WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Brewers lost their seventh straight game
The Milwaukee Brewers lost their seventh straight game last night, 7-to-1 to the Cubs in Chicago. Saint Louis won again, so the second-place Brewers are now two games behind the Cardinals in the National League Central. Pittsburgh is four games back in third. The Milwaukee bats continue to be cold when they're needed most, scoring just 14 runs in a skid that ties a season-worst. Manager Ron Roenicke held a rare team meeting before last night's game, but it didn't help. Yovani Gallardo ended a personal five-game winning streak at Wrigley Field, giving up seven runs -- five earned -- in five innings on eight hits and a pair of walks. Gallardo struck out four, as he tied Ben Sheets atop the Brewers' all-time strikeout list with 12-hundred-six. Gallardo is now 8-and-8. Jake Arietta won his 100th career start, giving up a run on five hits in six frames. He's 8-and-5. The Cubs scored four runs in the first with the help of two errors by Milwaukee shortstop Elian Herrera. Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro sprained an ankle while sliding into home plate in the first, and left the game. Arismendy Alcantara belted a two-run homer in the fifth for the game's final runs. Ryan Braun drove in the Brewers' only run. September call-up Jason Rogers doubled as a pinch-hitter in his first big league at-bat. The Brewers have now lost three straight road series. They'll try to salvage a victory in this one tonight. Right-hander Matt Garza returns from a strained oblique muscle to face Cubs' right-hander Kyle Hendricks.
Brewers' center-fielder Carlos Gomez will be out for about two weeks with a sprained wrist suffered on a swing at San Francisco last Sunday. An M-R-I did not reveal structural damage -- but it did show a significant sprain, and Gomez is now wearing a brace over it. Manager Ron Roenicke says Gomez will not swing a bat until at least Sunday -- and he'll then start taking light swings and go from there. In the meantime, the speedy Gomez could be used as a pinch-runner, or a late defensive replacement. Gerardo Parra and Logan Schafer are the replacements. Gomez is batting .282 with 29 stolen bases, 21 homers, and 65 R-B-I's.
In a bizarre turn of events, Wisconsin football coach Gary Andersen said late yesterday that quarterback Joel Stave is not injured. That was about six hours after he had the U-W issue a statement that Stave was out indefinitely due to persistent shoulder problems. Andersen announced the change, and then Stave added more. He told reporters that everything's fine structurally with the right throwing shoulder he injured in January's Capital One Bowl. And he's not experiencing the pain he had this past spring. As Stave put it, "My arm is just not working the way I'd like it to ... I don't know what it is ... I just haven't thrown the ball the way I'd like to ... I'm working through it." Stave insists he has not lost confidence after Andersen chose Tanner McEvoy as the Badgers' starting quarterback in their loss against L-S-U last Saturday. McEvoy will remain the starter, with Bart Houston as the main backup. Andersen said "injured is probably a bad word" he decided to use. He said Stave needed to get himself ready to practice properly, before getting into a game. And the coach said he hopes it's soon. The 0-and-1 Badgers host Western Illinois on Saturday.
The Green Bay Packers will practice one more time today, before playing the Seahawks in Seattle in the N-F-L's regular season opener tomorrow night. Coach Mike McCarthy takes issue with the claim that his defensive line is smaller -- although starters Mike Daniels, Datone Jones, and Letroy Guion are all leaner. None weigh more than 315. McCarthy says that with the expanded passing, defensive linemen need to be more athletic with the ability to run in space. The coach said team speed is important and in his words, "You can't grab a jersey." That was one of the big points of emphasis by the league's officials throughout the pre-season. They emphasized penalties for illegal defensive contact including hands to the face, head, and neck. The players said they'll adjust to whatever happens tomorrow night -- and they won't be baited by the Seahawks' aggressive defense into reacting the wrong way. Corner Tramon Williams says he'll play his game and see how it's called -- and if he has to make an adjustment, he will.
Milwaukee Bucks' forward Giannis Antetokounmpo is part of the Greek national team that's playing at the World Cup in Spain. He has averaged ten points and five rebounds in 19 minutes a game, to help Greece go 3-and-0 in the group stage. Today, Greece is playing Croatia after a win over Puerto Rico on Monday. Antetokounmpo sealed that victory with a steal and a drive in which he dribbled just once between the half-court line and the basket. Bucks' general manager John Hammond and strength coach Robert Hackett are on hand to watch and support Antetokounmpo, who will start his second N-B-A season with Milwaukee this fall. Training camp is scheduled to begin September 30th.