MLB News: Brewers again near .500 markRegional Sports
-- The Milwaukee Brewers will try again tonight to return to .500, when they close out their two-game series at San Diego.
SAN DIEGO - The Milwaukee Brewers will try again tonight to return to .500, when they close out their two-game series at San Diego.
The Brewers are 21-22, and they’ve been below the break-even point since April 30th. They could have returned to .500 on Tuesday night, but their bats got cold again – and they were shut out by the Dodgers in Los Angeles. Last night, the Milwaukee offense returned to life in a three-run victory over the Padres. The Brewers went 4-for-12 with runners in scoring position – and they won their eighth game in their last 11. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy has been the hottest-hitting Brewer for awhile. He’s batted .375 in his last nine games with two homers and 10 RBI’s. Last night, Lucroy was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded – and it put Milwaukee in front for good. The Brewers have batted .276 in their last 11 contests – much better than the .157 average they had during their seven-game losing streak at the start of May. Left-hander Chris Narveson will start for Milwaukee tonight against San Diego right-hander Aaron Harang.
Former Milwaukee closer Trevor Hoffman got to see his old teammates last night in San Diego. Hoffman spent most of his career with the Padres, before pitching his final two seasons with the Brewers. Today, he’s a special assistant to the Padres’ general manager – a job says he loves. Hoffman has been an on-field instructor for the Padres, mostly during spring training. He said he’s grateful to remain involved in a game he’s loved for two decades. And Hoffman says he’s happy to be working with his brother, who’s on the Padres’ coaching staff. During his time in Milwaukee, Hoffman led the relievers in group workouts each afternoon. They continue to do that – and Hoffman says he’s happy to hear it.
The Brewers are just 8-16 on the road this season. But they can finish their Southern California trip at 3-1 with a victory tonight at San Diego. The Brew Crew has won five-of-its-last-six, and eight-of-its-last-11. And they’ve moved up two places in the last week to third in the National League Central – three-and-a-half behind Saint Louis and four games behind front-running Cincinnati. The Brewers are two games ahead of fifth-place Chicago, and six up on last-place Houston.
Former Brewers’ closer Bob Wickman is now the acting baseball coach at River Valley High School in Spring Green. The Wisconsin State Journal said Wickman has been coaching the Blackhawks the past two weeks, after Andy Cowley was suddenly fired for undisclosed reasons. The paper said Wickman’s wife is from the area – and the couple has kids going through the River Valley School District. Athletic director Eric Briehl said Wickman expressed an interest in filling in. And if he likes it and does well, there’s a chance he could return in some capacity next season. Wickman said it’s not something he planned for. He said he enjoyed watching his children play sports, and he did not expect to be coaching so soon after leaving the big leagues. Wickman retired from the Majors in 2007 after 15 seasons – including five with Milwaukee. He attended Oconto Falls High School in northeast Wisconsin, and pitched in college at UW-Whitewater.
Western Wisconsin Twins’ fans can join the team in a public memorial service next week for Hall-of-Fame slugger Harmon Killebrew. The service will be held next Thursday night at seven at Target Field in Minneapolis. The 74-year-old Killebrew, one of the most beloved figures in Twins’ history, died Tuesday at his home near Phoenix from esophageal cancer. His funeral will be held tomorrow in Peoria, Arizona. And a private burial service is set for Monday in his hometown of Payette, Idaho.