MILWAUKEE -- It turns out that left-hander Chris Narveson is not the only Brewers starter with Wisconsin family ties.Brothers Art and Bill Greinke, who said they are second cousins of Zack's dad, Don, attended Sunday's series finale against the Pirates with family and friends. Art is from nearby Waukesha, Wis., and Bill is from Sheboygan, Wis. "We are obviously very proud to see our family name displayed all over the papers, TV/radio and the stadium," Art Greinke wrote in an e-mail to the team. "It's really something else." Zack Greinke made his second home start on Sunday. He debuted at Miller Park on Monday in a win over the Padres, and is under contract through the end of 2012. Narveson, by the way, has ties to the state through his father, Bruce, who is originally from Twin Lakes, Wis. and was a good athlete for Dodgeville High School. He married Chris' mom, Sally, who hailed from Wauwatosa, Wis., a suburb of Milwaukee next to Miller Park. Some of the Narvesons' extended family still lives there. "When I signed with the Brewers, my mom's side of the family was pretty fired up," Chris said last year.
Military Appreciation Day special for Schroeder
MILWAUKEE -- Brewers television analyst Bill Schroeder had a very personal reason to celebrate Military Appreciation Day at Miller Park on Sunday.His son, Billy, passed on a chance to sign with the Brewers after they drafted him in 2010 and instead enlisted in the U.S. Army. He's serving in Afghanistan's Kandahar Valley and spoke to his dad via telephone Sunday morning. "This is a special day, and I hope the Brewers continue to do this year after year," the elder Schroeder said. "You talk about heroes in sports, but these are the real heroes, the guys we're going to see at the ballpark today." About 15,000 members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families were in attendance Sunday, when Zack Greinke and the Brewers finished their series against the Pirates. Lt. Col. Robert Cody led a mass induction ceremony of Army recruits on the field prior to the game, Capt. Steven Bethke of the U.S. Navy threw the ceremonial first pitch and MU-3 Michelle Werner of the U.S. Navy sang the national anthem. Both teams wore camouflage-billed caps, and Schroeder got into the spirit in the television booth with a camouflage necktie made from the same material that his son is wearing in Afghanistan. "I appreciate the thanks from the USO and Brewers," said Maj. Scott Becker of the U.S. Army Reserves. "We give up a lot, and this is a way for the community to say thank you, and to thank our families for their support of us." The Brewers are honoring military personnel at each 2011 Sunday home game. Active and retired troops from all branches of the military can present their ID for two free terrace-level seats on Sunday game days, subject to ticket availability. A few Sundays at the ballpark represent a small gesture in the big picture, said Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy. He was the only Brewers position player who found time to visit Walter Reed Army Medical Center when the Brewers visited Washington D.C. last month. Schroeder and Brewers radio voice Bob Uecker lead that visit each season. "It was unbelievable for me. It was my first time going there," Lucroy said. "It was important for me, personally, to go and show how thankful that I am and my family is for their sacrifice. We're able to play this game and live the lives that we do because of them. I want them to know that we're behind them 100 percent."
Brewers sticking by Gomez and Betancourt
MILWAUKEE -- Center fielder Carlos Gomez and shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt were back in the Brewers' lineup on Sunday, and manager Ron Roenicke said he had no plans to stop using either player on a regular basis despite the trouble they've had getting on base.Gomez was hitting .241 with a .295 on-base percentage, but Roenicke pointed out that his OBP for May was .342, best among Brewers' regulars through 13 games in the month. Betancourt entered Sunday's game hitting 5-for-37 in May with no walks, giving him a .135 average and a .128 OBP for the month. For the season, Betancourt was batting .225 with a .250 OBP. "He always has [had a low on-base mark]," Roenicke said. "He's a swinger. He's not going to hit .230. What happens with him is he'll hit .270, .280 and his on-base is going to be [in the] low .300s." Can't Brewers coaches ask Betancourt to try taking some pitches? "They have before, and he gets defensive and his at-bats aren't as good," Roenicke said. "That was the problem in Seattle; they approached him that way. Last year [in Kansas City], they didn't and he had a very good offensive year. They let him be himself." Roenicke preached patience with Betancourt. "He's a pretty good offensive player," the manager said. "He's gonna hit. Give it some time."