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2009 Milwaukee Brewers season

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Title: 2009 Milwaukee Brewers season  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Miller Park (Milwaukee), Ken Macha, Milwaukee Brewers all-time roster, Casey McGehee, 2009 Cincinnati Reds season, 2009 Chicago Cubs season, 2009 Houston Astros season, 2009 Arizona Diamondbacks season
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

2009 Milwaukee Brewers season

The Milwaukee Brewers' 2009 season was the 40th season for the franchise in Milwaukee and 41st overall. It was Ken Macha's first season as manager of the team. The Brewers failed to improve on their 90–72 record of a year ago and missed the post season, finishing with a losing record of 80–82.[1]

Offseason moves


Starting pitchers CC Sabathia, who was acquired from the Cleveland Indians in a mid-season trade in 2008, and Ben Sheets both rejected arbitration and became free agents following the end of the 2008 season.[2] Numerous teams showed interest in Sabathia, considered one of the best free agent pitchers available after compiling an 11–2 record and an ERA of only 1.62 in 17 starts for the Brewers in 2008.[3] The Brewers made an 5 year, $100 million contract offer to Sabathia, but he elected to sign with the New York Yankees on December 9, receiving a 7 year, $161 million contract that was the largest received by a pitcher at the time.[4] No serious attempt was made to resign Sheets, who had been the Brewers' ace before the acquisition of Sabathia but struggled with numerous injuries throughout his career.[5]

In the bullpen, closer Salomón Torres elected to retire from baseball despite believing that it would have been "a given" that the Brewers would exercise their 2009 contract option on him.[6] After a disappointing 2008 season, former closer Éric Gagné was not offered arbitration. Left-handed specialist Brian Shouse was offered arbitration, but instead chose to sign with the Tampa Bay Rays.[2][7] No attempt was made to resign Guillermo Mota, who eventually signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers.[8]

Needing to acquire at least one starter to fill the hole in the rotation left by Sabathia and Sheets, the Brewers signed free agent Braden Looper, formerly of the St. Louis Cardinals, to a one year, $4.5 million contract for 2009.[9] To replace the retired Torres, the Brewers turned to all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman, who became available after contentious contract negotiations caused the San Diego Padres, Hoffman's home for 16 years, to pull back their 2009 contract offer.[10] Hoffman was signed to a one year, $6 million contract for the Brewers.[11] Relievers Todd Coffey, who was signed to a one-year contract avoiding arbitration after being claimed off waivers in September, and free agent Jorge Julio rounded out the offseason bullpen acquisitions.[8][12]

Position players

Outfielder Gabe Kapler, second baseman Ray Durham, and third baseman Russell Branyan all became free agents following the end of the 2008 season; Kapler and Branyan signed one-year contracts with the Tampa Bay Rays and the Seattle Mariners respectively, while Durham remains unsigned as of May 19, 2009.[13][14][15] Center fielder Mike Cameron's $10 million contract option for 2009 was exercised by the Brewers.[16] Utility infielder Craig Counsell's $3.4 million contract option was declined by the Brewers, making him a free agent, but the team later agreed to terms on a new one-year, $1 million contract in late January.[17]

Coaching staff

Having made the unprecedented move of firing manager Ned Yost with only 12 games remaining in the 2008 season,[18] an early priority for the Brewers was the hiring of a permanent replacement for Yost. Candidates considered included interim manager Dale Sveum, former Oakland Athletics manager Ken Macha, former New York Mets manager Willie Randolph, and broadcaster and former Arizona Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly. On October 30, 2008, the Brewers announced the hiring of Macha, who received a two-year contract to manage the club.[19] In an unusual move, Macha proceeded to hire two of his competitors for his coaching staff, naming Randolph the bench coach and Sveum the hitting coach.[20][21] Although the Brewers offered pitching coach Mike Maddux a new contract, they were unable to match the offer made by the Texas Rangers.[22] Bullpen coach Bill Castro was promoted to pitching coach, while Nashville Sounds pitching coach Stan Kyles was promoted to fill the vacated bullpen coach position.[23][24] Brad Fischer was hired as third base coach to round out Macha's new staff.[25]

