Posts Tagged ‘Carlos Gomez’

Brew Crew runs streak to five thanks to rookie

June 25, 2010 Comments off

MILWAUKEE — It was a dream come true for Jonathan Lucroy.

After belting his first career home run with a three-run shot in the fourth and a subsequent curtain call, the Brewers rookie catcher will never forget Friday night’s 8-3 victory against Seattle.

Entering the series opener against the Mariners, Lucroy had just one extra-base hit and zero RBIs in his Major League career. Following his performance Friday, he now has three of each.

“It was amazing,” Lucroy said of the curtain call. “I don’t know what happened, but somebody kind of pushed me up there. It was all kind of a blur after I crossed home plate.

“As soon as I did it, [Carlos Gomez] hit a home run and I was like, ‘Man, that’s what I’m talking about.’ I wanted to beat that team tonight.”

Lucroy’s home run to the Brewers bullpen in left-center came on a 1-2 fastball from Mariners lefty Ryan Rowland-Smith.

Two pitches later, Rowland-Smith (1-7) missed with a 1-0 changeup, which Gomez belted to left to put the Brewers on top, 4-3, in the fourth.

“The first time, I was just trying to get it up and in and I left it out over the plate,” Rowland-Smith said. “Gomez I think was sitting [changeup], and I threw a changeup for a strike. That’s two pitches that really cost me, obviously.”

Lucroy and Gomez quickly turned around a game that looked like it was headed for a Brewers loss, and right-handed starter Dave Bush. Over six innings, Bush (3-5) allowed three runs — two earned — on seven hits with no walks and three strikeouts.

Once he had the lead, Bush faced just 10 batters over the final three innings of his outing, giving up a pair of singles.

Both times, however, the Mariners who hit safely were thrown out.

First, leading off the fourth, shortstop Jack Wilson was thrown out by left fielder Ryan Braun as he looked to stretch a single into a double. An inning later, Bush got Franklin Gutierrez to bounce a ball to third baseman Casey McGehee, who threw out Chone Figgins as he tried to score from third.

While there was only one out in the inning, Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu felt it was a crucial opportunity for the club to score a run.

“You try to force that fourth run across,” Wakamatsu said. “We haven’t done a very good job of scoring runners, so you take your opportunity there. The thing we talk about is just not hitting the ground ball to third base anytime you’ve got a runner on third base, and we did it.”

Following that out, Bush retired the final four batters he faced, putting himself in line to grab his third win of the season and his second straight.

For Bush, who was pitching on nine days’ rest instead of his usual four, the key was overcoming some early struggles that could be attributed to the long layoff.

“I was a little bit rusty in the first couple innings, I was just trying to find a rhythm,” Bush said. “After that I settled in and I was able to get my fastball back down. In the first couple innings I was up in the zone a lot.

“It was a bit of a challenge to have that much time off, but that’s what I’m faced with right now, so I’ve got to be ready for it and do the best I can.”

Bush’s start was the ninth quality start by a Brewers starter in the club’s last 13 games. Over that stretch, Milwaukee has a 3.02 ERA, giving up 28 earned runs over 83 1/3 innings pitched.

Brewers starters have gone 7-4 during that stretch while the club has posted an 8-5 mark, including a current season-high five-game winning streak.

“It’s been good for everyone,” Bush said. “Overall, we’ve played a lot better lately. … We’ve just been playing better baseball all around. We’ve hit better, we’ve pitched better, we’ve played better defense.

“It lightens the mood all the way around inside here. Guys are more excited about being here, because we’re playing better. We’re playing closer to our potential.”

Even with the winning streak, the story of the night was the performance by Lucroy.

After the home run in the fourth, Lucroy added a walk, a double and a run scored in his final two at-bats, to finish 2-for-3 on the night with a homer, double and three RBIs.

“It’ll be something I’ll always remember,” Lucroy said. “It’s something you work for your whole life. For me, it was since I was 12, being a catcher.

“For something like that to happen in a situation like that, I think for me it’s pretty euphoric and unbelievable.”

