Tuesday: Up all night
Wake up with today's recap of a Brewers win from late last night.
Some things to read while letting the dog drive.
It took 12 innings and well over four hours, but the Milwaukee Brewers managed to open an important road trip with a 5-3, 12-inning win over the St. Louis Cardinals Monday night. Jordan Mader of Brew Crew Ball has the recap.
Khris Davis had last night's big hit, an RBI triple in the 12th to give the Brewers their first lead, but the real story of last night's game might have been the Brewers bullpen working six shutout innings. Adam McCalvy asked Mark Reynolds about them in our Tweet of the Day:
Zach Duke pitched a pair of those scoreless innings, working around a hit and two walks while pitching the 10th and 11th. @jonmorosi credited Doug Melvin with the excellent move of signing him to a minor league contract over the winter.
Mark your calendar to meet Brewers All Star and Gold Glove winner Carlos Gomez at Legends of the Field's Greenfield location on Saturday, May 10, from 11-11:45 a.m. Click here for more information on this and other upcoming events.
Aramis Ramirez tied the game in the seventh inning last night by getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, but the run came at a cost: Ramirez had to come out of the game with a left-elbow contusion (h/t @Brewers). X-rays on the elbow were negative, and he's day-to-day.
Ramirez's RBI-plunking took Yovani Gallardo off the hook for the loss after he worked six innings and allowed three runs. The Brewers have now thrown 21 quality starts in their last 26 games, including eight in a row (h/t @MikeVassallo13). Gallardo had a scare when he appeared to jam his wrist sliding into second base on a pickoff attempt in the top of the sixth, but he stayed in the game. He allowed two solo homers in his final inning of work. @JaymesL has a screenshot of him checking out his hand before giving up one of those home runs to Matt Holliday.
Of course, at the end of the season, last night's win will only count as one game. At the moment, though, it feels like one of the season's most important achievements. Ron Roenicke told Tracy Ringolsby of MLB.com that the win was "huge" for his team, which had to use 18 players over the 12 innings. @joe_block called it the "most inspiring win" he's seen from this team.
Other notes from the field:
The Brewers will get a chance to retain the momentum tonight when Kyle Lohse takes on Lance Lynn and the Cardinals at 7:15 p.m. Adam McCalvy has the MLB.com preview.
- The Brewers are now 10-1 on the road this season and 9-0 when wearing their blue "Milwaukee" uniforms (h/t @MikeVassallo13).
- They've also set a new franchise record with 19 wins in April (h/t @MikeVassallo13).
- Francisco Rodriguez pitched a scoreless 12th inning for his 12th save last night, setting a new franchise record for the month of April (h/t @AdamMcCalvy). The MLB record is 13, set by Kazuhiro Sasaki in 2001.
- Ryan Braun came out on deck to pinch hit in the 10th inning (h/t @Haudricourt), but the third out was recorded before he would have come up to bat, and Ron Roenicke allowed Zach Duke to hit for himself in the 11th.
- Yovani Gallardo reached on an infield single in the sixth, and the call was upheld after replay. It was only the Cardinals' second challenge this season.
- Aramis Ramirez accounted for two of the Brewers' three HBPs last night and now has 113 for his career, the 56th-most in MLB history. Plunk Everyone has more on the accomplishment.
Barring a transaction today, the Brewers may have a tough time putting together a healthy lineup tonight. @AndrewGruman notes it wouldn't be surprising if Braun, Jean Segura and Ramirez are all unavailable and Jonathan Lucroy gets a day off after catching 12 innings last night.
As mentioned above, Ryan Braun was on deck as a pinch hitter at one point in last night's game but was not used. We received an update on his injury situation yesterday when an MRI showed he's actually dealing with an oblique strain, not an intercostal as previously reported. However, the Brewers continue to insist he does not need to go on the disabled list.
Aramis Ramirez officially went 0-for-1 last night, but he reached base three times with a walk and a pair of HBPs. Kevin Ruprecht of Beyond the Box Score has a stat showing Ramirez among baseball's best hitters at not giving up "easy outs."
Matt Garza is scheduled to pitch the finale of the Cardinals series on Wednesday, and it'll be his first appearance since making some somewhat controversial comments to the media during the Cubs series. David Schoenfield of ESPN has a look at one of his assertions, that pitching in Chicago cost him 30 wins over three seasons.
