Afternoon State Sports Briefs: Pack waiting on extent of Bishop's injuryWisconsin Sports
-- Green Bay Packers’ head coach Mike McCarthy is bracing for bad news, as he awaits word on the extent of starting linebacker Desmond Bishop’s new injury.
GREEN BAY - Green Bay Packers’ head coach Mike McCarthy is bracing for bad news, as he awaits word on the extent of starting linebacker Desmond Bishop’s new injury.
Bishop sprained his right knee – and he might have injured a hamstring – when players landed on his right leg while he was making a tackle on Green Bay’s second series last night. He stayed on the ground for a time, and was eventually helped off the field. McCarthy says Bishop’s injury does not look very good – but he hopes to hear better news as more tests are conducted. The coach says it’s “up in the air” for now. The Packers went on to lose their exhibition opener, 21-13 to the Chargers. Eighteen Packers did not suit up – including starters Greg Jennings, Jermichael Finley, and Marshall Newhouse. And those who did play were on the field for a quarter or less. The San Diego starters beat the Packers’ No. 1 unit 7-0 on a touchdown pass from Philip Rivers which came right after Aaron Rodgers fumbled the ball away. Rodgers also threw an interception in his three series.
The Packers will give offensive tackle Mike McCabe another chance to prove himself next year. The undrafted rookie from Holy Cross damaged a hip muscle during a drill on July 28th, the first day the Packers practiced in full pads at training camp. This week, the team put McCabe on injured reserve – which means he cannot practice or play for the rest of the season. Had he not gone on IR, Green Bay could have cut McCabe and paid him an injury settlement – and he might have hooked up with another team yet this year. But his agent, Sean Stellato, said the Packers liked what they saw in McCabe – and they’ll give him another chance to make the roster in 2013. Stellato calls it the “best possible scenario.” And it will give McCabe a chance to get healthy, work on his upper-body strength, and study Green Bay’s playbook.
The University of Wisconsin football team will practice in full pads today for the first time since their preseason camp opened on Monday. That should give the coaches at least a somewhat better idea of what their depth charts might look like for the Badgers’ opener on September first against Northern Iowa. Fifth-year senior Robert Burge is the top choice at the moment to replace the departed Kevin Zeitler at right guard. But he’s getting strong competition from sophomore Kyle Costigan. Burge, a walk-on from Holmen, has been a reserve for three years and has yet to start for the Badgers. He says he has hit the weight room, where he had a good summer bulking up. Costigan, who is from Muskego, was moved to guard this year, after playing at the defensive tackle spot until last spring.
It’s been almost 20 years since the Milwaukee Brewers lost 10 straight road games. But it could happen tonight, if the Brewers fall to the Astros in Houston. The Brew Crew has a six-game winning streak at home, where they swept division-leading Cincinnati this week. But they’ve lost nine straight away from Miller Park, after getting swept for three games last weekend at Saint Louis. Milwaukee’s last road victory came against the Astros on July 8th – and they needed 10 innings to win that one, 5-3. The Brewers have averaged less than three runs a game during their current losing string. Their last 10-game road losing streak happened between July 31st and August 27th of 1992. The Brewers are 2-3 at Minute Maid Park this season – but the Astros don’t have much momentum after losing five straight, and 34-of-their-last-38. The ‘Stros were swept for three games in Milwaukee last week. Right-hander Mark Rogers will start for the Brewers tonight against Houston right-hander Bud Norris.
Brewers’ pitcher Shaun Marcum will start for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers tonight, in Game-One of the Rattlers’ Midwest League double-header against Cedar Rapids. They were rained out last night near Appleton, where Marcum is starting a rehab assignment after having tightness in his right throwing shoulder since mid-June. The Beloit Snappers will play at Quad Cities again tonight, after the Snappers won 8-3 last evening. Also, Dayton will play a twin-bill at Lansing, in the wake of a rainout on Thursday. Peoria plays at Burlington. Clinton hosts Kane County. Bowling Green entertains South Bend. West Michigan is at Fort Wayne. And Lake County hosts Great Lakes. Clinton enters the weekend with a five-game lead over Beloit and Burlington in the Western Division. Bowling Green continues to lead the Eastern Division by one game over Fort Wayne.
Mark Rogers will make his third start of the season tonight, when the Milwaukee Brewers open a weekend series in Houston. Rogers has the rotation spot held by Zack Greinke before he was traded to Anaheim last month. Rogers, the Brewers’ top draft choice in 2004, is 0-1 with a five-point-nine-one ERA. He gave up five runs in five innings in a loss at Saint Louis last Saturday. Houston will send Bud Norris to the mound tonight. The right-hander is 5-9 with a 5.07 ERA. Norris is 0-8 in his last 11 starts. He gave up four runs in six innings in a loss to Atlanta last Sunday. Meanwhile, the Brewers hope to see more signs of life from Ryan Braun. The reigning National League MVP ended an 0-for-18 slump on Wednesday with a game-winning RBI double over Cincinnati. Braun is batting just .196 in his last 12 games. But he has feasted on Houston pitching, with a .391 average in his last 17 contests against the Astros with five homers and 15 RBI’s.
The final weekend of the regular season begins tonight in the Northwoods League, with one of the four playoff spots yet to be claimed. The La Crosse Loggers clinched home field advantage throughout next week’s playoffs, with a 9-5 win over the Wisconsin Woodchucks last night. La Crosse has the league’s best overall season record at 47-20 – and they made the post-season by clinching the first half title in the South Division, while the Wisconsin Woodchucks clinched the second half crown. Mankato won the first half title in the North. But the second half crown is still up for grabs, as Willmar leads by only a half-game over Saint Cloud, two over Alexandria, and two-and-a-half over Duluth. Teams open their final series tonight. Wisconsin plays at Madison. La Crosse travels to Green Bay. Wisconsin Rapids hosts Lakeshore. Eau Claire is at Battle Creek. Willmar entertains Mankato. Rochester is at Alexandria. Duluth plays at Thunder Bay. And Saint Cloud is at home against Waterloo.
The Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League have signed two players – goaltender Zoltan Hetenyi and defenseman Jeff Foss. Hetenyi is a native of Hungary. He’ll make his U.S. debut this fall, after playing for a pair of teams in Finland a year ago. Foss renewed his contract with Milwaukee. He had one assist in 28 games with the Admirals a year ago.