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Some things to read while wearing your new hat. Today’s good news is this: The Milwaukee Brewers won on Friday to snap a nine-game losing streak. The bad news, on the other hand, is that they haven’t won since and showed very little life in Sunday’s 9-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. Noah Jarosh […]

Some things to read while wearing your new hat.

Today’s good news is this: The Milwaukee Brewers won on Friday to snap a nine-game losing streak. The bad news, on the other hand, is that they haven’t won since and showed very little life in Sunday’s 9-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. Noah Jarosh of Brew Crew Ball has a recap and an accompanying rant on effort, if you missed it.

Noah wasn’t the only person upset by the Brewers’ apparent lack of effort on Sunday, as the team held a rare players-only meeting after the game. Ryan Braun, Carlos Gomez, Kyle Lohse, Aramis Ramirez and Rickie Weeks were among the team leaders who spoke up in the meeting in an effort to get the team back on the right track. For what it’s worth, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wants to know why the veterans waited so long to do this.

That meeting followed another day of lackadaisical defense which even Bob Uecker came down on. Check it out in our Tweet of the Day:

Mark your calendar today to meet Wily Peralta and Cecil Cooper at Legends of the Field’s Delafield location on Saturday, Sept. 13. Click here for more information on this and other upcoming events.

Other notes from the field:

The Brewers remain home this week, and tonight at 7:10 p.m. they’ll open a four-game series with another team lurking on the outside of the playoff picture. Yovani Gallardo will face Brad Penny and the Miami Marlins, and Stephen Pianovich has the MLB.com preview. The Marlins chose Penny, a veteran, over a pair of September call-ups to make this start.Carlos Gomez appears healthy enough to return to the lineup this week, which could mean diminished playing time for one of the Brewers’ hottest players of late. Gerardo Parra has 12 hits during his current seven-game hitting streak, and Tom Haudricourt says he’s filled in nicely during Gomez’s absence.

The Brewers used 20 players on Sunday but Mark Reynolds was not one of them, so this statistical quirk remains intact: @BrewCrewBall notes that Reynolds has fewer strikeouts (119) than games played (120) this season for the first time in his career. He’s striking out about once every 3.5 plate appearances in 2014, as compared to a 3.1 mark for his career.

In the minors:

  • The Huntsville Stars are the last Brewers affiliate active in postseason play, and they extended their season for at least one more day by beating Chattanooga 4-0 on Sunday to force a fifth game in their best-of-five Southern League playoff series. Tyler Wagner and David Goforth combined to hold the Lookouts to just three hits.
  • Meanwhile, we’re less than a month removed from Opening Day in the Arizona Fall League. We’ve previously reported that pitcher Ariel Pena has been removed from the Glendale Desert Dogs’ roster, and over the weekend, we learned he’s been replaced by lefty Mike Strong. Strong was a 10th-round pick in the 2011 draft and appeared in 31 games (six starts) for Brevard County and Huntsville this season, posting a 2.37 ERA and 9.5 strikeouts per nine innings.
  • Congratulations are also due out this morning to Nashville pitcher Taylor Jungmann and recent Brewers call-up Jason Rogers, who were the Brewers’ minor league Pitcher and Player of the Month for August.
  • Michael Trzinski of Reviewing the Brew says the 2009 Brevard County Manatees were the ninth-best minor league team in Brewers history. Many of the top performers from that team are still Brewers: Mike Fiers, Logan Schafer, Martin Maldonado and Jim Henderson all saw time in the Florida State League that season, as did John Axford.

Closer to home, members of the Brewers and Green Bay Packers had plenty to commiserate about when they met in a pingpong tournament Sunday night as part of a fundraiser for Children’s Hospital. Mark Kass of Milwaukee Business Journal has a slideshow from the event, which featured Randall Cobb beating Will Smith in the finals.

As the regular season draws to a close, it’s time for one of my favorite projects of the year: Tom Tango’s Fan Scouting Report. Follow that link to rate the defensive performances of the 2014 Brewers (and any other team you watch regularly) and be a part of the final result. With a handful of votes in, Gerardo Parra rates as the Brewers’ best defender, with Rickie Weeks and Khris Davis bringing up the rear.

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 Fan 100.5 in Wausau or Sports Talk AM 1090 WAQE in Rice Lake, or follow the above link later for the archived audio.

Around baseball:

Angels: Exercised general manager Jerry DiPoto’s club option for 2015.
Blue Jays: Outfielder Melky Cabrera is out for the season with a hand injury.
Indians: Acquired outfielder J.B. Shuck from the Angels for cash.
Rangers: Announced the resignation of manager Ron Washington.
Royals: Released pitcher Bruce Chen.

Let’s go around the NL Central:

  • The Pirates completed a sweep of the Cubs with a 10-4 victory on Sunday. Four different Pittsburgh players homered in the game, including pitcher Gerrit Cole.
  • The Reds lost their series with the Mets over the weekend and dropped a 4-3 game on Sunday. Mat Latos pitched a quality start in the loss.
  • The Brewers, as you likely know, lost three of four to the Cardinals over the weekend and were defeated 9-1 on Sunday.
Here are today’s updated standings and probables:

Team W L GB Today Matchup
Cardinals 79 64 @ Reds, 6:10 p.m. Shelby Miller vs Dylan Axelrod
Pirates 74 68 4.5 @ Phillies, 6:05 p.m. Jeff Locke vs Kyle Kendrick
Brewers 74 69 5 vs Marlins, 7:10 p.m. Yovani Gallardo vs Brad Penny
Reds 67 76 12 vs Cardinals, 6:10 p.m. Dylan Axelrod vs Shelby Miller
Cubs 64 79 15 @ Blue Jays, 6:07 p.m. Jacob Turner vs Marcus Stroman

By passing the Brewers, the Pirates have also climbed into sole possession of the National League’s final Wild Card spot:

Team W L GB Today Matchup
Giants 78 65 +3.5 OFF
Pirates 74 68 @ Phillies, 6:05 p.m. Jeff Locke vs Kyle Kendrick
Brewers 74 69 .5 vs Marlins, 7:10 p.m. Yovani Gallardo vs Brad Penny
Braves 74 69 .5 @ Nationals, 6:05 p.m. Mike Minor vs Doug Fister
Marlins 69 72 4.5 @ Brewers, 7:10 p.m. Brad Penny vs Yovani Gallardo

 

Today is the first time the Brewers have been outside of the playoff picture since April 4, when they were 2-2 (h/t @AdamMcCalvy). Baseball Prospectus gives them a 29.4 percent chance to reach the postseason, a calamitous dropoff from a mark that was better than 90 percent not that long ago.

The Cardinals have run out to a big lead by going 8-1 in their last nine games, and David Schoenfield of ESPN says it’s time to start fearing them despite a season that “hasn’t been that great” until recently.

Today in former Brewers: Gabe Kapler and onetime Brewers pitching coach Mike Maddux are among 12 candidates to be the next manager of the Rangers in this Lone Star Ball poll. As of this writing, Maddux is leading the voting.

Finally, with help from the Baseball Reference Play Index, we’d like to wish a happy birthday today to:

Today is also the 31st anniversary of pitcher Kevin Kobel becoming the first Brewers pitcher ever to debut before his 20th birthday in a loss to the Yankees in 1973. Follow the link for that event’s entry in Today In Brewer History at Brew Crew Ball.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to wink again.

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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