04/08/12 6:30 PM ET
Wrigley reception likely negative for Crew duo
By Adam McCalvy and Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
Easter Sunday has special meaning for Sveum
CHICAGO -- On Sunday, some of the Cubs players' children were looking for Easter eggs in the outfield grass. For Cubs manager Dale Sveum, Easter Sunday has a special meaning.
Twenty-five years ago on Easter Sunday, Sveum hit a walk-off homer at County Stadium to give the Brewers a 6-4 win over Rangers for their 12th straight win to start the season. That was on April 19, 1987, so technically, the official anniversary will be in 11 days.
"I actually forgot all about it until I got a few texts from the clubbies in Milwaukee reminding me," Sveum said Sunday.
In past years, the Brewers have included Sveum's homer, which he hit off Greg Harris, as part of Easter Sunday video highlights shown pregame at Miller Park. By the way, Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio pitched 1 1/3 innings in relief in that game, played at County Stadium in front of 29,357.
The Brewers trailed 4-1 going into the ninth inning 25 years ago. Milwaukee had two on and one out when Rob Deer hit a three-run homer to tie the game. One out later, Jim Gantner walked and Sveum then connected on the walk-off blast.
Sveum has fond memories of old County Stadium.
"There were a lot of good times," he said. "That's where you grow up as a player. That's the one thing you remember, is the good times. That's the one place I got to play every day, too. Wherever you come up in the big leagues, that will always be a special place, even though there were some pretty cold days, like we know here [at Wrigley Field]. It was the same thing at County Stadium, with the wind blowing off the lake."
Brewers confident in back end of bullpen
MILWAUKEE -- Brewers starter Zack Greinke was sensational over seven scoreless innings on Saturday, and wondered aloud whether it might he difficult this season to pitch much deeper into games.Greinke was not exactly complaining. "It's almost tough. The late end of our bullpen is so good," Greinke said. "It's hard to get past that seventh inning because you want to bring in Frankie [Rodriguez] and [closer John Axford]." Greinke was out after 91 pitches on Saturday. Rodriguez pitched the eighth inning, and Axford would have had the ninth had the Brewers not extended their lead to 6-0. Newcomer Jose Veras pitched instead. "I understand what he's saying," manager Ron Roenicke said of Greinke, "and our point of view is, if we get past the seventh inning, we feel very good about winning that ballgame, with Frankie coming in and then 'Ax'. "But I would say, if we were into the middle of the season, we would have let Zack go another inning, and then we would have seen what happened that inning to see if he goes farther. I think he'll have his chances." Roenicke, though, will err on the side of pitch-count caution as long as his bullpen stays solid. He pointed to Yovani Gallardo's 111-pitch, complete-game effort in his second 2011 start, which was followed by a five-game stretch in which opponents hit .389 against the right-hander. Was the slump directly attributable to that one deep outing? It's unclear. "But I want these guys strong for September and October," Roenicke said. "With our bullpen, I don't know why we would push a guy."
Many fans noticed that Francisco Rodriguez pitched the eighth inning on Saturday without his trademark goggles. He explained that his prescription seems to have changed from last season, and Rodriguez is pitching in contact lenses until his new goggles arrive."It's temporary," he said. Monday's series opener at Wrigley Field was moved one hour earlier, to 6:05 p.m. CT, to accommodate an ESPN broadcast. Tuesday's game is still scheduled for 7:05 p.m., and Wednesday and Thursday are both 1:20 p.m. games.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter@CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.