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Thursday: Interleague ends
We're wrapping up the games against American League teams in today's roundup of all things Brewers.


Some things to read while painting virtual lines.

The Milwaukee Brewers fell a little short in their efforts for a sixth consecutive win on Wednesday, losing 9-5 to the Toronto Blue Jays at Miller Park. Adam McCalvy of MLB.com has a recap, if you missed it.

The Brewers had some chances to win on Wednesday but got rough outings from Jimmy Nelson and multiple members of the bullpen. Nelson allowed four runs on nine hits and two walks over just 5 2/3 innings, but Jim Callis of Sports On Earth still listed him as one of six pitchers that could be the young ace of a playoff squad in October. Callis says Nelson "has the best stuff in his rotation and, unlike many rookies, already does a commendable job of throwing strikes."

Even with the loss, the Brewers wrapped up their 2014 interleague schedule with an 11-9 record. They went 6-14 against American League opponents in 2013 and hadn't finished an interleague season with a winning record since 2010.

Mark your calendar today to meet Jimmy Nelson at Legends of the Field's Mequon location on Saturday, Aug. 23, from 11 a.m-noon. Click here for more information on this and other upcoming events.
 
Other notes from the field:
  • Scooter Gennett continues to recover from a sore quad and told @CaitlinSweica that Tuesday was the first time he's been able to run full speed in warmups since before the injury. He ran out an infield single on Wednesday and told Sweica he didn't feel any pain.
  • The home run Brandon Kintzler allowed in the sixth inning was his first in 13 outings (h/t @AdamMcCalvy). The longest such streak by a Brewer this season belongs to Rob Wooten, who hasn't allowed one in his last 37 MLB appearances.
  • Will Smith surrendered two runs in the ninth inning in his MLB-leading 64th appearance of the season (h/t @MILGameday).
  • The Brewers estimated Carlos Gomez's sixth-inning home run at 432 feet (h/t @joe_block). Hit Tracker had it at a much more modest 419 feet.
  • Jean Segura was on base four times on Thursday with two hits and a pair of walks (h/t @Haudricourt). He reached base safely four or more times in a game seven times in 2013, but this was the first time he's done it in 2014.
  • Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk has a video of Brewers broadcasters Brian Anderson and Bill Schroeder buying a beer for a fan who had his previous drink spilled by an overzealous pursuit of a foul ball.
  • 39,300 fans paid to see Wednesday's game, putting the Brewers at 2.18 million tickets sold through 64 home games. Three millions fans is probably out of reach for 2014, but 2.85 million or so seems well within reach. That would be the fifth-highest total in franchise history.
  • The Polish won the Sausage Race.
The Brewers are off again today before continuing the homestand against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday. Yovani Gallardo takes on Jeff Locke at 7:10 p.m. in the opener, and Caitlin Sweica has the MLB.com preview.

Having a pair of off days this week has made it a little easier for the Brewers to get by without Kyle Lohse and Matt Garza, although both now have timetables to rejoin the team. Noah Jarosh of Brew Crew Ball has the details, but Lohse is expected to return from his sore ankle next week and Matt Garza is projected to come back in early September.

When Lohse does come back, he's expected to return to being one of the game's most quietly solid pitchers. Grant Brisbee of SB Nation listed him as the game's ninth-most underrated player. 

With that said, the Brewers have thrived without two of their veteran arms at least partially because of the efforts of Mike Fiers, who has allowed just two runs and struck out 25 opposing batters through three starts in the big leagues. Fiers told Adam McCalvy he's trying to not look at the numbers.

Wily Peralta's strong year in his second full season in the majors is another major reason the Brewers have done well. Steven Jewell of Reviewing the Brew has a look at Peralta's year, which could be one of the first of many in Milwaukee.

Jonathan Lucroy didn't have a double on Wednesday, but he still has four in his last five games and leads all of baseball with 42 on the season. Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a story on Lucroy's knack for taking two bases.

