Bob Brenly, eat your heart out.
Aramis Ramirez, already with a two-run double on the day, played the hero in a wild game Tuesday, hitting a two-run homer off Heath Bell with two outs in the bottom of the 10th to give the Brewers a 13-12 win over the Marlins.
The victory would have been huge for the Marlins’ morale, having overcome a 9-2 deficit with nine runs in the seventh and eighth innings. They took a 12-11 lead when Jose Reyes homered off Livan Hernandez in the 10th, but Bell couldn’t hold it. He was charged with his fifth blown save and fourth loss in the game.
Hernandez, incidently, picked up his 176th career win. One wonders if it might not be his last, given his struggles in mop-up roles for the Braves and Brewers this year. He’s allowed runs in three of his four appearances since signing with Milwaukee.
Bell seemed to have his problems ironed out a couple of weeks ago, but today’s outing follows on the heels of a June 25 appearance in which he blew a four-run lead. Technically, it wasn’t a blown save — he hadn’t had one of those since May 5 — but it was a disastrous performance in what ended up being a Marlins loss.
Even with that one on the books, though, he entered today with 13 scoreless outings in his previous 14 appearances, suggesting that he’ll continue to hold down the closer’s role for the Marlins.
The win for the Brewers was their fourth in a row, giving them a 38-42 record. As weak as the NL Central is, they can’t be counted out just yet. It looks like Zack Greinke will be staying put at least a little longer.
The Padres may have some interest in acquiring Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, according to a recent report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. It seems unlikely that the team would deal their starting third baseman with J.P. Crawford (fractured left hand) sidelined through July; to that end, however, they signed infielder Danny Espinosa as minor league depth on Friday and have reportedly been eying the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre, among other veteran options.
Franco, 25, entered Sunday batting .255/.297/.425 with nine home runs and a .721 OPS in 229 plate appearances this season. While he has yet to live up to the .280+ average, 1.9+ fWAR he posted during his rookie campaign, he’s been a solid 20+ home run producer over the last few years and shown some stability at the hot corner. He’s also under team control for the next three years and could provide some much-needed insurance behind the Padres’ current third base option, 27-year-old Christian Villanueva.
Rosenthal notes that the Phillies could strike a deal for one of San Diego’s relievers, though no one specific has been connected to the team yet — and the club probably wouldn’t be able to finesse a one-for-one deal given the quality of the Padres’ pitchers. The Phillies’ bullpen has looked downright abysmal over the last month, placing 11th-worst in the league with a collective 5.34 ERA and 0.3 fWAR. Their failure to procure a viable reliever beyond Seranthony Dominguez, Victor Arano and Edubray Ramos lends a certain urgency to any potential deal they make over the next few weeks, though the official trade deadline is still over a month away.