Braun, Macha differ on day off
For the first time since July 18 and only the fifth time this season, Ryan Braun was not the Brewers’ starting left fielder on Monday.
Why? Well, that was a matter for debate.
Brewers manager Ken Macha said Braun had been complaining of “aches and pains” in his right shoulder, and indeed Braun emerged in the clubhouse following Monday’s 3-0 loss to the Cardinals having just iced the joint. But Braun seemed surprised by the manager’s revelation about his shoulder.
“I don’t know what he’s talking about,” Braun said as he walked away.
One thing they agreed upon: Braun should be back in the Brewers’ lineup on Tuesday night against John Smoltz.
“It’s just a day off,” Macha insisted earlier in the day, and it was as good a day as any. Braun is 0-for-6 with two strikeouts against Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter, who started Monday in the opener of a three-game series at Miller Park and pitched a complete-game one-hitter. It was also a holiday day game, and Braun is hitting 83 points lower in the daytime (.257 vs. .340 at night) with a dramatically lower on-base-plus-slugging percentage (.749 during the day vs. 1.027 at night).
“The trainer thought that it would be best to give him today off,” Macha said. “We had a day game yesterday and a night game tomorrow, so it will be almost like he has two days off in a row.”
The Brewers were also without the services of center fielder Mike Cameron, who expected to be out until Friday at the earliest with a strained right hamstring.
With those two players out, Macha cobbled together the lineup like this:
Corey Patterson CF
Frank Catalanotto LF
Felipe Lopez 2B
Prince Fielder 1B
Casey McGehee 3B
Jody Gerut RF
Jason Kendall C
Alcides Escobar SS
Dave Bush RHP