Some things to read in silence.
The Milwaukee Brewers’ hopes of a series sweep in St. Louis were quickly dashed yesterday, but they still won the series against the Cardinals despite a 9-3 loss in the finale. Noah Jarosh of Brew Crew Ball has the recap, if you missed it.
Things went from bad to worse early in yesterday’s game when Matt Garza had to leave in the bottom of the fourth inning with a bruised right thumb. He injured himself on his broken-bat groundout in the top of the frame, but told @AdamMcCalvy he’ll be ready to go again when his turn comes up in the rotation on Monday night. Garza’s early departure forced the Brewers to turn a 4-3 game over to infrequently used rookie Wei-Chung Wang, who gave up four runs on six hits and two walks over three innings.
Wang was not, however, the most unlikely player to pitch in yesterday’s game. Catcher Martin Maldonado pitched a scoreless eighth inning, working around a hit and becoming the first Brewers position player to pitch in a game in Ron Roenicke’s four years with the team. The radar gun captured him throwing in the 80-82 range (h/t @Haudricourt).
Yesterday’s struggle to fill innings led to some postgame angst, and for the first time, it appears Wang’s ability to stick with this team for a full season is in serious question. The Brewers need to either keep Wang, who was selected in this winter’s Rule 5 Draft, on the 25-man roster or offer him back to the Pirates, and while they like his arm, their inability to use him in close games has led to an unsustainable workload for the other six bullpen members. Before yesterday’s game, Fred Hofstetter of Brew Crew Ball said it’s time to get Wang more involved.
All told, to me, this seems like an odd time to make a move. With Francisco Rodriguez, Jim Henderson, Tyler Thornburg, Will Smith and Brandon Kintzler all getting a day off yesterday, and Zach Duke only throwing one inning, it seems likely the Brewers will have six relievers available tonight. The short bullpen may cause a long-term issue, but I’m not sure what good adding a “fresh arm” will do in the short term.
Other notes from the field:
- Jean Segura was inserted into yesterday’s game as a defensive replacement in the eighth inning, played an inning in the field and doubled in the top of the ninth. He’s expected to be ready to return to the lineup tonight.
- Mark Reynolds went 1-for-2 with two walks and a home run yesterday, and played an inning in right field for the first time since his rookie season in 2007.
- Reynolds’ homer was the 208th of his career, tying him with former Brewer Devon White for 289th on baseball’s all time list. He’s also tied for 114th with 1,307 strikeouts (h/t @HighHeatStats).
- Lyle Overbay went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts, snapping his eight-game hitting streak. @joe_block has a picture of the defensive shift the Cardinals used against him.
- Allen Craig’s home run off Wang in the sixth inning was initially ruled to be in play, but umpires reviewed and reversed the call.
- The Cardinals hit two home runs yesterday and have at least one in each of their six games against the Brewers. They’ve homered in just seven of their other 23 games (h/t @LangoschMLB).
After yesterday’s game, the Brewers boarded a plane for Cincinnati, where they’ll open a four-game series with the Reds tonight. Marco Estrada will take on Homer Bailey at 6:10 p.m., and Adam McCalvy has the MLB.com preview.
Although Aramis Ramirez and Jean Segura could return to the lineup tonight, Ryan Braun remains day-to-day with his oblique strain. When he’s been able to play, though, Braun’s bat has been back to its previous levels. He’s hitting .318/.361/.591 (batting average, on-base percentage, slugging) in 88 plate appearances this season, and Cory DiBenedetto of Gammons Daily has a look at his early resurgence. Will Carroll has more on Braun in our Tweet of the Day:
This Brewers team is so resilient, so strong that for any other team the #narrative would be the return of their team leader, Ryan Braun.
— Will Carroll (@injuryexpert) April 30, 2014
Despite losing yesterday, the Brewers will enter the month of May with baseball’s best record at 20-8. Jordan Mader of Brew Crew Ball has a look at why that’s important, and Jonathan Judge of Disciples of Uecker wrote about how it impacts full-season projections. Yesterday was also a huge day for national writers examining the Crew’s early performance:
- Tracy Ringolsby of MLB.com says the Brewers have sent a message to the rest of baseball.
- Bob Nightengale of USA Today talked to Carlos Gomez about the hot month.
- Mike Oz of Big League Stew has a look at how they’ve done it.
- Jonah Keri of Grantland has a story on the Brewers’ recovery from a disappointing 2013 season.
