers broadcaster Matt Lepay, who is sitting in for Brian Anderson while he covers the NBA playoffs for TBS. Todd D. Milewski of The Capital Times has a look at his early performance.
- The Brewers' tumblr feed has a gif of Jean Segura avoiding the tag in a rundown on Saturday.
- Martin Maldonado was awarded a base hit on Friday after a play in which the cover partially came off the baseball on a ground ball off his bat.
The Brewers return home tonight and will open a series with the San Diego Padres at Miller Park at 7:10 p.m. Wily Peralta will take on Andrew Cashner in the first of three games, and Adam McCalvy has the MLB.com preview
Don't be surprised if the Brewers try to run wild this week: @ducksnorts notes
that the Padres are the only MLB team that has yet to throw out an attempted base-stealer this season.
It's a little early to get excited about the possibility of playoff baseball returning to Miller Park in 2014, but Baseball In-Depth does have a cause for optimism
: They note that 15 of the 23 teams that have had one of baseball's three-best records on April 18 (including ties) have reached the postseason since 2008. The Brewers had baseball's best mark this season.
Of course, this Brewers team does still have some concerns to iron out. Benjamin Orr of Reviewing the Brew
listed Rickie Weeks' situation, pitching and first base as three issues the Brewers continue to face despite their hot start.
The Brewers used six relievers yesterday, but the odd man out was still Rule 5 pick Wei-Chung Wang, who has appeared in just two of the team's first 19 games. Andrew Gruman of FS Wisconsin
talked to Wang about the challenge and uncertainty of pitching so infrequently.
Meanwhile, the Brewers remain on the lookout for more bullpen help. They were one of 18-20 teams to send scouts
to watch a recent showcase for former Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan, who is expected to sign soon.
We may also see a familiar face in a Brewers uniform again later this season: Over the weekend, they signed former first-round pick Jeremy Jeffress to a minor league deal
. Jeffress was one of the top prospects in the Brewers organization when they traded him to Kansas City in the Zack Greinke deal before the 2011 season, and he's only 26, but his star has faded a bit after somewhat disappointing partial seasons with the Royals and Blue Jays.
Elsewhere in the minors:
Back in Milwaukee, when the Brewers reopen Miller Park tonight, a new features will be in center field. The "Hank House" will be on the concourse beyond center field
and will be the new home for Hank the dog's appearances at the ballpark.
Today in power rankings:
If you'd like more Brewers coverage today but you're sick of reading, I have a pair of options for you:
- I'll be stopping by The Home Stretch on 95.3 WSCO in Appleton at 3 p.m. today as part of Justin Hull's return to the show after his vacation last week. I'll be live in studio for around half an hour taking your calls, emails and tweets, so listen in and get your voice heard.
- I'll also be making my weekly appearance on The Talking Cheeseheads this afternoon. Listen in live on Sports Fan 100.5 in Wausau or Sports Talk 1090 WAQE in Rice Lake to hear it live, or check back tomorrow for archived audio.
: Signed reliever Sean Doolittle to a five-year contract extension with club options for 2019 and 2020.
: Designated pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith for assignment.
: Acquired first baseman Ike Davis from the Mets for a minor league pitcher and a player to be named later, and designated first baseman Travis Ishikawa for assignment
: Placed outfielder Jim Adduci (fractured pinky finger) and pitcher Tanner Scheppers
(elbow inflammation) on the DL, designated infielder Andy Parrino
for assignment and announced that catcher Chris Snyder has retired
: Designated infielder Ryan Roberts for assignment.
: Released infielder Alex Gonzalez.
: Claimed outfielder Sam Fuld off waivers from the Athletics, designated outfielder Darin Mastroianni for assignment and announced the retirement of infielder Jason Bartlett
: Placed pitcher Felipe Paulino on the DL with rotator cuff inflammation.
: Placed pitcher Ivan Nova on the DL with a partially torn elbow ligament, and designated pitchers Cesar Cabral
and Matt Daley for assignment
The Brewers had long been rumored to be interested in Ike Davis before the Mets finally dealt him to the Pirates. Adam McCalvy talked to Ron Roenicke
about the Mets' high demands.
Let's go around the NL Central:
- The Cardinals split four games in Washington this weekend, closing out the series with a 3-2 walkoff loss on Sunday. Denard Span's fly ball in the ninth was the difference.
- The Reds took two of three from the Cubs, including an 8-2 victory on Sunday. Homer Bailey pitched six shutout innings for the win.
- The Brewers, as you likely know, took three of four from the Pirates and wrapped up a series win with a 3-2, 14-inning win Sunday.
Here are today's updated standings and probables:
||vs Padres, 7:10 pm
||Wily Peralta vs Andrew Cashner
||@ Mets, 6:10 pm
||Tyler Lyons vs Jennry Mejia
||@ Pirates, 6:05 pm
||Mike Leake vs Francisco Liriano
||vs Reds, 6:05 pm
||Francisco Liriano vs Mike Leake
||vs Diamondbacks, 7:05 pm
||Travis Wood vs Bronson Arroyo
Today in former Brewers: