July 2010

Yount grabs top two moments of 1990s

MILWAUKEE — Despite retiring just four years into the decade, Robin Yount was the highlight of the 1990s for the Milwaukee Brewers.

 

Yount’s 3,000th career hit on Sept. 9, 1992 at County Stadium was selected as the top moment in Brewers history in fan and media voting for the greatest moments in team history during the 1990s.

With 44.6 percent of the vote, Yount’s 3,000th hit won by a margin of more than 10 percent.

Yount’s induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on July 25, 1999, earned a second place finish in the voting process. He became the first player wearing a Brewers cap to be inducted into the Hall of Fame 11 years ago today.

Rounding out the top three moments was a 22-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Aug. 28, 1992, in which the Crew set an American League record with 31 hits in the game. Voting is being conducted as part of the Milwaukee Brewers “40 Years/40 Moments” program.

Over the course of the season, there will be a series polls on Brewers.com (including video vignettes of each moment) to select the top moments from each of the four decades of Brewers Baseball. A separate media poll will also be conducted, with results of the two polls weighed equally.

The top three events from each decade will advance into a final vote in September to select the All-Time Greatest Moments in Brewers History.

The unveiling of the Top 3 moments from the 1990s will occurred Sunday on broadcasts and in Miller Park. The same process took place for the ’70s and ’80s and will continue for the 2000s, with separate polls and reveals for each decade.

– Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter

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Recapping a busy Brewers Saturday

Brewers fans had plenty to do yesterday, with the annual 5K Sausage Run/Walk getting things started in the morning, followed by the latest Brewers Block Party and then the team’s walk-off win over the Nationals at Miller Park. 

You can find Sausage Race results here, and Jordan Schelling’s coverage of the game is here.
Photographers Scott Paulus and Jeff Hanisch were kind enough to pass along some photos:
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Scott Paulus/Brewers
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AP
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Could Lucroy behind plate help struggling Parra?

MILWAUKEE — Brewers manager Ken Macha shook up his catching rotation Saturday night, putting rookie Jonathan Lucroy behind the plate with lefty starter Manny Parra.

 

Over his past three outings, Parra had been paired with backup catcher George Kottaras, as a result of Lucroy’s struggles with stopping Parra’s splitter, which resulted in several wild pitches.

“I had that because of balls getting back to the screen on the split,” Macha said. ” I just feel that we’re going to try this fit because of results we can get with Manny, so we’ll try somebody else back there.”

In three starts this month with Kottaras behind the plate, Parra has a 1-2 record with a 10.89 ERA, allowing 19 earned runs over 16 innings on 28 hits, including five home runs.

Conversely, in five starts with Lucroy catching during the month of June, the Brewers left-hander went 1-2 with a 4.18 ERA, allowing 13 runs on 29 hits (four homers) over 29 innings.

Parra’s had 36 strikeouts against 13 walks in June, compared with 12 against 7 this month.

So does Macha think having Lucroy behind the plate is the going to result in a better outing for Parra?

“I don’t know, we’ll see,” Macha said. “How did he do last time out? Sometimes catchers and pitchers get on the same page and it happens.”

– Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter

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Hart out of lineup; Edmonds, Inglett in

With All-Star right fielder Corey Hart sporting a protective wrap on his right wrist after injuring it last night on a long foul ball in the third inning, Brewers manager Ken Macha has Joe Inglett starting in right field for Saturday’s contest against the Nationals.
Alongside Inglett will be veteran Jim Edmonds in center field. Additionally, catcher Jonathan Lucroy is in to start, despite left-handed starter Manny Parra being on the mound. Recently, George Kottaras had gotten the start behind the plate with Parra on the mound.
Here’s the rest of the lineup:

Weeks  2B

Inglett  RF
Braun  LF
Fielder  1B
McGehee  3B
Edmonds  CF
Escobar  SS
Lucroy  C
Parra  LHP
– Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter
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Hart leaves with wrist injury, X-rays negative

MILWAUKEE — Corey Hart’s trade value may have taken a hit on Friday when the Brewers right fielder injured his right wrist attempting to catch a fly ball in the third inning.

 

As Nationals second baseman Cristian Guzman drove a ball deep to right, Hart tracked it toward the right field line and crashed into the wall as he attempted to catch the eventual foul ball.

