Some things to read while learning to play the saxophone.
Seven of the Milwaukee Brewers' 25 wins this season have come against the Pittsburgh Pirates, but so have two of their 15 losses. They added to the latter total last night with a 4-1 defeat at Miller Park, and Eric Nehm of Brew Crew Ball has the recap if you missed it.
Wednesday night's game was tied at 1 heading into the ninth inning when the Brewers called in closer Francisco Rodriguez and his 0.43 ERA to pitch, but he gave up three runs in a game for the first time this season on Chris Stewart's RBI-single and Starling Marte's two-run double. After opening the season with 19 consecutive scoreless appearances, K-Rod has now allowed four runs in his last three outings, and Todd Rosiak reports he's having issues with his changeup.
It's possible fatigue was also an issue, as Rodriguez (and Will Smith, who worked a scoreless eighth) pitched in his fourth consecutive game Wednesday night (h/t @joe_block on both counts). For what it's worth, though, Rodriguez told @Haudricourt his release point was the issue.
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.
Elian Herrera started last night's game in center field for the Brewers after Carlos Gomez dropped his appeal of his three-game suspension. Major League Baseball had been expected to issue a decision on the appeal soon, but it made sense for Gomez to accept his punishment and sit out now after he had to leave Tuesday's game with back stiffness. He'll be eligible to play again in Saturday's game in the Cubs series.
Wily Peralta picked up a no-decision but deserved better Wednesday night, working seven innings and allowing a single run on five hits with a walk and four strikeouts. It was his seventh consecutive quality start (h/t @MikeVassallo13).
Other notes from the field:
The Brewers and Pirates wrap up their series with a matinee today. Yovani Gallardo will take on Wandy Rodriguez at 12:10 p.m., and Matt Slovin has the MLB.com preview. Today's game will not be televised locally.
- Rickie Weeks singled leading off the fourth inning to extend his hitting streak to seven games. No Brewer has had a streak longer than eight games (Lyle Overbay, April 20-29) this season.
- The Italian won the Sausage Race.
When today's lineup is released, Tom Haudricourt says to not be surprised if Jonathan Lucroy is in it at first base. He was taking ground balls out there before Wednesday's game, and made 14 appearances there in 2013.
Despite picking up the loss last night Francisco Rodriguez, is still on pace to record around 65 saves this season, which would break his own MLB record of 62. Noah Jarosh of Brew Crew Ball has a look at what would need to happen for Rodriguez to have a chance at reaching that mark.
Even after giving up a few runs last night, the Brewers bullpen has a 3.20 ERA on the season, the sixth-best mark in the National League. David Schoenfield of ESPN has a look back in time to ask if surprising teams tend to have great bullpens.
Rickie Weeks was on base two more times last night, continuing a hot streak that has him hitting .565/.630/.609 (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging) in his last 14 appearances. His value may be continuing to grow by the day, and Derek Harvey of Brew Crew Ball is the latest to revisit the possibility that Weeks could be traded. Ryan Topp of Disciplies of Uecker also attempted to dissect his hot streak.
Mark Reynolds isn't as hot right now after going 0-for-4 and grounding into a double play last night. Reynolds is among the Brewers leaders with eight home runs despite his .220 batting average and .287 OBP, and Badgernoonan of Ron Roenicke Stole My Baseball takes on the notion that he's due for any regression.
Reynolds' defense may actually be this season's biggest surprise, as he's been remarkably good at first base. Jonathan Judge of Disciples of Uecker has a rebuttal to the often-heard argument that the Brewers are a bad defensive team.
The ending of the game may not have been much fun, but Wednesdays are always a little better with Wei-Chung Wang. This week's #WCWW video features a cameo appearance from members of the Wisconsin Badgers Final Four team.
In the minors:
- The affiliates went 1-2 on Wednesday with the lone win coming from Wisconsin, where Barrett Astin allowed a single run on three hits over six innings in a 5-1 win over Quad Cities. You can read more about all of the day's action in this morning's edition of Minor League Notes at Brew Crew Ball.
- Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has video highlights and more from Wisconsin's win, which featured outfielder Omar Garcia making one of the best diving catches you'll ever see.
- Tom Gorzelanny pitched two scoreless innings in place of Jed Bradley in his first rehab appearance for Brevard County, walking one, striking out one and allowing one hit. The fact that he was already stretched out enough to pitch multiple innings may mean he's close to being ready to return to the majors.
- Brevard County outfielder Michael Reed continues to have a quietly productive season, and Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs included him in this week's Fringe Five, a look at top-performing prospects from outside the traditional Top 100 lists.
- Brad Krause of Miller Park Prospects has a photo gallery from Nashville's 8-0 win on Tuesday.
Back in Milwaukee, several members of the Brewers spent Wednesday morning working with Habitat for Humanity to build a house as part of the charity's "Blitz Build" program. Caitlin Moyer has a Vine video and photos
of Ryan Braun, Matt Garza, Logan Schafer, Kyle Lohse, Ron Roenicke, several Brewers wives and the Racing Sausages helping out around the work site.
If you'd like more Brewers coverage today but you're sick of reading, I'll be making a bonus appearance on The Home Stretch with Justin Hull on 95.3 WSCO in Appleton
after the conclusion of today's afternoon game to wrap up the contest and talk about some of the topics we didn't get to on Tuesday. I'll be live in-studio taking your calls, tweets and emails, so listen in and get your voice heard.
: Placed pitcher Anthony Bass on the DL with an intercostal strain.
: Placed catcher Dioner Navarro on the bereavement list.
: Placed pitcher Zach Rosscup on the DL with a shoulder injury.
: Signed pitcher Randy Wolf after he opted out of his minor league deal with the Diamondbacks and designated reliever Henry Rodriguez for assignment
: Placed pitcher Dillon Gee on the DL with a lat strain and released reliever Kyle Farnsworth
: Pitchers Martin Perez (partially torn ulnar collateral ligament) and Matt Harrison (severe lower back injury) could both miss the rest of the 2014 season. Also, pitcher Justin Germano has been designated for assignment
: Designated infielder Jeff Keppinger for assignment.
Let's go around the NL Central:
- The Cardinals and Cubs were rained out on Wednesday and will make up the game in August.
- The Reds and Padres were rained out on Wednesday and will play a doubleheader today.
- The Brewers, as you likely know, lost 4-1 to the Pirates.
Here are today's updated standings and probables:
||vs Pirates, 12:10 pm
||Yovani Gallardo vs Wandy Rodriguez
||vs Cubs, 12:45 pm
||Michael Wacha vs Jason Hammel
||vs Padres, doubleheader
||Johnny Cueto vs Ian Kennedy (Game 1)
TBD vs Tyson Ross (Game 2)
||@ Brewers, 12:10 pm
||Wandy Rodriguez vs Yovani Gallardo
||@ Cardinals, 12:45 pm
||Jason Hammel vs Michael Wacha
In former Brewers: