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Just when it was looking like we'd never have a spring pitcher's duel and the Brewers were suddenly under .500 in Cactus League play, Dave Bush comes through.

Against the Giants in one of the Crew's two split-squad games, Bush gave up one earned run and struck out three in his five innings of work.  Justin Thompson, Mike Adams, and Jorge de la Rosa combined for four scoreless in relief.  JDLR gave up 2 hits, one walk, and struck out one in two innings for the save.  As Jim Powell said on the broadcast of the other game today, if JDLR can throw strikes, he can be a serious weapon in the late innings, as he showed against Ken Griffey in the WBC.

Against the Giants, Brewers young and old had a field day: Bill Hall doubled and tripled; Carlos Lee went 2-for-2 with a walk; Nelson Cruz singled,  doubled, and walked; Mike Rivera doubled and hit a three-run jack; even Ryan Braun got a single in two ABs.  The only thing that could've made it better would've been teeing off on former Brewer Matt Kinney, who pitched the last two innings for the Giants.

Make that 10-9 ...not content to sit at .500, the other half of the Brewers beat the White Sox, 8-7, in a minor-league nailbiter.  Hometown hero Vinny Rottino came through with a double in the bottom of the ninth to drive home pinch-runner Darren Ford to win the game.  Against a variety of minor leaguers and bubble guys, the Brewers managed eight walks.  Not that our pitching was so much better: Hendrickson struggled again, and neither Kolb nor Wise was completely on top of his game.

Nothing too surprising at the plate.  Plenty of Brewers were content to walk to first: Brady, Jenkins, and Hart each BB'd twice.  Callix Crabbe hit a near-dinger for a triple, and Jim used the word "scorched" to describe Rottino's double.  Adam Heether hit the single to lead off the ninth and set up Rottino's RBI.  

Everybody has the day off tomorrow so that all of baseball can focus on Japan-Cuba.  That's particularly important, because I have to prepare for the Al's Ramblings fantasy draft.  I plan on demolishing the competition, of course, but I promise not to report on all 400 draft picks.  Unless, uh, you want me to.

Update [2006-3-19 22:42:24 by Jeff]: Ned comments on JDLR:

"I was very impressed with Jorge today. ...I think pitching in the World Baseball Classic may have given him a bit of a boost. Really, I've always thought it's just a matter of time until Jorgie turns the corner. With his stuff, he's got a chance to be a pretty good reliever. Some of those guys develop a little late. He pitched well in the WBC and he kept it going today. I was proud of him."