Some things to read while visiting.
The margin for error was slim but the Milwaukee Brewers were up to the challenge on Sunday, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 1-0 at PNC Park and completing the game before forecasted rain might have washed the contest away. Noah Jarosh of Brew Crew Ball has the recap, if you missed it.
The Brewers won on Sunday behind a pretty remarkable performance from Yovani Gallardo, who worked seven scoreless innings and allowed just four hits, walking one and striking out eight. He threw 121 pitches in the game, though, becoming the first Brewer to work that long since Zack Greinke in August of 2011. He also hit a pair of batters for the first time in his career, and Plunk Everyone has more on that accomplishment.
After the game, Jonathan Lucroy told @AdamMcCalvy that Gallardo was “the best I’ve seen him all year, by far.” It remains to be seen, however, if his extended outing will have long-term ramifications. Adam Wieser of Disciples of Uecker has a look at the decision to leave Gallardo in to complete the seventh inning. It is worth noting that Gallardo will have an extra day of rest before his next scheduled start on Saturday.
Elsewhere in abnormally long pitching performances, the Brewers turned to Francisco Rodriguez with two outs in the eighth inning to defend their one-run lead. Rodriguez recorded a four-out save for the first time as a Brewer, and for the first time since he did it against the Brewers as a member of the Mets in 2011 (h/t @MikeVassallo13).
Three of the Brewers’ four hits on Sunday belonged to unlikely No. 3 hitter Jonathan Lucroy, who has been hitting in what used to be Ryan Braun’s spot for more than two weeks now. Before the game Sunday, Ron Roenicke talked to reporters about wanting to get his lineup back to its normal order but being unable to do so because Jean Segura, Braun, Lucroy and Carlos Gomez have all done well in their new roles.
Segura went 0-for-4 at the plate Sunday but made a game-saving defensive play in the ninth inning that likely prevented the tying run from scoring. The Brewers tumblr has a gif of the moment.
Other notes from the field:
- This is the first time the Brewers have ever been 12 games over .500 after 64 games (h/t @AndrewGruman).
- Sunday’s win was the 67th 1-0 victory in franchise history. The Brewers have had exactly one of them in each of the last four seasons.
- The Brewers are now 10-3 against the Pirates this season. Pittsburgh is 26-22 against everyone else (h/t @jh_moore).
- It may only have been the second-best defensive play in the game, but the Brewers tumblr also has a gif of Ryan Braun throwing out a baserunner at the plate to finish off a double play in the first inning.
- Meanwhile, Bill Hanstock of SB Nation has a gif of Carlos Gomez’ attempt to check a swing on Saturday and turning it into an accidental breakdancing move.
- Pirates catcher Russell Martin and manager Clint Hurdle were ejected in the eighth inning Sunday for arguing a strike call (h/t @Todd_Rosiak).
The Brewers are getting a rare day off on Monday (one of just two in the month of June) before opening a series with the Mets in New York. Marco Estrada will take on Daisuke Matsuzaka at 6:10 p.m. Tuesday, and Tim Healey has the MLB.com preview. The Mets will be returning to Citi Field for the first time after an 11-game road trip.
The Brewers won’t be seeing Tyler Thornburg on Tuesday, but by game time, they hopefully will know more about his condition going forward. Thornburg was placed on the disabled list after Saturday’s game with elbow soreness and returned to Milwaukee to be examined by team doctor William Raasch. Mike Fiers has been called up from Triple-A to take Thornburg’s roster spot.
A return trip to the majors has been a year in the making for Fiers, who last pitched for Milwaukee on June 2, 2013. Adam McCalvy talked to him about the on-field struggles, injuries and personal tragedy that have slowed his second ascent to the big leagues. Fiers has also changed jersey numbers from 64 to 50 (h/t @MikeVassallo13).
