Ryan's Place

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Umps Blow It In Brewers' 3-5 Loss

From Sportsline.com:

Milwaukee manager Ned Yost and first baseman Jeff Cirillo were ejected in the first inning as the Brewers lost their season-high seventh straight road game.

Prince Fielder replaced Cirillo and snapped out of an 0-for-17 slump with an RBI single off Pettitte and a two-out solo homer in the eighth off Dan Wheeler. The Astros' set-up man hadn't allowed a run since June 24, a span of 20 appearances and 17 1/3 innings.

But Wheeler struck out Bill Hall to end the inning and Lidge shut out Milwaukee in the ninth, earning his 100th career save and his 28th in 33 appearances this season.

"It definitely feels great," Lidge said of his milestone. "I know it's early in my career, but when you do it in a win, it's obviously the best feeling there is."

The Brewers, meanwhile, haven't won a road game since Aug. 18 and this bad night away from home started when Brady Clark grounded out leading off the game and got into a shouting match with first-base umpire Tim Timmons. Clark was clearly out, but the two had a heated exchange as first-base coach Dave Nelson held Clark back and Yost ran out of the dugout to argue.

After Tony Graffanino's fly out, Cirillo grounded to Biggio, the second baseman, and Timmons called Cirillo out on a close play. Cirillo slammed his helmet down and yelled at Timmons as Yost sprinted out again. Timmons ejected both of them.

Timmons refused to comment after the game, but Cirillo had plenty to say.

"I didn't know what was going on with Brady and them," he said. "And then when Brady grounded out, he (Timmons) stared at him and punched him out aggressively.

"On my play, I would hate to think that he would sacrifice his job performance on a personal issue," Cirillo said. "I mean, I give everyone the benefit of the doubt unless it's something that was totally blatant."

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Brewers Lose Again To Astros 0-1

From Sportsline.com:

Roger Clemens and the Houston Astros had a moment of confusion before realizing they'd beaten Milwaukee on Wednesday night.

Clemens struck out nine in seven shutout innings and Mike Lamb scored on a strange play in the ninth to give the Astros a 1-0 win over the Brewers.

"We didn't know what happened," Clemens said. "Everyone didn't know whether to run on the field or not."

The Astros won their season-high fifth straight by salvaging another sharp outing from Clemens, who matched his season high for strikeouts.

The Rocket allowed three runs or fewer for the 13th time in 14 starts, but walked away with a no-decision.

Brad Lidge (1-4) pitched a scoreless ninth for the win, benefiting from a game-ending play few players had ever seen before.

Willy Taveras grounded out leading off the ninth against Milwaukee reliever Jose Capellan (2-1). Lamb and Craig Biggio followed with singles to put runners at the corners, and Capellan intentionally walked Lance Berkman to load the bases.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Brewers Lose To Astros 3-10

From Sportsline.com:

Roy Oswalt got a big contract and the Astros got another win.

The only thing that went wrong for Houston was that Willy Taveras' 30-game hitting streak ended.

Pinch-hitter Jason Lane had a grand slam during Houston's seven-run eighth inning, and the Astros beat the Milwaukee Brewers 10-3 Tuesday night to match a season high with their fourth straight victory.

Oswalt pitched seven innings but didn't get a decision on his 29th birthday. Still, he received a great present after the game when the team announced that the right-hander agreed to a $73 million, five-year contract extension -- the biggest multiyear deal ever given to an Astros pitcher.

The 2005 NL championship series MVP is ecstatic about remaining in Houston.

"We have the team to win. Last year we played unbelievable ball, and we have the same structure here to win," Oswalt said. "Hopefully, over the next four or five years, we can put the team together, including this year."

A two-time 20-game winner, Oswalt passed up a chance to become a free agent after the 2007 season. And the Astros are thrilled that he's staying.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Brewers Swept in 2-4 Loss

From Sportsline.com:

Josh Johnson is helping the Florida Marlins fight their way back into the NL wild-card race.

Johnson lowered his major league-leading ERA to 2.87, and the Marlins extended their winning streak to eight with a 4-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night.

Johnson is trying to become the first rookie to lead the major leagues in ERA since Detroit's Mark Fidrych in 1976.

"If it's there at the end of the year, I'll take pride in that," Johnson said. "For now, I just have to keep going."

Dan Uggla hit his 20th homer and added a sacrifice fly for the Marlins (64-66), who had not been within two games of .500 since they were 1-3 before losing on April 9.

Florida pulled within two games of Cincinnati, the NL wild-card leader, and is one game shy of its longest winning streak of the season. The Marlins start a six-game trip Tuesday at St. Louis.

"Right now we're having fun, and we're just going to keep rolling with it as long as it will go," Uggla said. "This is the time you need to make a run at it."

Seahawks Announce 1st Round Of Cuts/Sign TE Stephens

From Seahawks.com:

The Seattle Seahawks announced the release of 15 players and the addition of one Monday afternoon to reach the NFL’s mandatory roster limit of 75. Mandatory reduction to 53 players is Sunday, September 2. The Seahawks signed TE Leonard Stephens, a second-year player from Howard. The Seahawks also placed WR Skyler Fulton on reserve/NFLEL.

The following players were waived:

CB Reggie Austin
LB Evan Benjamin
WR Tony Brown
T Jeff Bolton
FB Ran Carthon
CB Lance Frazier
DT Alex Guerrero
QB Gibran Hamdan
S Brandon Haw
P Gabe Lindstrom
C Taylor Schmidt
WR Taco Wallace
TE Keith Willis

The following veteran contract was terminated:
S Shaunard Harts

The following player was waived/injury:
WR Keenan Howry

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Brewers Lose Again To Marlins 3-4

From Sportsline.com:

Mike Jacobs delivered his first pinch-hit of the season at an ideal time for the Florida Marlins.

Jacobs doubled home Jeremy Hermida with two outs in the ninth inning and the Marlins beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-3 Sunday for their seventh straight victory.

