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Axford note “blows up” on Twitter

May 14, 2012 Comments off

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When he wrote a quick note Friday night to the Milwaukee media, John Axford was just trying to be courteous to explain his situation. And when I tweeted a quick photo of it early Saturday morning, I thought it was something fun my followers would enjoy.

Neither of us had any idea the note would become as big a deal as it did.

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(Link to original tweet here)

IMG_4036

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My tweet and photo soon were retweeted by Adam McCalvy, Derrick GooldRichard Justice and Will Leitch, among others, including Doug Gottlieb, Tom Oates, Bleacher Report and USA Today. Thanks to their significantly larger followings, my photo reached thousands more users on Twitter.

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It also was picked up by a number of other news websites:

John Axford blows save, evades media with clever note | CBS Chicago

John Axford is cooler than you | The Score

Twitter Responses | Muckrack

John Axford pretty much rules | NBC Hardball Talk

John Axford is awesome | SB Nation

Baseball player leaves adorable note so he can rush to help his wife | The Atlantic

John Axford letter to media | SB Nation Chicago

John Axford loses saves streak, leaves note for media to be with wife | Sporting News

John Axford left an awesome hand-written note in lieu of postgame interviews | The Big Lead

Brewers closer leaves funny note | Yard Barker

John Axford leaves a note after wife goes into labor | MLB.com Cut 4

Brewers closer John Axford lost his saves streak last night, but not his sense of humor | Sports Grid

John Axford leaves hilarious note after blown save ends streak | Midwest Sports Fans

Brewers closer blows first save in 50 chances, leaves hilarious note for the media | Reddit

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After tweeting the picture, I noticed a couple retweets, but simply went about my business writing my game MLB.com game story. It was, after all, 1 a.m., and I did have to be back at Miller Park in about nine hours. I drove home still thinking the Axford note was funny, but no big deal. Just before going to sleep, I checked Twitter on my phone and was surprised by the number of retweets.

That surprise turned to shock in the morning. All told, between my tweet and others that RT’d with a comment, I had well over 500 retweets. At its height, there was an almost constant flow of mentions coming in to my account. It was overwhelming and by far the most attention I’ve ever received on Twitter.

I owe much thanks to Axford for the note itself, as well as the high-profile writers that helped get my tweet out to the masses. I’m still just a freelance baseball writer, but it was fun to feel like more of a big shot for a day or two.

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Maysonet crushes, Marcum cruises in win

May 13, 2012 Comments off

MILWAUKEE — Edwin Maysonet is taking full advantage of his opportunity with the Brewers. And from the looks of it, having a lot of fun while doing so, too.

In five games since being called up, Maysonet is 3-for-4 at the plate, including his first career grand slam in the sixth inning of Saturday’s 8-2 Brewers victory.

After first baseman Travis Ishikawa was intentionally walked to load the bases with one out, Maysonet crushed an 0-1 sinker from Chris Volstad over the left-field fence. Maysonet, who did not play in the Majors the last two seasons, had not homered since his first career blast on May 29, 2009.

He knew he had it too, pointing to Brewers shortstop Cesar Izturis in the dugout on his way to first base.

“Yes sir, yes sir, yes sir,” Maysonet said with a smile. “It feels amazing. You’re helping your team win, and especially in that way. It’s amazing.”

Maysonet got the start on Saturday in place of the injured Rickie Weeks, who is day to day after being hit with a pitch on his left hand and wrist Friday night. Weeks may be back in the lineup on Sunday, but Saturday afternoon belonged to Maysonet.

The 30-year-old infielder did not waste his first start with the Brewers, giving a curtain call to the sellout crowd of 42,339 at Miller Park after the grand slam. All this from a guy who said himself he did not expect to have a big role on the club after his callup.

“I know, right?” Maysonet said. “It’s amazing. Great day for the Brewers.”

It was the first grand slam of the season for the Crew, and the club’s first by a position player in nearly two years. Shaun Marcum, who also started Saturday’s game, had the Brewers’ lone grand slam last season, on July 4 versus the D-backs.

Eight runs were more than enough Saturday for Marcum, who gave the Brewers just what they needed after running through every reliever in Friday night’s marathon victory.

“He’s got four pitches, and he’s got command of all of them. He can expose things, and he did a great job of it today,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “He can maneuver the ball around, in and out, and he cuts it and changes and throws a slow curveball, and he’s very deceiving in his motion, and how quick he is to the plate makes him deceiving as well.”

Marcum tossed seven innings, allowing just one run on three hits, and retired 16 of the last 18 hitters he faced. He also walked a pair and hit a batter, to go along with six strikeouts.

“He threw really well,” said catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who extended his hitting streak to nine games with a 3-for-5 day. “That’s the Shaun Marcum that we’re used to seeing. Executing down, mixing, changing speeds.”

It was the third outing of seven innings this season for Marcum, and the first at Miller Park. His previous best outing came on May 1 at San Diego, when he tossed seven shutout innings, allowing three hits and walking four with six strikeouts.

Marcum lowered his ERA on the season to 3.07, best among Brewers starting pitchers. He has not allowed more than three earned runs in a game this year, and has pitched at least six innings in all but one outing.

Marcum has returned to form nicely of late after struggling last postseason.

“Once he starts getting in that rhythm, it’s fun to watch, because he can really mess up some good hitters by the speed change and the different ways his ball moves,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “It’s never straight.”

The entire staff has come around this month for Milwaukee. Marcum’s was the fourth straight quality start for the Crew. Over that stretch, Brewers starters have posted a 1.00 ERA, allowing just three earned runs over 27 innings pitched and holding opponents to a .140 batting average.

Combined with the eight-run outburst from the offense, the Brewers turned in one of their most complete performances of the season on Saturday. They’ll look to build on it on Sunday and potentially pick up the club’s first sweep of the year.

“We’re finally playing ball the way we want to play,” Marcum said. “Everything’s going pretty well for us right now.”

Jordan Schelling is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Categories: Uncategorized

Brewers notes, 5/12

May 12, 2012 Comments off

X-rays negative on Weeks’ left wrist

By Jordan Schelling / Special to MLB.com

MILWAUKEE — While he was out of the lineup on Saturday, the good news with Rickie Weeks is that X-rays on his left wrist came back negative.Weeks is day-to-day, and will be re-evaluated before Sunday’s game.”We’ll see what happens tomorrow,” said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke. “But we’re fortunate that, at least right now, that there’s no break. Sometimes there’s a little hairline [fracture] there later. But right now we’re fortunate.”

Weeks was hit by a pitch on his wrist and hand leading off the bottom of the 13th, the second time he was hit in the game. His 97th and 98th career hit by pitches extended Weeks’ club record.

After having the injury examined briefly, Weeks remained in the game, eventually scoring the game-winning run for the Brewers.

Had he left the game, things would have gotten interesting for Milwaukee, which had just two available players remaining: starting pitchers Marco Estrada (who was in the bullpen) and Yovani Gallardo, who was scheduled to pinch-hit later in the inning.

“Yo was going to go to left, Braunie was going to short and Izzy to second,” Roenicke said, referring to left fielder Ryan Braun and shortstop Cesar Izturis.

Axford has very eventful evening

MILWAUKEE — John Axford’s consecutive saves streak ended Friday night. Shortly after, he was headed to the hospital with his wife, who had gone into labor.

Axford left before the Brewers’ 13-inning, 8-7 victory had concluded, but not before leaving a quick, hand-written note for the media. The note read:

“I put my wife into contractions with my performance tonight! So I had to run to the hospital. The streak is over so now you can talk about it. The luck I’ve had in the past didn’t show up tonight! All I can do is begin another streak and keep my head up! Cliché … Cliché … Another cliché. Gotta go! Love, Ax.”

The note was the perfect example of Axford’s personality. Even when something far more important was weighing on his mind, the Brewers closer left a note to the Milwaukee media to explain the situation.

The good news for Axford on Saturday morning was that his wife’s contractions were stopped. She was due in June, and had gone into labor early, and now will remain in the hospital a few days, and take it easy for a bit.

Axford was expected to be with the club for Saturday’s game.

“He’ll be coming today,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “I told him ‘Don’t worry about when you show up. Just come and be ready for the late innings.’ And we’ll see how it goes.”