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

Brewers may miss reunion with Hardy

June 21, 2010 Comments off

MILWAUKEE — Those looking forward to seeing J.J. Hardy take the field at Miller Park this week for the first time in a Minnesota Twins uniform may have to wait.

Due to a nagging bone bruise in his left wrist, an injury that has limited Hardy to just 12 games since May 4 and resulted in two trips to the disabled list, the former Brewers shortstop remains unsure whether he’ll even make the trip to Milwaukee, much less play.

“I can’t be sure yet,” Hardy said on Saturday. “Probably not is what I would say. But who knows?”

For Hardy and the Twins, the good news is that a second opinion on the wrist revealed that the injury is no more than a bone bruise. Unfortunately for Hardy, it does not appear as though he’ll be ready to return when eligible to be activated from the DL on Tuesday.

As a result, Hardy would miss another opportunity to face his former team, just as he did a month ago, when the Brewers were in Minneapolis for an Interleague series at Target Field.

“I would be a little bit disappointed, yeah,” said Hardy about not being able to play in Milwaukee. “But right now I’m just trying to get back on the field. I don’t care if it’s Milwaukee or anywhere else, I just want to be back out there playing. This has been kind of a really nagging, really annoying thing.”

After the Brewers decided to go younger, faster and, perhaps most important, cheaper at shortstop and center field in the offseason, Hardy was traded to the Twins on Nov. 6, 2009, in exchange for center fielder Carlos Gomez.

Needing extra money to pursue pitching help, the Brewers chose to swap the power bats of Hardy and veteran outfielder Mike Cameron for the speed and youth of Gomez and rookie shortstop Alcides Escobar. The concern at the time was whether the power drop at those two positions would have a negative impact on the offense.

As it turns out, added power from other sources has more than made up for it.

Through 69 games this year, the Brewers have hit 83 home runs while slugging .430. At the same point a year ago, the Brewers had 79 homers and a .420 slugging percentage.

One of the Brewers’ biggest surprises as far as power numbers, though, has more to do with what isn’t happening than what is. Both left fielder Ryan Braun and first baseman Prince Fielder are well off their respective 2009 paces in home runs and RBIs.

Through 69 games last season, Braun and Fielder had combined to belt 32 home runs with 117 RBIs. Through Sunday’s victory, Braun has 10 homers with 45 RBIs and Fielder has 13 home runs and just 27 RBIs.

“It is kind of surprising that we’re doing it without Braun and Prince being really hot,” right fielder Corey Hart said. “Those guys are going to be where they always are, and that means that it’s just going to get better. Their power is going to come.”

Two of the biggest reasons behind the increased power numbers, though, have been the health of second baseman Rickie Weeks and Hart’s surprising power production since the middle of May.

Through 69 games a year ago — with Weeks only playing 37 before sustaining a season-ending wrist injury — Hart and Weeks had combined for 18 homers and 56 RBIs.

Including Hart’s National League-leading 18th homer on Saturday, the two have combined for 28 homers and 90 RBIs in 2009.

“Every year is different. We all try to peg in numbers for everyone before the season starts, but that’s not the way it works,” veteran infielder Craig Counsell said. “Guys have great years, some guys exceed what we think and some guys don’t. We have a good offensive team. Corey has added production, Rickie being healthy has added home runs for us.

“And I don’t think that with the guys we have in the middle of our lineup that we’re going to struggle hitting home runs. It’s been that way for a while. That’s not going to be our weakness.”

So although the numbers at shortstop and center field are down, and the pitching hasn’t worked out as well as the club had hoped, the Brewers seem just fine with the Hardy trade so far.

Likewise, Hardy has been happy with the change of scenery. And though they would probably like to have him around, his former teammates are happy for him as well.

“J.J. loves it over there,” Braun said. “He loves the team, loves the environment, loves the city. He’s disappointed that he’s hurt, but I think he’s excited to be on a good team and wants to contribute to a good team.”

Contributing is exactly what Hardy would like to do once he is cleared to play again.