The surprising Marlins began the day four games behind Cincinnati in the NL wild-card race. Florida, which moved within three games of .500 for the first time since April 15, and Milwaukee play again Monday night.

"This win itself is huge, to get seven in a row," said Jacobs, who had been 0-for-8 as a pinch-hitter this season. "We keep creeping closer to the wild card and .500."

Florida took a 3-2 lead into the ninth, but David Bell greeted reliever Joe Borowski (2-2) with his seventh home run. It was Borowski's fourth blown save in 34 opportunities.

Brewers reliever Brian Shouse (1-1) got two quick outs in the ninth. Hermida then walked and the lefty-hitting Jacobs sliced a line drive through the vacated hole at third, scoring Hermida.

"Right before that pitch, I saw (third baseman) Bell shift over toward the shortstop hole, and it caught my eye," Jacobs said.

Seahawks Lose To Chargers 20-31

From NFL.com:

Philip Rivers said his bruised throwing shoulder is OK. It's those darn fumbles that pained him the most.

Rivers had a forgettable third exhibition game, losing three fumbles and slightly hurting his arm in the San Diego Chargers' 31-20 victory over the defending NFC champion Seattle Seahawks.

Rivers was injured late in the second quarter when he was sacked by Craig Terrill and fumbled, with Darryl Tapp recovering for Seattle. He came back for the next series and was sacked again, by Grant Wistrom.

Rivers was the last player to return to the sideline after halftime, escorted by trainer James Collins. His shoulder was wrapped and he was holding his arm close to his side.

"It's good," Rivers said. "It's just a little ding, just a little bruise. It's not an issue at all. If we'd have played four quarters, I'd have played four quarters. If we played tomorrow, I'd play tomorrow."

Rivers said the first stringers were done anyway at halftime, although coach Marty Schottenheimer had said during the week that the starters would play into the third quarter.

"He's fine," Schottenheimer said. "It's nothing of any consequence."

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Brewers Lose Again 2-7

From Sportsline.com:

With their manager's future in doubt, the Florida Marlins keep winning.

Joe Girardi's overachieving young team won its sixth game in a row Saturday, climbing within four games of .500 for the first time since April by beating Milwaukee 7-2.

The surge comes as a feud festers between Girardi and owner Jeffrey Loria. Dontrelle Willis pitched seven innings, and Miguel Cabrera and Hanley Ramirez drove in two runs apiece to help Florida pull within four games of NL wild-card leader Cincinnati.

Before the latest victory, Loria declined to endorse the job Girardi has done in his first year as manager. There has been speculation Girardi won't return next season because of the rift, which became public three weeks ago.

"We'll sit down at the end of the season and figure out what we're going to do," Loria said.

The late-season soap opera is starting to attract attention: The crowd of 30,017 was Florida's fourth-largest of the year.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Brewers Lose To Marlins 5-6

From Sportsline.com:

Joe Borowski pitched a perfect ninth, and the Florida Marlins' other relievers were pretty good, too.

The bullpen limited Milwaukee to one hit and no runs in seven innings Friday night, and the Marlins rallied for their fifth consecutive victory, 6-5.

Brian Moehler (7-8) pitched four innings, Taylor Tankersley escaped a jam in the eighth and Borowski closed out the victory for his 30th save in 33 chances.

"We dug ourselves a hole early, but the bullpen was outstanding," manager Joe Girardi said.

Mike Jacobs doubled home a run in the first, then hit a two-run double in the third to help the Marlins overcome a 5-2 deficit.

"The whole year we've never really let a lead get us down," Jacobs said.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Brewers Sweep Rockies With 12-6 Win

From Sportsline.com:

Tomo Ohka told Ned Yost he was planning to hit left-handed for the first time.

"I thought, `Man, as bad as you're swinging, just do whatever you want,"' the Milwaukee manager said. "Four RBI later, he had a nice day."

Ohka drove in a career-high four runs and Prince Fielder hit a three-run homer as Milwaukee beat Colorado 12-6 Thursday and extended the Rockies' losing streak to six.

"It's just one game," Ohka said. "But I'm going to keep doing that."

Ohka (4-3), a right-handed pitcher, drove in runs in his three plate appearances. After swinging for the fences on the first pitch of his first at-bat and doing a pirouette, he hit the mitt of catcher Danny Ardoin on his next swing, and Geoff Jenkins scored on the catcher's interference.

"I was so glad he hit the catcher's glove his first time up," Yost said. "I was just hoping that he wouldn't hit the ball because I figured he'd hit into a double play, so I was just actually just hoping he would strike out there."

Ohka, who has been tinkering with swinging left-handed in batting practice, had a two-run single in the third, a slow roller on an 0-2 count that got past shortstop Clint Barmes and put the Brewers ahead 7-0. Ohka added an RBI single to center in the fifth for an 8-3 lead.

Hitting right-handed, Ohka is a .130 batter in his career (30-for-230) with 11 RBI. He raised his batting average on the season from .087 to .160.

"I just tried to hit it up the middle," Ohka said.

Rockies manager Clint Hurdle praised Ohka's effort to make himself more comfortable at the plate.

"Give him a little credit," Hurdle said. "He's doing it for a reason: He thinks he's better."

Dating to his previous start, Ohka retired 21 straight batters before Jamey Carroll's single starting the fourth. Ohka wound up allowing six runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. He gave up Todd Helton's two-run homer in the fourth, Fogg's RBI double in the fifth and Brad Hawpe's three-run homer in the sixth.

"It was my best day for my swinging, but not for the pitching," Ohka said.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Brewers Beat Rockies Again 7-1

From Sportsline.com:

Milwaukee manager Ned Yost knew Ben Sheets was ready from the way the pitcher completed his pregame warmup.

"He turned the last couple of balls loose and they had a lot of life to it," Yost said. "We figured he'd have a pretty good night."

