By Eric Nehm
Some things to read while trying to make the nightmares go away.
The Milwaukee Brewers took the day off after a weekend series in Los Angeles to prepare for a two-game series in Milwaukee. They’ll play the first game tonight, with Michael Fiers filling in for Kyle Lohse against J.A. Happ for the Toronto Blue Jays. Caitlin Swieca has the MLB.com preview.
Before moving on to this week’s action, Adam Weiser at Disciples of Uecker detailed his experience as a Brewers fan in Los Angeles over the weekend. The jeers of opposing fans towards Ryan Braun have been audible on broadcasts all year long, but Weiser got a chance to experience it firsthand in Dodger Stadium on Friday and Saturday. But Braun and the Brewers helped silence the crowd, as did some other Brewers fans in Weiser’s section.
The Brewers’ winning weekend increased their odds of making the playoffs by more than 10 percent from the last time the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Matt Montgomery took a look just one week ago. This week, Montgomery created an interactive graphic that allows fans to play around with various filters and see the league’s playoff forecast visually. There is also a great graph displaying the favorite in the NL Central throughout the season with the Brewers currently in the lead.
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Wins have been piling up for the Brewers, and Ryan Topp of Disciples of Uecker took a look at why the Brewers keep winning despite the doubts of many. Many have argued that the Brewers have capitalized on an incredible April to keep a lead despite a mediocre rest of the season, but Topp argues that is simply not true.
While Topp looked at the Brewers, Derek Harvey of Brew Crew Ball looked at the health of the rest of the NL Central and how their healthier rosters may impact the Brewers the rest of the way. Harvey sees the return of Brandon Phillips as a minor improvement to the Reds, but mentions Andrew McCutchen’s inevitable return to the Pirates lineup could make the biggest impact in the NL Central race.
Lyle Spencer of MLB.com turned the attention from the field to the dugout in his article touting Ron Roenicke as the National League’s Manager of the Year. Spencer argues that nobody is more deserving of the award as Roenicke has led the Brewers to the top of the NL Central over the favored Cardinals and Pirates this season.
One of the things that has made Roenicke’s job a bit easier is catcher Jonathan Lucroy and his propensity to spray doubles all over the field. Although Lucroy is currently just a bit short of Lyle Overbay’s franchise record of 53 doubles in 2004, Brew Crew Ball’s Noah Jarosh notes that Lucroy, as league leader, is on pace to become the first catcher to ever lead his leagues in doubles.
In the minors:
- Congratulations are due out this morning to Helena Brewers pitcher Jorge Ortega, who was honored as the Pioneer League’s Pitcher of the Week. Ortega pitched seven scoreless innings while giving up just three base hits and striking out three on his way to his third win of the year.
- On the field, the affiliates went 3-3, with Huntsville’s game getting rained out last night. Alfredo Rodriguez smashed the Manatees’ first grand slam of the season to lead Brevard County to an 8-0 victory. You can read all about the day’s action in the Brewerfan.net Link Report.
- Nashville broadcaster has his weekly interview with Sounds manager Rick Sweet.
Closer to home, the Brewers have announced the formation of the “Brewers Creative Council”, a team of young professionals who will evaluate and create new promotional ideas that will target a younger demographic of Brewers fans and potential Brewers fans. The council will be headed by Brewers Director of New Media Caitlin Moyer and meet regularly to share new ideas.
Today in power rankings:
- ESPN has the Brewers seventh this week, just like they did last week.
- Eduardo Perez, in the video attached to the ESPN power rankings, has the Brewers as the best team in baseball.
- Jonah Keri has the Brewers in fifth, up a spot from last week.
- Call to the Pen has the Brewers in fourth, up four spots.
- Blue Jays: Claimed 1B Matt Hague off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates and optioned him to Triple-A Buffalo.
- Mariners: Recalled Roenis Elias from Triple-A Tacoma.
- Pirates: Put RHP Charlie Morton on 15-day DL with right hip inflammation.
- Reds: Activated RHP Logan Ondrusek and 2B Brandon Phillips from the 15-day disabled list.
- Red Sox: Sent OF Allen Craig on a rehab assignment to Triple-A Pawtucket.
- Yankees: Activated C Brian McCann from the seven-day concussion list.
Let’s go around the NL Central:
- The Brewers, as you likely know, had the day off. The rest of the NL Central was active.
- The Cardinals and Reds went back-and-forth in St. Louis last night before the Cardinals ultimately came out on top with a walkoff 6-5 win in the 10th inning. After Trevor Rosenthal blew a save to allow extra innings, Jhonny Peralta hit a walkoff single to put the Cardinals just two and a half games behind the Brewers in the NL Central. The Reds are now separated from the Brewers by nine games.
- The Pirates lost their sixth straight game on Monday night as they fell 7-3 to the Atlanta Braves and are now six games behind the Brewers. Pirates starter Vance Worley put his squad in a big hole giving up six first-inning runs to the Braves.
- The Cubs went to New York and came back late to beat the Mets 4-1 with three runs in the final two innings of the game. Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez homered in the Cubs’ victory which put them 15.5 games behind the Brewers.
Finally, with help from the Baseball Reference Play Index, we’d like to wish a happy birthday to:
- 2005-2009 Brewer J.J. Hardy, who turns 32.
- 2004-2010 Brewer Chris Capuano, who turns 36.
- 1987 Brewer Mark Ciardi, who turns 53.
- 1980-83 Brewer and 2003-08 manager Ned Yost, who turns 60.
- 1979-80 Brewer Paul Mitchell, who turns 65.
We’d also like to wish a happy birthday to current Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, who turns 58. Kyle covered his birthday in Today in Brewer History at Brew Crew Ball three years ago.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some pictures to frame.
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.