PHOENIX -- The benches briefly cleared during the Dodgers-Brewers Spring Training game Tuesday after Milwaukee third baseman Casey McGehee struck out with the bases loaded to end the sixth inning.Los Angeles reliever Roman Colon pumped his fist after recording the rally-killing strikeout and McGehee yelled in his direction. Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder, who has some history with the Dodgers bullpen, joined the conversation and had to be restrained. Afterwards, McGehee and Colon met outside the visitors clubhouse, where they patched things up. "To me, it's not a big deal," McGehee said. "He got excited, I got excited. He told me where he was coming from and I told him where I was coming from. "There's a lot more important stuff to get [ticked] off about than a Spring Training game." Colon agreed. "Things happen in the game," he said. "We talked, and he understands. Bases loaded, I'm trying to make the team. We played together in the Minors in 2008, when I was with Kansas City. He saw the way I pitched. I respect the game." The whole scene took Dodgers manager Don Mattingly by surprise. "They were a little fired up. I don't know if I've ever seen the benches clear in a Spring Training game. I didn't expect to see everyone run out. "I thought it'd just be between Colon and Casey." Nevertheless, Mattingly understood. "Colon was just excited to show what he can do, coming back from 2-and-0. I can understand both sides." Brewers manager Ron Roenicke didn't mind seeing tempers flare. "I like it," Roenicke said. "I like that guys, whether it's Spring Training or a regular season game, it means a lot to them. That's what I'm trying to get them to understand, that whenever we go on the field and play a game, I want you guys going all-out." In the end, no punches were thrown and the sides returned to their respective dugouts. The Dodgers were leading, 7-1, in the first spring meeting between the teams. The situation was far more serious in August 2009, when a screaming-mad Fielder tried to charge into the home clubhouse at Dodgers Stadium to confront reliever Guillermo Mota. A group of his teammates had to restrain Fielder outside the clubhouse door.
With Greinke out, Gallardo for opener?
PHOENIX -- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke raved about right-hander Yovani Gallardo on Tuesday morning, while bad news loomed over Roenicke's other star pitcher.The club revealed later in the day that Zack Greinke would miss Opening Day with a cracked rib that he suffered playing pick-up basketball, making Gallardo a strong candidate to start his second consecutive season-opener for Milwaukee. Roenicke declined to make his plan public, but he did speak at length a few hours earlier about Gallardo's dominating performance against the Reds on Monday in Goodyear, Ariz. Gallardo breezed through three scoreless innings, with two hits and five strikeouts in his second Cactus League start. "I'm serious, that's as good as I've seen in Spring Training, ever," Roenicke said. "You saw how close our dugout was, and I'm watching his stuff going in there going, 'You've got to be kidding me.' It looked like it was 95 [mph] dotted everywhere he wanted. "I knew this guy was good, I knew that coming in. But until you see it, you don't really understand. This guy is really good. This year and the future, he's got a chance to win 20 every time." The conditions did not exactly favor the pitchers on Monday. Brewers hitters piled up 15 runs on 25 hits, with a fierce wind blowing straight out to right field. Unlike the established pitchers who "work on things" during the early part of March and focus on fastball command, Gallardo likes to pitch from the start. So he threw his full assortment of pitches against the Reds, even though he'll likely face them again in the season-opening series. That outing could come as early as March 31, Opening Day. "I try to pitch the way I do during the season, with pitch sequences and location," Gallardo said. "My first start, my command was a little off. [On Monday], it was much better."
Hart sets birthday as key date in rehab
PHOENIX -- Brewers right fielder Corey Hart turns 29 on March 24, and views it as an important date on his way back from a rib-cage strain in time for the team's March 31 season opener in Cincinnati."I told my wife, if I can get on the field by then, I'll be on the field Opening Day," a frustrated Hart said Tuesday. "If not, I'll be worried. I never imagined it would take this long." Hart felt a muscle along his left side "grab" on Feb. 26 during an outfield drill. He tried taking fly balls on Saturday but felt it again, and has been limited to training room treatment in the days since. He was to be examined by a team doctor again on Tuesday. "It's just not getting better," he said. "Every time I try to do something, it feels like I get stabbed."