Gregg Hoffmann

Midwest Diamond Report - 6/1

The Brewers go from one series against a MDR rival this weekend in the Cubs to a home-and-away matchup with another rival in the Twins.
 
Miller Park will host the first two games of that matchup. The venue then shifts to Target Field.
 
Matt Garza will face the Twins’ Kyle Gibson in the series opener on Monday. The Brewers will send Yovani Gallardo against Sam Deduno on Tuesday.
 
At Target, Marco Estrada will match up against the Twins’ Ricky Nolasco. Wily Peralta and Minnesota’s Kevin Correia will conclude the series.
 
Brief results summaries will be posted on the Facebook posting of the Blog.
 
Brewers-Cubs series
 
The Brewers pounded out 16 hits, including three hits by Jean Segura, Ryan Braun, Rickie Weeks and Martin Maldonado, to beat the Cubs, 11-5, in the first game of this weekend’s series on Friday night. It was Braun’s first homer at Miller Park this season.
 
On Saturday, Jason Hammel held the Brewers to four hits in seven innings, and Anthony Rizzo hit two homers, to lead the Cubs to a 8-0 win.
 
This is being written before Sunday’s game. The results of that contest will be added to the Facebook posting of the MDR Blog.
 
The Awakening
 
Since Khris Davis and the Brewers’ offense came under scrutiny in last week’s MDR Blog, there has been an awakening.
 
Davis has been red shot, improving his average from .220 to .257 in a week, and taking a nine-game hitting streak into Sunday. Did he read last week’s Blog?

It’s more likely he is somewhat relieved after death threats against him were investigated by MLB and apparently resolved. Davis also has changed his approach, going to the opposite field with power, rather than trying to pull everything. We don’t take credit for either of those factors.
 
We also can’t take credit for the overall improvement in the Brewers’ offense. Check out the Update Notes for more on that.
 
Player of the Week
 
Khris Davis is the pick here, after the week described above. Davis also upped his homer total to nine -- after hitting dingers in three straight games -- going into the weekend.
 
Other MDR Players of the Week included:
 
** the Cubs’ Jason Hammel, who held the Brewers to four hits in seven innings Saturday to post his second win over Milwaukee this season.
 
** the Twins’ Oswaldo Arcia, who returned from the DL, had a big homer in a win over the Yankees and also threw out a runner at home in that win.
 
** the White Sox’s Conor Gillaspie, who had two hits Friday and was hitting .356.
 
Update Notes
 
Brewers
 
** The Brewers reached double figures in hits for nine straight games, before managing only four on Saturday. That tied a franchise record.

** 3B Aramis Ramirez could come off the DL and join the team Tuesday.

** CF Carlos Gomez extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
 
Cubs

** RHP Hector Rondon was placed on the paternity list and reliever Wesley Wright was activated from the list.

** RHP Pedro Strop was activated from the DL Friday.

** The Cubs broke a 22-inning scoreless streak on Friday.
 
Twins

** RHP Ricky Nolasco pitched six solid innings for his first win in more than a month Friday.

** RHP Mike Pelfrey has an irritated ulnar nerve in his elbow.

** OF Sam Fuld returned to the Twin Cities late last week to deal with concussion syndrome.
 
White Sox

** LHP Chris Sale’s start was moved up to Sunday, in part since his return from the DL last Tuesday was cut short by a rain delay.

** 1B/DH Jose Abreu could return from the DL Monday.

** SS Alexei Ramirez was hitting at a .326 clip going into this weekend. He ranked third in the AL in batting with that average.
 
What’s Ahead
 
In addition to the MDR rivalry series this week between the Brewers and Twins, all four MDR teams will participate on the June draft, starting Thursday. The White Sox have the third pick, Cubs fourth and Twins fifth. The Brewers will wait until the 12th pick.
 
Tournament action continues in the NCAA Division I and for Midwest high school teams. Highlights of some of that action, as well as Northwoods League play, will be included in future MDR Blogs.
 
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The MDR Blog can be found at the locations below. Updates are periodically added to the Facebook posting of the blog:

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http://www.quicktopic.com/31/H/bcq8WpiTHm8eC

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http://midwestdiamondreport.mlblogs.com

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http://www.onwisconsinsports.com