Monday: A walkoff win for Mom
We're talking about a series win on Mother's Day and more in today's roundup of all things Brewers.
Some things to read while noticing signs of the passage of time.
The Milwaukee Brewers picked up a series win in dramatic fashion on Sunday, as Mark Reynolds' ninth-inning single gave them a 6-5 walkoff win over the New York Yankees. Jordan Mader of Brew Crew Ball has the recap, if you missed it.
Reynolds got an opportunity to bat in the bottom of the ninth because Francisco Rodriguez blew a save in the top of the inning for the first time this season, squandering a 5-4 lead by allowing a two-strike, two-out solo home run to Mark Teixeira. It was the first run K-Rod has allowed this season and snapped a streak of 25 consecutive saves recorded that dated all the way back to May of last season. As I noted on Twitter, Rodriguez and Doug Jones (in 1997) are now tied for the second-longest such streak in franchise history.
Rodriguez was the fifth pitcher to appear in relief of Matt Garza on Sunday. Garza looked great while keeping the Yankees off the board in the second through fifth innings but allowed three runs in the first and needed 40 pitches to get through it, dooming himself to a short outing. Even before the short start, Pete Goodchild of Reviewing the Brew wondered if the Brewers' bullpen is running on empty.
Mark your calendar today to meet Brewers pitchers Matt Garza and Wily Peralta at Legends of the Field's Mequon location on Thursday, May 29, from 6-7 p.m. Click here for more information on this and other upcoming events.
Rickie Weeks scored the game-winning run on Sunday, capping off an interesting weekend. He's started both of the last two games at second base amid reports that he refused the Brewers' request to try to play left field in place of the struggling Khris Davis. Weeks had three hits yesterday, has reached base in 14 of his last 22 plate appearances and his batting line now sits at .318/.375/.364 (batting average, on-base percentage, slugging) on the season.
Other notes from the field:
The Brewers are off Monday but return to action Tuesday for their first meeting with the Pirates since an April 20 brawl in Pittsburgh. Marco Estrada will take on Gerrit Cole in the opener, and Adam McCalvy has the MLB.com preview.
- Sunday's game was the Brewers' first walkoff win of the seasson (h/t @Haudricourt).
- Sunday was Mother's Day, so the Brewers had the usual collection of pink bats, cleats and the like. Carlos Gomez took it to the next level, though, dying his goatee pink and talking to Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about it.
- Gomez had a scary moment early in Sunday's game when he was hit on the wrist by a pitch. He remained in the game, though, and X-rays were negative (h/t @AdamMcCalvy).
- Gomez drew attention in a different way on Saturday, leading off the bottom of the first with a home run off the Johnson Controls Stadium Club in left field. BrewGIFs captured the event for posterity. The Brewers estimated the ball's distance at 465 feet, but Hit Tracker has it at 439. The latter ties Gomez for the second-longest homer by a Brewer this season.
- CC Sabathia gave up that home run and two others in his first game in Milwaukee since 2008, and was later put on the disabled list with knee soreness.
- Friday was also Gomez's first meeting with catcher Brian McCann since a confrontation between the two started an ugly brawl last September. They hugged it out.
- Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is retiring following the season, so Sunday was his final regular season game against the Brewers. The team gave him a bronze bat and $10,000 donation to his Turn 2 Foundation, among other gifts.
- The Brewers sold 43,544 tickets to Sunday's series finale (h/t @AndrewGruman), and 40,000 or more to each of the three contests in the Yankees series.
- David Schoenfield of ESPN used this weekend's attendance as proof that every team can draw a crowd if they put an exciting, quality product on the field.
- A nice day may also have helped: The Miller Park roof and panels were both open for the first time this season on Sunday (h/t @MikeVassallo13).
The Brewers are almost certainly going to make a roster move before tomorrow's game, placing Aramis Ramirez on the disabled list with a strained hamstring. Ramirez broke out of an extended slump with a long home run Saturday, then left the game a few innings later with the injury. It's possible his departure could make room on the roster for Ryan Braun, who is eligible to return after missing 15 days with his oblique strain. The Brewers had considered sending Braun to play a rehab game with Wisconsin on Monday, but changed their mind due to rainy weather (h/t @AdamMcCalvy).
Ryan Braun is likely to be the only Brewer activated off the DL Tuesday, but another is on his way back: Jim Henderson was expected to play catch on Sunday for the first time since going on the DL on May 2 with shoulder inflammation. He'll likely need to head out on a minor league rehab assignment before rejoining the Brewers.
The Brewers have been able to get by without Henderson largely due to the emergence of Will Smith as a solid setup option. Smith pitched a scoreless eighth inning on Saturday, his 20th appearance in the Brewers' first 38 games, and Adam McCalvy talked to him about learning to throw the slider that has become his best pitch.
Yovani Gallardo is scheduled to pitch the final game in the Pirates series and has a 5.60 ERA over his last three starts. Pitching efficiency has always been an issue for him, and that's illustrated nicely here: Blake Murphy of FanGraphs has Gallardo among the MLB leaders in "wasted" pitches, and dead last in all of baseball at getting hitters to swing at those pitches.
Scooter Gennett had a relatively quiet weekend, punctuated by a game Sunday where he did not start and was inserted as a pinch hitter in the sixth, but was removed before batting when the Yankees went to a lefty reliever. Looking back a few days, Carson Cistulli of NotGraphs also reports that Gennett faced the most impressive fastball of the last week when he swung and missed at an Evan Marshall offering against the Diamondbacks on Tuesday.
In the minors:
- The affiliates went 1-1 on Sunday, with the lone win coming from Huntsville, where the Stars beat Chattanooga 4-2 behind three hits from infielder Nick Shaw. You can read about all of yesterday's action in the Brewerfan.net Link Report.
- Looking back another day, Mike Fiers had an outstanding performance on Saturday. He worked 6 2/3 scoreless innings and struck out 13 for Nashville, recording his fourth 10-strikeout game in five tries. Nick Cole of The Tennessean has a look at how Fiers has rebounded from a disastrous 2013 season (h/t BBTF).
- Steven Jewell of Reviewing the Brew compared Fiers and fellow top performer and teammate Jimmy Nelson.
- Huntsville outfielder Mitch Haniger and first baseman Nick Ramirez made Nicholas Ian Allen of Grading on the Curve's list of hot players in the Southern League.
- On Saturday, the Brewers announced they've released former 40-man roster member Brock Kjeldgaard (h/t @BrewersPD). He had appeared in 734 minor league games over nine seasons in the organization.
- Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem has interviews with Sounds reliever Michael Blazek and outfielder Jeremy Hermida.
- Tyler Drenon of MLB Daily Dish is predicting the Brewers will select LSU pitcher Aaron Nola with the No. 12 overall pick in next month's draft.
If you'd like more Brewers coverage today but you're sick of reading, I'll be making my weekly appearance on The Talking Cheeseheads with Ben Larson this afternoon. Listen in live on Sports Fan 100.5 FM in Wausau and Sports Talk AM 1090 WAQE in Rice Lake, or follow the above link later for the archived audio.
Back in Milwaukee, the Brewers are off on Monday but there's a different kind of action going on at Miller Park. The Brewers are teaming with Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin to offer free prostate cancer screenings at the ballpark
7 a.m.-1 p.m. No appointment is necessary, but the first 250 men who complete an exam will receive a voucher for two tickets for a future home game. "Complete" is the key word there.
Prostate exams might be more popular if they came with a bobblehead. Instead, you'll have to wait to get another bobble until the Brewers give away their "vintage" version on June 15. John Steinmiller and Caitlin Moyer have a preview
Today in power rankings:
Angels: Claimed pitcher Brooks Raley off waivers from the Twins.
Athletics: Placed pitcher Ryan Cook on the DL with a forearm strain.
Blue Jays: Placed reliever Sergio Santos on the DL with a forearm injury, designated second baseman Chris Getz for assignment and claimed outfielder Kenny Wilson off waivers from the Twins.