The only available reliever who did not pitch in last night's game was rookie Wei-Chung Wang, who has still worked in just three of the Brewers' first 26 games. He hit 96 on the radar gun during his appearance against the Cubs on Sunday, though, and that turned some heads.
The Brewers are 19-7, 5 1/2 games up in the NL Central, and have clinched a share of baseball's best record for the month of April. Not everyone, however, is ready to believe in this team: Vince Morales of Miller Park Drunk has a list of 11 things that could go wrong to negate this hot start.
In the minors:
Back in Milwaukee, the digital age continues to provide teams new opportunities to connect with their fans in varying ways. Steve Kabelowsky of OnMilwaukee.com has a look at how the Brewers and Milwaukee Admirals use social media to build relationships.
- The affiliates went 1-1 with a pair of rainouts last night, and Brevard County's 6-5 win over Clearwater snapped a five-game losing streak. You can read about all of yesterday's action in the Brewerfan.net Link Report.
- The Huntsville Stars, who were on the road in Kodak, Tenn., had to stay there an extra night to avoid driving back into severe storms.
- The weather wasn't quite as dangerous in Wisconsin yesterday, but it was ugly enough to cause Wisconsin to postpone its game with Burlington and force Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio to break out "Brick, the bad weather-hating bactrian."
- The Brevard County Manatees have a story on 2011 first round pick Jed Bradley, who seems to be making improvements in his third season in High-A.
Last night's game again featured Matt Lepay calling the action for FS Wisconsin, as Brian Anderson remains away covering the NBA playoffs for TBS. Anderson and Bill Schroeder, when together, rank as the eighth-best local TV team in all of sports according to Awful Announcing.
Start here, and maybe you can work your way up to one of those jobs. AK of Ron Roenicke Stole My Baseball spent far too much time thinking about the Brewers' vacant "laundry assistant" position.
Today in power rankings:
Today's statistical note comes from Beyond the Box Score, where Neil Weinberg has a look at the impact on pitchers when they have to throw a lot of pitches in the first inning. Opposing batters are hitting just .204/.271/.278 in the first frame against the Brewers this season.
If you'd like more Brewers coverage today but you're sick of reading, I'll be making my weekly appearance on The Watercooler with Jimmie Kaska on Sports Radio 1400 in Eau Claire
this afternoon. Follow the @BrewFrostyMug
Twitter for updates on when that spot will air so you can listen in.
: Acquired pitcher Lucas Harrell from the Astros for a player to be named later or cash.
: Placed infielder Jedd Gyorko on the paternity list.
Let's go around the NL Central:
- The Cubs and Reds were rained out on Monday, and no makeup date has been announced.
- The Brewers, as you likely know, beat the Cardinals 5-3 in 12 innings.
- The Pirates were off on Monday.
Here are today's updated standings and probables:
||@ Cardinals, 7:15 pm
||Kyle Lohse vs Lance Lynn
||vs Brewers, 7:15 pm
||Lance Lynn vs Kyle Lohse
||vs Reds, 6:10 pm
||Alfredo Simon vs Jeff Samardzija
||@ Orioles, 6:05 pm
||Charlie Morton vs Chris Tillman
||@ Reds, 6:10 pm
||Jeff Samardzija vs Alfredo Simon
Even if they don't win another game in April, the Brewers are guaranteed to take a 3.5-game lead into the month of May. But what does that mean for their playoff hopes? Scott Lindholm of Beyond the Box Score
has a look at how a hot start can change a team's outlook.
Today in former Brewers:
We also have an economics note today from Will Leitch of Sports on Earth, who has a look at what could happen if the recent dramatic spike in the cost of TV broadcast rights levels off or if the bubble bursts.
Finally, with help from the Baseball Reference Play Index, we'd like to wish a happy birthday today to:
Plunk Everyone notes that McConnell's 27 career HBP are tied for the fourth-most ever from a position player born on April 29.
Today is also the 15th anniversary of the Brewers signing Japanese pitcher Hideo Nomo as a minor league free agent in 1999, and the 13th anniversary of a Geoff Jenkins two-homer game against the Expos in 2001 that gave him five in two days. Follow those links for the events' respective entries in Today In Brewer History.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to make some improvements.
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