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Hairston gets nod at third base again in Game 2

October 2, 2011

MILWAUKEE — It is going to be a tough decision every day of the postseason for Brewers manager Ron Roenicke. And for the second straight day, he decided Sunday his starting third baseman would be Jerry Hairston Jr.

Hairston was impressive in Game 1, playing solid defense at the hot corner and driving in the first run of the game with a sacrifice fly. That went a long way in helping Roenicke decide to start him again in Game 2 of the National League Division Series against the D-backs.

“With Jerry’s nice ballgame [Saturday], both ways — defensively and offensively — I think that was the right thing to do,” Roenicke said.

What made the decision surprising was the fact that Casey McGehee has gone 5-for-5 with a double and a home run in his career against right-hander Daniel Hudson, Arizona’s starter for Game 2.

Roenicke said he was more concerned with how Hairston and McGehee have performed recently, rather than focused on the past.

“[I’m] just going with who I think is hot,” Roenicke said.

McGehee started 140 games this season for the Brewers, but batted just .223 with 13 homers and 67 RBIs. It was a disappointing drop in production from his totals from 2010, when McGehee batted .285 with 23 home runs and 104 RBIs, providing the Brewers with a solid bat in the sixth spot in the lineup.

It became clear over the final games of the regular season that Hairston would likely be favored over McGehee in the postseason. Roenicke has said that McGehee understands the decisions made by the manager and the third baseman just wants what gives the Brewers the best chance to win.

“[Saturday] after the game, I stopped by and talked to him again, and he’s fine. He wants to start. He wants to get in there and help us,” Roenicke said.

“If I made a decision to go with Casey, I would have felt good with that decision, also. I just think this is a better decision, the right way to go.”

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