Some things to read while checking in.
The Milwaukee Brewers clinched a series victory in dramatic fashion on Thursday as Khris Davis hit a bases-loaded walkoff single in the ninth to clinch a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Derek Harvey of Brew Crew Ball has the recap, and the Brewers tumblr feed has a gif of Jonathan Lucroy making a "dirt angel" after scoring the winning run. Davis has had some of the Brewers' biggest hits this season, and Tom Haudricourt says both he and the Brewers needed this one.
The fact that the Brewers were able to score with their 3-4-5 batters due up to lead off the ninth inning shouldn't be surprising, but the way they did it was somewhat unusual. The Brewers are 12th in the National League with 104 walks drawn on the season and drew two against Pirates reliever Mark Melancon, who has the best walk rate of any pitcher with at least 50 innings since the start of the 2013 season (h/t High Heat Stats).
Mark Reynolds drew one of those walks in the ninth after showing bunt on a couple of pitches. He also may have saved the game with a great defensive play that the Brewers tumblr captured in gif form.
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.
Other notes from the field:
After Thursday's game the Brewers made the short trip south to Chicago, where they'll open a series with the Cubs with a Friday matinee today. Kyle Lohse will take the mound against Jeff Samardzija at 1:20 p.m., and Matt Slovin has the MLB.com preview. FS Wisconsin did not televise Thursday's game but will have coverage today.
- Yovani Gallardo pitched 6 1/3 innings and allowed three earned runs Thursday, giving the Brewers an MLB-best 31 quality starts (six innings or more, three earned runs or less) in 41 games (h/t @MikeVassallo13).
- Rickie Weeks started at second base and had three hits, extending his hitting streak to eight games. That's tied for the longest by a Brewer this season.
- The Chorizo won the Sausage Race.
Both Francisco Rodriguez and Will Smith should be refreshed and ready for today's game, as both relievers weren't used in the win on Thursday. Jim Hoehn of MLB.com has a look at the success the bullpen has had over the season's first 41 games and the challenge of meeting raised expectations.
With Thursday's win the Brewers are more than 25 percent of the way through the 2014 season, and they continue to carry a five-game lead over the second place St. Louis Cardinals. Cardinal fans, however, are not deterred: A recent poll at Cardinals blog Viva El Birdos shows that 81 percent of their readers still expect St. Louis to win the division.
Mike Bauman of MLB.com appears to be a believer, though. After Thursday's win, he noted that the Brewers are still on pace to win more than 100 games and said they "made all things look possible." Tom Oates of Madison.com is also on board, saying the Brewers are "showing signs they can capitalize on a fast start."
The Brewers got through Thursday's win without Carlos Gomez, as he served the second day in his three-game suspension. Even after missing a couple of days, though, Plunk Everyone notes that Gomez is among the MLB leaders with 138 foul balls hit this season. That's a little less than one per plate appearance.
Gomez is also part of the reason the Brewers are at the top of this list: TOOTBLAN Tracker notes that the Brewers are tied for first with 97 bad outs on the bases since Opening Day 2013. Hopefully, his suspension is giving him more time to Google rich-people conversations (h/t @JaymesL and @wezen_ball).
In the minors:
- The affiliates went 2-1 Thursday, and one of the wins came from Huntsville, where Tyler Cravy allowed a single run on four hits over six innings in the Stars' 8-1 win over Birmingham. You can read more about all of yesterday's action in the Brewerfan.net Link Report.
- Cravy now leads all of minor league baseball with seven wins on the season (h/t @BrewersPD).
- Wisconsin Timber Rattlers Chris McFarland (the league's Player of the Week), Clint Coulter (one of two players with an OPS over 1.000), Omar Garcia and Johnny Davis (among the stolen base leaders) all earned a mention in Jay Blue of Grading on the Curve's Midwest League Week in Review.
- Matt Garrioch of Minor League Ball has a list of the top 2014 draft picks from the "North" region, including Holmen native Jeren Kendall, former Brewers late-round pick Scott Schreiber and six other Wisconsin-born players.
Back in Milwaukee, while the Brewers are enjoying the All Star break, soccer will take the big stage at Miller Park. John Steinmiller has the details
on a game between Mexican club Chivas de Guadalajara and English Premier League team Swansea City to be played in Milwaukee on Wednesday, July 16. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
has a map showing how a soccer field fits inside the ballpark.
If you'd like more Brewers coverage today but you're sick of reading, I have a couple of options for you:
: Acquired first baseman Kyle Blanks from the Padres for a minor leaguer and designated first baseman Daric Barton for assignment.
: Placed outfielder Colby Rasmus on the DL with a hamstring strain.
: Signed infielder Alex Liddi to a minor league deal.
: Placed outfielder Nyjer Morgan on the DL with a knee injury.
: Placed catcher Travis d'Arnaud on the seven-day DL with a concussion.
: Placed infielder Ben Zobrist on the DL with a dislocated thumb.
: Placed outfielder Carlos Beltran on the DL with a bone spur in his elbow and designated pitcher Bruce Billings for assignment
Let's go around the NL Central:
- The Cardinals closed out a series win over the Cubs with a 5-3 victory on Thursday. Yadier Molina had two hits in the game, and both benches were warned in the eighth inning after the Cubs threw multiple pitches up and in on him.
- The Reds and Padres split a doubleheader, with Johnny Cueto pitching a complete-game shutout in a 5-0 Cincinnati win in the first game, and Tyson Ross and company holding the Reds to three hits in a 6-1 San Diego win in the nightcap.
- The Brewers, of course, beat the Pirates 4-3 on Khris Davis' walkoff single in the ninth.
Here are today's updated standings and probables:
||@ Cubs, 1:20 pm
||Kyle Lohse vs Jeff Samardzija
||vs Braves, 7:15 pm
||Lance Lynn vs Ervin Santana
||@ Phillies, 6:05 pm
||Alfredo Simon vs Kyle Kendrick
||@ Yankees, 6:05 pm
||Edinson Volquez vs David Phelps
||vs Brewers, 1:20 pm
||Jeff Samardzija vs Kyle Lohse
Meanwhile, in the American League, the Mariners and Rays played a 2-0 game on Wednesday that featured the two teams collecting a combined five hits, and yet somehow took three hours and 21 minutes to play. Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs
has a look at the Rays as a candidate to be named the slowest team in MLB history.
Today in former Brewers: Brendan Lowery of It's Pronounced "Lajaway"
has a look at the various ups and downs in John Axford's career.
Finally, with help from Brewerfan.net
, we'd like to wish a happy birthday to Nashville Sound Eugenio Velez
. He turns 32.
Today is also the 45th anniversary of the Seattle Pilots homering three times in the 10th inning and almost losing anyway
in a 10-9 win over the Red Sox in 1969, the 26th anniversary of Robin Yount passing Cecil Cooper for first place
on the Brewers' all-time RBI list in 1988, and the 14th anniversary of the Brewers beating the Astros 6-5 despite Kevin Barker's 0-for-8 game
in 2000. Follow the links for those events' respective entries in Today In Brewer History at Brew Crew Ball.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to suit up
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