Spring training

The Brewers opened spring training camp on February 13, with the first game played on February 25. Home games were played at Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix, Arizona. The Brewers compiled a 22–10–3 record in spring training games, the best record of any National League team and the second-best record (behind the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) in the Cactus League.[26][27]

The 2009 spring training season was affected by the 2009 World Baseball Classic, which was held in March. Six players in the Brewers system played in the Classic and missed time during spring training: left fielder Ryan Braun (Team USA), relief pitcher Mark DiFelice (Team Italy), and minor league players Vinny Rottino (Team Italy), Adam Stern (Team Canada), Brett Lawrie (Team Canada), and David Welch (Team Australia).[28] Additionally, the Brewers played an exhibition game against Team Australia, winning by the score of 10 to 5.[29]

With the lineup and starting rotation largely set, the main position battles entering camp were for spots in the bullpen and on the bench.[30] Ultimately, the available bench spots were claimed by infielder Casey McGehee, who had been claimed off waivers from the Chicago Cubs during the offseason, center fielder Chris Duffy, who was invited to camp as a non-roster invitee, and outfielder Brad Nelson, the Brewers' fourth-round draft pick in 2001.[31] Mike Lamb, who had been expected to make the club before McGehee's strong spring, was released by the team on April 1; he was eventually signed to a minor league deal by the New York Mets.[32] Closer Trevor Hoffman suffered an oblique strain in mid-March and was forced to begin the regular season on the disabled list.[33]

Regular season


The Brewers opened the regular season on the road on April 7 with a loss against the San Francisco Giants; Jeff Suppan made his first Opening Day start for the Brewers and fourth overall.[34] The Brewers won their home opener three days later with a ninth inning rally over the rival Chicago Cubs.[35] Overall, however, the team struggled during the first few weeks of the season, losing four consecutive series against the Giants, the Cubs, the Cincinnati Reds, and the New York Mets. The Brewers' pitching staff struggled early, compiling a 5.19 ERA during the first four series.[36] Manny Parra, the number three starter in the rotation, particularly struggled and finished the month with an 0–4 record with a 6.52 ERA, and Suppan went 1–2 with a 5.88 ERA.[37][38] The team's fortunes improved considerably after an 11–4 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on April 21, however, as the Brewers won series against the Phillies and the Houston Astros before returning home and sweeping the Pittsburgh Pirates to close the month, rallying to a 12–10 overall record in April.

Leading the offense during the month of April was Mike Cameron, who led the team with a .333 batting average and tied for the team lead in home runs with 5.[39] Ryan Braun and Rickie Weeks also hit 5 home runs in April.[40][41] The month's best starting pitcher was newly acquired Braden Looper, who went 2–0 with a 2.45 ERA in April.[42] Dave Bush came within five outs of a no-hitter in a 6–1 win over Philadelphia on April 23.[43]

Trevor Hoffman returned from the disabled list and made his first Brewers appearance on April 27 in a non-save situation; he recorded his first save with the Brewers (and 555th overall) the following day.[44] Backup catcher Mike Rivera, however, suffered a sprained ankle in the same game and was placed on the disabled list; rookie Carlos Corporán was called up from Nashville to replace him.[45]


The Brewers opened May with a split of a four-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks before sweeping the Pirates in a two-game series in Pittsburgh. In sweeping the Pirates, the Brewers extended their winning streak against Pittsburgh to 17 games dating back to May 20, 2008, the longest winning streak by one Major League Baseball team over another since 1970.[46] The Brewers continued their winning ways in the following five series as well, splitting series against the Reds and Cubs, sweeping the Florida Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals, and winning two out of three games in Houston. In a one month period between April 21 and May 21, the Brewers did not lose a series and went 22–6, the best record in baseball over that period.[47] The team struggled at the start of interleague play, however, as the Brewers were swept in their last scheduled visit to the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome by the rival Minnesota Twins. Returning home, the Brewers won a Memorial Day matinee against the Cardinals in a game where both Yovani Gallardo took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning and Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter had a perfect game into the seventh inning, but lost the next two games, leaving the Cardinals in sole possession of first place in the NL Central.[48] The Brewers finished the month of May with a sweep of Cincinnati, giving the team an 18–10 record for the month.

