Crew lose third straight, Hall

The Brewers lost the game to the Pirates on Thursday…their third straight. But they may have lost something more important than just one game–the services of centerfielder Billy Hall. Hall sustained a sprained ankle in an attempt to catch Ryan Doumit’s home run shot. No word yet on whether or not Hall will go on the DL, but with the All-Star break coming up anyway and Hall more of a second-half player traditionally, my guess is that they’ll put Hall on the 15-day DL and call up Tony Gwynn, Jr.
As for the game…the Doumit shot gave the Bucs a 1-0 lead in the 2nd, which was followed by another Adam LaRoche 2-run shot as part of a 3-run third…Sheets lasted 6, and fanned 6…but also gave up 8 hits and a walk leading to 5 ER’s; Sheets took the loss, bringing his record to 10-4, with a 3.41 ERA; Tom Gorzelanny earned the win, bringing him to 9-4, 3.10. Gorzelanny is still on of three NL players still in contention for the last All-Star spot, and his win over Sheets and the Brewers today certainly could help him clinch it.
The Brewers’ lead over the Cubs is down to 4 games in the loss column, as the Cubs face the Brewers’ next opponent, Washington, on Thursday evening. The Brewers will send Dave Bush to the mound in D.C. tomorrow; with Jeff Suppan likely going on Saturday, and Chris Capuano on Sunday. Skipper Ned Yost will then have the opportunity to adjust his rotation for the after the break run…he’ll have to wait to see, however, if Sheets throws at all next Tuesday during the All-Star game and for how long…with Braves’ starter John Smoltz now missing the ASG due to a bum shoulder, Sheets likely moves up to third on the depth chart, behind Padres’ ace Jake Peavy and Dodgers’ starter Brad Penny. Yost has to plan on Sheets being used for an inning next Tuesday, meaning both he and Capuano are not likely to be starting next Thursday for the stretch run…my guess is that Jeff Suppan will start the rotation, followed by Sheets, Capuano, and Claudio Vargas. I think Yost will also realize that a 6-man rotation from here out may be making the starters too rested, so he’ll make a definitive decision between Dave Bush and Yovani Gallardo for that last spot…possibly as early as tomorrow.

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