Monday, June 23, 2008

In the News (6/23)

Today's Game: Brewers 4, Braves 1
Record: 42-34, Third Place
Games Behind Cubs: 6

- Sheets dominated. He gave up one run in a complete-game performance and struck out seven. He retired the final 16 batters in order. Sheets is now 9-1 with a 2.59 ERA and is firmly planting himself in the All-Star game starter discussion as well as the NL Cy Young race.

- Weeks went three for four in his second game back.

- The Brewers are the only team in the major leagues with six players who have at least 10 home runs this season.

- The Brew Town Beat notes that the Brewers have the third best record in the NL, but sit at third in their division. With the win tonight, the Brewers moved within 1.5 games of the Cardinals. The Red Birds are firmly in the Brew Crew's sites.

- Torres has been incredible since taking over as the closer. He got a much needed day off today.

- Is Russell Branyan this year's Ryan Braun? Uh, sort of... Hopefully The Muscle keeps tearing the cover off the ball. He's been an absolutely huge boost to the team.

- The Phillies reportedly sent a scout to take a look at Ben Sheets. Not happening, Philadelphia.

- That same post mentions Aaron Harang may be available. Harang is being paid $6.75 million in 2008, $11 million in 2009 and $12.5 million in 2010 with a 2011 club option for $12.75 million with a $2 million buyout. Harang is not pitching great this season (3-10 with a 4.33 ERA) and it's hard to imagine the Reds trading him within the division, but if he truly is on the trading block, he might be the most attractive pitcher available. He's a workhorse that the team could control at a reasonable cost for three and a half seasons. It would take a top prospect and then some, but it may be worth it for three and half seasons of a frontline starter.

- Kapler happy with comeback decision. In other news, consumers are unhappy with the rising gas prices and Wisconsin winters are cold. Seriously though, Kapler's comeback is a nice story and I'm happy to have the guy on the team.

- Bill Hall changed his batting stance.

- Mark DiFelice is in the middle of a historic streak. Since 1956, only 12 pitchers have reached 10 games in a row to start a career without issuing a walk. DiFelice has now pitched in 10 games without issuing a walk.

- Laynce Nix is in the news, for the wrong reasons...

- Matt LaPorta's grandfather is having health problems. Let's all wish his grandfather good health.

- Brewers Fanatics profiles catching prospect Jonathan Lucroy.

- Brew Crew Ball interviews Brewers draft pick Mike Roberts, who recently agreed to sign with the club.

- Al at Al's Ramblings discusses Weeks' value to the team.

- Former Brewers draft pick Charlie Ward (yeah, the Heisman-winning-QB-turned-NBA-player) is now coaching high school football in Texas. Hat tip to Team Wisconsin.

- Adam McCalvy and Tom Haudricourt have mailbags.

- has a story on the recent Iowa Cubs/Nashville Sounds game with no fans in attendance due to flooding.

- Goat Riders of the Apocalypse says Ryan Theriot is due for a decline in production.

- Goat Riders also says the Cubs winning 100 games is a "strong possibility." Boy, Cubs fans are sure drinking the Cubbie Kool-Aid right now... Sure, they could win 100 games...if they play the rest of their games at Wrigley. They're 16-20 on the road and just got swept by the Rays in Tampa, who then promptly lost two of three at home to Houston. The rotation was a big enough question mark for the Cubs before losing Zambrano. Dempster is playing way, way, way over his head and will come down. Lilly sucks. Marquis is a notoriously bad second-half player and is not lighting the world on fire to begin with. And Rich Hill is in AAA and struggling. What happens if Zambrano's injury is worse than they think? The Cubs haven't exactly been great at diagnosing pitching injuries over the years (see: Wood, Kerry and Prior, Mark). Oh yeah, they're also without one of their best offensive players for some time now. No team has won 100 games since 2005 and the Cubs aren't doing it in 2008.

- Bleed Cubbie Blue posts a photo of the "now-traditional home outfielder win bump." Hey, does that "tradition" look familiar?

- Zambrano threw a temper tantrum after getting put on the DL. Imagine how good this guy would be if he wasn't a complete nut job... Thankfully he can't keep his cool though.


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