10/01/12 8:24 PM ET
Despite elimination, Crew sets good tone for '13
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
Braun focused on Brewers' record, not RBI chase
MILWAUKEE -- The National League's RBI crown will probably be decided this week at hitter-friendly Miller Park, where Chase Headley's Padres and Ryan Braun's Brewers began a three-game series Monday night.Headley entered the week with the edge over Braun, 113 to 112. The Cubs' Alfonso Soriano was third in the NL entering Monday with 108 RBIs, followed by the Giants' Hunter Pence at 104 and the Brewers' Aramis Ramirez at 103. Braun said he was planning to play all three remaining games, but not because of the RBIs chase. "First and foremost is winning the game tonight and getting a winning record," he said Monday afternoon, with the Brewers sitting at 81 victories. "From where we were, that means something." Braun and Headley both figure to get some votes in NL MVP balloting. Braun entered the final series leading the league with 41 home runs, 352 total bases and a .600 slugging percentage, and was second with 188 hits and third with 105 runs scored. Headley was tied for seventh with 31 home runs, an amazing feat, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said, considering he plays home games at spacious Petco Park. "To have that [production] in San Diego, that's pretty amazing," Roenicke said. "He needs to be talked about a lot more than he has been. To have that kind of year in that place? Phenomenal."
Yovani Gallardo remains slated to start Wednesday's season finale, though that could change if Gallardo decides he's had enough. He topped 200 innings and 200 strikeouts in his last start for the fourth straight season."It's all about him. We brought him in today and talked to him about it, and it's what's best for him," Roenicke said. "If there's goals he wants to get to, if he wants the chance to win 17 games again ... then he's going to pitch. So we put that in his head. We're going to talk again a little bit [Tuesday] and see where we are." If Gallardo opts out, the Brewers would pitch a series of relievers. Roenicke and his wife, Karen, will once again drive home to Southern California after the season finale. They made the same trip last year over three full days. One of the most vital Brewers staffers who almost never makes the news was promoted on Monday. Dan Larrea, whose tenure with the team goes back to 1996, was promoted to senior director of team travel.