Some things to read while trying to defeat James Bond.
By Eric Nehm
After taking a day off to rest from their west coast flight, the Brewers picked up right where they left off with a 6-1 victory over the Blue Jays in Miller Park Tuesday night. Derek Harvey of Brew Crew Ball has a recap, if you missed it.
After throwing 44 pitches in the first two innings, it looked as though Mike Fiers may struggle in his third start in the Brewers rotation since being asked to fill in for Matt Garza, but he quickly turned it around and took control. When Fiers left the game after seven innings, he had retired 18 straight batters in just 106 pitches. Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes that this is just the second time in Fiers’ career that he has recorded a win in three consecutive starts.
While Fiers focused on his work on the mound, his teammates doubled. And then doubled again. And then doubled some more. The Brewers used back-to-back doubles to score three of their runs on Tuesday night and, by the time Khris Davis doubled in the fifth inning to score the Brewers’ fifth run, the Brewers had hit a season high seven doubles (h/t @AdamMcCalvy). This tally was two short of the franchise record of nine, most recently done in 2009 (h/t @ joe_block).
Two of those doubles came from Jonathan Lucroy, who was starting at first base for the tenth time this season. The two doubles pushed Lucroy’s tally up to 42 on the season, making him the MLB's doubles leader after entering the night tied with the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera (h/t @CaitlinSwieca).
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Other notes from the field:
- Tuesday was the 22nd time in franchise history that the Brewers have hit at least seven doubles in a game (h/t @AdamMcCalvy).
- The Brewers starting staff has been on a bit of a roll in the last month. @MikeVassallo13 notes that in the last 27 games, Brewers starters have a 2.36 ERA including 23 quality starts. They have allowed just 45 earned runs in 171.2 innings pitched.
- Fiers’ performance on Tuesday becomes even more impressive when considering that Tuesday’s game was the first time all season the Blue Jays did not record at least three hits in a game (h/t @AndrewGruman).
- Though the pitching and hitting will get most of the attention, the defense was pretty impressive last night, as well. Catcher-turned-first-baseman Jonathan Lucroy made a diving stab and flip to Fiers to get the speedy Jose Reyes in the sixth. Then, Aramis Ramirez made “The Aramis Ramirez play” as @CaitlinSwieca likes to call it.
- 42,221 fans were in attendance at Miller Park last night. That is called a sellout (h/t @BrewerNation).
Before the game last night, Ben Tannenbaum of the Brewers Bar took a closer look at Fiers and his ability as a starting pitcher. Though it is tough to come to any sort of conclusions, Tannenbaum does bring up a few things that are important to keep in mind about Fiers going forward. He cites some of Fiers’ peripheral stats, including his abnormally high strand rate and well-below average BABIP, as reasons that Brewers fans should not expect Fiers to be a top of the rotation guy, but should be fine with him as their fifth starter for the rest of this season.
Speaking of peripheral stats revealing an underlying truth, Jonathan Judge at Disciples of Uecker examined the Brewers bullpen to find out one thing: It’s really good. There has been a prevailing narrative this season that the Brewers overworked their bullpen early on, and since, it has been faltering. This is false and Judge uses SIERA and BABIP to show that the bullpen’s regression is much less significant than you may think.
One arm the Brewers won’t be using out of the bullpen the rest of this season is Jim Henderson as he underwent surgery on Tuesday to clean up the labrum and rotator cuff in his right shoulder. Adam McCalvy writes that Dr. James Andrews performed the surgery in Florida and Henderson would remain a cost-effective option in the Brewers bullpen if he can reclaim his velocity.
In the minors:
- The affiliates went 4-2 on Tuesday with Huntsville splitting a doubleheader. Brevard County pulled out an improbable 2-1 victory on a two-run walk-off single from Tyrone Taylor after the Manatees went hitless for the first 7.1 innings. You can read about all of the day’s action in the Brewerfan.net Link Report.
- Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem takes a trip down memory road in an interview with Isotopes pitcher and former Sound Jeff Bennett.
- As the season is coming to an end, Reviewing the Brew is going to check back in with their top-rated prospects from earlier in the season. This time, Jay D takes a closer look at Clint Coulter.
If you’re heading out to Miller Park for the game this afternoon, you might be interested in knowing that the Double Clutch stand on the Loge Level is serving a “Maple-Glazed Pork Belly BLT” topped with oven-roasted tomatoes, bibb lettuce and roasted garlic aioli.
- Cardinals: Placed 2B Mark Ellis on the 15-day DL retroactive to August 15 with left oblique soreness.
- Indians: Placed RF Ryan Raburn on the 15-day DL retroactive to August 18 with right wrist soreness.
- Mets: Placed RHP Bartolo Colon on the bereavement list.
- Nationals: Announced CF Nate McLouth (on 15-day DL) will be out for the season with an injured right shoulder.
- Pirates: Activated CF Andrew McCutchen from the 15-day DL.
- Rockies: Transferred SS Troy Tulowitzki from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL for his left hip flexor strain.
Let’s go around the NL Central:
- The Cardinals scored a walk-off victory over the Cincinnati Reds for the second straight night. On Tuesday night, a walk-off hit by pitch broke a 5-5 tie in the ninth inning and gave the Cardinals their third straight victory. With the win, the Cardinals kept pace with the Brewers and still trail Milwaukee by 2.5 games. The Reds have now dropped four straight games and trail the Brewers by 10 games.
- The Pirates lost their seventh consecutive game as they fell 11-3 to the Braves. Francisco Liriano gave up seven earned runs in just four innings pitched and the Pirates fell to 7 games behind the Brewers. Last Wednesday, they were second in the NL Central and just 1.5 games behind Milwaukee.
- The Cubs and Giants fit in four innings before the game was delayed because of excessive rain and ground crew incompetence (h/t @annfrazi). After a four hour, 34 minute rain delay, the game was called and the Cubs won with a 2-0 victory in the middle of the fifth inning. The Cubs remain 15.5 games behind the Brewers.
- The Brewers, as you already know, beat the Blue Jays 6-1.
Finally, with help from the Baseball Reference Play Index, we’d like to wish a happy birthday today to:
- 1993-94 Brewer Tom Brunansky, who turns 54.
- 1979 Brewer Lance Rautzhan, who turns 64.
Today is the 53rd anniversary of the end of Major League Baseball’s longest losing streak. In 1961, in the second game of a doubleheader, the Milwaukee Braves fell to the Philadelphia Phillies and thus ended the Phillies’ 23-game losing streak. It is also the 21st anniversary of Cal Eldred pitching ten innings in an extra inning start in 1993. Follow the links for those events’ respective entries in Today in Brewer History that Kyle wrote with Brew Crew Ball.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to collect supplies.
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