BREWERS ROUND-UP: Lohse's seven strong innings helps Milwaukee to 3-1 win
MILWAUKEE - Kyle Lohse won his sixth decision in his last seven, as the Milwaukee Brewers topped San Diego 3-to-1 last night at Miller Park.
Lohse went seven innings, giving up a run on five hits with no walks and six strikeouts. He evened his record at 7-7. Jim Henderson stranded a runner in the ninth and earned his 11th save. Sean O’Sullivan took the loss, giving up all three Milwaukee runs – two earned – on seven hits with three walks. He went six-and-a-third innings, and fell to 0-and-2. Carlos Gomez went 4-for-4 with a pair of doubles, as he broke a 3-for-42 slump. He belted a two-run double in the third to put Milwaukee in front for good. The Brewers scored their final run on a freak play in the seventh. Padres’ reliever Joe Thayer threw to third to try and pick off Norichika Aoki – and third baseman Chase Headley fired the ball to second to catch Gomez, who was trying to steal. The ball hit second base umpire Bob Davidson’s back and went into left field – and that allowed Aoki to score. Nick Hundley belted a solo homer for San Diego’s only run. The Padres dropped to 5-and-17 overall since June 29th. The Brewers are now a Major League-best 36-0 when leading after eight innings, and they’ve won four-of-six since the All-Star break. They’ll go for a split of their four-game set with San Diego this afternoon. Right-hander Yovani Gallardo will face Padres’ right-hander Edinson Volquez.
With the Major League trade deadline just six days away, Yovani Gallardo could be making his final start for the Milwaukee Brewers this afternoon. General manager Doug Melvin has said he’s not interested in trading either Gallardo or starter Kyle Lohse – but he’ll listen to all offers. Melvin has reportedly received a number of calls about the right-handed Gallardo – who still has a relatively healthy arm at age 27, despite having a so-so season at 8-and-8 with an ERA of 4.58. He goes for his third straight winning decision when he faces the San Diego Padres, with the first pitch at 1:10 this afternoon. The Padres will send right-hander Edinson Volquez to the hill. He’s 7-8 with a 5.73 ERA. The Padres have lost 14-of-their-last-19 games, after falling to Milwaukee 3-1 last night. The Brewers have won five-of-their-last-seven, and they hope to salvage a split of their four-game set against the Padres.
Mark Attanasio says Ryan Braun will continue to be a Milwaukee Brewer – and the team’s owner says he’ll give advice to Braun about ways to repair the damage from his drug case. There have been calls for Milwaukee to either attempt to trade Braun, or cut him and eat the nearly $130-million dollars that Braun is still owed in a contract that runs through 2020. Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement does not allow teams to cut players due to drug suspensions. Attanasio told reporters last night that he met with Braun earlier in the day – and he again apologized for taking performance-enhancing drugs while denying it publicly for almost two years. The owner said Braun met with him for a second time yesterday and apologized again. Attanasio said quote, “I think he wants to do the right thing going forward.” Earlier yesterday, ESPN reported that Braun began his relationship with Miami’s Bio-Genesis clinic in mid-2011 and was on a quote, “PED regimen for high-end clients.” Attanasio said it will take a long time, if ever, for Braun to make amends. The owner said Braun knows he’ll have to eventually speak to the media about what he did and why. But Attanasio said Braun will stay silent for a while, as he continues to cooperate with Major League Baseball in its ongoing investigation of his case. Attanasio made it clear that Braun is not helping officials punish other players in the Bio-Genesis case.
