Despite struggles, Crew to keep lineup
Order to remain unchanged though club has hit .115 in NLDS
MILWAUKEE -- His team has seven hits in two postseason games after slumping to a .227 average in September, yet Brewers manager Dale Sveum plans to send out his usual lineup in Game 3 of the National League Division Series on Saturday.
The Phillies are starting a left-hander -- Jamie Moyer -- so, barring a last-minute change of heart, Sveum's lineup will be the same as for Game 1 of the series against Cole Hamels, who limited the Brewers to two hits over eight shutout innings."A lineup change at this point -- will that help?" Sveum said Friday before his team worked out at chilly Miller Park. "It's not like we have three guys swinging really good, three guys medium and three guys really bad. Nobody has got a hot hand right now.
Brewers' tentative Game 2 lineup
"At least when they go to bed tonight, they know where they'll be. That's a comfort in its own way sometimes."Among those particularly cold for the Brewers is unlikely leadoff man Mike Cameron, who is 11-for-57 (.193) with 20 strikeouts since Sveum moved him to that spot in the order, including 0-for-7 in the postseason. Right fielder Corey Hart hit .173 in September and is 1-for-7 (.143) in the postseason. Prince Fielder carried the Brewers for much of September, hitting .316 over the final month, but now he is 0-for-7 in the NLDS. Sveum is committed to the lineup partly because there are few changes screaming to be made, though he did say Friday that he would have played Gabe Kapler in place of Hart if Kapler were not sidelined by a torn muscle behind his right shoulder. With Kapler out, Sveum would have to start Tony Gwynn Jr. in right field, and Gwynn had only nine at-bats in September. If Cameron were dropped from the leadoff spot, the likely replacement would be Ray Durham. "Where you put guys in the lineup right now is irrelevant to what we've got going on," Sveum said. "You're just wishing something will turn around, but I don't think personally that moving somebody in the lineup has got anything to do with it.
BREWERS' ISSUES AT THE PLATE
|Some of the Brewers' pivotal bats have struggled through the first two games of the NLDS against the Phillies.|
|Prince Fielder: 0-for-7, 3 K, 1 BB|
|Mike Cameron: 0-for-7, 3K, 1 BB|
|Corey Hart: 1-for-7, 1 K, 0 BB|
|J.J. Hardy: 1-for-6, 1 R, 1 RBI, 0 K, 2 BB|
|Jason Kendall: 0-for-6, 2 K, 0 BB|
|Bill Hall: 0-for-3, 1 K, 0 BB|
|Rickie Weeks: 0-for-3, 2 K, 0 BB|
"I played a long time," Sveum added. "If I were struggling, moving me somewhere else didn't make me a better hitter. That's never made sense that way."As a team, the Brewers are 7-for-61 in the series (.115). Left fielder Ryan Braun (3-for-8, .375) is the only player with more than one hit in the two games. Players are baffled by the team's sudden slump. Braun said he's never seen one that affected so many players in one lineup, but he was not ready to push the panic button. "Normally you have at least two or three guys swinging the bats and the rest of the guys are struggling," Braun said. "When everybody is struggling, everybody tries harder to pick the rest of the guys up, and that's when it gets even worse. "We have to keep things in perspective. It's two games. Look over there [at the Phillies] and Ryan Howard hasn't put a single ball in play in the series. I don't care who you are, in this game you are going to experience failure. This game is so difficult that you can't decide that just because it's a postseason series, you're going to get two hits every day."
Said shortstop J.J. Hardy, who is 1-for-6 in the series: "It's not like we can go in the batting cage and work harder."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.