MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Bucks are expected to be a sure winner, no matter what happens in tonight's NBA Draft Lottery. That's because the draft class could be the deepest since 2003 -- when Marquette's Dwayne Wade was picked along with LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Bosh.
The Bucks had the worst record in the league this past season at 15-67 -- so they have the best chance of getting the right ping-pong ball which would net them the first pick in next month's draft. Milwaukee has a 25-percent chance of keeping its first overall position. Philadelphia has the second-best chance at just under 20-percent, followed by Orlando and Utah. Regardless, Milwaukee will pick no lower than fourth. New Bucks' owners Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry will be at the lottery site in New York tonight -- along with GM John Hammond and players Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brandon Knight. Lasry's son Alexander will represent the team in the room where the actual drawing takes place. Edens' daughter Mallory will be on stage. ESPN is scheduled to televise the lottery around 7 p.m. this evening.
The Milwaukee Brewers are on three-game losing streak, after getting crushed at Atlanta 9-3 last night. The Braves scored in each of the first three innings and never looked back. Atlanta churned out a season-high 15 hits off six Milwaukee pitchers -- including first baseman Lyle Overbay, who got the final out in the eighth in relief of a struggling Wei-Chung Wang. Wang, the Brewers' seldom-used Rule-Five draft pick, gave up five runs in just two-thirds of an inning -- including Ryan Doumit's 100th career homer and a two-run blast by Justin Upton. Freddie Freeman also homered for Atlanta. Ryan Braun homered in the eighth for his 700th career RBI, only the fifth Brewer in history to reach that figure. Khris Davis belted a two-run shot for the Crew. Carlos Gomez singled in three trips, in his first game back after missing five contests due to a suspension, a sore back, and a stomach virus. Wily Peralta took the loss, giving up three runs -- two earned - in five frames. He's now 4-3. Mike Minor got the win, surrendering two runs on five hits in six-and-two-thirds' frames. Minor is now 2-2. The Braves continue to lead the National League East by a game-and-a-half over Washington. The Brewers saw their lead in the Central Division cut to three-and-a-half over Saint Louis. The Brewers and Braves will play each other again tonight at Turner Field. Right-hander Yovani Gallardo faces Atlanta right-hander Julio Teheran.
Brewers' pitching prospect Drew Gagnon of Huntsville has been named the pitcher-of-the-week in the Double-"A" Southern League. The 23-year-old right-hander threw seven-and-two-thirds' scoreless innings last week against Birmingham -- his longest outing of the season. Gagnon has a 2.63 ERA in nine starts for Huntsville this year. That was after he struggled to a 5.57 ERA in 16 starts a year ago. The 6-4 Gagnon was Milwaukee's third-round draft pick in 2011 out of Long Beach State.
You'll hear a different sound on the Milwaukee Brewers' radio broadcasts this week. Ex-Brewers' outfielder Darryl Hamilton will sub for Hall-of-Fame broadcaster Bob Uecker for seven games at Atlanta and Miami through next Sunday. The 80-year-old Uecker announced this spring that he'll be cutting back on some of his road trips -- and this week marks the first time this season he's actually doing it. Uecker's normal radio partner, Joe Block, will do play-by-play for the entire games this week. Hamilton will spend the entire time as an analyst. Uecker returns on Memorial Day, when the Brewers are back home to host Baltimore.
Former Brewers' starter C.C. Sabathia will reportedly be out until at least July for the New York Yankees. He went on the disabled list May 11th, the day after he gave up three homers to the Brewers at Miller Park. Yankees' general manager Brian Cashman tells the New York Post that Sabathia recently underwent a stem-cell treatment injection to resolve inflammation problems in his right knee. Famed sports surgeon James Andrews performed the procedure, and it's supposed to keep Sabathia out for at least six weeks. Sabathia, who helped the Brewers make the playoffs in 2008, is 3-4 this year for New York with a 5.83 ERA.
Former UW-Stevens Point standout Jordan Zimmermann is 3-1 with the Washington Nationals this season. The Auburndale native earned his third victory Sunday, as the Nats beat the New York Mets 6-3 at Nationals Park. Zimmermann, a right-hander, gave up three runs in six innings -- and he scored on a two-run bases-loaded single from Wilson Ramos. Zimmermann has a 3.70 ERA in nine starts for Washington this year. He has struck out 43 batters in 48-and-two-thirds innings, with one-point-four-two walks and hits per inning pitched. That WHIP is higher than his career acverage of 1.19.
