Lorenzo Cain is making his first start since he was scratched from Wednesday’s lineup for being tardy to Minute Maid Park. The Brewers are aiming for a three-game sweep of the pennant-hungry Giants.
Ryan Braun LF
Prince Fielder 1B
Lorenzo Cain CF
Carlos Gomez has seen his playing time increase dramatically on this road trip, and he’s back in the lineup for Friday’s series opener in St. Louis.
Corey Hart RF
Ryan Braun LF
Cody Hawn, the Brewers’ sixth-round pick in the most recent First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Tennessee, homered twice and drove in eight runs Thursday to lead rookie-level Helena to the Pioneer League championship.
When asked a simple question about the changes Randy Wolf has made since the beginning of the season, Brewers pitching coach Rick Peterson had plenty to say.
MILWAUKEE — A year ago, Randy Wolf put together a career-best season with the Dodgers.
From start to finish, Wolf was one of the league’s most consistent pitchers as he posted a handful of career-best numbers, including 214 1/3 innings pitched and a 1.101 WHIP.
Opening the 2010 season with the Milwaukee Brewers, that consistency seemed to escape Wolf. He looked nothing like the pitcher he was for Los Angeles, stumbling out to a 4-6 record with a 5.31 ERA through 13 starts in the first two months of the season.
“I just knew something wasn’t right,” Wolf said of his struggles.
Over that stretch, Wolf mixed in impressive outings, as he tossed six scoreless innings at Pittsburgh on April 20 and seven scoreless against the Astros on May 25. More frequently, however, Wolf struggled, as he did in allowing eight runs over 4 2/3 on June 9 to the Cubs.
As he watched his club’s newly acquired veteran left-hander struggle, Brewers pitching coach Rick Peterson struggled himself as he searched for an answer.
“You’re trying to pinpoint what exactly it is. Why exactly is he struggling? What’s different from the year before and this year?” Peterson said.
“So I went and I looked at all the pitch f/x information going back three years, taking a look at his vertical and horizontal movement on all his pitches, and the velocities on all his pitches. They were all the same. It was actually identical.”
If his stuff was the same early in 2010 as it was throughout the last three seasons, why were Wolf’s numbers so much more inconsistent?
Following his rough outing on June 9, Wolf bounced back, going 3-2 with a 3.25 ERA over his next seven starts. Wolf’s next start after that stretch, July 21 at Pittsburgh, was his worst yet. Entering with a 4.56 ERA, Wolf surrendered a career-high 12 runs on 13 hits over 5 2/3 innings pitched, causing his ERA to jump to 5.20.
While that Pittsburgh outing certainly was forgettable, the silver lining was that it marked the date Peterson and Wolf finally figured out what change was necessary.
“The difference, from this year to past, was that he just wasn’t making pitches,” Peterson said. “For whatever reason, he was missing location consistently. Everything else was the same, but that makes a huge difference.
“What I think had happened was that his slow tempo had worked for a long period of time, but now it was almost so slow that it was affecting his release point and his ability to execute pitches.”
For more on Wolf’s adjustments since that rough outing Pittsburgh on July 26, watch for the full story on Brewers.com later today.
— Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter
Brewers broadcaster Brian Anderson will be part of TBS coverage of the Division Series for the third straight season. He’s part of the release I received this morning:
TBS today announced the network’s broadcasting teams for exclusive coverage of all four MLB League Division Series (LDS) and the American League Championship Series (ALCS). For the ALCS, TBS’s team will be led by Emmy winner Ernie Johnson, paired with analysts and World Series Champions Ron Darling and John Smoltz.TBS’s coverage of the American League Division Series (ALDS) and National League Division Series (NLDS) will be handled by a quartet of play-by-play announcers: Johnson, Brian Anderson, Dick Stockton and Don Orsillo. These announcers will work with a team of veteran analysts, including regular Sunday MLB on TBS announcers Darling, Smoltz and Buck Martinez, along with Bob Brenly and Joe Simpson, who are both returning to TBS this postseason.David Levy, President of Sales, Distribution and Sports Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. announcing the team said “We’ve assembled a great group of talented, experienced announcers for our MLB Postseason coverage. This versatile team will be fully prepared to deliver insightful and engaging analysis that will complement all of the excitement and drama that will unfold on the field in October. I am also thrilled Ernie will take on the lead role of play-by-play during the LDS and ALCS. He is one of the preeminent announcers in sports today and his experience and presence in the booth during the postseason will clearly enrich our game telecasts.”The 2010 MLB Postseason on TBS kicks off on Wednesday, Oct. 6 with a LDS tripleheader (times TBD). The network’s exclusive coverage of the ALCS will get underway on Friday, Oct. 15.Following are the announcer pairings for TBS’ exclusive coverage of the LDS and ALCS (play-by-play/analyst):o Ernie Johnson (play-by-play), Ron Darling (analyst) and John Smoltz (analyst)o Brian Anderson (play-by-play) and Joe Simpson (analyst)o Dick Stockton (play-by-play) and Bob Brenly (analyst)o Don Orsillo (play-by-play) and Buck Martinez (analyst)In the studio, host Matt Winer will be joined by Hall of Famers Dennis Eckersley and Cal Ripken, as well as two-time World Series Champion David Wells. The team will offer insights and break-down all the action throughout TBS’s postseason coverage. MLB insider and Sports Illustrated senior baseball writer for the magazine and SI.com Tom Verducci, along with Craig Sager, Marc Fein and David Aldridge, will serve as TBS reporters during the ALDS and NLDS.“The MLB Postseason is one of the crown jewels in sports and must-see programming for TBS,” said Jeff Behnke, Turner Sports executive producer. “We look forward to maximizing our productions resources, including the varied unique perspectives of our on-air talent, to provide baseball fans across the country with informative and entertaining telecasts throughout our Postseason schedule.”
Manager Ken Macha has all of his regulars in the lineup for Sunday’s daytime series finale against the Cubs, as the Brewers try to avoid a three-game sweep. Heck, they’re just trying to score a run in the series after being blanked in the first two games.
Corey Hart RF
Ryan Braun LF
Prince Fielder 1B