As for Axford’s streak, it ended after he had converted 49 consecutive saves, ranking fourth-best in Major League history.

With it having ended more than a year after it began on April 24, 2011, it really put into perspective how impressive the streak was for Axford. Roenicke compared it to Francisco Rodriguez’s 62-save season in 2008 with the Angels.

“As good as Frankie was the year that he set the saves record, he still blew [seven] that year,” Roenicke said. “With the way that teams can swing the bats now, it’s incredible.”

Five-hour game leaves Brewers speechless

MILWAUKEE — If their Saturday afternoon were uneventful, it would be a welcome change for the Brewers. They already went through enough craziness on Friday night.

After playing six innings of a 1-0 pitchers’ duel, the final seven innings turned into a wild, back-and-forth affair. The Cubs and Brewers each scored four in the seventh inning, trading clutch pinch-hits, with David DeJesus’ grand slam and Jonathan Lucroy’s bases-clearing double.

They traded runs again in the ninth inning, with John Axford giving up a rare three runs (one earned) and Corey Hart belting a two-run, game-tying homer to extend the game. Following 3 1/2 tense, scoreless innings, the Brewers finally came out with the win.

“It really is hard for me to replay the game,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “There was just so much going on.”

The 5-hour, 4-minute contest was the 17th game in franchise history to eclipse the five-hour mark, and the first since a 15-inning game on April 22, 2004, that lasted 5:22. Only three of the Brewers’ 25 players did not play in the game: starting pitchers Marco Estrada, Yovani Gallardo and Shaun Marcum.

The 14 walks in the game also marked the third-highest total in Milwaukee franchise history.

But even more crazy events occurred off the field for the Brewers.

Axford left shortly after his first blown save in more than a year as his wife had gone into early labor. First-base coach Garth Iorg’s wife fell in a Miller Park parking lot, breaking her left wrist and right elbow. And Corey Hart’s wife hit a deer on her way home from the ballpark.

“I was so exhausted from the game,” Roenicke said, “and I come in, I’m like ‘Oh my gosh.’ So it was a bad day. It was a good win, but it was a bad day.”

Wolf, Parra, Chulk excel in Friday’s win

MILWAUKEE — Lost in the shuffle of the Brewers’ marathon 8-7 victory on Friday night were the pitching performances of starter Randy Wolf and relievers Manny Parra and Vinnie Chulk.

Despite walking three batters, Wolf delivered his best outing of the season with six scoreless innings. But that was seven frames before the end of the game.

After a wild seventh, eighth and ninth innings, Parra and Chulk came on to toss four scoreless innings in the 10th through 13th. Chulk picked up the win, his first since Aug. 19, 2007.

“It was awesome,” Chulk said. “It’s one of those games that could start something really nice here.”

Chulk tossed two innings, allowing just two hits and one intentional walk along with two strikeouts. He is 1-0 with a 6.75 ERA in three appearances with the Brewers since being called up from Triple-A Nashville on April 29.

Parra went two innings, allowing a hit and two walks with three strikeouts. He has not allowed a run in his last seven appearances, spanning 7 2/3 innings. Opponents have hit .087 (2-for-23) over that stretch.

“I was very impressed with Manny and Vinnie,” said catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who caught the last six innings of the ballgame. “They came out and did their job, and executed very well. And I was very happy to see that. They battled their butts off, man, and that’s all you can ask for.”

Last call

• The Brewers made a handful of Minor League roster moves Saturday. Right-hander Rob Wooten was promoted from Double-A Huntsville to Triple-A Nashville, while lefty Dan Meadows was sent from Nashville to Huntsville.

Right-hander Hiram Burgos also was promoted from Class-A Brevard County to Huntsville, while righty Eric Marzec went from Huntsville to Brevard County. All four players will be active for their new teams on Saturday.

• Chad Thompson and Mark Williams, the two pitchers who combined on May 4 to toss a no-hitter for Class A Wisconsin, were recognized in an on-field ceremony before Saturday’s game. The two right-handers received plaques presented by Brewers pitching coordinator Lee Tunnell.