Sheets threw seven sharp innings and Prince Fielder drove in two runs to lead the Milwaukee Brewers over the Colorado Rockies 7-1 Wednesday night.

Tony Graffanino also had two RBI for Milwaukee, which won for the fourth time in five games to move within 4½ games of Cincinnati in the NL wild-card race.

"If we're going to make a good run at this we're going to need Sheets," Graffanino said. "He threw the ball great again. We'd like to keep him just the way he is, see him go out there every five days and throw just like that."

Sheets (4-5) struck out seven, and allowed six hits and one run, bouncing back from one of his worst starts of the season. Houston got to him for seven runs and 10 hits in seven innings to beat the Brewers 7-3 last Thursday.

"I pitched more aggressively," Sheets said. "I'm not a cute pitcher. There's no way around it. That's who I am tonight."

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Brewers Beat Rockies 4-1

From Sportsline.com:

For Milwaukee manager Ned Yost, it's more important to play winning baseball than worry about the NL wild card.

Chris Capuano won for the first time since July 6, and the Brewers beat Colorado 4-1 Tuesday night to send the fading Rockies to their fourth straight loss.

"We've still got some work ahead of us," Yost said. "We got to get to .500 first before we can focus on the rest of that stuff. We're focused on winning."

Milwaukee (60-65) trails Cincinnati, the NL wild-card leader, by 5½ games. Colorado (59-66) is 6½ back of the Reds.

"We've been kind of spinning our wheels a little bit for the last month," Capuano said. "We're just hoping to be the team that really makes that outstanding run, because that's what it's going to take to pull ahead."

Colorado, which has dropped into last place in the NL West, has lost 11 of 16 and is 5-16 on the road since the All-Star break.

"Offensively, we were challenged by a lot of people," manager Clint Hurdle said. "We've got to find a way to throw a punch back. We have to throw a team punch back tomorrow."

Laynce Nix, making his second start in center since being recalled Aug. 18 from Triple-A Nashville, had two hits and three RBI for the Brewers.

Capuano (11-8) gave up three hits in six scoreless innings. He escaped a bases-loaded, no-outs jam in the fourth when Yorvit Torrealba popped out, Ryan Spilborghs lined to third baseman David Bell and Luis Gonzalez hit a roller back to mound.

"He got himself in trouble. He got himself out of trouble," Hurdle said. "We weren't able to capitalize."

Selected for the NL All-Star team after the New York Mets' Tom Glavine bowed out because of an injury, Capuano had been 0-4 with three no decisions in his previous seven starts.

"The four or five starts prior to this one, I felt like I had thrown the ball well," Capuano said. "If I'm throwing the ball well and keeping the team in the game, that gives me satisfaction."

Jose Capellan followed Capuano with two scoreless innings, striking out his last five batters.

Matt Holliday homered off of Derrick Turnbow in the ninth, prompting boos from the crowd. After Garrett Atkins struck out, Torrealba lined a single up the middle that finished Turnbow's appearance.

Francisco Cordero got two outs for his 10th save in 10 chances since the Brewers acquired him from Texas on July 28, completing a five-hitter.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Seahawks Beat Colts 30-17

From NFL.com:

All Matt Hasselbeck and Shaun Alexander had to do was keep pace with Indianapolis' starters. Done.

Leonard Weaver and the Seattle backups overwhelmed the rest of the Colts.

Weaver rushed for one touchdown, Mike Green returned an interception for another and Josh Brown kicked three field goals to give the defending NFC champions a 30-17 victory at Indianapolis.

"As bad as we were last week, that's how well we played today," Hasselbeck said. "What a difference it makes when you win a game, just the attitude, the energy in the locker room."

The game, which featured the NFL's last two MVPs -- Peyton Manning and Alexander -- for a little more than one quarter, had a distinctly preseason look to it.

Indianapolis, which has now lost eight straight preseason games and nine of 10 dating to 2004, tried an onside kick and a fake punt, and during one short span in the fourth quarter, the two teams traded possessions twice in three plays. By the end, only a smattering of fans remained in their seats.

The starters for both teams, however, looked sharp.

Alexander ran five times for 20 yards and set up the Seahawks first scoring drive. Hasselbeck completed 8 of 9 passes for 88 yards although he was sacked twice. It was enough to give Seattle a chance.

Brewers Lose To Astros 1-3

From Sportsline.com:

The Houston Astros needed a good starting pitching performance Sunday after they used five relievers Saturday night. Luckily for them, they had Roger Clemens on the mound.

Clemens struck out seven in seven innings to get his 346th career win, leading the Astros over the Milwaukee Brewers 3-1.

Clemens (5-4) gave up six hits and one run to improve to 3-0 with a no-decision in his last four starts. He allowed just one runner past second base, lowering his ERA to 2.58, and threw 80 of his 108 pitches for strikes.

Astros manager Phil Garner was most impressed with Clemens' decision to pitch the seventh inning and save a weary, and struggling bullpen.

"What can you say about this guy?" Garner said. "I am continually amazed. ... There are just hundreds of pitchers out there you can't get another inning. They'll go out there and try it for you, but they don't get it done."

Clemens said he knew the significance of the seventh, in which he allowed a leadoff single before retiring the side in order and giving way to three relievers who did not allow another run. Dan Wheeler pitched the ninth for his fourth save -- a day after Houston pitchers combined to walk 11 and hit two batters in a 6-4 loss to Milwaukee.

"I knew ahead of time our guys have been used a lot out there in the bullpen," Clemens said. "I was just real fortunate to get the seventh under our belt, so we didn't have to use the guys too much."

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Brewers Beat Astros Again 6-4

From Sportsline.com:

Dave Bush took care of the offense himself Saturday night with the biggest hit of the game.

Bush pitched seven solid innings and capped a rally with a two-out, two-run single to lead the Milwaukee Brewers to a 6-4 win over the Houston Astros.