Braves: Placed reliever Jordan Walden on the disabled list with a hamstring strain.
Giants: Placed first baseman Brandon Belt on the DL with a broken thumb.
Marlins: Signed pitcher Alex Sanabia to a minor league deal and designated reliever Carlos Marmol for assignment.
Nationals: Placed first baseman Adam LaRoche on the DL with a quad strain.
Orioles: Placed catcher Matt Wieters on the DL with an elbow strain.
Padres: First baseman/outfielder Xavier Nady has refused an outright assignment to the minors and is now a free agent.
Phillies: Pitcher Shawn Camp has refused an outright assignment to the minors and is now a free agent.
Rays: Released pitcher Heath Bell.
Reds: Signed first baseman/outfielder Shelley Duncan and catcher Lou Marson to minor league contracts.
Twins: Designated outfielder Kenny Wilson for assignment.
White Sox: Designated pitcher Maikel Cleto for assignment.
On Twitter, yesterday I wondered aloud if the Brewers should kick the tires on Heath Bell, assuming he'd be willing to accept a minor league contract with an early opt-out date. I still think it could make sense to take a look at the potential reclamation project, but the replies I received were pretty emphatically opposed to such a move.
Let's go around the NL Central:
- The Cardinals scored four runs in the first inning and held on for a 6-5 win over the Pirates on Sunday night. St. Louis scored six runs without the benefit of an extra base hit.
- The Reds slowed down one of baseball's hottest teams this weekend, taking two of three from the Rockies. Sunday's 4-1 win featured 7 1/3 innings from Homer Bailey and Aroldis Chapman's first save since getting hit in the head by a line drive in March.
- The Cubs lost 5-2 to the Braves on Sunday, picking up the 10,000th loss in franchise history. Chicago has now lost six of their last seven games.
- The Brewers, as you may have heard, clinched a series victory with a 6-5 walkoff win over the Yankees.
Here are today's updated standings and probables:
||vs Cubs, 7:10 pm
||Tyler Lyons vs Travis Wood
||@ Cubs, 7:10 pm
||Travis Wood vs Tyler Lyons
The Cardinals win mentioned above was their third appearance on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball in four weeks, and at least one member of the organization isn't thankful for the exposure. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny complained to the media
about the challenges of getting ready for a Sunday-night game before the contest, saying, "That's the answer that they keep giving us, is that we should be grateful. But I have to tell you, there is no gratitude for this."
The Brewers are not currently scheduled for a Sunday Night broadcast this season.
Today in former Brewers:
Finally, with help from the Baseball Reference Play Index
, we'd like to wish a happy birthday today to:
Plunk Everyone notes
- 2013 Brewer Blake Lalli, who turns 31.
- 2009 and 2011 Brewer Felipe Lopez, who turns 34.
- 2003-05 Brewer Wes Helms, who turns 38.
- 1984 Brewer Willie Lozado, who turns 55.
- 1982 Brewer Kevin Bass, who also turns 55.
- 1971-73 Brewer Bob Heise, who turns 67.
- 1970-71 Brewer Ted Kubiak, the Opening Day shortstop for the first Brewers team, who turns 72.
- 1971 Brewer Floyd Weaver, who would have turned 73.
- 1964-65 Milwaukee Brave and 1974 Brewer Felipe Alou, who turns 79.
- Milwaukee native Lave Cross, who would have turned 148. Cross played 21 MLB seasons between 1887-1907 as a member of the Phillies, Philadelphia Athletics and seven other teams.
that Alou's 57 career HBP are the most ever for a position player born on May 12. Helms is third on that list with 45.
Today is also the 42nd anniversary of the Brewers beating the Twins 4-3 in 22 innings in 1972
for the longest win in franchise history; the 32nd anniversary of Paul Molitor's three-homer game in a 9-7 loss to the Royals
in 1982; and the 19th anniversary of Darryl Hamilton tying a franchise record
by walking in his ninth consecutive game in 1995. Follow the links for those events' respective entries in Today In Brewer History at Brew Crew Ball.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to dive
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