Afternoon State Sports Briefs: Gallardo looks to get win-streak going for BrewersWisconsin Sports
-- The Milwaukee Brewers have won their last eight games with Yovani Gallardo on the mound. And they’ll try to make it nine tonight, when the Brewers close out their three-game home series against the Wild Card-leading Atlanta Braves.
MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Brewers have won their last eight games with Yovani Gallardo on the mound. And they’ll try to make it nine tonight, when the Brewers close out their three-game home series against the Wild Card-leading Atlanta Braves.
The right-hander Gallardo is 14-8 with a 3.76 ERA. He’s 6-0 in his last eight starts. And Gallardo has an ERA of just over three in those contests, while the Milwaukee offense has averaged almost seven-and-a-half runs behind him. The Braves will send left-hander Paul Maholm to the mound tonight. He’s 12-9 with an ERA of 3.23. But Maholm has lost his last five decisions against Milwaukee – and he went 0-2 against them earlier this season, when he was playing for the Chicago Cubs. The Brewers will try to go above .500 tonight for the first time since late April. And they hope to sweep their first three-game series from the Braves since late April of 2006.
The Brewers will again open their regular season at home next year. The 2013 schedule came out today – and the Crew will open against the Colorado Rockies on Monday, April first. Once again, Milwaukee will play its first road series 90 miles down the road at Wrigley Field, where a three-game set against the Chicago Cubs is planned for April eighth-through-10th, followed by three in Saint Louis. One big change is the Interleague schedule. With Houston joining the American League, some team will have an Interleague series for virtually all of 2013. Milwaukee will have back-to-back two-game series on Memorial Day and the following Tuesday at Miller Park – and then it’s off to Minneapolis that Wednesday and Thursday, May 29th-and-30th. The Brewers also have a pair of two-game series planned against Texas in early May and mid-August. The Oakland A’s will make their first-ever visit to Miller Park on June third-through-fifth. And the Brewers will make their first visit to Seattle’s Safeco Field August ninth-through-11th. Houston remains on the Brewers’ schedule next year, with three Interleague games June 18th through 20th at Minute Maid Park.
The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers will host the Fort Wayne Tin-Caps tonight in Game-One of the Midwest League Championship Series. This is the first time the Appleton area club has made the finals as a Class-“A” affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. And the Rattlers are making their fourth trip in all to the title round. Their other appearances were in 2005, 1999, and 1996. But none of those teams won their league titles. The last Fox Valley team to do that was the old Appleton Foxes in 1984. This year’s Wisconsin team made the playoffs by winning the first half regular season crown. Fort Wayne earned a Wild Card spot for the second half. Ex-Brewers’ shortstop Jose Valentin manages Fort Wayne. Game-One is at 6:35 tonight at Fox Cities Stadium. Game-Two is just after noon tomorrow. Fort Wayne will then host the rest of the series, beginning with Game-Three on Saturday.
Marquette Uiversity is about to lose Notre Dame as a Big East Conference opponent. Notre Dame said today it would join the Atlantic Coast Conference for all sports but football. The Fighting Irish have kept their football independence for years. They’ll continue to have that under the new arrangement – but they’ll also play five games a year against ACC teams, and will have access to the school’s non-BCS bowl connections. The ACC also agreed to waive its requirement that its schools compete as full conference members, so Notre Dame could keep its football independence. It was not clear when the change would take place. The ACC has a news conference planned for this afternoon. Marquette will feel the loss of Notre Dame as a Big East foe. The South Bend school is the fourth to pull out of the Big East – the others being West Virginia, Syracuse, and Pittsburgh.
Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers says the NFL’s replacement officials need to know the rules before they hit the field. The reigning league MVP said on his weekly Milwaukee radio show said it’s frustrating to see calls that are missed – as well as misinterpretations of the rules. Rodgers said there multiple instances of both in last Sunday’s Packer home loss to San Francisco – but he said both teams were victimized. The most blatant error during the Packer game was the missed block-in-the-back by Green Bay’s Terrell Manning that should have nullified a 75-yard punt return touchdown by Randall Cobb. Rodgers said there’s still quote, “disbelief” about that one – and he was surprised the call was missed. The replacements will be around again tomorrow night, when the Packers host Chicago.
he Green Bay Packers have had the upper hand over Chicago in the last three years, partially by jamming the Bears’ receivers and disrupting Jay Cutler’s passing rhythm. But if the Packers want to try that again tomorrow night, Cutler has a two-word message – “Good luck.” He told CSN Chicago.com that the Bears are now inviting press-and-man coverage, now that they’ve acquired larger receivers like Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey. Marshall scored his first Bears’ touchdown in last weekend’s Chicago rout of Indianapolis. He said it’s all about matchups – and there are not too many DB’s as big as Marshall at 6-5 and 230 pounds. Cutler is 1-6 against the Packers in his tenure at Chicago.
Two offensive linemen have signed up with new teams, after being cut by the Packers at the end of their training camp. Former Arizona guard Reggie Wells has signed with the San Diego Chargers. And tackle Herb Taylor has signed a deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Also, Kewaunee native Colin Cochart has been cut by Dallas. The Cowboys picked up the eastern Wisconsin tight end, after he was cut by Cincinnati at the end of its camp. The Packers are gearing up for their home contest against the Chicago Bears tomorrow night.
University of Wisconsin cross country junior Alex Brill has been named the Big Ten’s runner-of-the-week. Brill won the individual title at last week’s Badger Opener, by running the six-point-three-kilometer Zimmerman Course in Madison in 18:50 seconds. The top-ranked Badgers also won the team title.
Sheboygan native Tia Rupnik has been named the defensive volleyball player-of-the-week in the Midwest Conference. Rupnik plays for Lake Forest College as a libero. She’s a senior who had 106 digs, when Lake Forest went 3-2 last week at the Jim Coleman Memorial Invitational at Aurora. Also, Gayatri Malhotra of Lawrence in Appleton has been named the women’s tennis player-of-the-week. The junior Malhotra went 3-0 in doubles play last week, and 2-0 in singles.