Bush (9-9) allowed four runs and eight hits with five strikeouts and no walks.

"Bushy pitched a good game," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "To get us into the eighth inning was a great job."

Francisco Cordero, who has not allowed a run since being acquired July 28 from Texas in the Carlos Lee deal, recorded the final four outs for his ninth save.

The Brewers broke a third-place tie with Houston in the NL Central and trail wild-card leading Cincinnati by four games.

Houston's Willy Taveras extended his hitting streak to 22 games in the first with a single and scored the game's first run on a ground out by Mike Lamb.

Bush's single down the right-field line was one of only two hits in the four-run fourth inning for the Brewers.

"He's been 'raking' lately," Brewers shortstop Bill Hall said. "I was surpassed they got him out (tonight). Bases loaded, that was a big hit."

Friday, August 18, 2006

Brewes Walk It Off Against Astros In 3-2 Win

From Sportsline.com:

Prince Fielder resisted the temptation to go for the home run and still came through with the decisive hit.

The rookie singled home the winning run in the ninth inning to lift the Milwaukee Brewers over the Houston Astros 3-2 Friday night.

"It's natural to want to try to hit a home run or try to do too much to get the job done," said Fielder, who was 0-for-3 with a walk before getting the big hit. "I was just trying to relax up there and trying to just let my natural ability take it over."

Brad Lidge (0-4) hit Mike Rivera with a pitch to start the Brewers' ninth. Jeff Cirillo then bunted right back to Lidge, but the ball scooted under the reliever's glove. Cirillo reached on the fielding error and Rivera took second. Corey Hart's fielder's choice forced Rivera at third and Cirillo moved up.

Lidge struck out Tony Graffanino and manager Phil Garner brought in Dan Wheeler to face Fielder, who hit the first pitch into right to score Cirillo.

"We're in a bind there," Garner said of his decision to go with Wheeler and not stay with Lidge. "He's had trouble with left-handers. I felt the best shot was to go with Wheeler and not give Prince too good of a pitch to hit."

Wheeler said the idea was to see if Fielder would chase a bad pitch.

"They told me it was low," Wheeler said of the location of the ball Fielder hit. "When it comes down to it, it wasn't low enough."

Francisco Cordero (1-0) got pinch-hitter Chris Burke to ground into an inning-ending double play in the ninth to get his first National League win. Cordero was acquired from Texas along with outfielder Kevin Mench on July 28 in the deal that sent Carlos Lee and Nelson Cruz to the Rangers.

Milwaukee's Brian Shouse walked Lance Berkman and Luke Scott in the ninth then struck out Aubrey Huff before Cordero entered.

"That's why they brought me here," Cordero said. "I come to the park every day ready to pitch."

Milwaukee starter Tomo Ohka gave up two runs in the second but settled down after that, holding the Astros to one hit before being lifted for pinch-hitter Geoff Jenkins with one out in the seventh.

Ohka, who missed 2½ months with a torn rotator cuff and was reinstated from the DL on July 18, allowed one earned run and four hits with a walk to lower his ERA from 5.45 to 4.73.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Brewers Lose To Astros, 3-7

From Sportsline.com:

The Houston Astros put together an impromptu celebration in honor of Jason Hirsh's first major league victory: The pitching staff doused him with beer.

Hirsh allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings, Lance Berkman and Aubrey Huff homered off Ben Sheets and the Astros beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-3 Thursday night to stop a five-game losing streak.

Hirsh (1-1) gave up three hits, walked four and struck out five in his second big league start.

"The guys took care of me earlier, congratulated me," Hirsh said afterward.

"Like they were saying, only 299 more to go. We'll just take it one game at a time and see where it goes from here."

Houston scored three runs off Sheets (3-5) in the fifth to take a 5-2 lead. Willy Taveras singled with one out and Craig Biggio was hit by a pitch for the 281st time in his career, extending his major league record. Mike Lamb singled in Taveras and Luke Scott added a two-out, two-run triple to center.

"I was absolutely pathetic," Sheets said. "There was just nothing good about it. Nothing was good. I think every pitch got hit hard."

Magic Re-Sign Outlaw

From The Orlando Sentinel:

The Orlando Magic re-signed free-agent forward Bo Outlaw, the team announced Wednesday. He is expecting to provide some depth and leadership on a very young but talented team this season.

Financial terms of his contract were not disclosed. Outlaw, a 13-year NBA veteran, rejoined the Magic last season and played just 32 games, averaging 2.3 points and 2.4 rebounds in 11.1 minutes.

Outlaw, 35, was with the Magic from 1997 to 2001, making 222 starts and averaging 7.3 points and 6.9 rebounds. He spent four seasons away, playing with the Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns before he returned in 2005.

A 13-year NBA veteran, Outlaw was undrafted by an NBA franchise. He has played in 871 career NBA regular season games averaging 5.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.36 blocks in 23.3 minutes per game. Outlaw has also appeared in 22 career playoff outings, averaging 3.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 18.9 minutes per game.

Prior to the 2005-06 campaign, Outlaw spent four-plus seasons (285 games-222 starts) with the Magic from 1997-2001, averaging 7.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.82 blocks and 1.31 steals in 31.0 minutes per game. Outlaw currently ranks on the Magic's all-time career list in blocked shots (2nd, 530), rebounds (5th, 2,054), steals (7th, 384), assists (10th, 761), games played (10th, 317) and minutes played (10th, 9,179). He was also recognized for his work in the Central Florida community with the Rich and Helen DeVos Community Enrichment Award in 2005-06, the second time he has received the honor (1998-99).

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Brewers Take Series With 5-2 Extra Inning Win

From Sportsline.com:

The Milwaukee Brewers have done plenty of losing in Pittsburgh over the years. Now, they've found a way to beat the Pirates -- by making sure reliever Damaso Marte gets into the game.

