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09/25/08 8:50 PM ET

Bush to start Saturday if Sheets can't

With Brewers co-ace ailing, right-hander could take the ball

MILWAUKEE -- Dave Bush was just like everybody else at Miller Park on Thursday, waiting for word on whether Ben Sheets will be able to pitch.

Bush is the Brewers' very capable Plan B should Sheets be unable to start on Saturday night against the Cubs. Sheets has not pitched since Sept. 17 because of pain in his right elbow, and continued to say Thursday that he was unsure whether he would be a go this weekend.

Acting manager Dale Sveum expects to make that call at some point on Friday.

"It's still up in the air, but right now Bush is scheduled to pitch that game," Sveum said after the Brewers' win on Thursday. "We'll see how Ben is doing [Friday] after his bullpen."

Bush will be ready.

"I understand the situation," Bush said. "The reality of it is that at this time of year, we're going to do whatever we can to win. They are going to put out there on the mound the guy that gives us the best chance to win and whether that means [I pitch] as a starter of out of the bullpen, I'm going to be there.

"There's no ego involved at this point."

Bush is 9-10 this season with a 4.25 ERA, but has been at his best since the All-Star break, going 4-2 with a 4.09 ERA in 12 starts. He is winless in five September starts with a 4.97 ERA and would be working on three days' rest if he pitches Saturday.

He started on short rest against the Cubs on Sept. 18 and surrendered only two hits -- both solo home runs -- in five innings.

"He's got a rubber arm, so he can do it," Sveum said.

Bush is 0-2 with a 7.13 ERA in three starts against the Cubs this season and 1-7 with a 5.05 ERA in 11 career starts against Chicago.

Sheets will have to "impress" Sveum by Friday if he wants to start on Saturday.

"You're going to have to look in his eyes," Sveum said. "A lot of times people are going to say, 'I want to pitch,' because of the nature of athletes, but he's going to have to be really honest with this one. That game is going to mean everything in the world."

Said Sheets: "I don't know, deep down, which way I'm going to go."

Bush will be ready.

"As a team, we've put ourselves in a position to make the playoffs," Bush said. "That means coming in here ready to do whatever you need to do. I'll prepare myself to be ready to go [on Saturday] and then let the coaches make the decisions."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.