• Right-hander Shaun Marcum left Friday night’s 5-hour, 13-inning contest early to get some extra rest before his start Saturday afternoon. With Marcum gone, the Brewers had just two available players — starters Yovani Gallardo and Marco Estrada — remaining by the end of the game.

Jordan Schelling is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Categories: Uncategorized

Hart ties it in ninth, wins it in 13th on walk-off hit

May 12, 2012 Comments off

MILWAUKEE — In a game so long it featured two sausage races, Corey Hart delivered a pair of clutch late-inning hits, including a walk-off single in the 13th for the Brewers.

Hart slapped the first pitch he saw from Cubs reliever Lendy Castillo through the shift to the right of second base and into center field, giving the Brewers an 8-7 victory in a five-hour, four-minute game at Miller Park.

“It was an interesting ballgame,” said Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke. “I didn’t know what was going to happen.”

With the single, Hart capped a wild finish to a game that had featured just one run through six innings. Over the final seven frames, the Cubs and Brewers combined to plate 14.

Hart also had a two-run game-tying homer in the ninth to extend the game. With a double in the fourth — his first hit of the homestand — Hart also snapped an 0-for-12 skid.

“He looked good, a lot of good at-bats,” Roenicke said. “He looked good swinging the bat, as a lot of guys did today. We did a great job of coming back when we got behind.”

Vinnie Chulk, the seventh pitcher out of the Brewers’ bullpen and one of 16 used in the game between the teams, pitched a pair of scoreless innings to pick up the win.

Chulk started getting himself ready in the eighth and stayed that way until called upon in the 12th. Eventually, it was just Chulk left in the ‘pen with bullpen catcher Marcus Hanel and bullpen coach Stan Kyles.

“I said, ‘They’re going to me. It’s either me or you, Stan,'” Chulk said. “And they put me in.”

Thanks to a pinch-hit grand slam by the Cubs’ David DeJesus, the Brewers found themselves down, 4-1, in the seventh. With the bases loaded and Kameron Loe coming on to pitch, Cubs manager Dale Sveum called on DeJesus, who connected for his second career grand slam and first career pinch-hit home run.

DeJesus also had a triple in the ninth off Brewers closer John Axford, delivering the game-tying run for the Cubs.

“For not playing, whatever it was, seven innings, it was one heck of a game,” Sveum said of DeJesus’ performance.

Loe had been one of the Brewers’ best pitchers, entering Friday’s game with a club-best 1.93 ERA. He also had held opponents scoreless over his last seven appearances, while limiting them to just three hits in 6 1/3 innings.

After the Cubs’ big inning, two walks, a double and a single set up Jonathan Lucroy for a big two-out pinch-hit in the bottom of the seventh. On a 1-1 pitch from Michael Bowden, Lucroy slapped a bases-clearing double into the right-field corner to put Milwaukee back ahead, 5-4.

“He threw me a slider first pitch, then he threw me a fastball for a ball, and then he threw the same slider again,” Lucroy said. “I just tried to hit it hard, and it worked out.”

Lucroy extended his hit streak to eight games with the double. He has 13 hits and seven RBIs during that stretch.

Axford had converted 49 straight save chances, but gave up three runs (one earned) in the ninth as Chicago took a short-lived 7-5 lead. Axford left immediately following the game, accompanying his wife to the hospital for the birth of their second child.

“The luck I’ve had in the past didn’t show up tonight,” Axford said in a note left for the media. “All I can do is begin another streak and keep my head up.”

Before the seventh, both teams’ offenses struggled to take advantage of pitching that was just a bit off the mark.

In 11 innings, starters Matt Garza and Randy Wolf combined to walk eight while giving up seven hits. But neither offense could capitalize, as one Brewers run was all that was on the board after six frames.

In the end, the game was just the type of chess match that Roenicke said he enjoys squaring off against Sveum, though a bit longer than he likely had hoped. The Brewers and Cubs will have a quick turnaround with Saturday’s 12:05 p.m. CT start, but the Crew will hope to use Friday’s victory as a potential momentum builder.

“It was important to win it,” Roenicke said.