David Bell's bases-loaded single, his fourth hit of the game, drove in two runs in a three-run 13th inning against Marte and the Brewers rallied to beat the Pirates 5-2 Wednesday.

Six relievers combined to pitch seven shutout innings as the Brewers won the final two games of the three-game series after losing seven in a row in Pittsburgh over the last two seasons. The Brewers were 15-35 in PNC Park until winning twice in a 22-hour span, beating Marte each time.

"We've had problems here in the past, so it's nice to come in here and take two of three," Brewers starter Chris Capuano said.

Geremi Gonzalez (4-2) pitched a scoreless 12th for the victory and Francisco Cordero finished up for his eighth save in eight opportunities since being traded by the Rangers to the Brewers on Aug. 9. Cordero has yet to allow a run in 10 innings with Milwaukee, and has pitched in all but one of the Brewers' wins since they acquired him.

"That's what we needed there," catcher Mike Rivera said of the bullpen. "The key is pitching, and they did a great job."

Marte's wildness quickly got him into trouble in the 12th. After walking leadoff hitter Tony Graffanino, Marte (0-7) threw two wild pitches ahead of intentional walks to Bill Hall and Damian Miller. Bell's single made it 4-2 and Rivera added a second RBI single.

"The walk is going to get you there," Pirates manager Jim Tracy said. "That deep into the bullpen, that deep into the game, you've got to get us into the dugout with an opportunity to win the game."

Capuano is winless in seven starts since being chosen for the NL All-Star team, but made a second consecutive strong start by giving up two runs -- one earned -- in six innings. He was coming off a 2-1 Brewers loss Friday to Atlanta in which he didn't figure in the decision.

Capuano was giving up an average of nearly one home run every three innings since the break -- 11 homers in 36 1/3 innings -- but kept the ball in the park for the first time in those seven starts. He and the relievers also kept Jose Castillo hitless in five at-bats, striking him out three times.

Castillo began the game with a .650 average (13-for-20), five homers and 16 RBI in six home games against the Brewers this season.

"We went back to the drawing board and tried some different things against Castillo, who's hurt us quite a bit, and today it worked," Capuano said.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Brewers Beat Pirates 6-3

From Sportsline.com:

The Milwaukee Brewers finally found a way to win in Pittsburgh.

The Brewers, who had lost five in a row at PNC Park and were 15-35 there since the stadium opened six years ago, rallied to beat the Pirates 6-3 Tuesday night.

Doug Davis pitched seven effective innings, Corey Hart homered and Tony Graffanino hit a two-run double for the Brewers, who won for only the second time in their last nine tries against Pittsburgh.

"I felt like I had to prove something for our team to get a win and break this streak they're on," Davis said.

Jose Bautista hit a two-run homer for Pittsburgh, which had its four-game winning streak snapped. It was the Pirates' first home run with a runner on base in three weeks. Pittsburgh had hit 14 consecutive solo shots since Burnitz's three-run drive July 25 in Milwaukee.

"We did everything we could tonight - they just beat us," said Pirates manager Jim Tracy, whose team loaded the bases with one out in the ninth before Francisco Cordero got Jeromy Burnitz to ground into a game-ending double play.

After Bautista's shot in the seventh gave Pittsburgh a 3-2 lead, Graffanino doubled and Prince Fielder singled off Damaso Marte (0-6) to start the eighth, putting runners at the corners.

Kevin Mench's weak groundout against Salomon Torres drove in Graffanino, and Bill Hall's single scored Fielder for a 4-3 lead.

"I told the guys I tried to hit it as far as I could," Mench joked. "It was probably the shortest-hit ball I've had since I got here, but it got the job done. Put the ball in play and you can score a run."

Graffanino added a two-run double in the ninth before Cordero's save, his seventh in nine opportunities since being acquired from Texas on July 28.

"Knowing the arms we've got in the bullpen," Bautista said, "I thought we pretty much had it in the fridge -- but it was just one of those nights."

Monday, August 14, 2006

Brewers Drop Opener to Pirates, 2-4

From Sportsline.com:

For the first time in almost two years, Jason Bay was not in the starting lineup for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night.

It didn't seem to matter for the suddenly streaking Pirates.

Jeromy Burnitz and Jose Castillo had solo home runs as the Pirates won their fourth straight game, 4-2 over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Victor Santos (5-7) was effective enough in making his first start since June 15 in place of Shawn Chacon for Pittsburgh, which was without Bay in the lineup for the first time since September 4, 2004.

"Of course you want to have him in your lineup," manager Jim Tracy said of the All-Star outfielder. "But with some of the players we have now, you can feel good about the lineup we put out there even when a guy like Jason is not playing. That shows where we are as a ballclub now."

Bay's streak of 307 consecutive games played ended after he strained his right hamstring while stretching before Sunday's game against St. Louis, when the Pirates completed a sweep of the first-place Cardinals.

It was the fourth-longest active streak in the majors.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Brewers Outdone by Braves in 4-7 Loss

From Sportsline.com:

It's difficult to remain in contention for a National League playoff spot while carrying the league's worst home record.

The Atlanta Braves hope more success at home will push them closer to the top spot in the wild-card race.

Brian McCann homered and drove in four runs to help the Braves beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-4 Sunday for their first home series win in more than a month.

"Maybe we can get on that streak we keep talking about," manager Bobby Cox said.

"We want to get back in this thing. That's what we're here for. We're going to battle down to the end."

The Braves, who improved to 25-31 at home, are six games behind Cincinnati in the wild-card race. The Reds beat the Phillies 7-5 in 11 innings Sunday.

By winning two of three from the Brewers, the Braves won their first home series since winning three of four from the Reds July 6-9 at Turner Field. Still, the Braves were only 3-3 in the homestand.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Seahawks Lose 1st Preseason Game 3-13

From NFL.com:

Reigning league MVP Shaun Alexander rushed six times for 13 yards before leaving with the rest of the defending NFC champions' starting offensive backs and receivers early in the second quarter. Matt Hasselbeck was 4-of-6 for 43 yards passing.