The moody Andre Rison, drug convict Johnny Jolly, and bounty scandal target Anthony Hargrove were all given second chances with the Green Bay Packers. Now, GM Ted Thompson is giving the same opportunity to troubled University of Oregon tight end Colt Lyerla. The Packers signed the extremely athletic Lyerla to their 90-man roster yesterday, after he went undrafted this month and then unsigned as a free agent. Last year, the 6-4 Lylerla was suspended for a game and then quit the team. Later, his driver's license was suspended -- and he was arrested for taking cocaine in his car. He also made waves when he tweeted that the Sandy Hook Connecticut school shootings were a conspiracy. Still, Thompson said there are things people can atone for -- and he supports those who sincerely try. In his words, "That's where we're at with Colt." Lyerla stood out at the NFL Combine in February with the tallest vertical leap and the longest broad jump among tight ends -- and the third-best 40-yard-dash. His agent, Vinnie Porter, said a number of pro teams were looking at him as a possible free agent. Porter said he's never seen a hungrier player. In 2012, Lyerla had 25 catches for 392 yards and six touchdowns. Also yesterday, the Packers signed third-round draft pick Khyri Thornton, free agent defensive back Charles Clay, and defensive end Luther Robinson. The team cut tight end Raymond Webber.
Former University of Wisconsin goaltender Brian Elliott will get another chance to start for the NHL's Saint Louis Blues. The team re-signed him yesterday to a three-year contract extension worth seven-and-a-half million dollars. The 29-year-old Elliott has spent the last three seasons with the Blues. He shared the starting job with Jaroslav Halak. That was before Saint Louis traded Halak to Buffalo to get goal-tender Ryan Miller, to see if they could make a deep playoff run. The Blues were eliminated in the first round. Saint Louis decided not to seek a new contract with Miller -- so they'll let Elliott compete with prospect Jake Allen for the starting goaltender's job this fall. Blues' GM Doug Armstrong said Elliott wanted to go to a team where he could compete for the Number-One job in the net -- and Saint Louis will give him that opportunity. Elliott was a four-year standout at UW-Madison, and has spent all or part of eight seasons in the NHL. He has a league-high 16 shutouts in his three seasons with the Blues. Four of them came this past season with a one-point-nine-six goals-against-average.
University of Wisconsin center Dan Voltz has become the first possible candidate for a national college football award this fall. Voltz, who will be a sophomore, was named today to the pre-season watch list for the Rimington Trophy. It's given each year to the top center in the college game. Sixty-four players were named as possible candidates. Voltz played in 11 games last year as a redshirt freshman. He started six contests, after being slowed down by injuries early in the season. Just being nominated appears to give a center some much-needed national notice. The UW said Voltz is the fourth Badger in six years to be on the pre-season watch list for the Rimington Trophy. The other three all went on to play in the NFL -- Peter Konz, Travis Frederick, and early retiree John Moffitt.
____________________________________In the new World Golf Rankings, Steve Stricker of Madison dropped one place to No. 16. None of the state's PGA pros played in the Byron Nelson Championship over the weekend in Irving, Texas. Jerry Kelly of Madison still rose three spots in the new rankings, to 130th. Pewaukee native Mark Wilson was not as fortunate. He dropped 11 places to 276th. Adam Scott replaced Tiger Woods as the new World No. 1. Woods fell to second.____________________________________ A 30-year-old runner from Maryland won the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon. Suleman Abrar of Silver Spring completed the 26-plus miles yesterday in two-hours, 24-minutes and 34 seconds. The top Wisconsin finisher was Evan Zdroik of Watertown, with a time of 2:25.40. Gisela Olalde of Nashville was the top female finisher, in 2:40.42. The fastest Wisconsin woman was Emily Kurian of Madison, with a time of 2:45.39. Former U-W Platteville standout Tyler Sigl of Green Bay won the men's half-marathon in 1:07.26. Ten-year-old Noah Bliss of Kenosha fell a minute short of improving on the world record for his age, which he recently set in Kenosha. His time was 1:38.17. Elizabeth Turner of Minneapolis won the women's half-marathon in 1:20.13. Katie Howery of Middleton was the top female Wisconsin finisher in 1:22.45. A record turnout of almost seven-thousand runners took part -- and almost 54-hundred of them ran in the half-marathon. There were also 198 relay teams. The Green Bay Marathon is the state's second-largest, behind Milwaukee.