Injuries and ineffective play by several bench players caused the Brewers to make several roster moves during the month of May. Mike Rivera returned from the disabled list on May 14 as Carlos Corporán was returned to the minors; Corporan appeared in only one game, where he caught the last two innings of a 15–3 blowout of the Cincinnati Reds on May 6 and singled off of regular Cincinnati shortstop Paul Janish in his only at-bat.[49] The team suffered a significant setback on May 18 when starting second baseman Rickie Weeks suffered an injury to his left wrist, ending his 2009 season. For the time being, Craig Counsell and Casey McGehee are expected to replace Weeks in the lineup; Hernán Iribarren was called up from Nashville following the injury, but was returned to Nashville after only one series.[50][51] Brad Nelson, who went hitless in 21 at-bats, declined a demotion to the minor leagues and became a free agent on May 15; top third base prospect Mat Gamel was called up to replace Nelson on the roster.[52] On May 21, the Brewers traded Triple-A outfielder Tony Gwynn, Jr. to the San Diego Padres in exchange for outfielder Jody Gerut; Chris Duffy was demoted to Nashville to make room on the roster for Gerut.[51] Finally, on May 21 the team called up outfielder Frank Catalanotto, who had been signed to a minor league contract by the team earlier in the month.[53]


The Brewers opened June on a sour note, dropping three out of four games to the Florida Marlins at LandShark Stadium, but rebounded in the next series and won two out of three against the Atlanta Braves. Following a poor outing on June 1 in which he failed to retire any of the six batters he faced, Jorge Julio was released; Mike Burns was called up to take Julio's spot in the bullpen.[54] In 15 appearances for the Brewers, Julio went 1–1 with a 7.79 ERA in 17 13 innings.[55] The Brewers returned to Miller Park on June 9 but suffered a 1–5 homestand in which the team was swept by Colorado and lost two out of three against the Chicago White Sox. After giving up 6 runs in 1 13 innings in the second game of the White Sox series, Manny Parra was demoted to Tripe-A Nashville; in 13 appearances through June 13, Parra went 3–8 with a 7.52 ERA.[56][57] In the third game of the series, Trevor Hoffman finally gave up his first run of the season in what was then a tie game; Hoffman had pitched 18 23 innings in 2009 without giving up a run.[58][59]

The Brewers returned to interleague play in Cleveland, where they swept the Cleveland Indians in a high-scoring series that included a six-run rally in the eighth inning on June 15, capped by Prince Fielder's first career grand slam, and an 11-inning win on June 17 that mooted a four-run comeback by the Indians in the ninth inning, giving Hoffman his first blown save of the season.[60][61] The team's interleague woes returned for the remaining two interleague series, however, as the Brewers were swept in Detroit and dropped two of three against the Twins at Miller Park. The Twins series included the first start by a Brewers pitcher not in the opening day rotation, as Mike Burns made his first career start, replacing the injured Dave Bush.[62] Milwaukee's fortunes improved with a return to National League play, as the team closed out June with series wins at home against San Francisco and the New York Mets. On June 27, Seth McClung made his first start of the year as Manny Parra's replacement in the pitching rotation (due to off days, a fifth starter had not been needed since Parra's June 13 demotion).[63] On June 30, Burns collected his first career win in a game which also included Casey McGehee's first career grand slam. The Brewers ended June with a 12–15 record for the month, but nonetheless held a one-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals for the division lead.[64]


After opening July with a 1–0 loss to the Mets, the Brewers traveled to Wrigley Field for the first time in 2009, losing three of four games to the Cubs over the Fourth of July weekend. The team fared little better upon returning to Miller Park, dropping series against the St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Manny Parra returned to the majors on July 9 and pitched seven shutout innings, but received a no-decision after the Cardinals scored five runs off the Milwaukee bullpen in the eighth inning.[65]

Three Brewers players participated in the 2009 MLB All-Star Game held July 14 in St. Louis, Missouri. Ryan Braun received 4,138,599 votes in fan balloting, the most received by any National League outfielder, and started his second consecutive All-Star Game. Prince Fielder also made his second All-Star appearance when he was selected as a reserve player by National League team manager Charlie Manuel.[66] Fielder was also invited to the 2009 Home Run Derby, which he ultimately won with 17 home runs in the first two rounds and six home runs in the final round, beating Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers.[67] Finally, Trevor Hoffman made his seventh All-Star appearance as a replacement for injured Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton.[68]

