Some things to read while waiting for the right moment.
The Milwaukee Brewers have spent 150 days in first place this season, a franchise record set during a season in which very few of us expected it. That didn’t make it any easier to stomach, however, when they lost 4-2 to the Chicago Cubs and fell out of the National League Central lead for the first time since April. Noah Jarosh of Brew Crew Ball has a recap, if you missed it. The Brewers have now lost six consecutive games.
After Monday’s loss, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel talked to Khris Davis and Ron Roenicke about the Brewers’ losing streak and what it will take to snap out of this slump. This is the second time this season they’ve lost six straight games or more.
All of the Brewers’ offense on Monday came from back-to-back home runs in the seventh inning from Davis and Gerardo Parra. Parra started the game in center field in place of Carlos Gomez, who may be out a few days or more with left wrist soreness. Gomez said he felt something pop in the joint during an at bat on Sunday. Jess Lemont of The Brewers Bar suggests Parra could be a cyborg.
Other notes from the field:
- Including Monday’s loss, the Brewers are now 50-29 this season in games in which they hit at least one home run, and 32-10 when they hit at least two.
- Cubs rookie outfielder Jorge Soler doubled twice on Monday and is the third player in the last 100 years to have an extra-base hit in each of his first five MLB games.
- Jeremy Jeffress allowed a solo home run in the eighth inning, snapping a streak of 104 1/3 innings without giving one up between Triple-A and the majors (h/t @joe_block).
Every day is a new opportunity for the Brewers to bounce back, and they’ll get a shot to do just that at 7:05 p.m. when they continue their series with the Cubs. Yovani Gallardo will take on Jake Arrieta, and Adam Lichtenstein has the MLB.com preview.
With Monday’s loss, the Brewers are 22-31 since July 1, but still enter play today with a clear shot at making the postseason. How you handle their outlook for September and beyond is your decision, but Noah Jarosh of Brew Crew Ball says you’ll have more fun if you keep a positive attitude.
Ryan Braun went 0-for-3 with a walk on Monday and is now hitting just .210 with a .260 on-base percentage and .361 slugging in his last 30 games. David Schoenfield of ESPN says the Brewers “need a huge September from their right fielder” if they’re going to make a playoff push.
It’s possible tonight’s game could feature the Brewers debut of recent acquisition Jonathan Broxton, who warmed up but did not pitch on Monday. Broxton told Tom Haudricourt he didn’t expect to be traded but is excited for the opportunity to pitch in a pennant race. He’s previously pitched in the postseason with the 2006, 2008 and 2009 Dodgers and 2012 Reds. As of this writing, 14.9 percent of voters in this MLB Trade Rumors poll listed Broxton as baseball’s most impactful August acquisition, putting him second among 12 candidates.
None of the Brewers’ September callups got into the game on Monday, but it’s possible a few more could join the team today. The Brewer Nation is predicting Nashville 1B/3B Jason Rogers, infielder Hector Gomez and first baseman Matt Clark will be called up today. Gomez and Clark would need to be added to the 40-man roster, requiring the Brewers to free up two more spots. Dayne Young of WRBL.com is also reporting Rogers has been called up.
It’s worth noting that reliever Rob Wooten isn’t on that list, and his situation is a little confusing at this point. The Brewers were briefly listed as having recalled Wooten after Monday’s game but the transaction has since been removed (h/t @Mass_Haas).
Looking further ahead, the Brewers have a critical four-game series with the Cardinals scheduled for this weekend. Recent acquisition Justin Masterson was scheduled to start for St. Louis on Thursday but has been demoted to the bullpen after posting a 7.90 ERA in his first six appearances since coming over from Cleveland.
Meanwhile, looking back, the Brewers’ current skid gained momentum in San Diego on a night when the team had clear issues with the strike zone of fill-in umpire Mark Ripperger. Adam Wieser of Disciples of Uecker broke down the data and found that Ripperger has been wrong on almost one in five pitches with the Brewers at the plate this season.
In the minors:
- The affiliates went 2-2 on Monday but the losses weren’t Clint Coulter’s fault. The Wisconsin catcher hit a pair of home runs in the Timber Rattlers’ 11-5 loss to Beloit. You can read about all of the day’s action in today’s edition of Around the Horn at Miller Park Prospects.
- Teddy Cahill of MLB.com has more on Coulter, who tied the Rattlers’ franchise record by going deep 22 times this season. Khris Davis set the record in 2010 and Victor Roache matched it last season.
