HOUSTON -- A younger Corey Hart suffered broken fingers, hands, wrists, ankles and a collarbone. After he was struck in the left hand by a wayward pitch on Saturday night, Hart had a sinking feeling that he had suffered another bad break.Instead, X-rays yielded good news. They were negative, meaning Hart's hand is bruised but not broken, and he is day to day instead of sidelined for several weeks. The news came as a relief to Hart and to the Brewers, who are already playing without starting second baseman Rickie Weeks (left ankle) and backup center fielder Carlos Gomez (collarbone). "I've broken stuff before, and it had that feeling," Hart said. "It didn't feel good to move it at all. I was just hoping. We already have Rickie down, and it's nice that this will only be a day or two instead of longer." Hart still planed to travel home to Arizona on Sunday night to attend an event at his kids' school on Monday, an off-day for the Brewers. He will visit the team's medical facility at Maryvale Baseball Park for treatment, then will travel early Tuesday to St. Louis, where Brewers head athletic trainer Roger Caplinger will determine Hart's availability for the opening game of another key series against the Cardinals. Hart said he hopes to play. The key will be whether he can grip a bat. "It's swollen up today and he's still sore," manager Ron Roenicke said. Hart has handled much worse. He ran through his list of childhood injuries -- a broken ankle playing basketball, and a broken hand playing high school football. He broke a collarbone trying to ride down a hill while standing on a sled. He's broken a wrist three times -- on falls off a bike, a pair of Rollerblades and a homemade skateboard. "I was a train wreck when I was a kid," Hart joked. "I learned my lesson after a while."
Crew not concerned with Axford's workload
HOUSTON -- John Axford's run of success as the Brewers' closer -- he converted his 29th consecutive save opportunity on Saturday night -- means he is piling up appearances at a near club-record clip.Axford appeared in 54 of the Brewers' first 114 games, putting him on pace for 77 appearances this season, which would tie former closer Derrick Turnbow for the fourth most in Brewers history. Ken Sanders has held the record since he pitched 83 games and led the Majors with 31 saves in 1971. He's followed by left-hander Ray King (82 appearances in 2001) and right-hander Todd Coffey (78 in 2009). Sanders carried a much heavier workload than the current crop of relievers, pitching 136 1/3 innings that season. Axford, for comparison, is on a pace for 75 1/3 innings. "We've watched it," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "That hasn't come up that much. We always check with him to see how he's doing, and I don't see any stuff that is all of a sudden decreasing. He seems to maintain the velocity, maintain the breaking balls." He's also maintaining a very high level of success. After suffering blown saves in two of his first seven appearances, Axford went 29-for-29 in saves over his next 41 games through Saturday, with a 1.72 ERA and a .222 opponents' batting average. The Brewers' previous single-season record for consecutive saves belonged to Doug Jones, who converted 25 chances in 1997. Axford insisted he's less focused on the saves streak than the Brewers' winning streak. "It's nice to have [the streak], I guess it's cool," he said. "Every time you go out there, you don't want to blow a save. Your goal is to get the save and get the win, so each one of those 29 consecutive, 32 saves [overall], those are all wins. That's the most important thing." The Brewers have a clear Plan B should Axford need a break. July pickup Francisco Rodriguez is 24th on Major League Baseball's all-time leaderboard with 291 saves. Even though he's settled into a setup role for the Brewers, Rodriguez still leads the Majors with 277 since 2005.
Both manager Ron Roenicke and third baseman Casey McGehee said McGehee's absence from the lineup Sunday was a simple day off and not injury-related. McGehee was struck in the left leg by a sliding Astros rookie J.B. Shuck on the final play of Saturday's game and limped through the Brewers' celebratory handshakes."It was a weird play," McGehee said. "I'm all right. Something hard on him smoked me pretty good. It's a little sore to the touch, but it doesn't hurt to move around. I'm not even sure if that's the reason I'm not playing today. I think I'm just not playing -- it's not a health issue." "We're trying to get a lot of left-handers in there today against Astros starter Bud Norris," Roenicke explained. Injured second baseman Rickie Weeks is not with the Brewers on their road trip, but he has been receiving daily treatment at Miller Park for his sprained left ankle, assistant general manager Gord Ash said. The Brewers may be able to update Weeks' timetable at the start of the next homestand, when he's scheduled to be re-examined by head team physician William Raasch. The current timetable calls for Weeks to miss two to six weeks. He will pass the two-week mark on Wednesday.