Friday: Can't bring them all back
We're talking about home runs given and home runs taken away in today's roundup of all things Brewers.
Some things to read while taking a knee.
The good news is that the Milwaukee Brewers are starting to get healthy, as Aramis Ramirez and Jean Segura were both back in the lineup for their game against the Cincinnati Reds last night. The bad news is that it didn't change the result, as the Reds beat the Brewers 8-3 in the first installment of a four-game series in Cincinnati. Noah Jarosh of Brew Crew Ball has the recap, if you missed it.
Last night was the Brewers first 2014 visit to Great American Ball Park, and it's still the same bandbox they likely remember from last season. @joe_block notes that the Reds' three home runs last night all narrowly cleared the fence. @NPetrashek is crediting last night's loss to the ballpark, although it's also worth noting that Brewers pitchers did themselves no favors by walking a season-high eight batters (h/t @Todd_Rosiak)
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.
Rob Wooten made his return to the Brewers last night after a week and a half in Triple-A, but had a night to forget. He came into the game in relief of Jim Henderson with the bases loaded in the eighth and allowed all three inherited runners to score on a walk, ground-ball single and HBP. Wooten was recalled from Nashville before the game, and utilityman Elian Herrera was returned to the Sounds.
With Herrera shipped out, Ryan Braun still unavailable and Logan Schafer ineligible to come off the disabled list until Saturday, the Brewers are down to two healthy outfielders on the roster. As such, Mark Reynolds made his first MLB start in right field last night, going 1-for-4.
Other notes from the field:
The Brewers will get a chance to get revenge on the Reds at 6:10 p.m. tonight when Wily Peralta takes on Mike Leake. Alyson Footer has the MLB.com preview.
- Jean Segura had two hits last night in his first start since suffering a facial laceration on Saturday. Aramis Ramirez was also back in the lineup for the first time since Monday, but went 0-for-4.
- Marco Estrada pitched six innings last night and allowed three runs on six hits, walking four and striking out six. The Brewers now have quality starts in 23 of their 29 games this season (h/t @MikeVassallo13)
- Scooter Gennett went 1-for-4 on his 24th birthday.
- Big League Stew has video and the Brewers tumblr has a gif of Carlos Gomez robbing Joey Votto of a home run in the first inning.
- Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton had to leave the game in the first inning with two sprained knuckles on his left (non-throwing) hand.
Last night's game was the Brewers' fifth without Ryan Braun, who still hasn't played since leaving Saturday night's contest with an oblique strain. The Brewers are 2-3 during his absence. Braun talked to reporters yesterday and said he "felt he was making progress" toward a return, but still isn't ready to announce a timetable. If he still can't play tomorrow, the Brewers may have to consider putting him on the DL to make room for Logan Schafer's return.
At the same link, however, we have more optimistic news regarding Matt Garza. He had to leave Wednesday's start with a bruised thumb but is still expected to throw his normal side session today and remains lined up to start the opener of the Diamondbacks series on Monday.
Martin Maldonado also didn't play in last night's game, which might be part of the reason why the Brewers lost. As part of David Schoenfield of ESPN's recap of Maldonado's bizarre month of April, he notes that the Brewers won their first six games this season when Maldonado played. They're still 5-0 when he starts at catcher.
Consider this your daily reminder that the Brewers, even after back-to-back losses, still have the best record in baseball. What that means for the future, however, is open for debate. Bryan Cole of Beyond the Box Score lists the Brewers as easily the MLB team that has most exceeded their expectations, although Steve Mancuso of Redleg Nation says "while the Brewers' lofty record may raise eyebrows, their turn-around from last year shouldn’t."
For what it's worth, Las Vegas has responded to the Brewers' big month of April. @BillShaikin notes that they had 66-1 preseason odds to win the World Series, but are now all the way up to 14-1.
Carlos Gomez is a big part of the reason the Brewers have been successful to this point, as he's played in all 29 games and is hitting .294/.356/.571 (batting average, on-base percentage, slugging) with seven home runs. He also continues to be one of the game's most valuable defensive players, and Timmy Kennedy of Call to the Pen recently named him the best center fielder in baseball.
Gomez is the only Brewer who has appeared in all 29 games this season, but that's unlikely to last a full year. @AndrewGruman notes that Pirates outfielder Travis Snider and catcher Russell Martin will have their appeals heard next week for their suspensions dating back to the Brewers/Pirates brawl from a couple of weeks ago, and that likely means that Gomez's appeal will be heard soon too. Gomez will likely receive less than the three games he was originally suspended, but almost certainly will not escape without missing at least one game.
In the minors:
Today in power rankings: Nats Insider has the Brewers third, down one spot.
If you'd like more Brewers coverage today but you're sick of reading, I'll be making my weekly appearance on The Sports Den with Downtown Ollie Burrows on Sports Fan 100.5 in Wausau at 5:30 p.m. today. Follow that link to listen in live.
Astros: Signed reliever Tony Sipp after he was released by the Padres.
Blue Jays: Designated outfielder Moises Sierra for assignment.
Braves: Signed third baseman Chris Johnson to a three-year contract extension with a club option for 2018.
Dodgers: Designated outfielder Nick Buss for assignment.
Reds: Placed pitcher Tony Cingrani on the DL with shoulder tendonitis.
Let's go around the NL Central:
- Pittsburgh had a rough day in Baltimore, needing 19 innings to lose both halves of a doubleheader against the Orioles. The Pirates also lost a challenge in the second game when umpires overturned a called HBP after previously awarding catcher Tony Sanchez first base.
- The Reds, as you likely know, beat the Brewers 8-3.
- The Cardinals and Cubs were off yesterday.
Today in former Brewers:
Here are today's updated standings and probables:
||@ Reds, 6:10 pm
||Wily Peralta vs Mike Leake
||@ Cubs, 1:20 pm
||Adam Wainwright vs Travis Wood
||vs Brewers, 6:10 pm
||Mike Leake vs Wily Peralta
||vs Cardinals, 1:20 pm
||Travis Wood vs Adam Wainwright
||vs Blue Jays, 6:05 pm
||Gerrit Cole vs Brandon Morrow
We also have one note today on a former Milwaukee Brave: Joe Torre, who played for the Braves during their final six seasons in Milwaukee, will be enshrined into Miller Park's Milwaukee Braves Honor Roll during the Brewers' off day on Thursday. Torre represented Milwaukee in the All Star Game in 1963, 1964 and 1965.
Today in baseball economics: Things are looking up for once in Miami, where Marlins TV ratings are up 42% over last season at this time. Miami is currently 14-14 and features two of the game's top young stars in Jose Fernandez and Giancarlo Stanton.
Finally, with help from Brewerfan.net, we'd like to wish a happy birthday today to Brevard County shortstop Yadiel Rivera. He turns 22.
Today is also the 21st anniversary of a 13-2 loss to the Rangers in 1993 that featured the MLB debut of reliever Jeff Bronkey, the first big leaguer born in Afghanistan, and the 43rd anniversary of reliever Marcelino Lopez driving in a pair of runs with his only MLB hit in a loss to the Yankees in 1971. 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 find my helmet.
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