Jordan Schelling is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Categories: Uncategorized

Brewers notes, 5/11

May 11, 2012 Comments off

Plenty to like about Lucroy at the plate

By Jordan Schelling / Special to MLB.com

MILWAUKEE — There has not been much to like about the Brewers offensively through the first five weeks of the season. But one bright spot has been catcher Jonathan Lucroy.
Entering the series opener against the Cubs, Lucroy’s .321 batting average ranked first among National League catchers. He added to that Friday with a pinch-hit three-run double with two outs in the seventh inning to put the Brewers ahead in an eventual 8-7, 13-inning win.

“Luc’s a good hitter,” Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said before the game. “He sees the ball really well, he doesn’t chase a lot, and he can square up a baseball.

“He has whatever that hand-eye coordination is, along with a good mental approach.”

Lucroy extended his hit streak to eight games with the double, collecting 13 hits over that stretch and seven RBIs. On the season, Lucroy has a pair of home runs and has driven in 15 runs.

In his third year with the Brewers and first as the Opening Day catcher, Lucroy has become one of the club’s best and most versatile hitters.

“I’m just trying to have good at-bats and hit the ball hard somewhere, no matter what situation it is,” Lucroy said. “Anything I can do to help the team win. Whatever side of the ball it’s on.”

Axford’s save streak ends at 49

MILWAUKEE — Brewers closer John Axford finally blew a save. But his teammates picked him up.

After converting a club-record 49 in a row, Axford could not close out the 50th on Friday night. A one-out RBI triple by the Cubs’ David DeJesus tied the game at 5 and snapped Axford’s streak, which had stretched back to April 24, 2011.

Axford gave up three runs, but just one earned, and struck out three over two-thirds of an inning before being replaced by manager Ron Roenicke.

In the bottom of the ninth, a two-run blast by Corey Hart off Cubs closer Rafael Dolis tied the game at 7, taking Axford off the hook for the loss in an eventual 8-7 Milwaukee win in 13 innings.

Axford left immediately following the game, accompanying his wife to the hospital for the birth of their second child.

“The luck I’ve had in the past didn’t show up tonight,” Axford said in a note left for the media. “All I can do is begin another streak and keep my head up.”

Axford had not blown a save since April 18, 2011, in Philadelphia. The Brewers came back to win that game, 6-3, over the Phillies. His streak of 49 consecutive saves ranks as the fourth best in Major League history.

Only the Dodgers’ Eric Gagne (84), Boston’s Tom Gordon (54) and Detroit’s Jose Valverde (51) have recorded longer streaks. Valverde’s was snapped earlier this season on Opening Day, in a Tigers victory over the Red Sox.

The blown save added to a wild finish in a game that featured just one run through six innings. Over the next three frames, the Cubs and Brewers combined for 13 runs.

Despite slump, Weeks to remain in lineup

MILWAUKEE — Even as his season-opening slump continues, don’t expect to see Rickie Weeks come out of the Brewers’ lineup anytime soon.

A lot of players hitting the way Weeks has been — with a .164 average on the season and hitless in his last 13 at-bats — would get a day off for a break that’s as much mental as physical. But Weeks is not that type of player.

“We need Rickie to hit,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “So whatever way I can get him to start swinging like he did last year and the years before that. But he’s not going to do it when he’s sitting on the bench.

“Rickie’s mindset is, when he’s on the bench, it could be the day that he could get it going. And he really doesn’t want to take that chance on maybe that being the one day. So he’s going to be in there until he tells me otherwise.”

Entering Friday’s game, Weeks had just an .083 average over his last 10 games, with just three hits in 36 at-bats.

The biggest positive is that his approach has kept his on-base percentage well above the low batting average. With nine walks, Weeks has a .267 on-base over the last 10 games, nearly 200 points higher than his average during that time.

That approach, along with Weeks’ personality and mentality lead Roenicke to believe the club is better off with its starting second baseman in the lineup than on the bench.

“Sure he’s going to press like everybody does; he’s going to go out there and try a little harder,” Roenicke said. “But he doesn’t need — at least right now — to sit here on the bench and watch nine innings. … He doesn’t get worn out mentally.”

Roenicke honored at Wisconsin Sports Awards

MILWAUKEE — Ron Roenicke had an enjoyable, but busy off-day Thursday.

