Results tagged ‘ Corey Hart ’
MILWAUKEE — You don’t see too many guys leading the league in home runs batting second, but that’s what Corey Hart continued to do for the Brewers on Saturday.
Hart, whose 17 home runs are a National League best, also ranks third in the Majors behind Jose Bautista and Miguel Cabrera, who have belted 18 homers apiece.
With Hart swinging a hot bat over the last month, manager Ken Macha moved him to the No. 2 spot on Friday. Hart proceeded to go 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs.
“I kind of liked it last night,” Macha said of the move. “The guy’s swinging the bat, he’s on base a bunch. I want those guys to get on base for Prince [Fielder] and [Ryan Braun].”
Macha likes the power potential of Hart batting between leadoff hitter Rickie Weeks and Fielder.
If Weeks gets on base in front of Hart, it gives the Brewers the chance for a quick two runs before recording an out in the game offensively. Regardless of his spot in the lineup, Hart continues to hit home runs, totaling 14 since May 15.
“He’s a special hitter, he’s got some tools that not everybody has,” third baseman Casey McGehee said of Hart. “For him to be doing it as consistent as he is right now, is pretty impressive to watch.
“It just extends it so far. He’s hitting second, and that worked. He’s been hitting sixth and that’s been working. So when he’s going good it makes a huge difference.”
Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for MLB.com
Only one change in the Brewers’ lineup from last night as manager Ken Macha has veteran Jim Edmonds in center field and batting sixth in place of Carlos Gomez.
Brewers manager Ken Macha continues his search for the right combination at the top of the order, moving red hot slugger Corey Hart into the No. 2 hole behind Rickie Weeks.
MILWAUKEE — As the Brewers continued to excel on the field, manager Ken Macha continued to tweak the club’s lineup on Sunday.
After batting catcher George Kottaras second on Saturday because of Kottaras’ high on-base percentage, Macha made another move Sunday to get more guys on base. Macha moved his entire batting order up one spot after Rickie Weeks with the exception of shortstop Alcides Escobar, who was in the ninth spot, behind pitcher Randy Wolf.
“We’ll try this out,” Macha said. “We tried something out yesterday and I think that had some fruits to it. I think it’s just an interesting look. I thought about putting Kottaras there and I thought about this a little bit too.”
As a result, left fielder Ryan Braun became the ninth Brewers hitter to bat second on the season. It’s just the third time Braun has batted second and the first time since he was a rookie.
Behind him, Prince Fielder batted third for the third time this season, Casey McGehee became just the third cleanup hitter this season and Hart batted fifth for the second time on the year.
McGehee was the first Brewers hitter other than Braun or Fielder to bat cleanup since Hart did so on July 1, 2008. The Brewers won that game, 8-6, in Arizona.
Wolf is the first pitcher this season to be in the lineup anywhere other than the No. 9 spot. The only time any other hitter has batted ninth was during the three-game Interleague set with the Twins at Target Field.
With Escobar batting ninth, Macha and McGehee were quick to point out the lineup looks a bit different after the first time through. In fact, it looks a lot more like the team’s usual lineup.
“Looking at the lineup, at the beginning of the game it’s like, ‘Oh, you’re batting cleanup,'” McGehee said. “But it’s really the same. I’m still hitting in front of and behind the same guy. Then hopefully you get Escobar on base and all of a sudden Rickie’s basically hitting second after the first go round. So I think it’s going to be interesting to see how it all shakes out.”
As with the Kottaras move on Saturday, the thought process behind Macha’s decision came down to on-base percentage.
At .402 and .393, Fielder and Braun rank fifth and ninth in the National League in on-base percentage.
“If we score first, we’ve got a high percentage of wins. In the first inning, they’re going to have to face Prince and Brauny. That gives us a chance to score early,” Macha said. “I just want those guys to get on base. Corey’s hot right now, McGehee’s up in the league leaders in driving in runs — I just want the guys to get on base.”
– Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter
MILWAUKEE — After batting .172 with a .221 on-base percentage and 18 strikeouts in Spring Training, right fielder Corey Hart did not start for the Brewers on Opening Day. Seven weeks later, Hart has quietly become one of the Brewers’ hottest hitters.
Over the last 11 games, Hart is batting .295 (13-for-44) with six home runs, 11 RBIs, eight runs scored, two doubles and a triple. With a week remaining in the month, Hart’s numbers in May have already eclipsed those of April in nearly every offensive category.
With six home runs this month, Hart has already doubled his April total of three homers.
“I’ve been trying to stay consistent, but for some reason lately the ball’s been getting in the air for me,” Hart said. “Sometimes I’ll find a swing that makes me hit the ball in the air a little farther than other times, but it kind of comes and goes. Right now the ones I hit good are going in the air, so I’ve been fortunate to have that streak go a bit longer than normal.”
For the season, Hart is batting .263 with nine home runs — which ties him with Casey McGehee for the team lead — and 23 RBIs, which puts him fourth on the team.
Over last weekend in Minneapolis, he hit home runs in each of the Brewers last two games against the Twins at Target Field, a ballpark that is near the bottom of the league in terms of home runs per game.
But with the way Hart was swinging the bat, his home runs would have been out of any park. His second homer, which came in the Brewers’ 4-3 win on Sunday, was the first to ever reach the third deck at Target Field.
At an estimated 440 feet, it was the longest home run hit in the short history of the ballpark.
Since sitting out the series opener against the Braves on May 10, Hart has started 13 straight games for the Brewers.
“Looking back at it, he didn’t start Opening Day,” manager Ken Macha said of Hart. “A big deal was made about that and that he didn’t have a very good Spring Training. He’s come out here and worked with Dale [Sveum] pretty hard and it’s nice to see the work paying off.”
To begin the season, Hart split time with veteran outfielder Jim Edmonds at right field in what, for the most part, amounted to a platoon. While Macha never wanted to call it such, Edmonds typically got the call against right-handed starters, while Hart mostly faced lefties.
The most surprising instance, though, was on Opening Day, when Edmonds got the start over Hart with righty Ubaldo Jimenez on the mound for the Rockies.
While Macha said Edmonds was starting because Jimenez fell into the category of “tough righty,” it was a surprising move with it being Opening Day and with Hart expected to be the club’s everyday right fielder.
Though he credits some of his success to the swing he’s had of late, Hart sees his more consistent playing time as the most important factor in his recent hot streak. Due to a handful of injuries to other outfielders, Hart has started far more of late than he had been early in the season.
“That was stupid, Spring Training doesn’t matter, but they decided it mattered this year for some reason,” Hart said of his preseason slump. “I’m just working to try to turn their minds around. Hopefully I can keep playing well so I can stay in the lineup.
“Coming into this season I think there was a question mark about how long I’d be in Milwaukee. But I want to be here, so hopefully they see me as an everyday guy again.”
– Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter
With lefties taking the mound on both sides, Jim Edmonds and Gregg Zaun will take a seat tonight in favor of Corey Hart and George Kottaras in right field and at catcher, respectively.
With lefty Jaime Garcia set to start for St. Louis this afternoon, Corey Hart is back in right field for the second game of the Brewers’ series with the Cardinals. Jim Edmonds started the last two for the Brewers with a pair of righties taking the mound in Aaron Cook for the Rockies and Kyle Lohse for the Cardinals.
It’s down to business for the Brewers and those who cover then regularly tonight at Miller Park, when the Opening Day crowds will have thinned a bit for Game 2 of the season. Corey Hart will man right field behind left-hander Randy Wolf, who is set for his Brewers debut.
Rickie Weeks 2B