Midwest Diamond Report - 8/30
The Brewers will start their NL Central month on Monday and will have to play well to hang on to the division lead and a chance for post-season play.
All but three games in September, a series with the Marlins, will be against NLC opponents. It starts with a three-game series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Pitchers for the Cub were named early this weekend, with Jacob Turner starting Monday, Jake Arrieta Tuesday and Kyle Hendricks Wednesday. Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke held off naming his starters until it was determined when Matt Garza could come off the DL and join the rotation. (The starters will be added to the Facebook posting of this blog when they are announced.)
The Brewers split a four-game series at Wrigley a couple weeks ago and will want to do better against the last place Cubs. But, the Cubs have called up some of their top prospects, would like to play the role of spoilers and set a tone for next season.
After the series at Wrigley, the Brewers return home to host the Cardinals, who have missed several opportunities in the last week to overtake Milwaukee. In fact, the Cubs beat the Cards on Friday and Saturday to help the Brewers.
The Brewers undoubtedly are grateful for that, but they hope to build some momentum at Wrigley for that big series with the Cardinals.
Player of the Week
Jorge Soler homered in his first at-bat as a Cub. Starlin Castro was the last Cubs to do so. Soler followed his initial homer up with two more on Friday night. For that, the rookie earned the MDR Player of the Week honor.
Other MDR teams’ Players of the Week included:
** the Brewers’ Lyle Overbay, who hit .500 for the week, including some clutch hits in key situations.
** the Twins’ Trevor Plouffe, who made history Friday night, as he connected on the 10,000th home run in franchise history, and also set a doubles record for franchise third basemen. (See Updated Notes section).
** the White Sox’s Jose Abreu, who continued his hot hitting, including a 3-for-3 night Friday
** The Brewers could have interest in current Rockies and former Twins first baseman Justin Morneau after the season. They reportedly claimed him off waivers, but could not work out a deal with the Rockies for the remainder of this season.
** RHP Jimmy Nelson was picked the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year. Nelson was 10-2 for Nashville before being called up by the Brewers.
** RHP Wily Peralta has surrendered 14 runs (13 earned) on 13 hits in eight innings in his last two starts.
** Logan Watkins hit his first Major League home run one day after his 25th birthday.
** Javier Baez had a tie-breaking double, and Arismendy Alcantara homered, to join Soler in a Cubs’ rookie night Friday.
** The Cubs placed outfielders Ryan Sweeney and Justin Ruggiano on the disabled list.
** Plouffe set a franchise record for doubles by a third baseman when he passed Corey Koskie (37) with his 38th double of the season last week.
** OF Jordan Schafer, who was selected off waivers from the Braves on Aug. 2, was hitting .328/.411/.438 with five doubles, one triple, nine RBIs and 10 stolen bases in 21 games, entering Friday.
** RHP Samuel Deduno was claimed from the Twins on outright waivers on Saturday, the Astros have announced.
** LHP Chris Sale got the win Saturday to improve his record to 11-3. He struck out 13 and defeated the Tigers’ Max Scherzer, who is 15-5. Both pitchers are former La Crosse Loggers of the Northwoods League.
** The Sox’s losing streak reached seven games before a 3-2 win over the Indians on Wednesday.
** White Sox senior vice president, sales and marketing Brooks Boyer told MLB.com Friday that nothing has been decided at this point about a reduced 2015 broadcast work schedule for Ken "Hawk" Harrelson. The White Sox play-by-play announcer, who is working his 30th season in the club's television booth, told WSCR 670-AM on Thursday that he had considered cutting back on future road games.
In addition to the Cubs-Brewers series detailed earlier, the White Sox and Twins will meet this week in a two-game series that means much less in the ALC pennant race.
The Sox’s Hector Noesi will face Tommy Milone in the first game on Tuesday. John Danks will match up against the Twins’ Trevor May on Wednesday.
The final Milwaukee Old Time Ballplayers game is a HOF Induction ceremony at Miller Park home plate on Friday, Sept. 5. The group’s Hall of Fame banquet will be held at American Serb Hall on Sunday, Nov. 2, at 6 p.m.
The MDR Blog can be found at the locations below. Updates are periodically added to the Facebook posting of the blog: