Brewers Roundup: Brewers try to end season by sweeping San DiegoWisconsin Sports
-- After they guaranteed a winning season on Monday, the Milwaukee Brewers started seven rookies last night – and they beat the San Diego Padres 4-3 at Miller Park.
MILWAUKEE - After they guaranteed a winning season on Monday, the Milwaukee Brewers started seven rookies last night – and they beat the San Diego Padres 4-3 at Miller Park.
Back-up catcher Martin Maldonado hit a grand slam in the third inning to drive in all of Milwaukee’s runs. Jesus Guzman, Will Venable, and Yasmani Grandal all had RBI’s for the Padres, who’ve now lost six-of-their-last-seven. Jim Henderson picked up his first big league victory after tossing a perfect seventh frame. He’s now 1-2. John Axford earned his 36th save. Anthony Bass lost his first start since June 20th. He’s now 2-8. The Brewers won despite being out-hit 10-to-5. Ryan Braun went 0-for-3 with a walk, as he tried to overtake San Diego’s Chase Headley for the National League RBI title. Braun still trails Headley by one going into the final day of the season. Norichika Aoki stole his 30th base last night, giving the Brewers three players with at least 30 steals for the first time since 1992. The Brewers lead the National League with 155 stolen bases for the year. The Padres are second with 153.
Milwaukee and San Diego will finish their seasons with a game tonight at Miller Park. The Brewers saved starter Yovani Gallardo for this occasion, in case they were still in the Wild Card race. But he’s been scratched, and right-handed reliever Josh Stinson will get the start against Padres’ right-hander Andrew Werner.
The Los Angeles Dodgers joined Milwaukee in the playoff scrap heap, as Saint Louis clinched the final National League Wild Card spot last night. The Cardinals lost to Cincinnati at home, 3-1, but the Redbirds still won the league’s final playoff spot after the second-place Dodgers lost to San Francisco 4-3. The Brewers were all but eliminated from the race in mid-August. But the Crew roared back before they were finally eliminated on Sunday. The Cardinals will now have a chance to defend their 2011 World Series title. They’ll play at Atlanta on Friday in the National League’s first-ever one-game playoff among Wild Card teams. The winner advances to an NL Division Series.
The Brewers’ entire coaching staff will return next season. Manager Ron Roenicke said last night that bench coach Jerry Narron will be back – along with pitching coach Rick Kranitz, bullpen coach Lee Tunnell, hitting coach Johnny Narron, first-base coach Garth Iorg, third-base coach Ed Sedar, and outfield coach John Shelby. Roenicke said it’s a “really good staff.” The skipper had his contract extended in May. It will run through 2014. Tunnell replaced Stan Kyles in the bullpen two months ago. Kyles was fired July 30th after a series of meltdowns by the relievers. Roenicke said Tunnell’s big advantage is that he has worked with the Brewers’ young relievers in the past, when he was the minor league pitching coordinator.
Veteran outfielder Nyjer Morgan is not expected to return to the Brewers next year. The 32-year-old Morgan only started one game since September first, as Carlos Gomez emerged as an everyday player in center, and rookie Logan Schaefer backed him up. Morgan was also shut out of the right field job with the emergence of Norichika Aoki. Morgan is making just over two-point-three-million dollars. That’s a high price for a bench player, so don’t be surprised if he’s non-tendered or traded this winter. Morgan said he’ll understand if he has to leave, but he did all he could for the Crew this year. He batted .240 with three homers, 12 stolen bases, and 16 R-B-I’s. Morgan was a fan favorite last season – his first in Milwaukee – when he came through with clutch hits and adopted a humorous “Tony Plush” persona. And he endeared Brewer fans with his game-winning single in the 10th inning of Game-Five of last year’s Division Series, giving Milwaukee its first playoff series clincher since 1982. He had a bad reputation when he played in Pittsburgh and Washington, but Morgan has been a positive force in the Milwaukee locker room – something he’s very proud of. He says his head is held up high and quote, “I’m just thankful for even being here.”