Results tagged ‘ Jonathan Lucroy ’

No shortage of praise for Hoffman in clubhouse

Following last night’s thriller, which featured career save No. 600 for Trevor Hoffman, we had a sidebar on his Brewers teammates’ reactions to the moment.
While that story captured the emotions and feelings in the clubhouse, there was far too much to fit in after the game. With a guy like Hoffman who’s frequently described as the “best teammate,” there was hardly of lack of things to say in the home clubhouse.
Braun: “Like we were going to the playoffs”
According to left fielder Ryan Braun, the emotion following the final out of the game was far greater than the meaningless early September game that it starter out as.
“It felt like we were going to the playoffs,” he said. “It was exciting. I think it was exciting for all of us to have something to celebrate, for all of us to have been a part of something so special. That’s something that we might not ever see again. Who knows if anybody else ever gets to 600 saves.”
Coffey: “I was 100 percent spectator”
Perhaps most excited about the achievement — more so even than Hoffman himself — were Hoffman’s bullpen mates.
Reliever Todd Coffey described his feelings as “beyond goosebumps” as he become more of a spectator than a teammate. After that, he went on for a few minutes about the emotions he felt both when Hoffman entered the game and recorded his 600th save.
“As soon as he walked out of the bullpen, the entire bullpen was up and I think we were all clapping louder than the fans, we were hollering louder than the fans,” Coffey said. “I don’t think any of us actually realized we were in the bullpen. We were all out there with Hoffy.
“We were hanging over, we even thought about, ‘let’s just jump the wall and go. Then we thought, ‘we better not jump the wall.’
“I think me, Zach [Braddock] and Kam[eron Loe] all hit the pile at the same time. I think I felt the whole pile moving when we hit it. It’s an experience that I’ll never forget. He’s always there for every one of us. For us to be there for him, it’s amazing. He cares less about himself and more about his teammates than anything else.”
Davis: “Just incredible”
Others had less to say, but their thoughts were no less insightful.
Veteran left-handed starter Doug Davis recalled being part of a similar moment early in his career.
“Definitely the most exciting thing I’ve ever been a part of,” Davis said. “My first win was John Wetteland’s 300th save. I thought that was impressive, but this, twice as many saves, it’s just incredible.”
Bush: “An amazing number”
Another Brewers starter, right-hander Dave Bush, took particular notice of the number of people in the dugout during that final inning, as everyone wanted the best view they could get of Hoffman’s historic save.
“It’s an amazing number, one that nobody’s ever gotten to before,” Bush said. “I can’t even fathom at all what it takes to reach that.
“It was exciting. Probably the most people I’ve ever seen in the dugout in the ninth inning. Everybody was coming down here because they wanted to be as close to it as they could. As a player, moments like that are few and far between. To be his teammate and to be around for something like is just awesome.”
Lucroy: “I’m totally lucky and blessed”
After beginning the season at Double-A Huntsville, catcher Jonathan Lucroy called the game Tuesday night, including Hoffman’s thrilling ninth.
As he waited on the mound for the all-time saves leader, with “Hell’s Bells” blaring from the stadium speakers, Lucroy said he had goosebumps and began to shake from the nerves.
He stayed relaxed behind the plate, though, and didn’t change a thing. Until the final out as he ran down toward first base.
“It’s something that I’ll remember for the rest of my life and cherish,” Lucroy said. “To be able to remember something like that, it’s a blessing for me to even be able to experience it.
“To see him achieve a goal like that is just something that every baseball player lives for. It couldn’t have happened to a better guy. He totally deserves it. It’s an honor for me to even be here and just experience it.
“I was jacked up and excited. I told myself I was going to sacrifice my life to get an out for him if I needed to. I was going to go everything I could to get an out, no matter what I had to do, I was going to sacrifice everything for him.
“For somebody like that, to put in the kind of work he has, to play for as long as he has, and have the kind of character that he has, and for something like that to happen to him, and for me to even be there and be a part of it, it’s an unbelievable feeling.