Until then, he would settle for a trip back to the place he called home the past five years.

“Just going back would be nice. When they came up to Minnesota, I got to see all my old friends,” Hardy said. “I definitely would rather be out there on the field playing against them. If that doesn’t happen, it’s always good to see them.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for reporters Kelly Thesier and Adam McCalvy contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Brewers beat 6/11

June 11, 2010 Comments off

Burdette joins Miller Park Walk of Fame

MILWAUKEE — As the Brewers honored the late Lew Burdette on Friday, the former Milwaukee Braves pitcher became the newest member of the Miller Park Walk of Fame.

Burdette, who pitched for the Braves from 1953-63, was a key member of the 1957 World Series champion team, and he becomes the fourth former Braves player inducted since they were added to the ballot in 2007.

He joins fellow Braves greats Eddie Mathews, Warren Spahn and John Quinn as inductees in the Walk of Fame. As Burdette’s daughters reminisced about him, Spahn’s name came up quite a bit, as the two were close friends.

Of course, there weren’t many people with whom Burdette was not friendly.

“We grew up just so honored to have him because not only was he a wonderful ballplayer, he taught me a lot about how to be a great friend. Dad never knew a stranger,” Mary Lou Burdette-Wieloszynski said. “He also was very gracious to his fans and gave autographs out freely.

“Whenever he talked about Milwaukee, he talked about how wonderful the fans were in Milwaukee, and he liked them so much and said that they were good people. … He and Warren, he said they loved it because they were treated like a real person.”

Brewers members of the Walk of Fame are Hank Aaron, Rollie Fingers, Paul Molitor, Robin Yount, Commissioner Bud Selig, Cecil Cooper, Bob Uecker, Harry Dalton, Jim Gantner, Gorman Thomas, Don Money and Harvey Kuenn.

With Burdette being honored by the Brewers, his daughters — Burdette-Wieloszynski, Elaina Fontana and Madge Burdette — were in attendance Friday for the club’s series opener against the Rangers.

At a pregame news conference, they were excited for their father’s honor.

During the 1957 World Series, Burdette went 3-0 with a 0.67 ERA, allowing just two earned runs over 27 innings pitched, en route to earning MVP honors.

“We’re just really proud of our dad and very honored to be here,” Fontana said. “We’ve just had a wonderful experience growing up with our dad.”

Overall, Burdette went 173-109 with Milwaukee with a 3.53 ERA in 420 games. In 1959, he led the National League with 21 wins, and in 1956 his 2.70 ERA also led the league.

Burdette’s oldest daughter hoped to make her father proud as she threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

“I hope I can throw that ball, and it’s not in the dirt,” Madge Burdette said, “and make him smile from heaven. I know he’s watching us. I’m just proud to be here.”

Patience helped Gomez score winning run

MILWAUKEE — Center fielder Carlos Gomez used his speed to the win the game for the Brewers, 5-4 in the 10th inning, on Thursday afternoon, but it was patience at the plate that gave him the chance.

Gomez drew just his seventh walk of the season as he watched four straight balls from Cubs reliever Bob Howry. Manager Ken Macha said patience is something that could greatly benefit the speedy Gomez — who has 27 strikeouts — and in turn, the team.

“You’ve got to get on to do that,” said Macha, referring to Gomez scoring the winning run. “I think his on-base is around .290 right now, so it’s not like he’s leading the team in stolen bases — it’s not like I’ve had the red light on him, either.

“Every time he gets on, he’s got the green light. Yesterday on that particular pitch, I gave him, I’m encouraging him to go on that pitch. So I don’t think he needs much more encouragement. Once he saw that, he was going.”

Gomez, who has eight steals in 10 attempts on the season, ranks second on the club behind left fielder Ryan Braun, who has 11 steals in as many attempts.

When asked about Gomez and his approach, Macha said the key for him could be determining just what kind of hitter he’s going to be.

“If you watch his BP, he can hit the ball up in the seats pretty deep,” Macha said. “You’ve got to learn what you are, what type of hitter is going to make you successful, OK?