Hart stayed in the game and finished out the top half of the inning, but was removed in favor of veteran outfielder Jim Edmonds, who pinch-hit for Hart in the third.

Brewers officials confirmed that Hart underwent X-rays on his right wrist after leaving the game, which came up negative. Hart will have an MRI on his wrist Saturday.

With Hart being the subject of a number of trade rumors this month, the wrist injury could not have come at a more inconvenient time for the club.

Obviously, any injury or significant time missed by Hart complicates any trade discussions involving Hart.

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for MLB.com.

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Uecker returns to booth, will work all home games

MILWAUKEE — A familiar face, and voice, has returned to the Brewers broadcast booth.

 

Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Uecker, who had been gone since April after having heart surgery, was back Friday in his familiar role alongside Cory Provus as the Brewers play-by-play announcer.

Before the series opener with the Nationals on Friday, Uecker was his usual self.

“I’m ready to rock ‘n’ roll,” Uecker said to open his press conference. “The doctors kind of said, ‘OK.’ They knew I was coming back anyway so there was nothing they could do.”

Uecker announced that he would work every home game through the end of the season while also covering select road trips.

As for where he might travel, Uecker suggested close cities such as Chicago and Cincinnati, as well as San Francisco because he “likes it there.”

“I’m really looking forward to coming back and working,” Uecker said. “Depending on how I feel, and I think I’m going to feel OK, I’m going to go back to work.”

Surgeons replaced Uecker’s aortic valve and a portion of his aortic root and performed a coronary bypass on one vessel on April 30. He was expected to return within 10-12 weeks, but a staph infection slowed his progress.

Uecker said the infection, his inability to put the weight back on — he’s still 10 pounds down from before the surgery — as well as getting the right mix of medications have the been the biggest struggles since he’s been away.

Even with the set back of the staph infection, however, Uecker’s return Friday came exactly 12 weeks to the date of the surgery.

“It’s been a long haul,” Uecker said. “Not from the surgery. I got that staph infection right after we had the last [press conference]. That was the thing that really put me down. I don’t know if it ever goes away. I’m still on a lot of medication for that.”

“It something that attacks new things in your body.”

Uecker said he had an 80 percent blockage in his aorta, though he “never had a pain, never had a problem.”

“I noticed the first night I was breathing better,” Uecker said. “I was breathing easier, not that I ever had a problem. … Now I feel stronger. I really do feel better.”

While he was away, Uecker joked that he was renting people to come stay with him due to the boredom of being away from Miller Park for so long.

That, he said, was what he missed most during his time off: being in the clubhouse, around the guys and being with Provus and producer Kent Sommerfeld in the radio booth.

“Every day at a certain time you’re supposed to be at the ballpark. When you can’t go to the ballpark, it’s terribly boring,” Uecker said. “When you’re around here as long as I’ve been here and you make friendships, you miss that stuff.”

Uecker’s doctors, Aldred C. Nicolosi and Jim Kleczka, in recognition of the work they did on the Brewers broadcaster, were given the opportunity to throw out the ceremonial first pitches before Friday’s game.

After mentioning it, Uecker — right on cue — shared his thoughts about how they might do.

“I hope they do better than they did on my incision,” Uecker joked. “I hope they throw a good pitch tonight. They’re all fired up about that.”

Provus said earlier in the week that Uecker would have his usual pregame show with Brewers manager Ken Macha while doing play-by-play for six innings to Provus’ three.

So how would Uecker make his return to the broadcast booth even better?

“I’d like to win, I’d like to win all the time,” Uecker said. “I don’t worry about what I say or do. I could make stuff up, in my mind we’ll win. But I want them to win. I always want them to win.

“Winning is a lot more fun in the broadcast booth.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for MLB.com.

