09/25/10 10:44 PM EST
Crew hopes to give fans win in last home game
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
Milwaukee ranks 11th in attendance this season with an average home attendance of more than 34,000, which is even more impressive considering it's baseball's smallest media market.
It's also notable because the club has been under .500 every day since April 23 and at least five games out of first place every day since May 13.
But even with their struggles, the Brewers are anticipating yet another impressive crowd when they host the Marlins on Sunday in the last home game of the season at Miller Park.
"People would really have to experience this in order to appreciate it," Brewers manager Ken Macha said. "It's a unique place, because all of the people really pay attention to what the Brewers are doing. That's different from any other place I've been."
Macha, who coached in Montreal, Anaheim and Oakland before managing the A's from 2003-06, has plenty of respect for Brewers fans and the passion they possess for the hometown club.
He said he was almost anonymous with fans while managing in Oakland, but even with the Brewers' struggles during Macha's two seasons at the helm, he is so beset by autograph seekers and well-wishers in Milwaukee that he usually goes straight home after games.
But when he did go out with friends after Friday night's game, he said he was immediately approached by fans and last week at church, a parishioner asked for an autograph, right there in the pews.
"The fans I see are all happy to meet you, very encouraging," Macha said. "Like I said, in order to really explain this, you have to experience it. I don't know if I've ever had as good an experience as I've had with the fans here."
Marlins: Mendez looks to keep up strong form
Right-hander Adalberto Mendez, who has been a pleasant surprise with a 1.56 ERA in three outings, gets his fourth career start on Sunday. He was solid in his last outing on Tuesday when he limited the Mets to just one run over seven innings with 55 of his 89 pitches going for strikes.
"That's a great ratio. It gets the hitters aggressive, and hopefully they start swinging at your pitch," catcher Brad Davis said. "All of a sudden, when they start seeing all these strikes, they start expanding the zone a little bit."
Brewers: Capuano assuring quality finish to season
Left-hander Chris Capuano will take the mound in the final game of the season at Miller Park and has pitched well recently. He's delivered three straight quality starts, including his last outing when he allowed two runs over six innings against the Reds on Monday.
"Physically, this was the best I've felt," Capuano said after his last start. "I really felt good out there physically, and got the pitch count up there close to 100. It felt good."
Marlins left-handed reliever Will Ohman is expected to be available for Sunday's game against the Brewers, giving manager Edwin Rodriguez a left-handed option out of the bullpen for the first time since Sept. 12. ... Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who is bothered by a sore left elbow, is not likely to start on Sunday. He has only played once since Sept. 15 and his return this season is still in doubt. ... Right-hander Mark DiFelice, who missed all of 2010 following shoulder surgery, re-signed with the Brewers for 2011.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.