“He’s a big strong kid. He may turn into being a power hitter. In order to do that, you’ve got to make — I’ve said this all along — it’s not go up there and look for a walk. It’s get the ball in the strike zone.”

Macha has praise for opposing manager

MILWAUKEE — The Brewers pitchers and hitters had little experience against their opponents entering the game, but there was one face in the visiting dugout, Rangers manager Ron Washington, that was very familiar for Brewers manager Ken Macha.

Washington, who is in his fourth year as manager for the Rangers, coached with Macha for eight years in Oakland, where he served as first-base coach in 1996 before becoming the A’s infield and third-base coach from 1997-2006.

During that time, Washington developed a number of great infielders for Oakland.

“As far as I’m concerned, Wash is the best guy out there, and I think the proof is in the product that he put out there in Oakland,” Macha said. “He took a catcher in Scott Hatteberg and made him a pretty good first baseman. Mark Ellis, I think, holds the record in the American League for fewest errors at second base for an entire season, and Eric Chavez has got four or five Gold Gloves, not to mention the shortstops, [Miguel] Tejada and then Bobby Crosby, that he had.

“So the product is out there, and the reason that it’s out there is his work ethic. And I bet you if you go to Michael Young or Ian Kinsler and asked them, they’re going to tell you the same thing.”

With the Rangers in town for a three-game set over the weekend, Macha was happy to see Washington, though he hoped to take the series from his old friend.

“I consider him a dear friend,” Macha said. “It’s just a relationship that’s built over those years that we were together. So I wish him well, except for these next three days.”

Worth noting

Friday’s game marks the first visit by the Rangers to Miller Park since it opened in 2001. Texas has not played in Milwaukee since 1997, when both clubs were members of the American League. The Rangers won, 7-1, that day. … The winning pitcher in that game was Darren Oliver, who was in uniform for the Rangers on Friday. Oliver, 39, began his career with Texas and played with seven other teams before rejoining the club for a third time this season. … Since beginning the season 4-14 at home, the Brewers have gone 6-3 over their last nine games at Miller Park and have won three consecutive home series, going 2-1 against the Astros, Mets and Cubs. … With his 246th straight game played on Friday, first baseman Prince Fielder tied Robin Yount for the second longest streak in franchise history. Yount also owns the longest streak, at 274 games, which spanned from 1987-89. … The Brewers will host the first Brewers Block Party of 2010 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Saturday at McCarty Park in West Allis, Wis. With the weather a bit of a concern, check Saturday morning for an update on the status.

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

Brewers beat 5/22

May 22, 2010 Comments off

Twins not mad at ex-mate Gomez

MINNEAPOLIS — When center fielder Carlos Gomez stood and watched his three-run home run in the eighth inning Friday, which made it a 15-3 ballgame, the Twins were not too happy about it.

But after expressing their displeasure with his actions, they realized that it should not have been a surprise coming from Gomez, who played with Minnesota for two years before being traded to Milwaukee in the offseason.

“That’s the type of player he is. It made me mad, but I shouldn’t be getting mad about that,” said Twins pitcher Nick Blackburn, who surrendered the three-run blast. “We were winning the game by 15 runs, so I’m glad he kept it fair.

“That’s the type of guy he is. He gets so caught up in the moment. We all saw it for us last year, so I don’t have too bad feelings. I don’t want to fight the guy, but he hit a home run.”

After the game, Gomez was aware that his actions were inappropriate and was very apologetic about the entire situation.

He added that he was prepared for any sort of retaliation the next time up from the Twins. In his first at-bat, however, Gomez was not thrown at. Instead, he lined out to third base.

When asked about it before Saturday’s game, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire shared a similar opinion to that of Blackburn, while suggesting another player in a similar situation may not have been so lucky.

“Those are the moments we know Go-Go can have every once in a while,” Gardenhire said. “He was excited, and I think everyone in the clubhouse was a little fired up about it, but when all is said and done we like this kid a lot.