Following the All-Star Break the Brewers went on the road, splitting a four-game series against the Cincinnati Reds before losing two of three against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates win on July 20 snapped the Brewers 17-game winning streak against Pittsburgh in a game marred by a disputed beanball thrown at Pirates pitcher Jeff Karstens, reportedly in retribution for an incident in April where Karstens hit Ryan Braun with a pitch, that caused both benches to empty during the eighth inning.[69] On July 19, second baseman Felipe López was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks for minor league players Cole Gillespie and Roque Mercedes; the acquisition of Lopez was expected to fill the hole at second and at the top of the lineup left by Rickie Weeks' May injury.[70]

Milwaukee's July struggles continued at home, as the team lost a series against Atlanta before splitting a four-game series against the Washington Nationals, who entered the series with a Major League-worst 30–68 record. Tim Dillard was called up from the minor leagues to replace the struggling Mike Burns, and Carlos Villanueva made his first start of the season in a July 28 loss to the Nationals. Villanueva was a somewhat surprising choice for the assignment; though he had starting experience in 2008, Villanueva had struggled out of the bullpen in 2009 with a 2–7 record and 6.19 ERA.[71] Following the series against the Nationals, the Brewers were forced to make more roster moves as Jeff Suppan was placed on the disabled list with a strained left oblique and third baseman Bill Hall was optioned to Triple-A Nashville at his own request to work on his hitting; Hall had struggled with a .201 batting average in 199 at-bats in 2009.[72][73] Shortly before the July 31 trading deadline, former Brewer Claudio Vargas was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers in return for minor league infielder Vinny Rottino in an attempt to shore up the pitching staff.[74]

Season standings

NL Central W L Pct. GB Home Road
St. Louis Cardinals 91 71 .562 46–35 45–36
Chicago Cubs 83 78 .516 46–34 37–44
Milwaukee Brewers 80 82 .494 11 40–41 40–41
Cincinnati Reds 78 84 .481 13 40–41 38–43
Houston Astros 74 88 .457 17 44–37 30–51
Pittsburgh Pirates 62 99 .385 28½ 40–41 22–58

Record vs. opponents

Arizona 3–4 4-2 1–5 7-11 5–3 5–4 7-11 2–5 5–2 1–5 6–1 11-7 5-13 2–4 1–5 5–10
Atlanta 4–3 4–2 3–6 4–4 8-10 3-3 4–3 3–3 13–5 10-8 3–4 3–3 3–4 4–2 10-8 7–8
Chicago 2-4 2–4 10-5 2–4 4–3 11–6 3–5 10-7 3-3 1–5 10-4 4–5 4-2 6-10 5–2 6–9
Cincinnati 5-1 6-3 5-10 0-7 3-3 12-4 1-5 8-7 2-4 2-5 13-5 1-6 3-3 8-8 3-4 6-9
Colorado 11-7 4-4 4-2 7-0 2-4 2-5 4-14 6-0 3-4 2-4 6-3 10-8 8-10 6-1 6-0 11-4
Florida 3-5 10-8 3-4 3-3 4-2 4–3 3-3 3-4 11-7 9-9 2-4 4-2 3-4 3-3 12-6 10-8
Houston 4–5 3-3 6-11 4-12 5-2 3-4 4–3 5-10 1-5 6-2 10-5 6-1 2-4 6-9 3-3 6-9
Los Angeles 11-7 3-4 5-3 5-1 14-4 3-3 3-4 3–3 5-1 4-3 4-3 10-8 11-7 2-5 3-2 9-9
Milwaukee 5-2 3-3 7-10 7-8 0-6 4-3 10-5 3-3 3-3 4-3 9-5 2-4 4-5 9-9 5-3 5-10
New York 2-5 5-13 3-3 4-2 4-3 7-11 5-1 1-5 3-3 6-12 4-3 2-5 5-3 4-5 10-8 5–10
Philadelphia 5-1 8-10 5-1 5-2 4-2 9-9 2-6 3-4 3-4 12-6 4-2 5-2 3-4 4-1 15-3 6-12
Pittsburgh 1-6 4-3 4-10 5-13 3-6 4-2 5-10 3-4 5-9 3-4 2-4 3-4 2-4 5-10 5-3 8–7
San Diego 7-11 3-3 5-4 6-1 8-10 2-4 1-6 8-10 4-2 5-2 2-5 4-3 10-8 1-6 4-2 5–10
San Francisco 13-5 4–3 2–4 3–3 10-8 4–3 4–2 7-11 5-4 3–5 4–3 4–2 8-10 4–3 4–2 9–6
St. Louis 4-2 2-4 10-6 8-8 1-6 3-3 9-6 5-2 9-9 5-4 1-4 10-5 6-1 3-4 6–1 9–6
Washington 5-1 8-10 2-5 4-3 0-6 6-12 3-3 2-3 3-5 8-10 3-15 3-5 2-4 2-4 1-6 7–11
  • Source: MLB Standings Grid

