Some things to read while packing the essentials.
The Milwaukee Brewers fell behind early and couldn’t come back on Wednesday night, losing 7-4 to the San Francisco Giants at Miller Park. Noah Jarosh of Brew Crew Ball has a recap, if you missed it.
Yovani Gallardo’s 16 2/3 scoreless inning streak came to an abrupt end in the first inning Wednesday as the Giants scored three times to set the tone for a long night. Gallardo lasted just four innings in the game, allowing four runs on nine hits and four walks. It was only the second time this season he’s left a start without recording an out in the fifth inning, and the first time he’s allowed 13 or more baserunners in a game since June of 2013.
Gallardo’s short start may also have changed the Brewers’ plans for the remainder of the week: Marco Estrada worked three innings in relief, throwing 39 pitches, which could make him unavailable to start in place of Matt Garza on Saturday. After the game, however, Ron Roenicke told @CaitlinSweica he wasn’t ruling Estrada out for the start.
After Estrada’s three shutout innings the Brewers’ recent bullpen woes went back on display. Brandon Kintzler and Tom Gorzelanny combined to allow three runs and five baserunners while recording five outs Wednesday night, turning what had been a dwindling Giants advantage back into a four-run lead. Caitlin Sweica of MLB.com talked to Ron Roenicke about the challenges of managing a bullpen that isn’t getting results.
Other notes from the field:
- Wednesday’s loss was Ron Roenicke’s 600th game as manager of the Brewers. He’s the sixth manager in franchise history to reach that mark, and one of just three to do it with a record above .500 (Tom Trebelhorn and George Bamberger are the others). Assuming all of the games are played as scheduled, Roenicke will pass Del Crandall on Saturday, August 16, to become the Brewers’ fifth-longest tenured manager.
- Khris Davis was held out of the starting lineup Wednesday night but entered as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning, remained in the game as a defensive replacement and homered in the ninth.
- Davis’ home run was only the second one Giants closer Santiago Casilla has allowed this season (h/t @joe_block).
- Elsewhere in home runs, Carlos Gomez’s blast to lead off the first inning traveled an estimated 443 feet. That makes it the sixth-longest ball hit by a Brewer this season.
- The run Tom Gorzelanny allowed in the eighth inning was the first one he’s given up in 14 appearances this season (h/t @joe_block).
- The Brewers took their 2014 team photos before the game. @MikeVassallo13 has the traditional version, and @Brewers has Carlos Gomez’s selfie with the team.
- The Brat won the Sausage Race.
The Giants series wraps up today with a matinee. Wily Peralta will face Jake Peavy at 1:10 p.m., and Jackson Alexander has the MLB.com preview. These two teams meet again for a three-game series in San Francisco at the end of the month.
This series and the return engagement in San Francisco both carry an interesting narrative as a matchup between two teams that started hot but are now struggling to hold on to the advantages they gained in the season’s early months. David Schoenfield of ESPN has a look at both teams’ efforts to “get in gear.”
Carlos Gomez had two hits Wednesday night, including a home run to lead off the bottom of the first inning. Steven Jewell of Reviewing the Brew has a look at Gomez’s season to date.
Gerardo Parra had a quiet night on Wednesday, going 0-for-2 with a walk before being lifted in favor of Khris Davis in the seventh inning. Parra has just one hit in his first week as a Brewer, but Ben Tannenbaum of The Brewers Bar says he “figures to help the Brewers this year.”
Lyle Overbay didn’t get into the game on Wednesday, but that doesn’t mean he took the whole day off: The Brewers tumblr has a picture of him serving as the team’s ambassador at the Ronald McDonald House as they celebrated their 30th anniversary by moving into a new facility.
In the minors:
- The affiliates went 5-2 on Wednesday with one win coming from Wisconsin, where the Timber Rattlers scored six runs in the fourth inning en route to a 6-1 win over Cedar Rapids. You can read about all of the day’s action in the Brewerfan.net Link Report.
- Wisconsin currently has a two-game lead on Peoria for the final playoff spot in the Midwest League Western Division.
- Brevard County outfielder Michael Reed made this week’s edition of Carson Cistulli’s “Fringe Five” at FanGraphs. The post looks at five recent notable performances from players outside the consensus list of baseball’s top 100 prospects.