“If it were somebody else it might be a little different. But with Go-Go … you just live with it. He plays with a passion that not a lot of people do. He doesn’t have to apologize to me. I know what he’s all about, that’s him.”

Hawkins’ return from DL extended

MINNEAPOLIS — Though he was eligible to be activated from the disabled list on Saturday, it may be some time before Brewers reliever LaTroy Hawkins returns to the bullpen.

Hawkins, who has been out for two weeks with right shoulder weakness, is continuing to work to get back but is not expected to return any time in the next few days.

“From what I understand, it may be a while,” manager Ken Macha said. “It’s a strength issue. … So he’ll see the doctor when we get home.”

Despite the lack of progress with his shoulder, Hawkins did join the Brewers in Minnesota after missing the first two cities of the Brewers’ current three-city road trip.

Saturday morning, Hawkins and teammate Rickie Weeks joined a group of 24 fathers and their kids at a downtown Minneapolis hotel as part of the Fatherhood Initiative trip, sponsored by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and several other local business executives.

When asked about his shoulder, Hawkins confirmed he did not know when he would return and echoed his manager in discussing his plans.

“I’m still doing my strengthening program,” Hawkins said. “I’ll get re-evaluated when we get back to Milwaukee on Tuesday.”

Like Hawkins, outfielder Jim Edmonds, who is on the DL, with an oblique strain, may not be ready to return when he is eligible May 31.

Edmonds’ injury occurred on a check swing in the second inning of the Brewers’ second game against the Phillies last Saturday.

The veteran outfielder played another inning in the field — hoping the injury would subside — before being replaced by Jody Gerut in the top of the fourth.

Edmonds noted the next day that he thought the injury could be related to the back issues he dealt with earlier in the season. With oblique injuries often turning into lingering issues, Macha was not confident Edmonds would be ready by May 31.

“Just reading what we’ve got in here,” Macha said, referring to the Brewers’ daily injury report, “he may not be 15 [days] and off [the DL].”

Inglett exits game with sprained ankle

MINNEAPOLIS — A long injury report got longer Saturday as Joe Inglett, who started in left field, left the game with a sprained left ankle.

Starting for the second straight game, Inglett appeared to have injured his ankle sliding into home plate as he scored in the fifth inning on a single to center field by catcher George Kottaras.

Inglett was replaced in left field by Jody Gerut, who rejoined the team Saturday after going home for the birth of his child.

Worth noting

In Friday night’s 15-3 loss at Target Field, the Brewers set season highs for runs allowed in a game (15), runs allowed in an inning (seven) and largest margin of defeat. … Casey McGehee and Ryan Braun, with 37 and 30 RBIs, respectively, entered Saturday’s game tied for the Major League lead in combined RBI (67) this season. … Brewers outfielder Jody Gerut was expected at the ballpark just before game time on Saturday. He was home on Friday and Saturday for the birth of his daughter — Jody and Mary Gerut’s second child. … McGehee asked to play third base on Saturday, a day after he served as the designated hitter in the Brewers’ Interleague opener. Manager Ken Macha liked the idea of giving McGehee a chance to rest his surgically-repaired right-knee, but he honored the request and used Braun as the DH instead. McGehee could serve that role again on Sunday. … Reliever David Riske, who was moved to the 60-day disabled list Friday to free a 40-man roster spot, is eligible for reinstatement June 9 and could be an option for the big league club on that date. He had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow June 1.

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

Brewers beat 5/16

May 16, 2010 Comments off

Gomez working his way back

MILWAUKEE — After a relatively injury-free five weeks to open the season, the Brewers’ list of injured players is beginning to add up.

Fortunately for the Brewers, many of those players look to be on their way to returning in the near future.

Among those is center fielder Carlos Gomez, who is on track to return Friday — as the Brewers visit the Twins, his former club — when he is eligible to come off the disabled list. Gomez, who is out with two injuries, a strained rotator cuff in his left shoulder and a strained left knee, which has been an issue since Spring Training.

