Some things to read while making a blanket statement.
The Milwaukee Brewers are headed west this morning after playing three back-and-forth games against the Cincinnati Reds over the weekend. The final game got out of hand in the late innings Sunday, though, with the Brewers losing 13-4 and losing the series 2 games to 1. Noah Jarosh of Brew Crew Ball has the recap, if you missed it. This is the first time the Brewers have lost a series since dropping three of four to the Braves May 19-22.
Three Brewers pitchers allowed multiple runs on Sunday, but the day got off to a rough start with another poor outing for Marco Estrada. He allowed five runs on eight hits over five innings, and all five runs scored on three Reds homers. He continues to lead all of baseball with 23 home runs allowed, and is only the fourth pitcher in franchise history to allow at least one in 11 consecutive starts.
Estrada could tie Jeff Suppan’s franchise record for consecutive starts with a home run his next time out, and early indications suggest he’ll get the opportunity. After Sunday’s loss, Ron Roenicke expressed support for Estrada, although I’ll leave it up to you to define “certainly probably:”
“Some guys, you do stick with because of the history,” Roenicke said. “Marco certainly probably falls into that. He’s done a nice job for us. He’s going through a spell that we have to get through, and hopefully he comes out of it and gets back to that really good pitcher. He’s good when he’s on. You guys have seen him on, I’ve seen him on. He can go through good lineups when he’s on, and we have to figure out how to get him back to that.”
With that said, not everyone is remaining patient. Mike Bauman of MLB.com says it’s time for the Brewers to see what they have in Jimmy Nelson, who last pitched on Wednesday for Triple-A Nashville. The Brewers’ second-round pick in the 2010 draft has made 12 appearances in the Pacific Coast League this season and has a 1.51 ERA with 10 strikeouts per nine innings.
Other notes from the field:
- Carlos Gomez went 2-for-4 on Sunday to extend his hitting streak to 13 games, the longest by a Brewer this season. He’s also reached base safely in 30 consecutive games, becoming the eighth player in franchise history to accomplish that feat (h/t @MikeVassallo13) and the first since Prince Fielder in 2007 (h/t @CaitlinSweica).
- Rob Wooten allowed six hits without recording an out during the eighth inning Sunday, and is only the second Brewer pitcher ever to accomplish that feat (h/t @joe_block).
- Wei-Chung Wang also allowed three runs in the ninth inning Sunday. The Brewers have a minus-52 run differential in games where he’s pitched this season, and a plus-70 mark in games where he did not appear (h/t @AndrewGruman).
- Speedy Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton, who has just four home runs in two major league seasons, homered on Saturday and Sunday. That was enough to earn a mention on You Can’t Predict Baseball.
- Tom Gorzelanny made his 2014 Brewers debut on Sunday, working around a hit while pitching a scoreless sixth inning. He was activated off the disabled list and Elian Herrera was recalled from Nashville after Friday’s game, with Logan Schafer and Irving Falu optioned to Nashville to clear roster spots.
- Ryan Braun’s go-ahead home run on Saturday was hit on the first pitch, the fifth time he’s done that this season. He’s slugging 1.000 when he puts the first pitch in play (h/t @alecdopp).
- The Brewers unveiled their new “Wall of Honor” outside Miller Park before Friday night’s game, with 58 players meeting playing time criteria and qualifying for the inaugural class of inductees. Our own Howie Magner was there and posted several photos to Twitter from the event, and Mike Bauman of MLB.com has a recap of the occasion. AK of Ron Roenicke Stole My Baseball has a personal power ranking of the players in attendance.
- 42,213 fans paid to see Sunday’s game and receive a vintage Brewers bobblehead. It was the eighth sellout of the season (h/t @Haudricourt).
As I mentioned previously, the Brewers headed west after Sunday’s game and will open a four-game series with the Diamondbacks at 8:40 p.m. tonight. Wily Peralta will take on Brandon McCarthy in the opener, and Caitlin Sweica has the MLB.com preview. Catch a nap during the day today if you can, because West Coast baseball could keep you up late each of the next three nights.
The Brewers had a rough weekend, but there’s no doubt this team is still having fun. The team’s tumblr feed has a photo of everyone in costume for a “Rappers and Wranglers” road trip for their flight to Arizona.
Carlos Gomez could use a big week out west to help his chances of starting the All-Star game. Major League Baseball updated the vote totals on Sunday, and Gomez has fallen back to fourth place among National League outfielders, trailing Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins by about 31,000 votes. Ryan Braun is also fifth and about 275,000 votes back of Stanton. Follow that link for another look at the Brewers’ “Vote Gomez” campaign ad.
Jonathan Lucroy’s chances of starting the All-Star game are slim at best, but he had two hits on Sunday to raise his batting average to .336 and has reached base safely in each of his last 33 starts. He’s also earning just $2 million this season, $3 million in 2015 and $4 million in 2016 as part of the long-term extension he signed in March of 2012. Noah Jarosh of Brew Crew Ball has another look at his contract and wonders if another extension is in order. John Perrotto of Sports on Earth says Lucroy is Milwaukee’s best-kept secret, and Marc Carig of Newsday says he could be a model for Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud.
Scooter Gennett had a pair of hits and drove in two runs out of the leadoff spot Sunday, and has nine hits in five starts since moving to the top of the order on Tuesday. Caitlin Sweica of MLB.com talked to Ron Roenicke about a plate discipline adjustment that’s led to improved results for the Brewers’ second baseman.
I’ve already mentioned Tom Gorzelanny’s 2014 debut, but the Brewers are still awaiting the return of two more injured pitchers. Tyler Thornburg and Jim Henderson are both still on the disabled list, but both are headed out to Arizona to continue their rehab and resume throwing.