His backup, Seneca Wallace, played until midway through the fourth quarter and was 11-of-17 for 117 yards. He was sacked four times.

Seattle's first-team offense, which led the league in scoring last season, gained 56 yards on 14 plays and scored three points.

"That wasn't us out there," Hasselbeck said.

Coach Mike Holmgren said: "On the whole, I thought we were a little bit sloppier than we have been in other first preseason games.

"I was a little disappointed, to be honest."

Anthony Fasano, Dallas' second-round pick in the draft, started at H-back. A Romo pass sailed high through his hands to end the opening drive.

That play included Seattle safety Ken Hamlin 's first true hit since he fractured his skull in an October street fight -- a first that Holmgren had acknowledged he was anxious to see. Hamlin came in late on Fasano and pushed his hands and head at the rookie's face.

"I'm all right," Hamlin said. "I was fooling around, having fun. This was just a tease for the regular season."

Brewers Beat Braves 8-5

From Sportsline.com:

Ben Sheets felt just fine this time. He always seems to perk up when facing the Atlanta Braves.

After lasting only one inning in his last start, Sheets made it to the eighth Saturday night for the Milwaukee Brewers, who got homers from Bill Hall and Prince Fielder in an 8-5 victory over the Braves.

Sheets improved to 5-1 with a 3.02 ERA in his last six starts against the Braves, piling up 60 strikeouts in 44 2/3 innings.

"It wasn't great, but it was good," he said. "I'm taking it start by start."

Sheets (3-4) has been slowed all season by injuries. He left his previous appearance after the first when his right pectoral muscle tightened up, and the Brewers sent an extra pitcher to warm up before the game just in case he had more problems.

Not to worry. Sheets retired the first nine hitters before Pete Orr led off the fourth with a double. By then, the Brewers already had a 5-0 lead.

"He doesn't look like he came off a pectoral muscle (injury) or whatever," Atlanta's Jeff Francoeur said. "He looks like he's fine. I still say he's got the best curveball in the league, by far. We just weren't able to jump on it at all until a little later in the game."

Sheets tired in the eighth, giving up three hits on three pitches to start things off, and the Braves pushed across three runs to close to 7-5. But Francisco Cordero struck out Francoeur with the bases loaded and Tony Graffanino provided some insurance with an RBI double in the ninth.

"It wasn't much of a setback in his last start. He just felt a slight little strain," manager Ned Yost said. "This is the way Benny is capable of pitching. That last one was just a bump in the road. I'm not surprised he came back strong."

Friday, August 11, 2006

Brewers Lose To Braves 1-2

From Sportsline.com:

Jeff Francoeur loves to be at the plate with runners on late in the game. Add a struggling reliever to the mix, and the Braves slugger is tough to get out.

Francoeur hit an RBI double off Derrick Turnbow in the bottom of the ninth inning Friday night and John Smoltz pitched a five-hitter to help the Braves beat the Milwaukee Brewers 2-1.

Francoeur leads the Braves with 10 game-winning RBI. Adding to his knack for dramatic production in clutch situations, he has five game-winning hits in the final at-bat.

"He's got the flair," Smoltz said of Francoeur. "He wants so bad to be in that situation that I think sometimes he tries too hard. You want a guy to be like that in that situation. You'd be surprised how many guys treat that situation totally different."

Francoeur said he wanted to atone for failing to deliver in similar situations as the Braves lost two of three in Cincinnati a week ago.

"I love it," Francoeur said of facing the pressure in the bottom of the ninth.

"I thought when I got up, here's a chance to atone a little bit for Cincinnati for the team and for John, for Bobby (Cox). We've been playing hard."

Cortez Kennedy To Be Inducted Into Ring Of Honor

From Mike Kahn at Seahawks.com:

There is no truth to the rumor that the tremors felt during the delirium of the Seattle Seahawks NFC Championship win over the Carolina Panthers in January was the result of Cortez Kennedy jumping up and down with excitement.

Sure, he’s heavier than the 306 pounds he was listed as weighing during his 11 seasons with the Seahawks. But that’s not to underestimate how excited he was at the game, despite having retired in 2000.

He’s always been part of the Seahawks family, and Friday it was announced he will become an even more prominent member when he becomes the 10th member of the Seahawks Ring of Honor, with his No. 96 retired and emblazoned with the others at Qwest Field.

“Sixteen years later, to become a member, I don't know what to say," Kennedy said. "I love the Seahawks. And we're going back to Miami for the Super Bowl."

Brewers Finish Series With 8-6 Win

From Sportsline.com:

Doug Davis is disappointed he didn't adjust his delivery any earlier.

Davis won his third straight decision Thursday, leading the Milwaukee Brewers over Chicago 8-6 and handing the Cubs consecutive losses for the first time in nearly three weeks.

"This game is a game of adjustments," he said. "Wish I could have made the adjustment about 20 starts ago."

Brewers pitching coach Mike Maddux suggested a mechanical change that caused Davis to alter how he rotates his upper body and close off his shoulder.

"I was hitting my spots and had better control," he said after striking out eight in seven innings, allowing four runs, eight hits and three walks.

It also helped that Davis (8-6) was given a seven-run lead. and he improved to 3-0 in his last four starts despite a 6.09 ERA. He got out of trouble in the third when he struck out Phil Nevin and Jacque Jones with the bases loaded.

"It all revolves around your starting pitching," Brewers manager Ned Yost said after his team took two of three from the Cubs.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Brewers Bounce Back in 6-3 Win

From Sportsline.com:

Dave Bush was just wild enough to keep the Chicago Cubs off stride.

Bush took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Cubs 6-3 Wednesday night to stop a three-game losing streak.

"Bushie had good stuff," Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. "He was effectively wild. He had trouble commanding his stuff at times, but made huge pitches when he needed to.

