MILWAUKEE -- Mat Gamel is not the only injured Brewer making significant progress this week. Left-hander Chris Narveson, sidelined since April with a season-ending shoulder injury, has begun a throwing program and is hoping to resume mound work before the Brewers break for the winter.
Narveson played catch on Sunday for the fourth time since his May 1 surgery for a torn rotator cuff.
"We're just playing catch right now, just like we're getting ready for a season," Narveson said. "Hopefully, by the end of the season we're just starting to get off a mound."
Narveson is an interesting case for the Brewers. They have Yovani Gallardo locked into next year's rotation, and Mike Fiers has made an extremely strong case. That would leave three starting slots for a slew of candidates led by Marco Estrada, and including prospects Mark Rogers, Wily Peralta and Tyler Thornburg, plus Narveson.
Those are just the internal candidates. Manager Ron Roenicke has made a case for attempting to add one proven veteran pitcher via trade or free agency during the offseason.
Feeling "great," Narveson is simply focused on getting healthy.
"Right now, there is progress," he said. "Playing catch is a big step. It feels normal again, like we're getting ready for the spring, only it's the end of the season."
Pirates' Hurdle says Brewers still dangerous
MILWAUKEE -- The defending National League Central champion Brewers have not been considered contenders since May, but Pirates manager Clint Hurdle has seen firsthand that they are still dangerous.Milwaukee entered Sunday having won 10 of its last 12 games, including four of five games in that stretch against Hurdle's pennant-chasing Pirates. "Toughest thing to do in sports is to repeat, I know that going in," Hurdle said Sunday morning. "They've had a lot of injuries, and some pitching challenges, which never bodes well for a club. They're a very dangerous club right now, very dangerous. Offensively, they can beat you a number of different ways. One of the best dynamics to have offensively is speed and power, and they have that. The speed shows up every day. "They're playing with a lot of pride, playing together. And whether you like it or not, sometimes you get in situations where your best opportunity is to finish strong, and wreck other people's seasons." The Brewers entered Sunday 7 1/2 games out of the NL Wild Card race, having picked up five games and leapfrogging three teams during their 10-2 run. They remain a long shot -- according to CoolStandings.com, Milwaukee has just a 0.6 percent chance of winning a Wild Card spot. "A lot of people counted us out a long time ago, and we keep finding ourselves in the win column," said Corey Hart, who hit a game-winning, walk-off home run Saturday night. "There's still a lot of faith in this clubhouse, and it's exciting to go out there every day and try to prove people wrong."
No steal of home for Brewers' Gomez
MILWAUKEE -- There was some discussion at Miller Park on Saturday night about why Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez was not credited with some Major League history for stealing second base, third and home for the Brewers' first run in the third inning. Instead, Gomez's scamper home was ruled a wild pitch.Longtime official scorer Tim O'Driscoll, who has scored nearly 1,900 games, cited the Major League rulebook for his explanation, saying it was a matter of intent. Gomez did indeed break for home with the pitch, but the batter, Marco Estrada, had showed bunt, indicating the Brewers had called a suicide squeeze. The rule is 10.07, various subsections of which give the scorer leeway to judge whether a runner is "attempting to steal." According to baseball-almanac.com, there have been only 50 instances of a player stealing second, third and home in the same inning, including Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner a record four times apiece. One Brewers player has done it -- Paul Molitor on July 26, 1987 in the first inning against the A's, for one of his 10 career steals of home. Dave Nelson, who handles alumni relations for the Brewers and appears on FS Wisconsin, also accomplished the feat on Aug. 30, 1974 for the Rangers. "The funny thing about it was it was against Cleveland, the team I came up with, and the pitcher was Dick Bosman, my old teammate from Washington," Nelson said. "When I was at third, the [Indians] manager, Ken Aspromonte, came to the top step and tells 'Bos,' 'Check your stretch! Check your stretch!' He says back, 'I'll watch him.' "So Bosman looked at me, and I told Jackie Moore, our third base coach, 'I'm outta here.' Dave Duncan was the catcher, and when I was 1-1, I was outta there. Larry Napp was the umpire, and I've got pictures of him calling me safe and me sliding across the plate and Duncan tagging me when I was already on the plate." Nelson says he stole home eight times in his Major League career. He said he also accomplished the second-to-third-to-home hat trick in the Minor Leagues against Nolan Ryan, in the 10th inning of a game in which Ryan pitched all 10 innings, struck out 21 batters and lost, 2-1, on two steals of home. "It's a lost art," Nelson said.