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Brewers beat 5/14

May 15, 2010

Brewers being cautious with Capuano

MILWAUKEE — Chris Capuano dazzled in his Triple-A debut, but the Brewers are taking a cautious approach with their rehabbing left-hander.

After being promoted to Triple-A earlier in the week, Capuano pitched eight scoreless innings on Thursday night in the Nashville Sounds’ 8-0 home win over the Tacoma Rainiers. He is looking to work his way back to the big leagues after his second Tommy John surgery.

“It’s an intriguing story, but he’s going to come back when he’s going to come back,” assistant general manager Gord Ash said. “He’s been a marvelous worker, and his results so far have been tremendous — but one Triple-A start does not a season make.”

In four Minor League starts, Capuano is 3-0 with a 0.79 ERA, allowing only two earned runs in 22 1/3 innings. In eight innings against the Rainiers, he scattered three hits while walking a pair and striking out five.

Capuano’s fastball velocity has gradually worked back to normal, though Ash cautioned against putting any focus on that, saying, “Velocity is not part of Chris Capuano’s game.”

Manager Ken Macha liked Capuano’s efficiency.

“[He had 84] pitches in eight innings; that’s amazing,” Macha said. “Let’s see how he holds up to the workload. I think we’ve all — the organization as a whole — had our fingers crossed, and we’re hoping that he is [an option for the big leagues at some point].”

One of Capuano’s closest friends on the Major League club is fellow left-hander Doug Davis. The two have not had a chance to talk since Capuano started working his way back through the Minors, but Davis is thrilled for the success of his friend and groomsman.

“He’s been pitching lights-out, hasn’t he? He’s getting back to the old Chris,” Davis said. “He knows he has the talent and that he’s capable of doing it. It’s just a matter of him being healthy. Because when he’s healthy, he’s good. He’s a big league pitcher.”

Macha not worried about sign-stealing

MILWAUKEE — Manager Ken Macha is not worried about the Phillies stealing his team’s signs.

Even if it happens, Macha believes the blame should be placed on the Brewers for letting it happen rather than on the Phillies for doing so.

“We want all of our pitchers to have a number of sets of signs,” Macha said. “My thought is, if they’re stealing your signs, it’s almost your fault. You should have a complicated enough set of signs and be able to change them enough so that they’re not getting [them].”

As for the specific incident that has been in the news, Macha doesn’t believe Phillies bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer was using his binoculars to steal signs against the Rockies.

Macha, who was with the Angels organization during the same time as Billmeyer, noted the distance between the bullpens and home plate in Colorado.

“It’s about 500 feet out there,” he said. “You might need a spotting scope from out there.”

Macha added that the Brewers are no strangers to being on the same side of the issue.

Following the Brewers’ series sweep in Pittsburgh earlier this season, the Pirates were concerned that their signs may have been stolen. As a result, they made an effort to keep the Brewers from doing so when the teams squared off again in Milwaukee less than a week later.

“When they came in here to play us, after we played in Pittsburgh, that catcher was going out there like every other trip,” Macha said. “They were changing the signs. They thought we were stealing their signs.”

Lefty Chris Narveson knew all about the binoculars flap because he used the Rockies’ television feed to scout Phillies hitters this week. He will probably use multiple signs on Saturday, just in case.

“Talking to some of the other guys, Philadelphia has always been very conscious of helping the hitter out any way they can,” Narveson said. “You don’t change your approach. You just have to be smart, and that’s what the game comes down to. Everyone wants the advantage.”

How prevalent is sign-stealing today?

“A lot more than people think,” Narveson said. “The thing is, some [hitters] want to know, and some guys don’t. You have to negate the ones who want to know. It’s like a chess game.”

In regard to the Phillies’ incident, the use of binoculars was cited by many as the deciding factor as to whether it was acceptable. Though many believe it is OK to steal signs, they did not approve of using any additional “equipment” to do so.

Again, Macha does not see things quite the same way.

“When we played the Cubs a long time ago, I was with the Expos then, they’d just go in and look at the monitors,” he said. “We’ve got monitors everywhere here. Everybody’s got a video thing in the back there. You can find out what the signs are.

“So it’s your job to disguise the signs. If you don’t disguise the signs, then it’s like putting free candy out on the dinner table for your kids. What do you think is going to happen?” —Jordan Schelling

Braun back in action for Brewers

MILWAUKEE — After sitting out the final two games of the previous series, left fielder Ryan Braun was back in the lineup on Friday against the Phillies.

Braun was hit near his left elbow by a pitch from Braves starter Tommy Hanson on Monday.

“He said that he’s fine,” manager Ken Macha said.

With veteran lefty Jamie Moyer starting for the Phillies, it made for a favorable matchup for Braun in his return. In 10 career at-bats against the 47-year-old left-hander entering the game, Braun had six hits, including two home runs and a double, and four RBIs.

After being swept by the Braves with Braun on the bench for the majority of the series, Macha and the Brewers hope Braun’s return could help spark the struggling offense.

“The matchups, really — him hitting against those guys — he had favorable matchups. So maybe it would have had an impact on the game,” said Macha, referring to the potential outcomes had Braun faced Braves starters Tim Hudson and Derek Lowe. “Hopefully, it’ll give us a lift.”

Aaron’s final blast top moment of 1970s

MILWAUKEE — It was close, but Hank Aaron’s final home run, in 1976, narrowly edged the Major League debut of an 18-year-old Robin Yount in 1975 as the top Brewers’ moment of the 1970s.

In a vote open to both fans and the media, Aaron’s 755th home run received 27.8 percent of the ballots, 1.2 percent more than Yount’s debut. At 22 percent, Opening Day in 1970 — the Brewers’ first game back in Milwaukee — finished in third place.

The top three moments, which were chosen as a part of the Brewers’ 40th anniversary celebration, were revealed on Friday night at Miller Park and on Fox Sports Wisconsin.

Next month the same process will take place for the 1980s. In July and August, fans and media will vote for the 1990s and 2000s, respectively.

After the top three moments from each decade have been chosen, a fifth poll will choose the top moments in Brewers history. The top 12 will be announced, in reverse order, during the final homestand of the season, beginning Sept. 20.

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