“I was the first one [to the mound]. Usually I run down to first base and back up on ground balls, but I cut it off halfway. I was going to go get there first as fast as I could. I grabbed him and he grabbed me in a headlock and then everybody else hit and we went at it.
“It’s not very often you see grown men crying out there and there were grown men crying on the field. It was very emotional, I was trying to hold back as best I could. It’s just the payoff for so much hard work and just shows you that if you work hard and be a good person in this game there’s a lot of good things that happen to you.
“I’m totally lucky and blessed to even be here. To experience that, I don’t even deserve that. I don’t even deserve to be on the same field as that guy.”
Axford: “My heart was racing the entire time”
Of course, no story about Hoffman’s historic accomplishment would be complete without some mention of his replacement, rookie John Axford.
As has been the case all season, Axford had nothing but positive things to say about his mentor in the Brewers bullpen.
“He’s meant everything to my development because he carries about his business perfectly. He does everything right,” Axford said. “That’s been the best mentor for me. I just try to watch him and see what he does and see how I can build upon that. Every time I go out there I just try and do right by Trevor. I just want to do basically what Trevor would do and do things the right way.
“My heart was racing the entire time once the ‘Hell’s Bells’ started. My heart was going and it didn’t stop the entire time until we’re actually here right now and I’m still talking a mile a minute. I still feel the emotion and the rush from it. I think it was absolutely unbelievable.”
“It’s a cool kind of turn around. At the beginning of the year, I got my first save and Hoffy went in and got a hold for me. Now I got to go in and save that game for him, which is probably going to be the best hold of my entire life right there. I’m definitely glad I was in that game for sure.”
McGehee: “The ultimate professional”
Third baseman Casey McGehee admitted he was nervous when Hoffman entered the game. In fact, he was just hoping the ball wasn’t hit to him.
Once the final out had been recorded, however, McGehee was thrilled to be a part of such a big moment and to have played with someone who is the all-time leader
in any category.
“I think the reaction of all the guys kind of let everybody see how important to this team and to us he is,” McGehee said. “You couldn’t have asked for it to happen to a better guy. He’s the ultimate professional with everything he does.
“There’s not too many people you played with that you can say you played with the all-time best anything. When my career is over and I’m sitting around telling stories at a bar somewhere, that’s going to be one of the ones I tell.
“You can’t block that out, we all knew what was going on. Most of us, we’re huge fans of the game. Coming up, we remember watching Trevor Hoffman when he was in his prime and he was virtually unhittable. To be any small part of it, it’s pretty special.
“Some of these guys that got called up today, first day in the big leagues, not a bad way to start your big league career.”
Fielder: “Happy to be a part of it”
The final out was recorded by Prince Fielder, as veteran shortstop Craig Counsell fielded a ground ball and fired to Fielder at first.
As Fielder closed his first-baseman’s mitt on the ball, he joined McGehee and Lucroy as the first three players to embrace Hoffman on the mound.
“It was awesome,” Fielder said. “Coming into this year, you knew he was close to getting it. Everything he had to go through to get to it and he finally got it, I’m really happy for him. It’s really awesome.
“It [ranks] up there just because it’s your teammate and it’s a really special moment and something that nobody else has ever done. That’s what makes it even more special and I’m just really happy to be a part of it.
Narveson: “Pretty amazing”
But none of it would have been possible had it not been for an impressive seven-inning performance by lefty starter Chris Narveson. 
His brilliance on the mound was lost in the shuffle, but everything was set up by one of Narveson’s best starts of the 2010 season.
“That was pretty amazing,” Narveson said. “To be able to witness it and be the guy that started that game, was pretty special.”
– Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter
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Rookies making impact