Fiers may not be the only pitcher to make his 2014 debut with the Brewers this week. Tom Gorzelanny’s 30-day rehab assignment will expire on Thursday, meaning the Brewers can no longer keep him in the minors and will have to either activate him off the DL or expose him to waivers. Nashville Sounds play-by-plan man Jeff Hem talked to Gorzelanny about his situation on Saturday.
I’ve already mentioned Jonathan Lucroy’s big day on Sunday, the latest in a stretch of 27 consecutive starts in which he’s reached base safely. Lucroy is sometimes overshadowed by some of the other stars at his position, but Chris Moran of Beyond the Box Score says he’s the best catcher in baseball.
Does Lucroy also belong in the conversation for the NL MVP Award? Scott Lindholm of Beyond the Box Score has him seventh in his current predictions, three spots behind teammate Carlos Gomez and well back of Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.
Mark Reynolds, on the other hand, went 0-for-3 with a strikeout Sunday and is hitting just .182/.302/.341 (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging) in his last 14 games. He has two home runs during that time, though, and Daniel Kelley of Fake Teams says his ability to go deep is making him one of this season’s most underutilized fantasy players.
Meanwhile around baseball, the top story this weekend was the 2014 MLB draft. Eric Nehm rounded up all the coverage of first round pick Kodi Medeiros when he filled in for me on Friday, but today we have much more on that selection and the Brewers’ later round picks from over the weekend:
- The Brewer Nation has audio from first round pick Kodi Medeiros and supplemental first-round pick Jacob Gatewood’s introductory phone calls with the media.
- Caitlin Swieca of MLB.com has short stories on the Brewers’ third- through 10th-round picks, two more on their 12th-round pick (another Hawaiian, high school pitcher Jordan Yamamoto) and 19th-round (Illinois high school pitcher Zach Hirsch) selections, and comments from Brewers executives about the team’s early-round picks.
- The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a list of players the Brewers selected on the draft’s final day, rounds 11-40.
- The Brewers have already reportedly signed Gatewood and second-round pick Monte Harrison, although the two contracts are believed to exceed the picks’ combined slot value by nearly $1.15 million.
- Sixth-round pick David Michael Burkhalter, a high school pitcher from Louisiana, has signed and received a $200,000 bonus. Slot value for the pick was $251,900.
Elsewhere in the minors:
- The affiliates went 4-2 on Sunday, and two of those wins came from Wisconsin, as the Timber Rattlers swept a doubleheader against Clinton. Brad Krause of Miller Park Prospects has short recaps from all of the day’s action.
- With the wins, Wisconsin improved to 31-31 in 2014, and they’re two games back of a Midwest League playoff spot with seven games left to play in the first half. Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has audio from Sunday’s doubleheader and more on the playoff picture.
- I’ve already mentioned Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem’s interview with Tom Gorzelanny, but he also has audio with Sounds infielder Hector Gomez and pitcher Kyle Heckathorn.
- Mike Woods of the Appleton Post Crescent has a Q&A with Wisconsin pitcher Barrett Astin, the Brewers’ third-round pick in 2013.
In power rankings:
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has the Brewers as the National League’s second-best team.
- Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times has the Brewers as baseball’s fourth-best team, up a spot from last week.
- Tim Brown of Yahoo has the Brewers holding steady as the fourth-best team.
- Bill Evans of the South Jersey Times also has the Brewers fourth.
- Dugout Perspective has the Brewers as the National League’s fifth-best team.
If you’d like more Brewers coverage today but you’re sick of reading, I have a couple of Monday options for you:
- I’ll be stopping by The Home Stretch with Justin Hull on 95.3 WSCO in Appleton from 3-3:30 p.m. or so today to talk MLB draft and much more. I’ll be live in-studio taking your calls, emails and tweets, so listen in and get your voice heard.
- Sometime this afternoon, I’ll also be making my weekly appearance on The Talking Cheeseheads with Ben Larson. Listen in live on Sports Talk AM 1090 WAQE in Rice Lake or Sports Fan 100.5 in Wausau, or follow the link above later for the archived audio.
Angels: Signed pitcher Joel Pineiro to a minor league deal.