Next spring, Ryan Braun will get back everything he lost from his 65-game drug suspension – except for his national reputation, and maybe a chance to enter Baseball’s Hall-of-Fame. Braun was suspended for the rest of this season, after he violated the game’s drug policy. Reports said he was in a long-time doping program, and had ties with the Bio-Genesis clinic in Miami. While the Brewers publicly accept Braun’s apology, many opposing players and analysts will not forgive – at least for now. Arizona pitcher Brandon McCarthy said Braun’s written apology rang hollow after he read only three words of it. He tweeted that when he read “’I realize now’ … right there I checked out.” Danny Knobler of CBS Sports said Braun will never escape his scorn. He said Braun would be defined by his now-infamous 2012 news conference in Phoenix, in which he blamed flaws in a drug test for a 50-game suspension that he overturned on an appeal. Knobler said quote, “You’ll always be the guy who stood there in the Arizona desert, smugly believing you could play us all for fools.” Seattle pitcher Joe Saunders said he and many other players felt cheated by what ESPN called Braun’s quote, “sophisticated doping regimen.” Christine Brennan of USA Today said baseball “threw the bum out” in suspending Braun. And she wrote, quote, “Someday – perhaps in the distant future, but someday – Major League Baseball will be able to say it is clean, or almost clean.”
Brewers’ owner Mark Attanasio says he’s looking for a way to thank the fans for all they’ve gone through. He told reporters last night that he has talked with chief operating officer Rick Schlesinger and executive vice president Bob Quinn about what the team can do – are they’re hoping to have some options within a week. Attanasio says the community has been quote, “terrifically supportive of the organization” in spite of a last-place campaign, and Ryan Braun’s flip-flop on his use of performance-enhancing drugs with his season-ending suspension. He says the Brewers’ fans and sponsors have both been great – and they need to find ways to give something back. It used to be that fans moved their attentions away from the Brewers in late July, once the Green Bay Packers started their Training Camp. But since the Brewers developed a winning culture in recent years, it’s been shown that both teams can get big crowds at the same time. Milwaukee has averaged more than 30-thousand fans a game at Miller Park this season, in spite of all the team’s problems.
Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said in Milwaukee today that the investigation into the Bio-Genesis performance-enhancing drug scandal is “comprehensive” and “thorough.” Selig, who lives in Milwaukee, showed up at Miller Park to speak with youngsters in the sport’s “National Play” campaign. Selig said the game needs to have a “tough” testing program, and baseball has the toughest program of all the country’s pro sports. Selig would not talk specifically about the Ryan Braun case. The Brewers’ All-Star took a season-ending suspension on Monday, amid a new ESPN report that Braun was part of a long-running Bio-Genesis PED program starting in 2011 – a few months before he first tested positive for elevated synthetic testosterone. Braun won the 2011 National League MVP award. About 145,000 Americans answered a poll in ESPN’s “Sports Nation” about the question of whether Braun should have to give up the award. Forty-one percent said it should be vacated. Thirty-seven percent said it should be given to the second-place finisher that year, Matt Kemp of the Dodgers. Twenty-two percent said nothing should be done, siding with the baseball writers who gave Braun the award in the first place. Wisconsin was the only state which voted to have nothing done.
We’re learning more today about Ryan Braun’s dealings with the Bio-Genesis clinic in Miami – and it’s said to be a lot more involved than the Milwaukee Brewers’ slugger ever claimed. An ESPN reporter tweeted that Braun started his relationship with Bio-Genesis in the summer of 2011 – and he was placed on a performance-enhancing drug regimen for quote, “high-end clients.” T.J. Quinn of ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” said the regimen included mint or cherry flavored synthetic testosterone lozenges. Quinn said Braun’s relationship with Bio-Genesis and its founder Tony Bosch started several months before his positive drug test from October of 2011. That’s the test which netted him his original 50-game suspension two months later. Braun got that suspension overturned by convincing an arbitrator that his lab sample was mishandled. A year later, new evidence was uncovered showing that Braun owed thousands-of-dollars to Bosch. Braun publicly called those consulting fees connected his previous appeal. ESPN said it obtained a document written by Bosch showing quote, “PED’s for clients like Braun and A-Rod” – Yankees’ slugger Alex Rodriguez. The drug mentioned in today’s report is the same one uncovered in Braun’s 2011 test. He vehemently denied using PED’s for almost two years, constantly referring to his version as quote, “the truth.” On Monday, Braun vaguely admitted quote, “mistakes” after baseball investigators confronted him with the evidence. It netted him a suspension for the rest of this season. He has not publicly said a word since.