If you’re joining the Brewers in Arizona this week or following the team anywhere on the road this season, here’s a tool that could be useful to you: Mapquest’s new “Key to the City” site features guides to every MLB city from local baseball fans. The Miller Park edition was done by Nick Michalski of The Brewers Bar.
In the minors:
- The affiliates went 0-2 on Sunday with an abbreviated schedule as the All-Star breaks began in the Southern and Florida State Leagues. You can read recaps of both of the day’s games in today’s edition of Around the Horn at Miller Park Prospects.
- We should have news soon regarding the status of Nashville pitcher Brad Mills, who had the ability to opt out of his contract if he wasn’t added to the MLB roster over the weekend (h/t @AdamMcCalvy).
- Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has video highlights from Wisconsin’s games with Quad Cities on Friday and Saturday, including a long home run for outfielder Michael Ratterree.
Back in Milwaukee, the Brewers said farewell to a longtime team employee on Sunday. Brewers senior manager of media relations John Steinmiller started with the team in 2005 and spent his final day on the job during the Reds series finale before heading off to Phoenix to join the WNBA’s Mercury.
Today in power rankings:
- Nats Insider moved the Brewers up a spot from fourth to third.
- Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times has the Brewers holding steady as the fourth-best team in all of baseball.
If you’d like more Brewers coverage this morning but you’re sick of reading, I’ll be making my weekly appearance on The Talking Cheeseheads with Ben Larson this afternoon. Listen in on Sports Talk AM 1090 WAQE in Rice Lake or Sports Fan 100.5 in Wausau to hear it live or follow the above link later today for the archived audio.
Angels: Placed reliever Fernando Salas on the DL with shoulder inflammation.
Astros: Placed pitcher Josh Fields on the DL with forearm soreness and signed reliever Jose Veras to a minor league deal.
Cubs: Placed outfielder Emilio Bonifacio on the DL with a rib cage injury.
Diamondbacks: Placed outfielder Ender Inciarte on the seven-day DL with a concussion.
Dodgers: Placed infielder Chone Figgins on the DL with quad strain.
Marlins: Placed pitcher Nathan Eovaldi on the paternity list.
Rays: Claimed pitcher Angel Sanchez off waivers from the Marlins.
Reds: Placed reliever Sean Marshall on the DL with a shoulder strain.
Twins: Placed infielder Trevor Plouffe (oblique strain) and outfielder Aaron Hicks (shoulder injury) on the DL.
White Sox: Acquired outfielder Michael Taylor from the Athletics for a minor league pitcher and signed pitcher Henry Rodriguez to a minor league contract.
Yankees: Signed reliever Heath Bell to a minor league deal. Also, pitcher Wade LeBlanc has rejected an outright assignment to the minors and is now a free agent.
Let’s go around the NL Central:
- The Cardinals wrapped up a sweep of the Nationals with a 5-2 win on Sunday. Matt Adams and Matt Holliday both homered in the game.
- The Pirates took two of three from the Marlins, but missed a chance to sweep with a 3-2, 10-inning loss on Sunday. Vance Worley pitched seven shutout innings in his debut for Pittsburgh and received a no-decision.
- The Cubs beat the Phillies 3-0 on Sunday to clinch their first road series victory in their last 16 tries.
- The Reds, as you’ve likely heard, closed out a series win over the Brewers with a 13-4 victory on Sunday.
|Brewers||41||29||—||@ Diamondbacks, 8:40 p.m.||Wily Peralta vs Brandon McCarthy|
|Cardinals||37||32||3.5||vs Mets, 7:10 p.m.||Carlos Martinez vs Jacob deGrom|
|Cubs||28||39||11.5||@ Marlins, 6:10 p.m.||Jason Hammel vs Tom Koehler|
In the early going this season we spent a lot of time discussing the Brewers’ tendency to make outs on the basepaths, but it’s worth noting that the trend has slowed a bit. TOOTBLAN Tracker notes that the Pirates, not the Brewers, now lead all of baseball in bad outs on the bases and outfielder Starling Marte easily leads the league in that category.
Today in former Brewers:
- Robin Yount was one of dozens of former Brewers in attendance for Friday’s Wall of Honor ceremony, but while there, he dumped a bucket of cold water on the concept of the Brewers ever holding an “Old Timers’ Game.” He told the assembled media, “if we have one here, I ain’t playin’ so don’t ask me to come” (h/t BBTF).
- Jonah Keri of Grantland listed Yount’s 1982 Brewers team as the 15th “BestCoolest” team he’s ever seen.
- (1995 Brewer) Derrick May and his brother David Jr. have an interview on InStream Sports talking about their father, (1970-74 Brewer) Dave May. The elder May passed away in 2012 (h/t BBTF).
Finally, with help from the Baseball Reference Play Index, we’d like to wish a happy birthday today to:
- 1965 Milwaukee Brave Ken Johnson, who turns 81.
- 1953-58 Milwaukee Brave Ernie Johnson, who would have turned 90 (Today In Brewer History).
- 1953 Milwaukee Brave Max Surkont, who would have turned 92.
Baseball is mourning the death of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, an all-time great hitter and human who succumbed to cancer Monday morning at age 54. His death makes this CSN Philly Father’s Day story about his relationship with former Brewers player Tony Gwynn Jr. all the more poignant.
Today is also the 45th anniversary of the Seattle Pilots making their only trip to Milwaukee, visiting County Stadium to play the Chicago White Sox. 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 build a new desk.
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.