- Brad Krause of Miller Park Prospects was also in attendance for the game in Beloit and has a photo gallery.
- The regular season is now over for all of the Brewers affiliates with the exception of rookie Helena, which has three games remaining. Wisconsin and Huntsville qualified for postseason play, with the Timber Rattlers opening a series against Kane County on Wednesday and Huntsville starting its first round matchup with Chattanooga on Thursday.
- With the season wrapping up, Mass Haas of Brewerfan.net has his annual look at players who would need to be added to the 40-man roster to be protected from this winter’s Rule 5 draft. Notable names this year include Taylor Jungmann, Jed Bradley, David Goforth and Yadiel Rivera.
- Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem has his final interview of the season with Sounds manager Rick Sweet.
- ESPN has the Brewers eighth, down one spot from last week.
- Jonah Keri of Grantland has them 10th, down two spots.
If you’d like more Brewers coverage today but you’re sick of reading, I have a pair of options for you:
- First, I’ll be making my weekly appearance on The Talking Cheeseheads with Ben Larson. Listen in live on Sports Talk AM 1090 WAQE in Rice Lake or Sports Fan 100.5 in Wausau or follow the link above later for the archived audio. With football season underway, Ben and I are moving our weekly chats to Tuesdays for the foreseeable future.
- From there, I’ll head over for a live appearance on The Big One with Marques Pfaff on 95.3 WSCO in Appleton. I’ll be live in-studio taking your calls, emails and tweets, so listen in and get your voice heard.
Astros: Fired manager Bo Porter and bench coach Dave Trembley and named minor league instructor Tom Lawless interim manager.
Athletics: Designated pitched Joe Savery for assignment.
Blue Jays: Designated pitcher Neil Wagner for assignment.
Dodgers: Designated infielder Carlos Triunfel for assignment.
Pirates: Designated first baseman Chris McGuiness for assignment.
Royals: Designated pitchers Chris Dwyer and Blake Wood for assignment.
Let’s go around the NL Central:
- The Cardinals scored three runs in the seventh inning to come from behind to beat the Pirates 5-4 on Monday. The winning run scored on Matt Holliday’s RBI-single off John Axford.
- The Cubs, as you’ve likely heard, beat the Brewers 4-2 at Wrigley Field.
- The Reds were off on Monday.
|Cardinals||74||63||—||vs Pirates, 7:15 p.m.||Adam Wainwright vs Jeff Locke|
|Brewers||73||64||1||@ Cubs, 7:05 p.m.||Yovani Gallardo vs Jake Arrieta|
|Pirates||71||66||3||@ Cardinals, 7:15 p.m.||Jeff Locke vs Adam Wainwright|
|Reds||66||71||8||@ Orioles, 6:05 p.m.||Mat Latos vs Bud Norris|
|Cubs||62||76||12.5||vs Brewers, 7:05 p.m.||Jake Arrieta vs Yovani Gallardo|
As of this morning, Baseball Prospectus gives the Brewers a 59.4 percent chance to make the playoffs. That’s down more than 33 points in the last week.
If this poll is any indication, Baseball Prospectus is more optimistic than the average Brewers fan. WSCO is asking listeners how the Brewers’ season will end, and as of this writing, the voting is a dead heat between “win the division” and “miss the playoffs.”
The Brewers haven’t looked good lately, but they did not have Monday’s worst performance: Craig Goldstein of SB Nation has reaction from the Mets committing no less than six errors in their loss to the Marlins.
Finally, with help from the Baseball Reference Play Index, we’d like to wish a happy birthday today to:
- 1995 Brewer Mike Thomas, who turns 45.
- 1995-97 Brewer Jamie McAndrew, who turns 47.
- Kewaunee, Wis., native and UW-Oshkosh alum Terry Jorgensen, who turns 48. Jorgensen played in the majors with the 1989 and 1992-93 Twins.
- 1983-87 Brewer Rick Manning, who turns 60 (Today In Brewer History).
- 1980 Brewer John Finn, who turns 60.
Today is also the 43rd anniversary of the Brewers beating the Royals 1-0 in 1971 despite collecting just one hit, a third-inning single from Ron Theobald. That game also featured the MLB debut of catcher Darrell Porter, who at the time, was the youngest player in franchise history. Follow the links for that day’s double entry in Today In Brewer History at Brew Crew Ball.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I should probably get flowers or something.
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.