Brews win first in H-Town, 5-4
Ned Yost gambled in Houston Friday night...and it paid off. Few of us thought that Yost would start Rickie Weeks in the first game since his return to the parent club...and even fewer, I'd imagine, would have guessed that Weeks would hit leadoff. But Yost must have seen or heard something he liked, and Weeks drew a walk in the top of the 11th, and then scored the winning run on Corey Hart's triple, to give the Brewers the 5-4 win. It was Weeks' 2nd run of the game...and his 4th base on balls. In the postgame interview, Weeks seemed comfortable with the realization that his swing may not be 100% yet, but that he could and would contribute by being more patient with pitches and getting on base via the free pass. Starter Dave Bush lasted 6 innings, and allowed all 4 Astros' runs (all earned)...important in that the bullpen pitched 5 scoreless innings. Yost went with his A-team relievers, too--Linebrink for the 7th, Turnbow for the 8th and 9th, Chris Spurling for the 10th, and Coco Cordero for the 11th. J.J. Hardy's solo shot in the 3rd and Prince Fielder's solo shot in the 4th put the Crew up 2-1, but Bush faded again, and a 3-run 5th gave Houston a 4-2 lead. But the Crew tied it back up in the 6th, plating Weeks and Corey Hart on a ground-rule double by Billy Hall. Coco Cordero struck out the side in the 11th to notch his 35th save on the year. The Cubs also won, so the Brewers retain a ½ game lead in the NL Central. Jeff Suppan (8-9, 4.84) squares off against Wandy Rodriguez (7-10, 4.50) Saturday night. Suppan has faced the Astros once this season, on June 27, in Miller Park, where Suppan lasted 6.0 innings, while fanning 7 and surrendering 3 ER's in a no-decision; Rodriguez allowed 6 ER in 6 IP on April 21 at Miller Park in a loss (also fanning 7), and losing again at Miller Park on June 26, also giving up 6 ER in just 5 IP that night, while fanning 5 and walking 4. Yost will likely want to rest Turnbow tonight and is no doubt hoping for at least 7 innings out of Suppan; I would imagine Shouse and Parra are in line for early relief, while Yost would love to use Linebrink in the 8th if the Crew has a lead...another extra-inning game on a Saturday night before a Sunday day game would test the bullpens; the Astros used 6 relievers Friday night, so Phil Garner is likely even more worried about how long Wandy Rodriguez can go.