Why do Brewers' hitters get drilled so often with pitches? And is there anything they can do about it?
That topic continued to be discussed Wednesday. With 57 hit-by-pitches, the Brewers easily lead the National League. Second baseman Rickie Weeks (19) and first baseman Prince Fielder (18) rank Nos. 1 and 2 individually.
On the other side of the coin, Brewers pitchers had hit 36 batters, tied for seventh most in the NL.
There were warnings in each of the first two games of a three-game series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field, both coming after a Cubs pitcher hit a Brewers batter. That put the Brewers in the unwanted position of drawing ejections and possibly suspensions for retaliating.
Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez has not played since being beaned by a pitch Monday night by Chicago's Brian Schlitter.
Milwaukee manager Ken Macha pointed to Rule 8.02d in the baseball rule book, which deals with hit batters. There is a comment written after the rule advising umpires that given "the skill level of most major league pitchers," hitting a batter in the head should be deemed "more likely than not" intentional and result in ejection.
Macha suggested that if umpires followed that instruction routinely, pitchers would stop throwing at batters' heads.
Macha also has implored the league office to take action, but that's the same office that wiped out the entire four-game suspension given to Braves reliever Jonny Venters for drilling Fielder a few weeks back.
Brewers reliever LaTroy Hawkins was ejected Wednesday for nicking Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano with a pitch after surrendering a three-run homer to Geovany Soto. Macha also was ejected for arguing that Hawkins should not have been ejected.
CUBS 15, BREWERS 3: The Brewers managed to turn a winnable game into a debacle in a matter of two innings. Ahead 3-1 entering the bottom of the sixth, the Brewers were behind 15-3 in the bottom of the eighth. Three-run homers by PH Aramis Ramirez in the sixth, Geovany Soto in the seventh and Blake DeWitt in the eighth did most of that damage. LHP Manny Parra, who allowed just two hits through the first five innings, fell apart in a five-run sixth and dropped his fourth consecutive decision.
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