It seems to me that the silver lining of an otherwise lost Brewers season is the slew of rookies who have proven they fit at the Major League level. With that in mind, here’s a preview of a feature set to hit Brewers.com later today:

escobar-lucroy.jpg
The Brewers broke camp with one rookie on the Opening Day roster — shortstop Alcides Escobar. Now, they’re everywhere. 
“It feels like half the team!” Escobar said. 
Not quite, but the Brewers have certainly skewed younger since the start of the season. On a given day in August the Brewers could start Escobar at shortstop, Jonathan Lucroy behind the plate and Lorenzo Cain in center field, with Zach Braddock ready in relief to face the opponent’s toughest left-handed hitter and John Axford on hand for a save opportunity.
When rosters expanded on Wednesday, right-hander Jeremy Jeffress joined the group. He’s only 22, and when he trotted in for the bottom of the eighth inning against the Reds, he threw his first pitch above Double-A. 
This is not necessarily the way general manager Doug Melvin drew it up in Spring Training. Cain and Lucroy, in particular, probably could have used more Minor League seasoning considering they both began the year in Double-A. But as needs arose, Melvin reacted. 
And the kids responded. 
“When we came up, we knew we had a job to do,” Braddock said. “There was going to be a learning period, but we also needed to do the job that was asked of us.”
Braddock and Axford — along with non-rookie Kameron Loe — were crucial in the Brewers’ midseason makeover of a bullpen that cost them dearly in April. Braddock has a 2.76 ERA in 36 games and, while he allowed a couple of inherited runners to score on Wednesday, is unscored upon in all but four of his outings. Axford claimed the closer’s role brilliantly from Trevor Hoffman, going 19-for-21 in save chances including seven saves of four or more outs. 
Lucroy was summoned in May after the Brewers lost starting catcher Gregg Zaun to a season-ending shoulder and top catching prospect Angel Salome to personal issues. Lucroy has proven serviceable, hitting .265 with four home runs and showing improvement in his game-calling and defense. 
The Brewers promoted Cain briefly in July and then recalled him for good in early August when center fielder Carlos Gomez went on the disabled list with a concussion. Cain has taken hold of the position, flashing some surprisingly spectacular defense while hitting .300 with a .351 on-base percentage in 70 at-bats.
Escobar has had the ups and downs the Brewers expected during his rookie season. He’s hitting .251. 
It will take some time for them to really settle in. 
“They’re coming along,” manager Ken Macha said. “But my experience is that normally it takes about three years for guys really to settle into the Major Leagues. You know who’s pitching, how they pitched you, you start to learn the hitters, what they do, all that kind of stuff. 
“You’re comfortable with your surroundings. You know what to expect when you come to the ballpark. It takes some time for guys to make that leap forward to being a Major League player.” 
Which Brewers rookie do you think will end up being the best Major Leaguer?
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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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Counsell at shortstop vs. lefty Bumgarner

As promised by manager Ken Macha, rookie shortstop Alcides Escobar got the day off Tuesday in the Brewers’ second of a four-game series against the Giants at Miller Park. 

Macha said he would give Escobar at least two of the final six games off before the All-Star break, and Tuesday was the first, as veteran Craig Counsell was in the lineup for the Crew with left-handed rookie Madison Bumgarner on the hill for San Francisco.
The rest of the lineup is as would be expected, with George Kottaras starting in place of rookie Jonathan Lucroy as lefty Randy Wolf takes the mound for Milwaukee.
Here’s the rest of the lineup:
Weeks  2B
Hart  RF
Fielder  1B
Braun  LF
McGehee  3B
Counsell  SS
Gomez  CF
Kottaras  C
Wolf  P
– Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter
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Business as usual in series opener vs. Giants

Nothing too surprising in the Brewers’ lineup for today’s afternoon contest with the San Francisco Giants.

Carlos Gomez is in center field with a lefty on the mound in Jonathan Sanchez for the Giants, rookie catcher Jonathan Lucroy is behind the plate, and Casey McGehee is back at third base after taking a much-deserved day off on Sunday in St. Louis.
Here’s the rest of the lineup:
Weeks  2B
Hart  RF
Fielder  1B
Braun  LF
McGehee  3B
Lucroy  C
Gomez  CF
Escobar  SS
Bush  P
– Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter
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Gomez back in lineup vs. lefty Rodriguez

No surprises once again for the Brewers. The only change from Tuesday night to Wednesday afternoon is the lefty-righty swap in center field.