Meanwhile, it's been previously reported that reliever Jim Henderson is out for the rest of the season with continued shoulder issues. He had surgery to clean up the shoulder this week, and teammate Tom Gorzelanny told him to be patient with the healing process. Gorzelanny had a similar surgery last December.

It remains to be seen if Henderson's mid-90's velocity will come back when he's healthy next season. His velocity seems to be a big part of his game, but Jeffrey Long and Bryan Cole of Beyond the Box Score ask if throwing harder really makes a reliever more effective.

With that said, the Brewers relief corps has been pretty good even without Henderson this season. Jonathan Judge of Disciples of Uecker has a look at their performance to date.

In the minors:
  • The affiliates that weren't postponed due to rain went 2-2 on Wednesday, with one of the wins coming from Wisconsin, where catcher Clint Coulter had three hits and drove in three runs in an 8-3 win over Clinton. You can read about all of the day's action in the Brewerfan.net Link Report.
  • Jay D of Reviewing the Brew has a look at Coulter's 2014 season. He was their No. 10 prospect in the Brewers organization before the season.
  • The Brewerfan.net community has unveiled their rankings of the top 25 prospects in the Brewers organization, led by Brevard County shortstop Orlando Arcia, outfielder Tyrone Taylor and Coulter.
  • Wisconsin unveiled its 2015 schedule on Wednesday and it starts a little later, with the season opening on April 9 and the home opener scheduled for April 12. 
Closer to home, the Brewers have formed a team of young professionals, dubbed them the "Brewers Creative Council," and put them to work developing and evaluating the team's promotions and marketing for a younger audience. The group includes a pretty interesting collection of bright minds from around town.

Around baseball:

Cardinals: Placed second baseman Mark Ellis on the DL with an oblique strain.
Indians: Placed outfielder Ryan Raburn on the DL with a sore wrist and signed pitcher Scott Atchison to a one-year, $900,000 contract extension.
Padres: Designated pitcher Bobby LaFromboise for assignment.

Let's go around the NL Central:
  • The Cardinals are winners of four straight after a 7-3 victory over the Reds on Wednesday. Outfielder Jon Jay was on base four times, scored two runs and played all three outfield positions in the game.
  • The Pirates snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 3-2, walkoff win over the Braves. Pittsburgh trailed 2-0 in the bottom of the eighth inning but came back to win on Gaby Sanchez's sac fly in the ninth.
  • The Cubs fell behind early and never came back in an 8-3 loss to the Giants. San Francisco had 14 hits in the game, including seven for extra bases.
  • The Brewers, as you've likely heard, wrapped up interleague play with a 9-5 loss to the Blue Jays.
Here are today's updated standings and probables:
Team  GB  Today  Matchup 
Brewers  71  56  --  OFF   
Cardinals  69  57  1.5  OFF   
Pirates  65  62  OFF   
Reds  61  66  10  vs Braves, 6:10 p.m.  David Holmberg vs Julio Teheran 
Cubs 54  71  16  vs Giants, 7:05 p.m.  Travis Wood vs Madison Bumgarner 

As of this morning, Baseball Prospectus gives the Brewers a 91.2 percent chance to make the playoffs and a 55.1 percent chance to win the NL Central. The former number has gone up nearly 18 percentage points in the last seven days.
 
In addition to today's scheduled game, the Cubs and Giants will also play the final few innings of a game that started on Tuesday. The game had previously been declared final after four and a half innings due to rain and wet grounds, but the Giants protested that decision and were successful.

Today in former Brewers:
Finally, with help from Brewerfan.net and the Baseball Reference Play Index, we'd like to wish a happy birthday today to:
Today is also the 32nd anniversary of Rollie Fingers picking up career save No. 300 in a 3-2 win over the Mariners. Follow the link for that event's entry in Today In Brewer History at Brew Crew Ball.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go pick up my bat.

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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