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#495112871 / gettyimages.com Some things to read while wearing your new hat. The Milwaukee Brewers closed out a series win in emphatic fashion on Sunday, beating the Chicago Cubs 9-0 to take two out of three games for the third consecutive series. Jordan Mader of Brew Crew Ball has the recap, if you missed it. […]

Some things to read while wearing your new hat.

The Milwaukee Brewers closed out a series win in emphatic fashion on Sunday, beating the Chicago Cubs 9-0 to take two out of three games for the third consecutive series. Jordan Mader of Brew Crew Ball has the recap, if you missed it.

Kyle Lohse was the story of Sunday’s game, pitching a complete-game shutout (his eighth, h/t @joe_block) and allowing just three hits while recording six strikeouts and a pair of RBI-singles. After the game, he talked to Tom Haudricourt about his efficiency. He was able to complete nine innings while throwing just 93 pitches. A complete-game shutout with under 100 pitches thrown is sometimes called a “Maddux,” and Bill Berg of Reviewing the Brew notes that Lohse’s gem was the 12th such outing by a Brewer since pitch counts became an official statistic in the late 1980s.

Lohse outdueled Cubs ace Jeff Samardzija, who entered the game with the National League’s best ERA but lasted just three innings, allowing eight runs on eight hits and two walks. Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo also left the game early after being ejected in the fourth inning for arguing balls and strikes.

Mark your calendar today to meet former Green Bay Packers linebacker Bryce Paup at Legends of the Field’s Greenfield location on Saturday, June 14, from 1-2 p.m. Click here for more information on this and other upcoming events.
 
Other notes from the field:

  • Scooter Gennett set a new career high with three extra-base hits in a game on Sunday, doubling twice and hitting a home run (h/t High Heat Stats).
  • Khris Davis went 0-for-4 on Sunday, snapping a nine-game hitting streak. Carlos Gomez’s 10-game streak, which ended on Saturday, remains the longest by a Brewer this season.
  • Ryan Braun’s home run Friday night was his first at home since May 22, 2013.
  • The Brewers tied a franchise record Friday by collecting 10 or more hits in their ninth consecutive game, but the streak was snapped on Saturday.
  • The Italian, Hot Dog and Polish won the weekend’s Sausage Races, in that order.

The Brewers are back in action at Miller Park tonight, hosting the opener in a four-game, home-and-home series with the Twins. Matt Garza will take on Kyle Gibson at 6:20 p.m., and Caitlin Swieca has the MLB.com preview. Swieca, by the way, is the new associate reporter covering the Brewers for MLB.com and can be found on Twitter as @caitlinswieca.

This week’s series will feature at least three players who have been both Brewers and Twins: Matt Garza, Kyle Lohse and Carlos Gomez. The Brewers’ tumblr has a look at those three and several more of the 48 players who have appeared for both franchises. Also, Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes how those acquisitions are proof that the Brewers know what they’re doing.

With the win on Sunday, the Brewers improved to 34-23 and continue to hold baseball’s third-best record, trailing only the Giants (37-20) and Athletics (35-22). As of Friday, they ranked 10th, however, in Dave Cameron of FanGraphs’ Expected Run Differentials. They had scored nine fewer runs than Cameron’s formula would imply, but had also allowed 12 fewer.

Meanwhile, up the road in Appleton, Aramis Ramirez went 0-for-2 with a strikeout and a flyout before wet conditions caused him to be removed from his first rehab appearance with Wisconsin. He’s scheduled to play one more rehab game today, weather permitting, and could rejoin the Brewers in Minnesota on Wednesday.

Ramirez’s return could create an interesting dilemma for the Brewers, who have been getting pretty remarkable production out of a lineup featuring Jean Segura, Ryan Braun, Jonathan Lucroy, Carlos Gomez and Khris Davis batting 1-5. Moving Braun to the No. 2 spot was an unconventional move, and the Brewers are considering another, as Ron Roenicke talked to reporters about batting the pitcher eighth. Ryan Topp of Disciples of Uecker has more on the possibility.

I’ve already mentioned that Khris Davis had a rough day on Sunday, but he’s still hitting .339/.397/.710 (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging) in his last 17 games, and recently earned that promotion up to the No. 5 spot in the batting order. Adam McCalvy talked to Davis about a change in approach that has led to improved results.

With Kyle Lohse pitching a complete game on Sunday, the Brewers didn’t need Will Smith, who received a full weekend off after recording four outs in consecutive games last week. Smith has already appeared in 28 games in relief and has a 0.36 ERA, but told Adam McCalvy he’s open to moving back into a starting role as long as he gets to remain in the big leagues.

However, a pair of blowouts on Friday and Saturday gave Wei-Chung Wang an opportunity to get into back-to-back games. He pitched a scoreless inning on Friday and allowed a run over two innings on Saturday while teammates shouted encouragement in Mandarin from the dugout.