The Brewers manager made appearances at three events, including the Wisconsin Sports Awards, where he was named Coach of the Year in the state. The other two events honored Del Crandall, whom Roenicke played for in both the Minors and Major Leagues.

“I have a lot of respect for him, and we’ve become good friends,” Roenicke said.

Along with Hall of Fame slugger Henry Aaron, Crandall was named to the Milwaukee Braves’ Honor Roll at Miller Park. Crandall played the first 13 years of his career with the Braves, including two in Boston before the club moved to Milwaukee.

Crandall also managed the Brewers for four years from 1972-75 and the Mariners for two years in ’83 and ’84. Between those two stints in the Majors, Crandall managed Roenicke and the Albuquerque Dukes, the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate.

“I liked when I played for him, he taught me a lot about just playing,” Roenicke said. “He’s got a great baseball mind, but he’s got a way of making it come across really simple. Which is huge when you’re talking to players and trying to get them to understand something.”

Brewers lending hand to Habitat for Humanity

MILWAUKEE — Over the course of five days next week, Brewers Community Foundation, along with Ryan Braun and Habitat for Humanity, will build 10 new homes for Milwaukee families.

Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity’s 2012 Build-A-Thon begins Monday, and a crew of approximately 250 volunteers contributing 8,000 volunteer hours will help build the new homes. Braun has lent his support to the cause through a $50,000 donation.

“The Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity Build-A-Thon is an excellent way for Brewers Community Foundation to carry out our mission,” Cecelia Gore, executive director of Brewers Community Foundation, said in a press release. “We are proud to be involved in such an impactful week of hard work and tangible accomplishments.”

Members of the Brewers’ organization, including the Klement’s Racing Sausages, and wives of several players and coaches, will be making special appearances at the build sites throughout the week,

As the build week draws to a close next Friday, there will be a “Brewers-style” tailgate at Hephatha Lutheran Church in Milwaukee’s Amani neighborhood, where the houses also will be built. Braun also will participate in an on-field check presentation before the game that night against the Twins.

“We are thrilled about our new partnership with Ryan Braun and Brewers Community Foundation,” said Brian Sonderman, MHFH executive director. “They are MHFH veterans and an important addition to our team of AmeriCorps members and local volunteers. As always, their support will be a significant help in serving our community and making this Build-A-Thon a success.”

Jordan Schelling is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Categories: Uncategorized

Estrada, Crew hurt by big frame against Reds

May 8, 2012 Comments off

MILWAUKEE — On their way to a National League Central title last season, Brewers starting pitchers avoided that one big inning that changes a game. Those blowup innings are becoming all too common for this year’s club.

That was the case on Monday, as one big inning was too much for the Brewers in a 6-1 loss to the Reds in the series opener at Miller Park.

“I don’t know why we’re having those tough innings,” said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke. “It’s hard to explain when those innings happen.

“We didn’t have those blowup innings last year. This same crew, they did not have bad innings. Their bad innings maybe was two runs. But we’ve got to stay away from these big runs.”

After retiring the first nine Reds in order, starter Marco Estrada ran into trouble. The Reds connected for five straight hits to start the fourth inning, including a pair of home runs.

It was Jay Bruce’s three-run blast deep to right-center field that put things out of reach and capped the five-run frame.

“The first four innings were a blur to me,” Estrada said. “I didn’t feel comfortable out there. I wasn’t making good pitches I didn’t think. I got away with a lot of pitches.

“That fourth inning, after they scored those runs, it just woke me up. I thought I did better after that.”

Estrada did not allow a run in the other six innings he pitched, and gave up just two hits outside of the fourth. He allowed eight hits in all with five strikeouts and zero walks.

The second time through the order has been an issue for Estrada through three starts this season. Opposing hitters are 2-for-27 and scoreless the first time through, compared with a 10-for-26 mark and nine runs on Estrada’s second trip through the order.

For the Reds, the second time through the order was simply the fourth inning, as they sent nine batters to the plate.

“He threw a great game except for that inning,” Roenicke said. “He threw the ball really well the rest of the game.”