“Gomez, if all goes well between now and then, will go on a rehab assignment to Wisconsin on Wednesday,” assistant general manager Gord Ash said. “He will not be in Cincinnati or Pittsburgh. He’ll go up there Tuesday and workout, play Wednesday and Thursday, and go to Minneapolis Friday if all is well.”

Gomez ran through the full gamut of pregame exercises on Sunday, including batting practice and running and throwing drills. He will work out again at Miller Park on Monday before traveling to Appleton on Tuesday.

“Fifteen days, no action. I feel bored,” Gomez said. “I’ll be happy to come back to the lineup.”

When Gomez suffered his shoulder injury he was also dealing with a sore left knee. The knee now feels, “awesome,” Gomez said.

In addition to Gomez, another pair of Brewers is scheduled to rehab this week in Brevard County, the club’s Class A Advanced affiliate.

Pitcher Josh Butler, who is recovering from a right elbow injury, is scheduled to start for the Manatees on Monday.

Third baseman Mat Gamel is expected to join the Manatees on Wednesday to begin his rehab assignment as well. Gamel suffered a slightly torn muscle just behind his right shoulder during Spring Training, and has been in extended spring training rehabilitating his shoulder injury.

Despite the growing nature of the Brewers injury report, which also includes the recent addition of lefty Doug Davis, Ash chalked it up to being part of the “nature of the game.”

“We get some guys back or on the road back and then you get some guys who are hurt,” Ash said. “This is an unusual circumstance with Doug. It’s nothing something you can plan or work toward. So we just have to make the best of it.”

Edmonds hopes to avoid DL stint

MILWAUKEE — Veteran outfielder Jim Edmonds was sore on Sunday after straining a left rib-cage muscle in the Brewers’ loss on Saturday, but was hopeful he could avoid a trip to the disabled list.

Edmonds, 39, strained his left oblique on a check-swing in the bottom of the second inning, but played another inning in center field before being replaced by Jody Gerut in the top of the fourth.

“The first day it’s usually pretty sore, so hopefully after this day with some work it’ll start to feel better,” Edmonds said. “It’s starting to loosen up a bit already, but it’s still pretty tender.”

With Edmonds unavailable and Carlos Gomez on the disabled list until at least Friday, Gerut got the start in center for the Brewers in Sunday’s series finale against the Phillies.

While he felt the injury following a particular swing in the second inning, Edmonds admitted the injury may not be entirely unrelated to the back injury he suffered earlier this season.

“I think it could be partially related to my back problem that I had,” Edmonds said. “I still was battling that a bit, and this is just around the corner from it.”

Despite the potential lingering nature of the injury, Edmonds hopes to be out on the field again as soon as possible.

“Usually, when you hurt yourself, it’s the opposite side from your throwing arm and this is on the same side. So that’s a good positive thing,” Edmonds said. “As soon as I can swing a bat, I’m going to get back in there.”

Stern’s travel route a short one

MILWAUKEE — Back with the big league club after being optioned the day before, outfielder Adam Stern had about the shortest trip to the Minors as possible this week.

Stern, who was sent to Triple-A Nashville on Saturday to make room for right-handed reliever John Axford, was recalled on Sunday as the Brewers sent lefty Doug Davis to the disabled list with pericarditis, an inflammation of lining around his heart.

Though he was sent down, Stern never left Milwaukee before being recalled.

“I was scheduled to fly out today,” Stern said. “But they told me to hold tight yesterday until they figured everything out. So, I just kind of hung out and waited for the call.”

Before being sent down, Stern got his first at-bat with the Brewers and his first Major League at-bat since 2006 on Friday, which resulted in a strikeout.

Now, he’ll get an opportunity to make the road trip with a big league club for the first time in a few years as well.

“The last time I was on a team charter was in ’06. It’s definitely better than flying commercial on Southwest getting Group ‘A,'” Stern said. “Any time you get to put a big league uniform on you look forward to it. I’m excited for the opportunity.”

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

Edmonds note 4/12

April 13, 2010 Comments off

Edmonds gets first Brewers start in center field

By Jordan Schelling