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Brewers beat 5/29

May 29, 2010

No worries about Gallardo’s pitch count

MILWAUKEE — A day after he pitched his first career shutout, Yovani Gallardo remained a topic of conversation in manager Ken Macha’s pregame media session.

Gallardo, who kept the Mets off the board all night while scattering eight hits, impressed all those in attendance on Friday night, including his manager.

“Last night, that’s as good as I’ve seen him throw, ever,” Macha said.

One of the concerns brought up about Gallardo, though, was the high pitch total in the game. Gallardo threw 121 pitches over nine innings, marking his third game in May that he’s thrown 120 or more pitches.

It was the first of the three in which Gallardo has gone nine innings, however, with the other two outings being 121 pitches over seven innings in a win at San Diego and 120 deliveries over six innings in a no-decision at Cincinnati.

With the length of the outing in mind, and the fact that Gallardo had a chance at his first career shutout, Macha was not worried about letting his pitch count go over 120 for the third time in less than a month.

“If I’d have taken him out of the game, there were probably 31,000 people here that would have had me on the rail, tarred and feathered,” Macha said. “The 120 pitches, that was over nine innings, instead of being like seven. Those other ones were shorter.”

Kottaras moved up to second in order

MILWAUKEE — Upon learning he had been moved up to the No. 2 spot in the Brewers’ lineup, even George Kottaras was surprised by the decision.

“I did? They changed the lineup?” Kottaras asked. “I came in and they had me batting eighth.”

Kottaras, who has become the team’s No. 1 catcher since Gregg Zaun went on the disabled list a week ago, has just a .224 batting average. But his on-base percentage is more than 200 points higher, at an impressive .425.

Despite originally listing him eighth, manager Ken Macha, after further consideration, swapped Kottaras with center fielder Carlos Gomez, who batted seventh.

“His on-base percentage is .425,” Macha said, referring to Kottaras. “I think he’s done a great job in the eighth spot getting a lot of walks and turning the lineup over quite a bit. … So we’ll see how this works out. George’s got some power, maybe he’ll get some balls to hit and hit some home runs too.”

Kottaras hit a solo home run in the second inning on Saturday.

When asked about the last time he had batted as high as second in the lineup, Kottaras recalled the exact game.

“I had just gotten traded from San Diego to Boston [in September 2006],” Kottaras said. “We went to the Double-A playoffs and they batted me second. I went 2-for-4, I had a home run and I stole a base.”

Vargas designated for assignment

MILWAUKEE — While much of the pregame discussion centered around his replacement, right-handed reliever Claudio Vargas received some well wishes from Brewers manager Ken Macha.

Vargas, who re-signed with the Brewers during the offseason after being traded from the Dodgers before last year’s deadline, was designated for assignment on Saturday as the Brewers needed to make room on the roster for lefty Chris Capuano.

Through 17 appearances on the season, Vargas is 1-0 with a 7.32 ERA in 19 2/3 innings. Vargas struggled to keep opposing hitters off base, sporting a 1.932 WHIP.

With Vargas likely headed elsewhere, Macha was hopeful for his future.

“He’s a terrific person,” Macha said. “It’s a little bit of a sad day. If he wants to continue playing, I hope he winds up catching on with somebody.”

Worth noting

The Brewers and Mets honored the Negro Leagues on Saturday night by wearing uniforms worn by the Milwaukee Bears and New York Cubans. … The Brewers have won consecutive games in walk-off fashion for the first time since June 17-18, 2006, vs. Cleveland. … The last Brewers walk-off home run that resulted in a shutout victory also came that season when Geoff Jenkins hit a solo home run to to give the Brewers a 1-0 win over St. Louis on Sept. 20, 2006. … The shutout Friday by Yovani Gallardo was the Brewers’ first since Ben Sheets shut out San Diego on Sept 6, 2008, and the first complete game since Gallardo’s on April 24, 2009, at Houston. … Brewers pitchers tied a franchise record Friday with their ninth consecutive game without allowing a home run. The starting pitchers also tied a record for 12 games without allowing a homer in a season. Both records were established in 1976. … The Brewers are the only team in the Majors to have not given up a home run since May 19.

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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