Estrada admitted that not feeling comfortable on the mound likely had at least something to do with the fact that he had not pitched in nine days.

“But it’s no excuse,” Estrada said. “I’ve still got to go out and execute every pitch.”

Ryan Braun’s ninth homer of the season — a solo shot in the first — constituted all of the Brewers’ offense.

Milwaukee had chances to cut into the Reds’ lead in both the fourth (runners on second and third with none out) and seventh (first and second with two outs) innings, but could not capitalize.

“It’s frustrating when you got out there and you put all the work in, but sometimes you just don’t feel it,” said second baseman Rickie Weeks, who went 0-for-4 with a strikeout, dropping his average to just .174.

“It’s part of the game and I understand that you’ve got to keep working hard every day, and that’s what I’m going to do.”

Reds starter Bronson Arroyo was in control throughout his 6 2/3 innings, giving up just one run on six hits with nine strikeouts and one walk. Five of the nine strikeouts caught the Brewers looking.

Arroyo certainly did not mind catching the Brewers’ offense when it was down, either.

“It was a different lineup than you expect against these guys with the guys they had hurt,” Arroyo said.

“I was hoping Braun was going to sit out too. I’ve never been one to be sad that the perennial players in the National League sit out against me. It was nice to get in there against some of the guys that haven’t been playing all year for them.”

For the Brewers, on the other hand, the loss just added to the frustration that continues to build with each game.

Every injury and poor hitting or pitching performance just digs the club into a deeper hole. The Brewers fell into a tie with the Cubs for last place on Monday at 12-17, well behind the NL Central-leading Cardinals.

“I think the biggest thing is keep coming to the ballpark,” Weeks said. “Baseball, I don’t care what you do, you can have some big ups and big downs in this game. You’ve just got to keep coming to the ballpark.

“When you keep coming to the ballpark and keep putting in the work, things can only go up from there.”

Jordan Schelling is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Categories: Uncategorized

Gonzalez has torn ACL in his right knee

May 7, 2012 Comments off

MILWAUKEE — Brewers shortstop Alex Gonzalez, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday, has a torn ACL in his right knee.

Gonzalez underwent an MRI on Monday that confirmed the injury, which occurred when he slid awkwardly into second base in the second inning of Saturday’s 5-2 loss to the Giants.

“They’ll wait for the swelling to go down and try to schedule a date for when he goes in to have surgery,” manager Ron Roenicke said. “[Mat] Gamel’s kind of the same thing, on a holding pattern. Swelling goes down and then they’ll set a date.”

Gonzalez was moving around the clubhouse after the game Saturday on crutches, and again Monday afternoon before the Brewers opened up a six-game homestand at Miller Park.

Gonzalez batted .259 with four home runs, 15 RBIs and four doubles in 24 games for the Brewers this season.

The injury bug bit the Brewers during their nine-game road trip, affecting Gonzalez, first baseman Gamel (torn ACL), starting pitcher Chris Narveson (shoulder surgery), outfielder Ryan Braun (stiff right Achilles) and outfielder Carlos Gomez (left hamstring strain).

With the likely season-ending injury for Gonzalez, his absence creates an opportunity for Cesar Izturis and Edwin Maysonet. Izturis has taken over as the Brewers’ primary shortstop, while Maysonet will play a utility role off the bench for the Crew with occasional starts.

They’re happy to play bigger roles with the club, but a significant injury to a teammate is a tough way for Izturis and Maysonet to get such promotions.

“I’ve never seen something like that, especially not two players to go down with the same injuries and out for the season,” Izturis said. “It’s tough, but it’s part of the game. So now my job is to go out there and help the team win.”

Maysonet was invited to join the Brewers in Spring Training each of the last two seasons, but had not played in the Major Leagues since 2009 with the Houston Astros, until appearing in the final three innings of Sunday night’s loss at San Francisco.

Maysonet knows his role likely will not be a particularly significant one.

“I don’t think I’m going to have a big impact on the team,” he said. “I’m just like the little guy in the corner. Whenever I’m needed, I go out there. But whatever I [can do] to help. If they need me to be the boost, I’ll be the boost. I don’t care, I just want to help the team win.”

Jordan Schelling is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

 

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