WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Henderson back as Brewers' closer
Jim Henderson has reclaimed the closer’s role for the Milwaukee Brewers. Francisco Rodriguez held the job before he was traded to Baltimore a week-and-a-half ago. This week, Henderson earned saves in both games of a day-night double-header against the Chicago Cubs. No Brewers’ pitcher has done that since 2003, when Mike DeJean saved both games of a twin-bill against the New York Mets. Henderson has saved 14 of Milwaukee’s 46 victories this year. He took over the closer’s spot in early April, after John Axford struggled. In late May, Henderson went on the disabled list after he strained his right hamstring. When he returned, Rodriguez was doing so well that Henderson was relegated to set-up appearances. He’s 3-and-3 this season with a one-point-nine-nine E-R-A. Henderson has struck out 47 batters in 40-and-two-thirds innings. The Brewers were off yesterday, and will open a weekend series against the Washington Nationals tonight at Miller Park. Brewers’ left-hander Tom Gorzelanny will start against former U-W Stevens Point right-hander Jordan Zimmermann.
Receiver Randall Cobb led the Green Bay Packers with 10 dropped passes a year ago, but the coaches say it’s not a big issue right now. Questions arose after Cobb dropped a pair of high-profile passes at Training Camp scrimmages in each of the last two days. Receivers’ coach Edgar Bennett says Cobb sometimes has a problem locking the ball in with his eyes, and then tucking it away and making a move. But in general, Bennett and Packers’ coach Mike McCarthy have no complaints about their third-year receiver and kick returner. Bennett said Cobb is versatile, tough, tenacious, and a real student of the game. McCarthy says Cobb has very good hands, and it’s not just Cobb who needs to cut down on his drops – it’s the team as a whole. Cobb excelled in his second N-F-L season, with 80 catches for 954 yards and eight touchdowns. The Packers will hold an evening practice tonight at Camp. The annual Family Night Scrimmage is set for tomorrow before a full house at Lambeau Field.
The Milwaukee Bucks signed second-round draft pick Nate Wolters yesterday. Terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed. Wolters, a 6-4 point guard, was taken by Washington as the 38th overall pick in June. Philadelphia acquired him before trading him to the Bucks on Draft Night. Wolters played his college ball at South Dakota State, where he averaged 22 points a game as a senior – the fourth-highest among all N-C-A-A Division-One players. Meanwhile, Milwaukee’s first-round draft pick Giannis Antetokounmpo started working out yesterday with a pair of Bucks’ assistants. It’s been a busy summer for the 18-year-old forward, as he played 10 games in 13 days for his native Greece in the Under-20 European Championships. He said he never competed against the best players in Europe before, and it was quite an experience. He averaged eight points, and was second among all tournament players in defensive rebounds with seven per game. He also averaged about one-and-a-half blocked shots.
Madison golfer Steve Stricker is tied for 31st after the opening round of the World Golf Championships’ Bridgestone Invitational. Stricker shot a one-over-par 71 yesterday at the Firestone Country Club in Akron Ohio. That put him just barely in the upper half of the 73-player group. Stricker is seven strokes behind the leader, Webb Simpson – who fired a six-under-64 yesterday.
Two Wisconsin golfers are in the Top-20 after Round-One of the P-G-A’s Reno-Tahoe Open. Pewaukee native Mark Wilson is tied for 12th place with nine points under the modified Stableford for scoring system. Fox Point native Skip Kendall is tied for 20th with seven points. Josh Teater is the leader with 15. Wilson had six birdies for two points each, while he lost a point for each of his three bogeys. Kendall also had a half-dozen birdies for 12 total points, but he lost three points with a double-bogey on the fifth hole. Kendall also lost two points with a pair of single-bogeys.
Jordan Niebrugge of Mequon is in second place going into today’s final qualifying round of stroke play at the Western Amateur Championship in Roland Arkansas. The 19-year-old Oklahoma State sophomore shot a two-under-par 70 in his third round yesterday. That put him at 11-under-205, four strokes behind first-place Patrick Rodgers of Avon Indiana. The Top-16 players after today will advance to the match play rounds. Niebrugge missed one green in regulation yesterday, and has hit 53-of-54 greens so far. He’s coming off a pair of victories in the State Amateur and the U-S Amateur Public Links tournament.