A few things for today
The Milwaukee Brewers family suffered a loss yesterday.
Gary Vanden Berg spent his career watching grass grow.
The specifics were actually much more involved, because Vanden Berg was responsible for the grass at Miller Park – and earlier at County Stadium.
He began as head groundskeeper in 1989, after the sudden death of his predecessor, Harry “Pops” Gill. Vanden Berg was working as a golf course superintendent in 1981 when Gill plucked him from obscurity and brought him into the major leagues.
He realized that his job was about a lot more than just grass. It was about baseball.
“You’d think you’d get tired of it,” he said in a 2008 interview, “but I never get tired of watching baseball.”
Vanden Berg died of cancer Monday. He was 59.
“Gary was one of the most loved individuals in this organization, and this is a tremendous loss for everyone connected to the Milwaukee Brewers,” Brewers owner Mark Attanasio said in a statement Tuesday.
“Gary was one of the most dedicated and positive persons that we will ever know,” he said. “We were fortunate to have Gary as a member of the Brewers family, and we all feel a tremendous sense of sadness today.“
You will see a “GV” patch on Brewers uniforms for the rest of this postseason. That would be for Gary Vanden Berg.
The postseason continues tonight with Game Three of the NLCS against the Cardinals. Yovani Gallardo gets the start for Milwaukee.
Gallardo does enter this matchup with the confidence he has gathered while going 3-1 with a 2.01 ERA in his past six starts, including the two NLDS outings. The streak began immediately after he allowed the Cards eight earned runs and nine hits in 4 2/3 innings on Sept. 1.
As bad as Gallardo might have been on that night, he had been every bit as dominant when he limited the Cardinals to one hit over eight scoreless innings at Busch Stadium on May 7. The lone hit he surrendered that day was Daniel Descalso’s eighth-inning leadoff single.
Click that link for the tale of the tape between Gallardo and Chris Carpenter, tonight’s starter for St. Louis.
Former Rattlers in action yesterday:
ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE:
Tyler Thornburg (’11): 2IP, H, 0R, BB, 2K, WIN
Santo Manzanillo (’10): IP, H, R, 0BB, 0K, HR, SAVE
Adam Moore (’06): 1-for-4
IBAF WORLD CUP:
Kalian Sams (’07): 1-for-3, RUN, HR, 2 RBI
Nick Bucci (’10): 2.2IP, 4H, 2R, ER, 3BB, 3K
Brock Kjeldgaard (’09): 0-for-3, HBP, K