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Macha: Cain needs Triple-A time

Outfielder Lorenzo Cain was “impressive” in a weeklong stint with the Brewers, manager Ken Macha said. That didn’t stop the team from shipping him back to the Minor Leagues. 
Cain, 24, was optioned to Triple-A Nashville on Thursday to clear a spot for right-handed starter Yovani Gallardo’s return from the disabled list. Cain went 3-for-5 in his brief Major League debut, and was robbed of extra bases in his first big league at-bat by Braves left fielder Matt Diaz. 
In sending out Cain, the Brewers opted to keep its other speedy center fielder, Carlos Gomez, who entered Thursday with a .292 on-base percentage. Gomez and Cain both have Minor League options remaining. 
“[Cain] was impressive,” Macha said. “Very impressive. But this is a guy who has [41] at-bats in Triple-A. He needs to go play. That’s not eliminating that he may be back up here in a month or two weeks or something like that. He certainly has the tools to play center field and steal bases and swing the bat, but he missed a lot of last year with injuries, too. … 
“The honest answer is this: Lorenzo Cain missed a lot of the year last year, has [41] at-bats in Triple-A. He hasn’t even proven himself in Triple-A yet. To expose him to Major League pitching every day at this particular point in his career would probably do a disservice to him and our organization.”
Cain missed most of last season with a knee injury and began 2010 at Double-A Huntsville. Following a promotion to Nashville, he went 14-for-41 (.341) in 10 games with four stolen bases. 
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Cain sent down, clears spot for Gallardo

The Brewers indeed returned to a 13-man pitching staff on Thursday, optioning outfielder Lorenzo Cain back to Triple-A Nashville to clear a roster spot for right-hander Yovani Gallardo to return from the disabled list. Gallardo will start against the Pirates tonight in the finale of a four-game series, and I’ll post the lineup here as soon as it’s available. 

Can you really blame Ken Macha for wanting 13 pitchers? A Brewers starter has allowed at least 10 runs four times in the last 12 games, including three times in the last four games and two straight. Randy Wolf was the victim on Wednesday night, when he stayed in the game long enough to surrender a career-worst 12 runs. 
To find a poorer four-game stretch for one team’s starters, the Elias Sports Bureau had to go back to 1937, when St. Louis Browns pitchers allowed at least 10 runs in three consecutive games. Browns pitchers did it twice more that month. But, according to ESPN.com, you have to go back a year further, to the 1936 Philadelphia A’s, to find the last time a team had four different starters surrender at least 10 runs in a single month.
Here’s the lineup:
Rickie Weeks  2B
Joe Inglett  RF
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
Jim Edmonds  CF
Jonathan Lucroy  C
Craig Counsell 3B
Alcides Escobar SS
Yovani Gallardo  RHP
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Historically bad bit of pitching

The Brewers are trying to make their second half interesting. The starting pitchers haven’t been much help.
On Wednesday it was left-hander Randy Wolf’s turn to get knocked around, to the tune of 12 earned runs on 13 hits — career highs on both counts — in the Brewers-Pirates game at PNC Park. 
It marked the third time in four games that a Brewers starter was touched for 10 runs. 
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, there’s been nothing like it since 1937, when St. Louis Browns starters Oral Hildebrand, Chief Hogsett and Jim Walkup surrendered at least 10 runs apiece in three straight games. Hildebrand and Hogsett were torched in a July 5 doubleheader, and Walkup didn’t have any better luck four days later. 
The Browns, by the way, were the American League’s Milwaukee Brewers in 1901 before moving to St. Louis. 
This season, Major League pitchers have allowed 10 or more runs 13 times, and four of them are Brewers, all in the past two weeks: Chris Narveson (10 runs, nine earned) against the Giants on July 7, Manny Parra (10 runs, all earned) against the Braves on Sunday, Bush (10 runs, five earned) against the Pirates on Tuesday. Now you can add Wolf to that list. 
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Uecker to resume in-game routine

I just spoke to Brewers radio man Cory Provus, who is thrilled to have his broadcast partner, Bob Uecker, returning to the booth beginning Friday. Uecker will address his workload that afternoon, but Provus’ understanding is that when he does call games, Uecker will resume his regular routine.

“He’ll have the Macha show, and he’ll call six innings and I’ll call three,” Provus said. “I’m really excited about it. I think everybody should be.”
Uecker has been on leave since undergoing heart surgery on April 30. 
“I’m looking forward to hearing the first ‘Get up, get up, get out of here! Gone!'” Provus said. “It’s been a blast with Davey [Nelson] the last three months, and he’s been a huge help to me and the broadcast. It’s just the Bob is the Brewers. This is the voice of the franchise, and we miss him.”
Look for more on Uecker’s pending routine over at Brewers.com later today.
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