- David Schoenfield of ESPN notes that the Brewers entered play yesterday with an MLB-worst 6.3 percent walk rate, and asks if they can win without walking.
- Schoenfield also says the Athletics, not the Brewers, were April’s best team.
The Brewers won on Tuesday behind a quality start from Kyle Lohse, who settled down after a first=inning home run and gave the team six solid innings. Lohse has a 3.24 ERA over 38 starts as a Brewer, and Ryan Topp of Disciples of Uecker is the latest to look back at the decision to sign him as a free agent before the 2013 season.
While the Brewers are believed to be discussing calling up a reliever from within the organization, one pitcher that could likely help this team remains as a free agent: Former Boston and Pittsburgh closer Joel Hanrahan is getting close to signing, and the Brewers were one of more than a dozen teams to scout him at a recent showcase. Milwaukee is not, however, among the five teams believed to be “seriously interested.”
In the minors:
- The affiliates went 5-1 yesterday, and Nashville swept a doubleheader against New Orleans behind solid starts from Mike Fiers and Alfredo Figaro. The two pitchers combined for 11 scoreless innings. Marcus Young of Miller Park Prospects has short recaps from all of yesterday’s action.
- Yesterday’s lone loss came from Wisconsin, as the Timber Rattlers split a doubleheader with Burlington. Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has the recap and highlights from a 7-6, 10-inning walkoff win in game No. 1 and a 5-1 loss in game No. 2.
- Brad Krause of Miller Park Prospects also has a photo gallery from that doubleheader.
- Timber Rattlers catcher Clint Coulter was hit by a pitch in the first game yesterday (h/t @CMehring) and doubled in the second game, extending his on-base streak to 22 games.
- Wisconsin plays another doubleheader with Burlington at 12:05 p.m. today, and I’ll be in attendance covering it for Brew Crew Ball.
- Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem has an interview with rehabbing outfielder Logan Schafer.
- The Huntsville Stars will have a new name when they move to Biloxi next season, and a contest to select their new identity is underway.
The Racing Sausages will almost certainly still run in that game, although their future is a little murkier than it used to be. David Paulsen of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes that the Klement’s Sausage Co., which sponsors the daily race, is expected to be sold soon. Paulsen says a new owner, however, is unlikely to end the races.
Yesterday was a pretty quiet day around baseball:
Rockies: Placed pitcher Tyler Chatwood on the DL with an elbow strain.
Let’s go around the NL Central:
- The Cubs collected 13 hits and six walks en route to a 9-4 win over the Reds in Cincinnati yesterday. Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo was on base five times, hitting a first-inning home run and drawing four walks.
- The Pirates and Orioles were postponed by rain for the second consecutive day and will play a doubleheader today.
- The Cardinals, as you’ve probably heard, beat the Brewers 9-3 to avoid a sweep in St. Louis.
|Brewers||20||8||—||@ Reds, 6:10 pm||Marco Estrada vs Homer Bailey|
|Reds||12||15||7.5||vs Brewers, 6:10 pm||Homer Bailey vs Marco Estrada|
|Pirates||10||16||9||@ Orioles, 3:05 pm (two games)||Charlie Morton vs Bud Norris (Game 1)
Brandon Cumpton vs Chris Tillman (Game 2)
Today in former Brewers:
- Zack Greinke improved to 5-0 in April last night, and Mark Simon of ESPN has a look at how he’s done it.
- Jim Edmonds will be inducted into the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame this season.
- Lee Sinins of Gammons Daily selected Robin Yount as his “Legend of the Game” for yesterday.
- Scooter Gennett, who turns 24.
- 1998 Brewer Bobby Chouinard, who turns 41.
- 1987-90 Brewer Charlie O’Brien, who turns 53.
- 1984-86 Brewer Ray Searage, who turns 59.
- 1976-77 Brewer Von Joshua, who turns 65.
Plunk Everyone notes that O’Brien’s 60 career HBP are the most ever for a position player born on May 1, and Gennett (who has been hit once) is the current active leader.
Today is also the 41st anniversary of Jim Colborn setting a franchise record by pitching nine innings in relief in a game against the A’s in 1973, the 39th anniversary of Hank Aaron going 4-for-4 in a 17-3 Brewers win over the Tigers in 1975, and the 23rd anniversary of the Brewers beating the White Sox 10-9 in a 19-inning game in 1991. Follow the links for those events’ respective entries in Today In Brewer History at Brew Crew Ball.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to adjust my calendar.
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