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3/16 Game Thread: Brewers at Angels

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It's Claudio Vargas pitching for the Brewers as the Crew tries to sweep this crucial two-game set with the Angels. It'd be even better if Vargas matched Suppan's five no-hit innings from yesterday.

The coolest news of the day, though, is that the Brewers invited Joe Thatcher to major league camp. Apparently that almost never happens--basically promoting a guy midway through spring training--but Thatcher got the call. He's been old for his level throughout his minor league career, but he's been dominant too. He probably isn't going to make the team, and I'd be surprised if Yost & Co. were even really thinking in that direction, but it's still a nice (and well-deserved) opportunity.

What I don't get, though, is the idea that the callup "sent a message" to the other players:

Thursday's combined two-hitter against the Angels was a sign that players may have got the message. Jose Capellan (6.75 ERA entering play Thursday) and Matt Wise (15.43 ERA) finally turned in spotless innings in the 6-1 win.
In fairness, everybody on the Brewers staff denied that they were sending a message to anybody, but this always seems so silly. Do people really think that Wise and Capellan just had to try harder and they would be successful? That they didn't really care until a single-A reliever got a promotion? Maybe I'm the one that doesn't get it, but it seems very odd to me.

Go Brewers!

Update [2007-3-16 16:50:48 by Jeff]: Claudio Vargas pitched six full innings! I don't know what his pitch count was, but he must not have gotten very high. Two runs on a handful of hits, but a really, really great outing from our #5 starter against a lineup of mostly major league regulars.