"He wasn't razor sharp ... but did a great job."

Bush (8-8) allowed three hits in eight innings, giving up his first when Juan Pierre beat out an infield single to shortstop with one out in the sixth. Michael Barrett was hit by a pitch with two outs, and Aramis Ramirez homered off the left-field foul pole, his 26th of the season.

"It wasn't enough," Ramirez said. "We were down six runs. It was a three-run home run to keep us in the game, but we just couldn't come back."

Cesar Izturis got the Cubs' other hit, a sharp single to right with two outs in the eighth.

Carlos Zambrano (12-5) lost his second consecutive start after going 9-0 with two no-decisions in June and July. He gave up six runs -- four earned -- five hits and four walks in 4 2-3 innings.

"I was feeling good today," Zambrano said. "I just left some pitches in the middle and we paid for that."

Zambrano had been 10-0 in 15 road starts since losing to the New York Mets on Aug. 7, 2005.

Staked to a 6-0 lead, Bush won at Miller Park for the first time since June 6 -- he had been 0-3 in four starts and one relief appearance. He struck out six, walked one and threw 103 pitches.

"I was aware of it," Bush said of his 5 1-3 hitless innings. "I was doing the best I could to get quick outs."

Bush hit Ramirez on the wrist on a pitch in the fourth, drawing a warning from plate umpire Ed Hickox. The right-hander said he wasn't trying to hit Ramirez, but had trouble locating pitches at times.

"Sometimes it's to your advantage," Bush said of his wildness. "Sometimes it helps a little bit."

Francisco Cordero pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save in four chances since Milwaukee acquired him from Texas on July 28.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Brewers Lose 3-6 To Cubs

From Sportsline.com:

The Chicago Cubs came through with two outs.

Jacque Jones and John Mabry each hit two-out, two-run homers in the first inning, and Jones made a leaping-bases loaded catch to end the sixth in the Cubs' 6-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night.

The Cubs scored all of their runs with two outs.

"We're just playing better as a team in those situations," Jones said. "Before, we weren't getting guys in, getting guys over and doing the job. It seems like guys are starting to relax a little bit more and letting the game come to us."

In the first game of a nine-game trip following an 8-3 homestand, the Cubs gave starter Carlos Marmol (5-5) all the runs he needed before he took the mound.

"I think that was huge for Carlos today to get that run support early," Cubs catcher Michael Barrett said. "That way, he could settle a little bit and pitch."

Ryan Dempster saved his 22nd game in 27 chances, dropping the Brewers a season-high eight games below .500.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Brewers Don't Show Up In 1-7 Loss

From Sportsline.com:

A day after the St. Louis Cardinals ended their second eight-game losing streak this season, Jeff Suppan kept them from starting a new one.

Suppan allowed four hits in 7 1/3 innings and Juan Encarnacion hit a three-run homer, helping the Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-1 Sunday.

"Everybody should be feeling more comfortable at this point," Encarnacion said. "There's no better feeling than when you win."

Scott Rolen added a two-run homer for the Cardinals, who took two of three from the Brewers and are 17-8 against them the last two seasons. St. Louis leads the NL Central by 3½ games entering a four-game series at second-place Cincinnati.

"If you look at our season, we've done more good things than bad," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "I think we're coping with it really well. But believe me, you don't have those two losing streaks and guys are whistling, 'What's the big deal?'"

Suppan (9-6) matched his season high with seven strikeouts and walked one, allowing only three singles before Mike Rivera homered leading off the eighth. He is 12-2 with a 3.53 ERA against the Brewers, including 5-0 since the start of 2005, but noted he allowed five runs in four innings against them on June 11.

"I know I've had some good games against them," Suppan said. "But my last outing they really took a different approach and got quite a few runs off me."

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Brewers Can't Come Back in 3-4 Loss

From Sportsline.com:

Tony La Russa was in the dugout cursing the baseball gods when Prince Fielder hit a ball off the end of his bat with the bases loaded that appeared certain to fall.

The St. Louis Cardinals led by a run in the sixth inning, and their manager dreaded more adversity for a team trying to end its second eight-game losing streak of the season. Somehow center fielder Jim Edmonds swooped in, gloving the ball just before it hit the grass, saving a lead and helping the team end the slide with a 4-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday night.

"That play Jim Edmonds made is as good of a play as he's made since he's been here," La Russa said. "That ball falls, they've got the lead. The ball gets by him, they've got the lead maybe by two.

"I still don't know how he got there."

Scott Rolen's RBI double in the first gave the Cardinals their first lead in six games and Albert Pujols' 34th home run, his first homer since July 25, was a two-run shot in the third. Ronnie Belliard added an RBI single in the third for a 4-0 lead, and the bullpen worked four scoreless innings with Jason Isringhausen getting the last three outs for his 29th save.

When shortstop David Eckstein squeezed Kevin Mench's popup to end the game, the relieved home crowd gave the Cardinals a standing ovation. For the first time in a long while, loud music blared in the clubhouse.

Brewers pitcher Ben Sheets left after one inning because of tightness in a pectoral muscle. Sheets (2-4) has been limited to seven starts this season due to injuries and said he wasn't hurt on a particular pitch.

Sheets said the feeling reminded him of cramping that led to a torn back muscle that ended his season last August.

"It wasn't too bad throwing as much as in between pitches it felt like a cramp in there," Sheets said. "It kind of became eerily similar to last year's cramp that I tried to go through and we all know the rest of that story."

Geoff Jenkins hit a two-run homer for the Brewers, his 10th of the year and first since July 16. Jenkins entered the game in a 3-for-30 slump.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Brewers Beat Cardinals 4-3

From Sportsline.com:

Chris Carpenter failed to prevent the St. Louis Cardinals' losing streak from reaching eight games, matching a slump they endured in June.

