Some things to read while looking for your helmet.
If you went to bed early last night, you might have missed it, but the Milwaukee Brewers lost 2-1 to the San Diego Padres in 12 innings to snap their four-game winning streak. Adam McCalvy has the MLB.com recap.
Last night was the latest example in an early-season trend that has seen the Brewers struggling to score runs at Miller Park. They’re averaging just over 2.3 runs per game this season and hitting .201/.268/.301 (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging) as a team in 11 games at home, compared to six runs per game and .306/.349/.518 on the road.
The Brewers also lost despite a solid start from Yovani Gallardo, who allowed a single run on five hits and two walks over seven innings despite being hit in the side of his knee by a line drive in the fifth (h/t @AndrewGruman). @MikeVassallo13 notes that Brewers starting pitchers have thrown a quality start (six innings or more, three earned runs or less) in 16 of the team’s 21 games this season.
Alfredo Figaro picked up the loss last night, but his contribution in the game may be felt in the coming days. He worked the 10th, 11th and 12th innings to help save a Brewer bullpen that’s been used pretty heavily in recent games. Tyler Thornburg, Will Smith, Francisco Rodriguez and Wei-Chung Wang all got the night off last night and will likely be available again today.
Other notes from the field:
- Donn Roach, who pitched the 10th and 11th innings for the Padres, picked up his first MLB win (h/t @AdamMcCalvy).
- The Brewers stole four bases last night, including one by Lyle Overbay. That drew the attention of You Can’t Predict Baseball.
- The Italian won the Sausage Race.
The series is now tied at one game apiece and will wrap up tonight when Kyle Lohse takes on Tyson Ross at 7:10 p.m. Corey Brock has the MLB.com preview, and Tim Richer of the Padres blog Chicken Friars has more on what to expect from Ross.
Tonight’s game will be the Brewers’ second without a backup catcher. Before the game yesterday, Major League Baseball handed out suspensions for Sunday’s Brewers/Pirates brawl, and Martin Maldonado was hit the hardest, being sidelined for five games. He accepted that punishment and began serving the suspension immediately. Carlos Gomez was also suspended for three games, and Pirates outfielder Travis Snider and catcher Russell Martin received two games and one game, respectively. Gomez, Snider and Martin are all appealing their punishments and can continue to play until that process is concluded. Gomez’s appeal could drag on for quite some time: Ron Roenicke told @AdamMcCalvy he expects it to be “some weeks” before the hearing.
Assuming his suspension is not completely eliminated, Gomez will be sidelined for disciplinary reasons for the second time in less than a year. At least one poll suggests Brewers fans don’t want him to change, though: As of this writing, 79 percent of voters at this Brew Crew Ball post say Gomez doesn’t need to calm down.
Long after any suspension is over, though, Gomez’s antics will likely be held up by opposing fans and national media as a sign of the Brewers’ perceived “disrespect” of the game of baseball. If you only click one link in today’s Mug, it should be Badgernoonan of Ron Roenicke Stole My Baseball’s guide to rooting for the “evil” Brewers.
Of course, the Brewers wouldn’t be seen as being a stain on the integrity of the game if they weren’t winning. They’re still the best team in baseball (by record, anyway) following last night’s loss, and R.J. Anderson of Baseball Prospectus has a look at how they’ve done it.
Francisco Rodriguez has been a pretty significant part of this hot start, recording saves in eight of the first 15 wins. Curt Hogg of Disciplies of Uecker has a guide to appreciating his early success.
Meanwhile, Jean Segura has not added much to the equation to this point. He went 0-for-5 last night to lower his batting line to .232/.259/.293 and @MSimonESPN notes that he’s dead last in all of baseball in a statistic called “well-hit average” or WHAV (h/t BBTF).
Even when Segura does get on base, he’s been finding ways to get himself out. He leads all of baseball with four caught stealings, and his poor baserunning decisions are part of the reason he’s been moved down in the Brewers lineup. Nick Michalski of The Brewers Bar says the Brewers could be even more dangerous if they reduced their mistakes.
