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Brewers' struggle continues in fifth straight loss

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McClatchy-Tribune
May 8, 2008
— It was a week ago that the devastating news dropped about Yovani Gallardo’s likely season-ending knee injury.

It was a major blow for the Milwaukee Brewers to absorb because the team looked to the young right-hander to be its second-best pitcher behind Ben Sheets this season. But that won’t happen now since Gallardo tore his anterior cruciate ligament after coming down awkwardly from a jump last week at Wrigley Field.


So the Brewers had to dip back into the starting pitching well, retrieving Dave Bush, who was sent down to Class AAA Nashville, where he made one start before being recalled to the Brewers and making a relief appearance Saturday.


But no one is mistaking Bush for Gallardo.


And his fourth loss of the season—6-2 to the Florida Marlins on Wednesday night at Dolphin Stadium—cemented that.


The loss was the fifth in a row for Milwaukee (16-17), dropping the Brewers below .500 for the first time this season.


Bush (0-4, 6.98) pitched six innings and allowed six runs on six hits, two walks and two home runs, although replays showed he allowed three. His control, an issue when he was sent down to the minors, was good, but his results again were not.


“It’s frustrating,” Bush said. “It’s always frustrating. You always like to see results in your favor. It’s a frustrating game, and success is what gets rid of that.”


Bush ran into problems in the third inning after hitting Mike Rabelo with a pitch to start things. He later gave up a bloop double to Jeremy Hermida, then, after a walk, allowed a missile to Mike Jacobs.


The ball carried over the center-field fence and hit a rail, sending it back onto the field. The umpires did not see that the ball went over the fence and gave Jacobs a double. But replays showed the ball was gone.


“But I’m more disappointed with the runs I gave up in the sixth after we scored some runs to get it close,” Bush said.


That’s because in the sixth, Rickie Weeks hit a two-run bomb that cut the Marlins’ lead to 3-2 and break a 22-inning scoreless streak by Milwaukee. But Bush gave the runs right back, plus one, in the bottom half of the inning.


He walked Hanley Ramirez to start and gave up a 2-0, two-run homer to Jorge Cantu. Bush was trying to throw a sinker and get a double-play ball, but it caught a good chunk of the plate and Cantu powered it into left-center field.


The next batter, Dan Uggla, smacked a 3-2 slider that didn’t get far enough inside into the empty left-field seats.


“A couple of mistakes that ended up hurting him,” manager Ned Yost said. “He just can’t get away with a mistake right now.


“It just seems like when things are going right for you, you make a (bad) pitch and they’ll foul it off or pop it up, slam their bat down and they’re out. But when things aren’t going good, you get away with no mistakes.”


The other dugout has seemed to be getting away with the same kinds of mistakes more and more lately as the Brewer hitters are the ones slamming their bats down.


The offensive starvation continued as the Brewers found just five hits—one of them was originally ruled an error and changed two innings later—against Burke Badenhop, who recorded his first career victory by throwing 5 2/3 innings and striking out seven.


Corey Hart hit a gapper in the second inning, but center fielder Alfredo Amezaga tracked it down in left-center field and made a falling catch to save a possible triple. In the seventh, Weeks hit a line drive to straightaway center, but Amezaga again went back and caught it as he fell to the warning track.


“Right now that’s the way it’s going,” Hart said. “We’re still upbeat and positive, but those breaks aren’t falling for us, and it makes for kind of a gloomy day.”


The clubhouse was dead silent after the game, except for the rustling of things being put away or people moving around. This, a day after Ryan Braun, normally not one to get animated, expressed his frustration by saying the team is running out of excuses for its lack of production.


But those instances are normal when a team, expecting to be a contender, struggles for an extended period.


“The clubhouse is fine,” Bush said. “But whenever you don’t have success, there’s a bit of pressure that builds up. I would say that’s ordinary. I wouldn’t say it’s anything really out of the ordinary or to be concerned about.”



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