With lefty Wandy Rodriguez on the mound for the Astros, speedy Carlos Gomez is back in center for the Crew. As a result, veteran Jim Edmonds gets the day off after playing the first two games of the series.
Rookie catcher Jonathan Lucroy gets bumped up ahead of Gomez as usual, whereas he typically bats behind Edmonds. The rest of the lineup remains the same:
Weeks  2B
Hart  RF
Fielder  1B
Braun  LF
McGehee  1B
Lucroy  C
Gomez  CF
Escobar  SS
Bush  P
– Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter
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Lucroy, Gomez back in lineup for series finale

After a scheduled day off for Jonathan Lucroy on Saturday with lefty Randy Wolf on the mound, the rookie catcher is back in the lineup for Sunday’s series finale with the Mariners.

In addition to Lucroy, Carlos Gomez is back in center field with lefty Jason Vargas on the mound for Seattle. 
Aside from those two, however, the rest of the lineup shows no changes:
Weeks  2B
Hart  RF
Fielder  1B
Braun  LF
McGehee  3B
Lucroy  C
Gomez  CF
Escobar  SS
Narveson  P
– Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter
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Edmonds, Kottaras in starting lineup

One night after belting back-to-back home runs in the fourth to put the Brewers on top against the Mariners, speedy center fielder Carlos Gomez and rookie catcher Jonathan Lucroy got the day off Saturday.

Gomez belted the eventual game-winning home run against the Mariners, but the speedy center fielder is back on the bench, in favor of left-handed hitting Jim Edmonds.

It’s beginning to appear as though manager Ken Macha plans to use Gomez and Edmonds in a strict platoon with Edmonds facing right-handed starters and Gomez starting versus lefties.
Behind the plate, catcher George Kottaras gets the nod as Lucroy sits one day after hitting his first career home run and taking his first curtain call.
Here’s the rest of the lineup:
Weeks  2B
Hart  RF
Fielder  1B
Braun  LF
McGehee  3B
Edmonds  CF
Escobar  SS
Kottaras  C
Wolf  P
– Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter 

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Lucroy getting his shot behind the plate

MILWAUKEE — He hasn’t been named the No. 1 catcher for the Brewers’ just yet, but rookie Jonathan Lucroy is certainly going to get a chance to earn the spot.

 

Lucroy, who was called up on May 21 in place of injured starter Gregg Zaun, started his third straight game behind the plate for the Brewers on Saturday. With three starts on the homestand, Lucroy has doubled his career total.

One thing that Lucroy brings to the table is something the Brewers haven’t had all season, a catcher who can consistently throw runners out. In seven games — one of which he entered late as a pinch hitter — Lucroy has thrown out two of five runners attempting to steal.

“We’re trying to address the stolen bases,” manager Ken Macha said, referring to his decision to start Lucroy. “He’s certainly done a nice job so far with that.”

While throwing out base runners is just one of many parts of his job as a catcher, Lucroy admits it’s one aspect in which he really strives for success.

“I take a lot of pride in doing that; I fully enjoy throwing people out,” Lucroy said. “I do my best every day to be perfect in that regard because that’s one part of the game I feel like I can control.

“You really can’t control a lot of parts of the game, so I feel like I can really contribute a lot by throwing runners out and keeping guys off base the best I can.”

With Kottaras 0-for-7 on the current homestand and 3-for-25 with just three walks this month, Lucroy is getting his chance to show what he can bring to the table.

According to Macha, since he’s joined the big league club, Lucroy has been the hardest worker in the clubhouse, routinely arriving at the ballpark six or seven hours before the first pitch.

But as with every other position, it all boils down to results for Macha.

“Everybody gets an opportunity,” Macha said. “It’s up to production. So, get some hits, throw out some runners, catch a winner, that’s all part of the formula.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for MLB.com

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Edmonds, Lucroy start; Hart No. 2 again

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.

That means right fielder Corey Hart is in the No. 2 hole once again and rookie catcher Jonathan Lucroy gets his third straight start behind the plate as Macha gives George Kottaras some much-needed rest.
Here’s the rest of the lineup:
Weeks  2B
Hart  RF
Fielder  1B
Braun  LF
McGehee  3B
Edmonds  CF
Lucroy  C
Escobar  SS
Parra  P
– Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter
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