The 2005 NL Cy Young winner left Friday night's game with an injury to the thumb on his pitching hand that put a scare into a team already on the skids. His right thumb was swollen, although X-rays indicated no break, after a 4-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.

"He took that ball right off the top of his thumb and he's got quite a bit of swelling," manager Tony La Russa said. "That's the bigger issue, even above losing the game."

Prince Fielder went 3-for-4 with a two-run home run and Tony Graffanino had three hits and an RBI to help the Brewers beat Carpenter, who was on the mound the night the Cardinals stopped their earlier eight-game skid.

La Russa was somewhat consoled by the fact his team shaved an early three-run deficit to one. The Cardinals lost 8-1 to Philadelphia on Thursday, but missed an opportunity to end the slump by going 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position on Friday.

"What's better, going 1-2-3 and out like we've been doing or having a chance to drive some in?" La Russa said. "I'd take getting them on base and getting a few home."

Doug Davis (7-6) worked into the sixth and Dan Kolb rescued him from a bases loaded jam to end that inning. Francisco Cordero got the last three outs for his third save in as many chances with Milwaukee, which has won four of six.

"I'm not really ever worried about the other team, really," Fielder said. "I just worry about our team. If we do things right, it really doesn't matter what they do."

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Brewers Struggle In Series Finale

From Sportsline.com:

The Milwaukee Brewers' lineup struggled to figure out Byung-Hyun Kim. A lot of hitters have had that problem recently.

Kim allowed one run in eight innings and Todd Helton homered and drove in three runs to lead the Colorado Rockies over the Brewers 8-2 Wednesday night.

"When he can get the ball in the spots he wants, he's tough," Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said of Kim. "He has some deception and his pitches have some late life."

Kim (7-6) yielded seven hits, struck out five and didn't walk a batter in the longest outing of his career. He has allowed only four runs in 33 innings over his last five starts at Coors Field, an ERA of 1.09 over than span.

Kim set his previous mark for longest outing with 7 2/3 innings in a win over San Diego in his last start on Friday.

"Kim was the difference and his velocity was deceptive," Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. "The board had him at 88 mph, but from the dugout he seemed to be throwing 95."

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Brewers Beat Rockies 1-0

From Sportsline.com:

Jeff Cirillo sank heavily into the chair at his locker, shrugged his shoulders, tilted his head and raised his eyebrows.

"Do you believe me now?" begged his body language.

Hours after suggesting illegal, waterlogged baseballs were being used at Coors Field, accounting for the dramatic decline in scoring at the ballpark formerly known as "Coors Canaveral," the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Colorado Rockies 1-0 on Tuesday night.

It was just the fourth 1-0 game in the stadium's 12-year history but the third this year at what is fast becoming just another pitcher's park.

"Another coincidence?" Cirillo asked. "Don't get me wrong (David) Bush and (Josh) Fogg pitched great. But two guys with a 5.00 ERA pitching a 1-0 game?"

Another raise of the eyebrows - fitting, because his comments assuredly did the same across baseball Tuesday night.

Teams are combining to average a record low 9.09 runs a game at Coors, a 33 percent decrease from its heyday a decade ago, and there have always been grumbling about the humidor since its introduction five years ago at Coors Field to keep baseballs from drying up and shrinking in Denver's thin air.

But Cirillo was the first to publicly suggest that the baseballs are waterlogged, preventing them from leaving the ballpark with their usual regularity in the mile-high altitude.

"I don't feel anything different. The ball feels the same in my hands," said Bush, who allowed five singles over six innings.

Damian Miller's RBI single in the seventh was the only scoring in the major league-leading 11th shutout at Coors Field.

"I remember how it used to be, and yeah, I think the numbers speak for themselves," Colorado's Todd Helton said. "There's a difference, but we are competing every game, so that's OK. I think the park plays a lot better. Pitchers throw better games, the pace of games is the way it should be.

"Selfishly, I'd like to see the ball fly a little bit more, but I'm all right with it."

Bush (7-8) hit two batters and struck out two. Francisco Cordero, who came to the Brewers last Friday in a trade with Texas, got the final four outs for his second save.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Magic Hire Nick Anderson!!

From Tim Povtak at The Orlando Sentinel:

The Orlando Magic took a big step Monday in their recent embrace-the-past movement by hiring all-time leading scorer Nick Anderson, their first draft pick in 1989.

Anderson played 10 seasons with the Magic and scored 10,650 points before being traded to the Sacramento Kings in 1999.

"I'm going to be a goodwill ambassador," said Anderson, who obviously was excited about his new position. "I'm back home where I started, and where I belong. This is something I've wanted to do for a long time.''

Anderson has been living in the Atlanta area since he retired from the NBA in 2002, but he has remained popular with many of the Magic fans who followed the team in the early years.

He was one of three earlier-era players the Magic honored last season, joining Dennis Scott and Scott Skiles in having a banner hung in their honor at TD Waterhouse Centre.

"Maybe my face will bring back some fans,'' he said. "I'm a community man. Always have been, always will be. I love this place. It's like my family.''

Anderson, a 6-foot-6 shooting guard, averaged 15.4 points in Orlando. He was key in the Magic's finest season when they reached the 1995 NBA Finals, teaming with Shaquille O'Neal, Penny Hardaway, Horace Grant and Scott to form a very young but very potent lineup.

He is best remembered for two contrasting playoff moments that year. In the semifinal round of Game 1 against the Chicago Bulls, he stole the ball in the closing seconds from Michael Jordan, leading to a thrilling victory that set the tone for the series. In Game 1 of the NBA Finals, though, he missed four consecutive free throws in the closing seconds against the Houston Rockets, costing his team a victory and leading to a four-game sweep.

Anderson had made a couple of appearances for the Magic recently in a trial role. The Magic were impressed with the way he was received. He will play a major part in their Summer Tour that will make stops in Tampa, Cocoa Beach, Daytona Beach, DeLand and Leesburg in the coming weeks.