WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Brewers fall to Los Angeles; lead now two games over St. Louis
MILWAUKEE -- Clayton Kershaw won his 11th straight decision yesterday, when the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-to-1 at Miller Park. Milwaukee made four outs on the base-paths and got into a pair of rundowns in the third inning. Despite the loss, the Crew took 2-of-3 over the weekend from L-A, which has the National League's best record. The Brewers remain atop the N-L Central Division by two games over Saint Louis, and two-and-a-half over Pittsburgh. Kershaw gave up one run on six hits in eight innings, striking out six. He also reached base in three of his four plate appearances and scored a run, as he improved to 14-and-2 on the year. Kershaw has not lost since May 28th, and the Dodgers have won their last 13 games with him on the hill. Ryan Braun knocked in Milwaukee's only run with a single. Matt Kemp had the game-winning hit with a fifth-inning single. Adrian Gonzalez went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and two R-B-I's. A-J Ellis pounded his first homer of the year, as the Dodgers have now won six-of-eight on the road. Dodgers' center-fielder Yasiel Puig sat out the game with a sore back. Jimmy Nelson took the loss, giving up two runs on eight hits in six innings. He's now 2-and-3. Milwaukee's loss was only the second in its last six games. They'll open a four-game series against the Cubs in Chicago tonight. Right-hander Yovani Gallardo faces Cubs' right-hander Jake Arrieta.
It appears that Brewers' starter Matt Garza could be out awhile with the strained left oblique muscle he suffered eight days ago at Saint Louis. The veteran right-hander is halfway through his 15-day stint on the disabled list -- and neither Garza nor manager Ron Roenicke know when he'll even play catch again. The skipper says Garza is undergoing physical therapy, and he won't be allowed to throw until he's totally pain-free in a range of motions. Garza says he has no idea when that will happen. For now, Mike Fiers will start in his place. He threw a gem on Saturday, giving up one run on three in eight innings against the L-A Dodgers. Fiers' next start will be on Thursday against the Cubs in Chicago.
The Wisconsin Woodchucks won the second-and-last playoff spot in the South Division on the final day of the Northwoods League regular season. The 'Chucks will topped Thunder Bay 9-to-7 yesterday, and will open a best-of-three divisional final series tonight in Mequon against the Lakeshore Chinooks. The Chinooks won the division crown in both halves. They finished 26-and-11 for the second half. Lakeshore was also the only team in the league to finish with 50 regular season wins overall, against 21 losses. Wisconsin went 42-and-30 overall, and 24-and-14 in the second half. The expansion Kenosha Kingfish missed the post-season by a half-game. In the North Division, Willmar opens a best-of-three set at Mankato tonight. The winners of the two series will square off for the Northwoods title starting on Thursday night.
After tying for seventh at the P-G-A Championship, Madison golfer Steve Stricker plans to see a doctor this week about the torn labrum in his left hip. It's been bothering him for a couple months. And if his current pain doesn't subside, Stricker does not believe he'll compete in the Fed-Ex Cup Playoffs which begin in a week-and-a-half. The 47-year-old Stricker said he's proud of how he played at the year's final major in Louisville, but he could not build any momentum when he had the opportunity. All four of Stricker's rounds were in the 60's. He shot a three-under-par 68 yesterday, and finished at 11-under-273. Jerry Kelly of Madison tied for 27th at six-under-278. He was at minus-four in his final round.
Saturday night's heavy rains in Nashville won't make it easy for the Green Bay Packers to evaluate roster competitions at certain positions. At quarterback, where Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien are competing for the Number-two job, both had to deal with fumbled snaps and receivers who had trouble running routes and catching passes. Flynn started and led the Packers on a single scoring drive, completing five-of-ten passes for 49 yards, for a 64-point-two passer rating. The weather was better for Tolzien -- and when it didn't rain, he made hay as completed 8-of-12 for 124 yards, and a 100-point-seven rating. Both quarterbacks said they did okay, all things considered. The entire Packer roster will have a better chance to show their stuff this Saturday afternoon under the dome at Saint Louis. The Packers will have a closed practice today.
Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave appears to have the edge in keeping his post after yesterday's Badger scrimmage. He threw for an unofficial 115 yards and two touchdowns. Tanner McEvoy also threw for two scores and an unofficial 51 yards. Coach Gary Andersen said if he had a game today, he'd want to work up multiple offensive schemes which could involve a second quarterback. He said both Stave and McEvoy deserve playing time after the first week of pre-season camp. Stave was the Wisconsin starter a year ago, while McEvoy played most of his freshman season at safety. The Badgers have two more weeks of camp and a week of game-planning before their season against L-S-U on August 30th in Houston. Andersen also stepped the back-up nose guards stepped up their performance yesterday. Arthur Goldberg and Jeremy Patterson have improved in recent days. Andersen remains concerned about having three solid players in that spot in time for the opener.
Matt Kenseth of Cambridge moved up one place to third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings. That's after he took ninth yesterday in the Cheez-It-355 on the road course at Watkins Glen New York. Kenseth is now 70 points behind front-running Dale Earnhardt Junior, with four races to go before the season-ending Chase for the Sprint Cup begins. Beloit-born Danica Patrick finished 21st at Watkins Glen, and she remains 28th in the standings. Paul Menard of Eau Claire slipped further down the Chase standings, falling one place to 17th after he finished 32nd yesterday. A-J Allmendinger won the race, and claimed an almost certain spot in the ten-race Chase.
Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa won the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase yesterday at Road America near Elkhart Lake. Their Chevy Corvette finished two-point-three seconds ahead of Oswaldo Negri. Fittipaldi lengthened his lead in the Tudor United Sports Car Championship standings.
Two players from Wisconsin are part of Team U-S-A which will play the Philippines today at the boys' Under-17 World Basketball Championships in Dubai. Diamond Stone, a senior forward-and-center at Whitefish Bay Dominican, leads the Americans after two games with 15 points, 11 rebounds, three-and-a-half blocked shots, and 27 minutes per contest. Rice Lake senior center Henry Ellensen is averaging seven points and three boards. Stone had a team-high 12 rebounds Saturday in the Americans' second game, a 99-56 rout of Angola. Ellensen had eight points in that outing. Today, the U-S is playing its third and final game in the tournament's preliminary round.