With that said, there is an interesting counter to that argument: TOOTBLAN Tracker notes that teams are winning almost 56 percent of their games across baseball when they make at least one bad out on the bases. The Brewers are 7-0 this season when one of their runners is cited for a baserunning mistake.
The Brewers are also undefeated when Wily Peralta takes the mound in 2014. Traditionally a slow starter, Peralta has a 2.19 ERA through four starts with 19 strikeouts and six walks in 24 2/3 innings. Ryan Topp of Disciples of Uecker has four things to know about his hot start.
In the minors:
- The news doesn’t look good for Nashville pitcher Johnny Hellweg, who flew to Milwaukee this week to get his ailing elbow examined. The early diagnosis is a torn ligament, and he could require Tommy John surgery.
- Back on the field, the affiliates went 1-3 last night, and the lone win came from Brevard County, where Yadiel Rivera had three hits in the Manatees’ 2-1 win over Tampa. Brad Krause of Miller Park Prospects has short recaps from all of yesterday’s action.
- Wisconsin dropped a 2-1 decision to Burlington, and Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has the recap.
Blue Jays: Claimed outfielder Darin Mastroianni off waivers from the Twins and designated outfielder Kenny Wilson for assignment.
Giants: Placed pitcher David Huff on the DL with a quad strain.
Orioles: Designated first baseman/outfielder Steve Pearce for assignment.
Padres: Acquired infielder Tyler Greene from the Braves for a player to be named later.
Rangers: Designated pitcher Hector Noesi for assignment.
Let’s go around the NL Central:
- The Cardinals closed the gap in the division a bit with a 3-0 win over the Mets last night. Adam Wainwright pitched seven shutout innings before leaving with a hyperextended right knee, and is still expected to make his next start.
- The Reds moved up the ladder into third place with a 4-1 win over the Pirates. Cincinnati starter Johnny Cueto held Pittsburgh to just three hits in the complete-game victory, and leads all MLB pitchers with 39 innings this season.
- The Cubs beat the Diamondbacks 9-2 behind a three-run home run from Mike Olt and seven strong innings from Jason Hammel.
|Brewers||15||6||—||vs Padres, 7:10 pm||Kyle Lohse vs Tyson Ross|
|Cardinals||12||9||3||@ Mets, 6:10 pm||Michael Wacha vs Jon Niese|
|Reds||9||11||5.5||@ Pirates, 6:05 pm||Alfredo Simon vs Charlie Morton|
|Pirates||9||12||6||vs Reds, 6:05 pm||Charlie Morton vs Alfredo Simon|
|Cubs||7||12||7||vs Diamondbacks, 1:20 pm||Jeff Samardzija vs Wade Miley|
Today in former Brewers:
- Prince Fielder isn’t exactly hitting the cover off the ball in his first season in Texas, but Bill Chuck of Gammons Daily notes that he set an American League record by getting intentionally walked nine times in the month of April.
- Fish Stripes has a look at the home/road splits of Casey McGehee, who has been a significantly better hitter while playing at typically pitcher-friendly Marlins Park.
- Value Over Replacement Grit reports that the Brewers have had 11 players with 11 letters in their last name, but have never had one with 12. Of the former group, Frank Catalanotto is the most recent.
- 2013 AZL Brewer Scott Lieser, who turns 24.
- Mike Jones, the Brewers’ first round pick (No. 12 overall) in the 2001 draft. He turns 31.
- Hall of Famer and 1953-64 Milwaukee Brave Warren Spahn, who would have turned 93. I covered his birthday in Today In Brewer History at Brew Crew Ball two years ago.
Today is also the 29th anniversary of Teddy Higuera making his major league debut as a member of the Brewers in 1985 and the fifth anniversary of Dave Bush pitching 7 1/3 hitless innings in a 6-1 Brewers win over the Phillies in 2009. Follow the links above for those events’ entries in Today In Brewer History.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for breakfast.
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