By Drew Olson Special to Published Aug 08, 2006 at 11:57 PM
Notes, quotes and anecdotes from the Brewers' 6-3 loss to Chicago Tuesday night at Miller Park:

• It looks like Milwaukee second baseman Rickie Weeks may be done for the 2006. Weeks, who is suffering from a loose tendon in his right wrist, met with team doctor William Raasch before the game and it seems that surgery is inevitable. A decision could come this week.

"We were hoping that as it dies down, although we expected it to still pop now and then, it would be less uncomfortable," Raasch said. "Unfortunately, he's struggling right now with that discomfort and surgery is becoming more and more of an option for him."

Weeks has a high pain threshold, but the injury -- which took place as he waggled a bat while sitting on the bench -- has prevented him from being able to swing.

• The worst part about being a starting pitcher is having to wait four days for a chance at redemption after a bad outing. At the start of the waiting period, you have to relive the outing for the media. Tomo Ohka, who gave up five runs and five straight hits in the first inning, often has to relive his bad outings in two languages -- Japanese and English.

• Brewers third baseman Corey Koskie, out since July 5 with post-traumatic concussion syndrome, traveled Tuesday to Pennsylvania, where he was examined by Micky Collins, a nationally-renowned sports concussion clinician and researcher from the University of Pittsburgh. Koskie is still foggy and is probably at least three weeks away from being cleared for baseball activities.

"The brain is one of those organs that takes a long time to heal," Raasch said.

Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash said that the Brewers' would like to see Koskie return this season, if at all possible, "so you have some idea what you have going into the offseason. If he can't play at all this year, it just creates a larger question."

• The Brewers face a big question with right-hander Ben Sheets, who left a start against St. Louis with a strained pectoral muscle. Sheets threw on flat ground at a distance of 60 ft. before the game. Though he felt fine afterward, his availability for Saturday in Atlanta will hinge on how he feels Wednesday and Thursday.

"I need time," he said. "I don't know if it's two days or three days. I don't know what I need."

If Sheets can't pitch, the Brewers will put him on the disabled list (backdated to Aug. 5), summon a pitcher from the minors and use Rick Helling and/or Geremi Gonzalez to get through the Saturday game.

"From a baseball perspective, we can afford to wait right until Saturday (to make a decision)," Ash said.

• The Brewers (52-60) are eight games below .500 for the first time this season. In the 10 games since the Brewers traded Carlos Lee to Texas, their offense has scored 30 runs. You don't need an advanced degree in math to know that's three runs a game, and colleague Adam McCalvy of points out that is significantly lower than the 4.7 they averaged in 102 games before the Lee trade.

• With the Brewers' offense stuck in neutral for the past several weeks, you're going to hear charges that the team is flat, listless or has "quit." Appearances aside, those charges are almost always off-base.

Modern players simply don't "give away" at-bats. (They're too selfish for that!)

Outward displays of frustration can make fans feel better, but they also can be counterproductive. Case in point: with one out and a runner on first in the bottom of the eighth inning, plate umpire Larry Poncino rang up David Bell on a 3-2 pitch that appeared to be several inches outside. Bell could have ranted, raved and spiked his helmet. But, he knew that the Brewers' bench was short and such a move probably would have resulted in Corey Hart playing third base and Mike Rivera playing the outfield in the top of the ninth. Bell certainly didn't like the call, but he showed restraint. There is a time and a place for rage, and it's generally not in the eighth inning.

• In what has been a depressing month for the Brewers, there was some much-needed levity in the dining room before the game. Clubhouse attendants Alex Sanchez and Jason Shawger bought a fake rat at a gift shop and put it in one of the covered steam trays in the buffet line. Several players and coaches lifted the tray and were startled to see the fake rat. Some of them dropped the tray, others practically sprinted out of the room. "They got everybody with that," Sheets said.

There were no rodents in the post-game spread, but there were cream puffs from the Wisconsin State Fair. "Do you believe I've never had one?" Sheets said, adding that he might take his son, Seaver, to the fair on Wednesday morning.

• From the "things you never thought you'd see" department: Brewers manager Ned Yost used Brady Clark as a pinch-hitter for Geoff Jenkins in the eighth. Jenkins, whose downward spiral is getting deeper, has struggled so badly that Yost made the move. Cubs manager Dusty Baker replaced Scott Eyre with Bobby Howry, who struck out Clark and Bell (see above) before getting Damian Miller on a groundout.

• As the pace of play dragged in the final three innings, we couldn't decide whether Baker is trying to catch Cardinals manager Tony La Russa in the situational pitching change standings or he's trying to convince his bosses that he deserves to keep his job.

• The Brewers have won 32 of 56 home games this season. They trailed at some point in all but seven of those 32 victories.

• Milwaukee has played 10 consecutive games without committing an error. That's the longest streak since 1983 (Aug. 8-17) and is one shy of the club record for consecutive errorless games, 11, which was set from July 20 to 29, 1979.

• Look for reliever Jose Capellan to return to the Brewers' roster this week. Capellan, who has been on the disabled list with a strained right shoulder, threw a hitless, scoreless inning for Class AA Huntsville Monday night at Mobile and struck out two batters.

• Brewers reliever Matt Wise worked a three-up, three-down ninth inning and mixed in a few curveballs, a pitch he'd abandoned in the past. "Why not try it?" Wise asked.

• Though he's been out since July 25, Weeks still leads the National League in hit by pitch with 19. Aaron Rowand of the Phillies is second with 15.

• The Cubs are 32-25 within the Central Division. The Brewers are 25-30.

Don Carson, proprietor of the popular spring training hangout "Don and Charlie's" in Scottsdale, Ariz., attended the game as a guest of his close friend, Bob Uecker.

Bill Hall hit his 25th homer on Tuesday. He's hit 17 as a shortstop, five as a third baseman and three as an outfielder. Interestingly, only two third baseman in Brewers franchise history have hit 20 or more homers in a season -- Tommy Harper and Wes Helms.

• The crowd of 36,200 included a number of boisterous Cubs fans who would have clammed up in a hurry had Hart's bases-loaded drive to right traveled another 15 ft. in the sixth inning.
Drew Olson Special to

Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.