Closer to home, Major League Baseball has reportedly narrowed the field to three possible candidates in the race to become the game’s next commissioner, and apparently considered transitioning the job from the Brewers’ former owner to their current one: Reports say Mark Attanasio interviewed for the job, but is not one of the finalists.
Since Attanasio is sticking around, he’ll have plenty of time to try the “Orange Dreamsicle” frozen custard the AJ Bombers stand on the field level is serving during the Giants series. This afternoon’s game may be your last chance to try it.
Also, today’s game might be your last chance this season to get in on the Hunter Pence phenomenon that’s been sweeping the nation. A collection of fans with signs lightly trolling the Giants outfielder made headlines in New York over the weekend, and the phenomenon has followed him to Milwaukee this week (h/t BBTF). I wandered into the fray briefly on Twitter Wednesday night.
Cubs: Designated outfielder Nate Schierholtz for assignment.
Dodgers: Designated infielder Chone Figgins for assignment.
Rockies: Placed pitcher Brett Anderson on the DL with a back strain and designated outfielder Jason Pridie for assignment.
The Cubs have also reportedly claimed pitcher Jacob Turner off waivers from the Marlins, but it’s unclear at this point if Turner was on revocable waivers and the Marlins could take him back, or if the Cubs will get him. Turner was designated for assignment on Monday.
Elsewhere in waivers, MLB Trade Rumors has a list of players that have cleared revocable waivers and can now be traded to any team. For the most part it’s a collection of players with long, expensive contracts.
Let’s go around the NL Central:
- The Cardinals had a chance to pull into a first-place tie but lost 2-1 to the Red Sox on Wednesday night. Xander Bogaerts’ ninth inning sac fly was the difference.
- The Pirates closed the gap a little, beating the Marlins 7-3. Third baseman Josh Harrison had three hits and scored twice for Pittsburgh.
- The Reds have won back-to-back games after an 8-3 win over the Indians. Second baseman Kristopher Negron had three hits and scored three runs for Cincinnati.
- The Cubs gave up six runs in the sixth and four more in the seventh in a 13-4 loss to the Rockies. Chris Coghlan had three hits in a losing effort.
|Brewers||62||52||—||vs Giants, 1:10 p.m.||Wily Peralta vs Jake Peavy|
|Cardinals||60||52||1||vs Red Sox, 7:15 p.m.||Adam Wainwright vs Brandon Workman|
|Pirates||60||53||1.5||vs Marlins, 6:05 p.m.||Edinson Volquez vs Brian Flynn|
|Reds||58||56||4||vs Indians, 6:10 p.m.||Homer Bailey vs T.J. House|
|Cubs||48||64||13||@ Rockies, 2:10 p.m.||Kyle Hendricks vs Yohan Flande|
The Brewers have set a franchise record by holding on to first place for 122 consecutive days. The previous record was held by the 2007 team, which was in first place from April 21 through August 16 but eventually missed the playoffs.
Meanwhile, a familiar face in the NL Central is up to his usual antics with a new team. Longtime Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, a frequent proponent of baseball’s “unwritten” rules during his time in St. Louis, took to the media on Wednesday to defend the Diamondbacks, his new employer, for throwing at Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen over the weekend.
Today in former Brewers:
- David G. Temple of FanGraphs has a look at Casey McGehee’s 2014 season, which would imply he’s a faster baserunner than reality indicates.
- Shane Tourtellotte of The Hardball Times has an interesting post on players who continue or have continued to get MLB opportunities despite posting repeated seasons below replacement level. Yuniesky Betancourt is the former Brewer you’ll expect to find in this conversation, but Aramis Ramirez is the current Brewer you may not have expected (h/t The Book).
And in baseball economics: Maury Brown of Forbes has a story on MLB telecasts on regional networks, which have performed very well in local ratings this season for prime-time games and justified some of the major increases in rights fees (h/t BBTF).
Today’s most interesting statistical note comes from Sports Reference’s Blog, where they look at how the definition of RBI has changed since it became an official statistic in 1920 and the work that’s been done to collect RBI numbers from before that date.
Finally, with help from the Baseball Reference Play Index, we’d like to wish a happy birthday today to:
- Seattle Pilot and 1970 Brewer Jerry McNertney, who turns 78.
- 1954-57 Milwaukee Brave Ray Crone, who turns 83.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to change the channel.
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