Continuing to keep Wang on the roster despite the organization’s ongoing reluctance to use him in most situations has been a challenge this season. Fred Hofstetter of Brew Crew Ball has a look at the options and restrictions that come with carrying a Rule 5 draft pick

Elsewhere in the Brewers bullpen, the reinforcements the organization has been expecting for a while continue to be delayed. Over the weekend, we learned that Jim Henderson has finished the mandatory shutdown period after receiving a cortisone shot in his right shoulder, but has not resumed throwing. Meanwhile, Tom Gorzelanny continues to rehab in Triple-A and his results have been good (one run allowed over four innings), but Ron Roenicke said his velocity is still down.

Speaking of Roenicke, Vince Morales of Miller Park Drunk has a look at some of the lucky breaks that have contributed to his success over the years.

With Aramis Ramirez scheduled to return from the disabled list this week, Mark Reynolds will likely move back to first base and, barring another injury between now and then, the Brewers will have all of their position players healthy for the first time in a while. This may reduce some of the need for the organization to consider signing free agent Kendrys Morales, but 10 percent of voters in this MLB Trade Rumors poll still think he’ll end up in Milwaukee.

In the minors:

Today in power rankings:

If you’d like more Brewers coverage today but you’re sick of reading, I’ll be making my weekly appearance on The Talking Cheeseheads with Ben Larson this afternoon. Listen in live on Sports Talk AM 1090 WAQE in Rice Lake or Sports Fan 100.5 in Wausau, or follow that link later for the archived audio.

Around baseball:

Angels: Designated pitcher Wade LeBlanc for assignment.
Braves: Designated reliever Wirfin Obispo for assignment.
Cardinals: Placed first baseman Matt Adams on the DL with a sore calf.
Diamondbacks: Placed outfielder A.J. Pollock on the DL with a fractured hand.
Giants: Placed pitcher Matt Cain on the DL with a hamstring strain.
Marlins: Acquired reliever Bryan Morris from the Pirates for a competitive balance pick (No. 39 overall) in this week’s draft and placed catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia on the seven-day DL with a concussion.
Phillies: Designated reliever Jeremy Horst for assignment and placed pitcher Jeff Manship on the DL with a quad strain.
Pirates: Claimed reliever Wirfin Obispo off waivers from the Braves.
Rays: Placed outfielder Wil Myers on the DL with a wrist sprain.
Red Sox: Placed first baseman/outfielder Mike Carp on the DL with a broken foot.

Let’s go around the NL Central:

  • The Cardinals dropped two of three to the Giants over the weekend, including an 8-0 shutout on Sunday. Tim Hudson and two relievers held St. Louis to just four hits in the finale.
  • The Reds are back in third place after a weekend sweep of the Diamondbacks, capped off by a 4-3 win on Sunday. Cincinnati’s runs all scored on solo homers.
  • The Pirates took two of three from the Dodgers, including a 5-3 win on Sunday night. Andrew McCutchen homered to power Pittsburgh to a nationally televised win.
  • The Brewers, of course, took two of three from the Cubs and clinched a series win with a 9-0 victory on Sunday.
Here are today’s updated standings and probables:

Team  GB  Today  Matchup 
Brewers  34  23  —  vs Twins, 6:20 p.m.  Matt Garza vs Kyle Gibson 
Cardinals  30  27  vs Royals, 7:10 p.m.  Shelby Miller vs Danny Duffy 
Reds  26  29  OFF   
Pirates  26  30  7.5  @ Padres, 9:10 p.m.  Charlie Morton vs Tim Stauffer 
Cubs  20  34  12.5  OFF   

The Brewers aren’t the National League’s only surprise leader, however. Steve Engbloom of Call to the Pen has a look at what’s happened to the Dodgers, Cardinals and Nationals, the three preseason favorites to win NL divisions.

Meanwhile, this weekend’s best baseball might have been played in Philadelphia. The Phillies and Mets wrapped up a three-game series on Sunday in which all three contests went to extra innings, with the two teams splitting 14-inning games on Friday and Saturday and the Mets picking up an 11-inning win on Sunday.
 
Today in former Brewers:

  • Nelson Cruz and Juan Francisco both made MLB Trade Rumors’ poll asking fans to select the best short-term free agent signings.
  • Carlos Villanueva talked to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com about being a pitcher on a Cubs team that has traded four starting pitchers in the last two seasons and has fallen out of contention again in 2014.
  • Grant Brisbee of SB Nation has identified Norichika Aoki as the least photogenic MLB player of all time.

Finally, with help from the Baseball Reference Play Index, we’d like to wish a happy birthday today to 1901 Milwaukee Brewer Tom Leahy, who would have turned 145. Plunk Everyone notes that Leahy’s 14 career HBP are the fifth-most ever for a position player born on June 2.

Today is also the 15th anniversary of the Brewers selecting Ben Sheets with the No. 10 overall pick in the 1999 draft, and the 22nd anniversary of the Brewers firing manager Buck Rodgers and replacing him with Harvey Kuenn in 1982. 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 waiting for the saxophone

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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