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07/10/08 3:16 PM ET
Brewers stick with struggling Mota
Veteran reliever working to correct mechanical flaws
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
MILWAUKEE -- Guillermo Mota isn't going anywhere. Brewers manager Ned Yost was emphatic in his support of the right-handed reliever on Thursday, a day after Mota surrendered four runs in the eighth inning and turned a 4-3 nail-biter against the Rockies into an 8-3 loss. Mota has a 12.19 ERA over his last 12 appearances (14 earned runs in 10 1/3 innings), and his ERA for the season ballooned to 5.82. He has not strung together more than two consecutive scoreless appearances since blanking opponents for six straight games from April 27-May 12. "We're going to keep working with him, make him better," Yost said. "We know what he's doing wrong. He needs to stay taller on the back side, get more downhill action on [pitches]. ... We're not just going to bail on him." Mota stayed late Wednesday night to look at video along with pitching coach Mike Maddux, bullpen coach Bill Castro and fellow reliever Eric Gagne, a former Dodgers teammate. They apparently went to the video room immediately after the game, because Gagne was still in his full uniform at 11 p.m. CT -- nearly two hours later -- when he peeked his head out of the Brewers clubhouse and saw reporters heading home. "I think [Mota] is to a point now where he's searching a little bit," Yost said. He needs to make what Yost called a simple correction to prevent Mota from "collapsing on his back side." It's causing his pitches to stay flat, instead of crossing the plate with strong, downward action. Yost said he would still be willing to use Mota in the Brewers' remaining games before the All-Star break but would look for low-pressure situations. The skipper refused to pin any of the Brewers' losses this season on Mota, and refuted the notion that the boos at Miller Park will affect Mota, who got similar treatment from Mets fans last season in New York. Gagne and David Riske, both of whom spent parts of May and June on the disabled list, will elevate to more prominent roles in the late innings. Either could appear in place of Mota in the eighth inning, which has been a quagmire this season for the Brewers. Entering Thursday's game, they had been outscored in that frame, 42-21. "He hasn't lost any games," Yost said of Mota. "This is a team game, and you get me to admit that one guy lost a game for us? That's not the way it works."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.