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Wednesday: A retaliatory slam
We're talking about Jonathan Lucroy's revenge and more in today's roundup of all things Brewers.

Some things to read while considering the candidates.

The Milwaukee Brewers are 2-0 on their current road trip largely thanks to the heroics of Jonathan Lucroy, whose second homer of the game was a grand slam in a 7-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field Tuesday night. Derek Harvey of Brew Crew Ball has the recap, if you missed it.

Lucroy's seventh-inning slam was all the more satisfying after Diamondbacks pitcher Evan Marshall was ejected from the game for throwing back-to-back pitches at Ryan Braun, the previous batter. The Diamondbacks celebrated the incident and the ejection, which will likely lead to Marshall and/or Arizona manager Kirk Gibson being suspended. Gibson had given Marshall an enthusiastic fist bump after the plunking. And Braun, of course, came around to score on Lucroy's blast.

Matthew Pouliot of Hardball Talk nailed it in his post on the game:

"This is the second game of a four-game series; if Gibson and the Diamondbacks really needed to settle the score with the Brewers, they had plenty of time left to do it and not throw away a game in the process. But it seems proving the team’s grit and toughness matters more than wins and losses right now."

The Brewers, for what it's worth, responded about as I'd hoped they would:

Mark your calendar today to meet Kyle Lohse at Legends of the Field's Delafield location on Thursday, July 10, from 6-7 p.m. Click here for more information on this and other upcoming events.
 
Lucroy's push to make the National League All-Star team may have gained a little more momentum with his big game. This also could help: the Brewers have unveiled another "attack" ad targeted at St. Louis Cardinals standout and leading vote-getter for catchers, Yadier Molina. Lucroy has reached base safely at least once in each of his last 35 starts.

Other notes from the field:
  • The Brewers are 14 games over .500 for the first time this season (h/t @KenSpindler). 
  • Jean Segura had the 19th two-triple game in Brewers franchise history Tuesday night. Carlos Gomez was the last player to do it, in June of 2013.
  • Scooter Gennett had three hits on Tuesday and has at least two in five consecutive games. 
  • Elian Herrera drove in his first run as a Brewer with a seventh-inning sac fly (h/t @Todd_Rosiak).
  • The Diamondbacks altered their rotation a bit on Tuesday, pushing scheduled starter Wade Miley back a day and recalling Mike Bolsinger from Triple-A to make the start. Reliever Will Harris, who struggled to get outs in Monday's game, was optioned to the minors to clear a roster spot.
  • Brewers owner Mark Attanasio was in attendance for Tuesday's game and had a pretty good view of the night's shenanigans (h/t @AdamMcCalvy).
This week's story likely isn't over, as the two teams meet again at 8:40 p.m. tonight. Matt Garza is scheduled to take on Miley, and Grace Raynor has the MLB.com preview.
 
Tonight's game will also likely feature the return of Carlos Gomez, who has missed each of the Brewers' last two games with a sore hamstring. Before Tuesday's game, Gomez told reporters that he wanted to play, but the team insisted on giving him another day to get closer to 100 percent.

Over the weekend, I heard someone say that Flag Day, which was Saturday, is the start of the MLB trade season. That was a new one for me, but Wick Terrell of MLB Daily Dish has a preview of potential trade deadline activity for the Brewers. Terrell sees the Brewers as unlikely to make any improvements at first base or in the starting rotation, but thinks they could acquire a reliever.

Meanwhile, the Brewers are unlikely to acquire an outfielder and appear happy with the contributions they're receiving from Gomez, Braun and Khris Davis. Ben Tannenbaum of Reviewing the Brew has an attempt to evaluate the Brewers' outfielders as a group against other teams.

In the minors:
  • The Brewers alleviated a roster crunch on Tuesday by trading Nashville pitcher Brad Mills to the Athletics for a dollar. Mills had a sub-2.00 ERA in Triple-A and a clause in his contract allowing him to opt out of his minor league deal if another team was willing to add him to their 25-man roster. Athletics Nation compared Mills to some other things you can and cannot acquire for a dollar.
  • Mills is likely to slot into the rotation for Oakland, but was only eighth or so on the starting pitching depth chart for the Brewers. Caitlin Sweica of MLB.com has a look at how a philosophical shift in pitching development has paid off.
  • Back on the field, the affiliates went 2-1, with one of the wins coming from Brevard County, where Tyrone Taylor had four hits in the Manatees' 10-5 win over Dunedin. You can read more about that and all of the day's action in today's edition of Minor League Notes at Brew Crew Ball.
  • Helena had the other win behind a solid pitching outing from Devin Williams, who allowed a single run on three hits over six innings (h/t @BrewersPD).
  • Noah Jarosh of Brew Crew Ball has an interview with pitcher Cy Sneed, the Brewers' third-round pick in the 2014 draft.
  • This year's 26th-round pick, Cre Finfrock, as well as 28th-round pick Turner Larkins (h/t @JonHeymanCBS) and 39th-round pick John Gavin (h/t @Cameron_Schott) have all announced intentions to pass on signing with the Brewers and go to college.
  • The Brevard County Manatees blog has a recap of the outings of the two players who represented the team at the Florida State League All-Star Game. Tyler Wagner pitched a scoreless inning and catcher Cameron Garfield went 0-for-1. Damien Magnifico was also selected but did not appear in the contest.
Today in power rankings:

