The week in review: After Jonathan Lucroy singled in the All-Star Game to keep his ASG batting average a perfect 1.000 (3 for 3)the Milwaukee Brewers spent the weekend in Cincinnati. The Reds won 2 of 3 in the series, and Lucroy figured into the outcomes of two of the games. During the Saturday win by the Crew he smacked a two run homer after Reds manager Bryan Price argued that Lucroy swung and missed with two strikes rather than tipping the ball as umpire Quin Wolcott called. In the end Wolcott’s call stood and Lucroy hit the next pitch out of the park, helping the Brewers to a 9-1 win – and the most runs scored in a game since late May. On Sunday in a scoreless game, Lucroy allowed Billy Hamilton to score from third on a passed ball, and the Reds had a walk-off win. Lucroy took the blame for the loss. Going into Monday’s action, the Brewers are still in fourth place in the NL Central with a 39-51 record, 15.5 games behind the Chicago Cubs.
Offensively speaking: Jonathan Villar and Scooter Gennett had five hits in the Reds series, with Ryan Braun right behind them with four hits. Lucroy, Gennett, and Hernan Perez homered over the weekend, and Perez and Lucroy each drove in three runs. On the other side, Chris Carter went 2 for 12 and Will Middlebrooks was 1 for 11. Each struck out four times.
Pitching in: Jimmy Nelson picked up his first win since May with a strong effort. He went seven innings, striking out seven and working around six hits and two walks. Zach Davies benefited from extra rest, having made his last start well before the ASG and being a “paper move” to Triple A. He also tossed seven scoreless innings, only allowing four hits. Unfortunately the Crew eventually lost the game on Lucroy’s passed ball. Matt Garza was the opposite end of the stick, again with a rough start. He lasted a little over five innings and gave up four runs in a losing effort.
Injuries and roster moves: Righty reliever Michael Blazek was optioned to Colorado Springs and the Sky Sox sent Corey Knebel to take his place. The Zach Davies “paper move” was finalized when the Brewers optioned Yadiel Rivera to the Sky Sox.
Down on the farm: The Sky Sox were just swept by the Tacoma Raniers in a four game series. With nearly 200 bats under his belt, catcher Manny Pina is hitting .343. Former Brewers starters Taylor Jungmann and Wily Peralta continue to try to get things right, but both are struggling to the tune of a 9.87 ERA and 8.08 ERA respectably.
The week ahead: An off day today before Milwaukee kicks off a three game series in Pittsburgh. The Brewers return home on Friday to start a home stand that runs through the end of the month. They play the Cubs over the weekend and then the Arizona Diamondbacks starting next Monday. Probable pitchers in the Pirates series are the very hot Junior Guerra, the not so hot Chase Anderson and Matt Garza.
Random notes: Two of the best quotes this week came from Lucroy. In regards to his three strikeout night on Friday, he said, “I care. I hate strikeouts. Hate.” During the All-Star Break after being peppered with trade rumor questions, he was again asked by a reporter. Lucroy said, “Trade rumors? You’re the seventh person to ask me about that. But that’s OK. We’ll go over it again.”
The Baseball Hall of Fame tour opened at Miller Park this past weekend and will be in town until the end of the month, before moving on to a number of destinations this year. You can learn more about the tour and see a video here. I have not visited this mobile exhibit, but promise a blog post about it if I do.
If you missed my blog post last week about the 1975 ASG played at Milwaukee County Stadium, you can read it here.
This Wednesday marks the 40th anniversary of Hank Aaron’s final home run. I will have a post about the events surrounding that historic event and what happened to the ball over the years.
As many of you are aware, I am writing a historical book about the Brewers. In the coming weeks I’ll have a blog post that gives specifics about the book (because “historical book” can mean a lot of things), plus a bit about my writing process. Stay tuned!
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