07/19/2004 7:35 PM ET
Notes: Gold Glove for Jenkins?
Left fielder's game-saving play has people talking
By Jeff Wallner / Special to MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- It's a well-known fact among pitchers that Geoff Jenkins is a dangerous hitter with power. One aspect of Jenkins' game that is often overlooked is his defense. Brewers manager Ned Yost believes that is about to change.
|Geoff Jenkins last made an error in the field on June 4, 2002. (Jeff Roberson/AP)
"I think he's starting to get more recognition as a Gold Glove-caliber outfielder," Yost said.
Jenkins leads all NL left fielders with a 1.000 fielding percentage. He has not made an error since June 4, 2002 -- a span of 222 games and 408 total chances. Jenkins is also tied with the Reds' Adam Dunn and the Phillies' Bobby Abreu with eight outfield assists. Jenkins has 66 outfield assists in his career.
"I think he's one of the best defensive left fielders in baseball, if not the best," said Yost. "I can't think of anyone who is better than he is."
Jenkins made the play of the game on Sunday at Wrigley Field. He snared a drive off the bat of Chicago's Aramis Ramirez and then delivered a laser-beam throw to Lyle Overbay to double-up Moises Alou at first base.
"Those kinds of plays can turn the momentum of a game," Jenkins said. "That was a key to the game."
The Brewers held on for a 4-2 win to split a four-game series with the second-place Cubs.
"[Jenkins' play] was big for us," Yost said. "You want to try to win as many as you can. Three out of four would have been nice, but since the best we could do was a split, that's a lot better."
Close calls: The Brewers have played 23 one-run games this season, winning 14 of those contests, including four consecutive.
"We have the right make-up," said Yost. "It's a group of scrappers out there. A lot of time, the teams we play have a lot more talent and more depth. Our guys have a knack of playing the game hard, holding the game close and finding ways to win it."
The Brewers last loss a one-run game June 23 at Colorado.
Seeing Red: The Brewers and Reds began a brief two-game series at Great American Ball Park on Monday with the two NL Central rivals deadlocked for third place in the division. The Reds have won five of the nine games played between the two clubs this season, including the last two series.
Yost says he's been impressed with what the Reds have accomplished this season.
"I have respect for everybody in this division," he said. "Dave Miley has done a wonderful job with the Reds. They play hard. They play the game right and they never quit. They're a very, very tough team."
The Reds return to Miller Park for a three-game series Sept. 3-5. The Brewers will make their final visit to Cincinnati for a four-game series to be played Sept. 9-12.
Yost expects both the Brewers and Reds to be a part of the playoff push come September.
"Every team in our division is tough," he said. "I think the Reds are as tough as anybody."
Bennett is back: Despite Gary Bennett's recent struggles at the plate, Yost kept him behind the plate for Ben Hendrickson's second big-league start on Monday. Bennett was the starting catcher for Hendrickson's Major League debut on June 2 at Los Angeles.
While he is batting just .177 in 40 games this season, Bennett has swung the bat well at Great American Ball Park, hitting .286 with a double, a run scored and one RBI in two games this season.
Bennett was not in the lineup for Sunday's game in Chicago.
Road warriors: The schedule-makers were not kind this week to the Brewers, who are in the midst of a four-city, 11-day tour. Their first seven games had a different starting time and their brief stay in Cincinnati has them playing a night game on Monday followed by a rare Tuesday day game at Great American Ball Park.
The Brewers leave Cincinnati on Tuesday night for St. Louis, where they play another two-game set before embarking for Houston. The Brewers' next scheduled off-day is Aug. 2.
"You do have time to unpack the bag, but it's only for one day," Yost said. "You have to unpack it and pack it back up. It's a pain in the [rear end]."
Jeff Wallner is a contributor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.