Aftrenoon State Sports Briefs: Brewers' Wolf looking to get first win since AprilWisconsin Sports
-- Randy Wolf will try again tonight to get his first victory since April 30th, when the Milwaukee Brewers host the Saint Louis Cardinals.
MILWAUKEE - Randy Wolf will try again tonight to get his first victory since April 30th, when the Milwaukee Brewers host the Saint Louis Cardinals.
The veteran left-hander has not won in 12 starts since beating the Padres in San Diego almost three months ago. Wolf is 2-6 with a 5.80 ERA. And he has given up seven homers in his last four starts, while building up an eight-point-three-four ERA in those appearances. Wolf last appeared out of the bullpen on the Saturday before the All-Star break, when he gave up one run in two innings at Houston. Meanwhile, the Cardinals will send rookie right-hander Joe Kelly to the mound. He’s 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA – and he has not given up more than three runs in any of his half-dozen starts since he was recalled from Triple-“A” last month. The Brewers have not gained ground in the National League playoff chase, despite winning eight-of-their-last-13.
The top three teams in the National League Central are separating themselves from the fourth-place Milwaukee Brewers. Cincinnati leads Pittsburgh by a game. And the Saint Louis Cardinals are just three-and-a-half games off the pace, after beating Milwaukee 3-2 in a ninth-inning comeback last night at Miller Park. The Brewers remain eight games behind the Reds – and Milwaukee is in eighth place for the two National League Wild Cards, seven games out of contention. The Brewers have won eight of their last 13, but they’ve had nothing to show for it in the standings. And it doesn’t help that the Brewers are just 5-15 in their last 20 games against the Redbirds.
When the Brewers play at Cincinnati this weekend, they won’t see All-Star first baseman Joey Votto. The 2010 National League MVP is out for 3-for-4 weeks after having arthroscopic surgery today to fix torn cartilage in his left knee. Reds’ general manager Walt Jocketty said Votto was having trouble the past couple days, so he asked for an exam which uncovered the tear. Votto said surgery was the best option for both him and the Reds, so he can available for the Central Division leaders down the stretch. Votto is batting .342 with 14 homers and 49 RBI’s. He leads the league in walks, doubles, on-base percentage, and extra base hits.
The Wisconsin Woodchucks have become the first Northwoods League to win 10 games in the second half of the season. The ‘Chucks from Wausau are have won five in a row, and they’re 10-and-1 after beating Wisconsin Rapids 9-7 last night. That series continues tonight in Rapids. The Madison Mallards will host Green Bay again, on the heels of a 5-4 Mallards’ victory. The Eau Claire Express is at home against Battle Creek, after the Express crushed the Bombers 16-2 on Monday. The Lakeshore Chinooks are at La Crosse, as the Chinooks come off a 9-1 victory. The Woodchucks have a two-game lead over Madison in the South Division. Four teams are atop the North. Mankato, Alexandria, Willmar, and Duluth are all at 7-and-5. Duluth has a double-header at Thunder Bay, where they were rained out last night. Willmar hosts Alexandria. Saint Cloud plays at Waterloo. And Mankato entertains Rochester.
The Class-“A” Midwest League is off today, after both of Wisconsin’s teams lost their series finales. The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers dropped a 7-4 decision to Fort Wayne last night, while the Beloit Snappers lost a sluggers’ battle against Lake County, 9-8. Kane County leads the Western Division by a game over Burlington, Quad Cities, and Clinton. The Timber Rattlers are fifth at 12-12, and Beloit is sixth at 10-14. Lansing leads the East by a game over Bowling Green.
ll but one of the eight teams in the Northwoods League South Division are from Wisconsin. So it’s no surprise that all but two of the newly-named South All-Stars play in the Badger State. Twenty-five players will represent Wisconsin in the Northwoods All-Star Game to be played a week from tonight in Madison – and they’ll take on a group of North All-Stars that feature a game-high six players from the Duluth Huskies. The Green Bay Bullfrogs also have six – infielder Justin Seager and pitchers Bradley Wallace, Zak Hermans, Bryce Bellin, Taylor Black, and Will Landsheft. Going into last weekend, Green Bay’s pitching staff had the league’s best ERA at 2.62. The Eau Claire Express have five All-Stars – catcher Alex Real, infielders Casey Gillaspie, Josh Scheffert and Ty Forney, and pitcher Andrew Hedrick. The Wisconsin Woodchucks had four players named – catcher Skyler Ewing, infielder Brendon Hayden, outfielder Brooks Braga, and pitcher Jack Fischer. The other South All-Stars are infielder Pat Kelly, outfielder Alex Bacon, and pitcher Seth Fuller of Wisconsin Rapids – outfielder Richard Priegtano, and pitchers Jake Stassi and Jacob Dorris of La Crosse – outfielder Tyler Marincov and pitcher Anthony Marzi of Madison – and outfielder Eric Aguilera and infielder Bre Kimball of Lakeshore. La Crosse’s Andy McKay and Mankato’s Mike Orchard will manage the two squads. They led their respective teams to division titles in the first half. A home run derby will precede the All-Star contest at Madison’s Warner Park.
University of Wisconsin junior Jared Abbrederis was named today to a watch list for Biletnikoff Award, given each year to the nation’s best receiver. Abbrederis came into his own during his sophomore season at Madison, with 55 catches for 933 yards and eight touchdowns. The eight scores were the fifth-highest for a season in UW history. Abbrederis joined the Badgers as a walk-on three years ago, after he was an All-State quarterback in high school at Wautoma.
UW-Platteville is looking for a new men’s-and-women’s track coach, after Jim Nickasch resigned. He’ll stay on campus as a physical education lecturer and instructor. Nickasch has coached the Platteville track-and-field teams for the last 11 years. His teams took third place twice at the NCAA Division III championships – and the women’s team has placed as high as fifth nationally. For now, assistant Chris Rotzenberg will coach both the men’s-and-women’s teams on an interim basis.
One of last year’s state high school champion football coaches is going home. Chad Hanson, who led Greenwood/Granton to the WIAA Division 7 crown, will become the head football coach at his home school district of Eleva-Strum. Hanson went 44-39 in eight seasons at Greenwood. He led his team to the playoffs four times, winning the D-7 title in 2011 with a 13-1 record. At Eleva-Strum, Hanson replaces Rich Roginski, who went 3-6 with the Cardinals a year ago. Eleva-Strum won the state championship under Warren Behm in 2007 – but the Cardinals went just 5-22 in their last three seasons.