Athletics: Designated outfielder Kent Matthes for assignment.
Blue Jays: Signed reliever Luis Ayala to a minor league deal.
Giants: Designated reliever David Huff for assignment.
Orioles: Placed reliever Miguel Gonzalez on the DL with an oblique strain. Also, reliever Heath Bell opted out of his minor league contract and is now a free agent.
Padres: Placed second baseman Jedd Gyorko on the DL with plantar fasciitis and designated outfielder/pitcher Jason Lane for assignment.
Phillies: Placed reliever Mike Adams on the DL with shoulder inflammation.
Pirates: Placed pitcher Gerrit Cole on the DL with shoulder fatigue.
Rays: Designated reliever Josh Lueke for assignment.
Rockies: Placed pitcher Jordan Lyles on the DL with a fracture in his non-throwing hand.
Twins: Signed first baseman/DH Kendrys Morales to a one-year, $7.5 million contract and designated outfielder Jason Kubel for assignment.
Let’s go around the NL Central:
- The Cardinals pitched back-to-back 5-0 shutouts to bounce back from Friday’s defeat and pick up a series win over the Blue Jays. Jaime Garcia and two relievers combined to blank Toronto on Sunday.
- The Reds scored four in the fifth inning and coasted to a 4-1 win and a series victory over the Phillies. Homer Bailey allowed a single run on six hits over eight innings and threw 121 pitches for the win.
- The Cubs snapped their five-game winning streak with a 4-3 loss to the Marlins on Sunday. Chicago led 2-0 in the top of the seventh but Miami scored two runs each in the seventh and eighth innings against a pair of Cubs relievers.
- The Brewers, as you likely know, completed a series win over the Pirates with a 1-0 victory on Sunday.
Here are today’s standings and probables:
|Reds||29||32||7.5||vs Dodgers, 6:10 p.m.||Tony Cingrani vs Dan Haren|
|Pirates||29||33||8||vs Cubs, 6:05 p.m.||Charlie Morton vs Edwin Jackson|
|Cubs||25||35||11||@ Pirates, 6:05 p.m.||Edwin Jackson vs Charlie Morton|
Today in former Brewers:
- Royals outfielder Norichika Aoki survived a scary moment on Thursday when Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina’s attempted throw back to the mound hit him in the side of the face. He was able to finish the game and also played on Friday and Saturday.
- Tyler Drenon of MLB Daily Dish is asking if the Orioles got a discounted All Star in Nelson Cruz.
- Matt Collins of Over The Monster has a look at the “quiet value” reliever Burke Badenhop has brought to the Red Sox. Badenhop has a 1.82 ERA over 28 relief appearances for Boston.
- Jeff Passan of Yahoo is listing Norichika Aoki and J.J. Hardy among players who have hurt their free agent cases for this winter with poor starts to their seasons.
A defensive shift may have saved the game for the Brewers on Sunday, as Jean Segura was playing out of position when he snared a ball hit up the middle in the ninth inning. Overall, however, evidence that the shift is working is a little harder to find. Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs went through the data and found that batting averages on balls in play have not changed in any notable way while the shift has increased in popularity.
- Wisconsin Timber Rattler Trevor Seidenberger, who turns 22.
- Wisconsin Timber Rattler Clint Terry, who turns 22.
- 2006 Brewer Drew Anderson, who turns 33.
- 1990 Brewer Tom Edens, who turns 53.
- 1990 Brewer Dave Parker, who turns 63.
Plunk Everyone notes that Parker’s 56 career HBP are the most ever for a position player born on June 9.
Today is also the fifth anniversary of the Brewers drafting Mike Fiers in the 24th round of the 2009 MLB draft and the 44th anniversary of Tigers left fielder Willie Horton becoming the first opposing player to homer three times against the Brewers after their move to Milwaukee in 1970. Follow the links for those events’ respective entries in Today In Brewer History at Brew Crew Ball.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m taking a picture.
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.