If you'd like more Brewers coverage today but you're sick of reading, I'll be making my weekly appearance on The Home Stretch with Justin Hull on 95.3 WSCO in Appleton at 3 p.m. today. I'll be in-studio for most of an hour taking your calls, emails and tweets, so listen in and get your voice heard.

Around baseball:

Athletics: Placed pitcher Drew Pomeranz on the DL with a broken hand.
Braves: Placed reliever David Carpenter on the DL with a biceps strain.
Orioles: Designated pitcher Josh Stinson for assignment.
Rangers: Signed first baseman Carlos Pena to a minor league deal.
Red Sox: Designated outfielder Grady Sizemore for assignment.
Rockies: Pitcher Nick Masset has been suspended for three games for throwing at Braves catcher Evan Gattis on Thursday.

Pomeranz broke his hand punching a chair following a rough outing, opening the door for Brad Mills to join Oakland's rotation.

There's also more to the story regarding the Sizemore transaction linked above: @ChrisCotillo notes that the (now former) Red Sox outfielder was 20 plate appearances and 12 days on the active roster away from receiving $500,000 in contract incentives.

Let's go around the NL Central:
  • The Cardinals kept the pressure on with their fifth consecutive win, beating the Mets 5-2. Yadier Molina hit his sixth home run of the season in the game.
  • The Reds moved into third place with a 6-5 win over the Pirates. Todd Frazier's 16th home run of the season came in the ninth inning and plated the go-ahead run.
  • The Cubs got a quality start from Jeff Samardzija but it was not enough in a 6-5 loss to the Marlins.
Here are today's updated standings and probables:
Team  GB  Today  Matchup 
Brewers  43  29  --  @ Diamondbacks, 8:40 p.m.  Matt Garza vs Wade Miley 
Cardinals  39  32  3.5  vs Mets, 12:45 p.m.  Lance Lynn vs Bartolo Colon 
Reds  34  35  7.5  @ Pirates, 6:05 p.m.  Alfredo Simon vs Edinson Volquez
Pirates  34  36  vs Reds, 6:05 p.m.  Edinson Volquez vs Alfredo Simon
Cubs  29  40  12.5  @ Marlins, 11:40 a.m.  Jake Arrieta vs Nathan Eovaldi 

The Cubs are now one of four National League teams with at least 40 losses, and they're likely to be sellers at next month's trade deadline. Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports they've already started listening to offers for pitchers Jeff Samardzija, Edwin Jackson, Jason Hammel and Jake Arrieta.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have the Royals. They were 24-28 on May 28 but have won 14 of 18 since, including nine in a row, and have moved into first place in the AL Central.

Today in former Brewers: Bill Chuck of Gammons Daily notes that Norichika Aoki and J.J. Hardy have the second- and third-longest homerless streaks in all of baseball this season.

With help from Brewerfan.net and the Baseball Reference Play Index, we'd like to wish a happy birthday today to:
  • Helena Brewer Tucker Neuhaus, who turns 19.
  • Waterford, Wis., native Charlie Ganzel, who would have turned 152. Ganzel played 14 MLB seasons between 1884-97 as a member of the Boston Beaneaters (Braves) and three other teams.
Plunk Everyone notes that Ganzel's 18 career HBP are the fourth-most ever for a position player born on June 18.
 
Today is also the 11th anniversary of a game in 2003 in which Brewers pitcher Glendon Rusch needed 62 pitches to record just three outs in a loss, the 38th anniversary of Hank Aaron hitting career home run No. 750 in 1976, and the 45th anniversary of Tommy Harper setting a franchise record by stealing four bases in a 6-5 Seattle Pilots win over the White Sox in 1969. Follow the links for those events' respective entries in Today In Brewer History at Brew Crew Ball.
 
Finally, you may have noticed that I use Baseball Reference's resources every day to pick out Brewers birthdays, and I also use them for all kinds of other searches and queries that greatly improve my ability to discuss this team. Yesterday, B-Ref introduced a feature allowing you to surf their sites ad-free, and I'm proud to be one of the first to sign up for it.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to place my order.

Drink up.

Don't forget to follow Kyle on Twitter @BrewFrostyMug, and check out and "like" the Mug's Facebook page. The Frosty Mug runs mornings Monday-Friday and is brought to you by Legends of the Field, a sports memorabilia company you can trust.




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