Game log

2009 Game Log



2009 Milwaukee Brewers
Pitchers Catchers


Outfielders Manager


Player stats


Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
C Kendall, JasonJason Kendall 110 368 91 .247 1 33
1B Fielder, PrincePrince Fielder 130 473 142 .300 36 119
2B López, FelipeFelipe López 123 499 155 .311 8 45
SS Escobar, AlcidesAlcides Escobar 17 49 14 .286 1 5
3B Counsell, CraigCraig Counsell 109 355 102 .287 4 34
3B McGehee, CaseyCasey McGehee 86 253 74 .292 11 40
LF Braun, RyanRyan Braun 127 506 157 .310 28 95
CF Cameron, MikeMike Cameron 122 442 114 .258 19 56
RF Hart, CoreyCorey Hart 98 360 95 .264 11 40

Through August 30, 2009

Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Hardy, J. J.J. J. Hardy 102 371 88 .229 11 45
Hall, BillBill Hall 74 207 41 .201 6 23
Weeks, RickieRickie Weeks 37 147 40 .272 9 24
Gamel, MatMat Gamel 48 113 27 .239 4 16
Rivera, MikeMike Rivera 31 83 20 .241 2 11
Gerut, JodyJody Gerut 94 196 42 .214 6 25
Catalanotto, FrankFrank Catalanotto 59 113 32 .283 1 8
Iribarren, HernanHernan Iribarren 12 13 3 .231 0 1
Bourgeois, JasonJason Bourgeois 7 17 5 .294 1 3
Gallardo, YovaniYovani Gallardo 27 52 9 .173 2 8
Bush, DaveDave Bush 16 23 3 .130 0 0
Suppan, JeffJeff Suppan 23 33 6 .182 0 4
Looper, BradenBraden Looper 27 47 10 .213 0 7
Parra, MannyManny Parra 23 39 6 .154 0 4
McClung, SethSeth McClung 38 7 0 .000 0 0
Coffey, ToddTodd Coffey 61 3 0 .000 0 0
Villanueva, CarlosCarlos Villanueva 51 8 1 .143 0 0
Burns, MikeMike Burns 13 13 1 .077 0 2
DiFelice, MarkMark DiFelice 54 1 0 .000 0 0
Narveson, ChrisChris Narveson 12 1 0 .000 0 0
Duffy, ChrisChris Duffy 19 32 4 .125 0 3
Corporan, CarlosCarlos Corporan 1 1 1 1.000 0 0
Nelson, BradBrad Nelson 19 21 0 .000 0 0
Dillard, TimTim Dillard 2 1 0 .000 0 0
Julio, JorgeJorge Julio 15 1 0 .000 0 0

Through August 30, 2009


Starting pitchers

Gallardo, YovaniYovani Gallardo 26 169.1 12 10 3.56 186 1.28
Suppan, JeffJeff Suppan 23 124.2 6 8 5.20 62 1.76
Parra, MannyManny Parra 23 123.0 9 10 6.66 98 1.87
Looper, BradenBraden Looper 27 155.0 11 6 4.88 85 1.42
Bush, DaveDave Bush 16 85.2 3 5 5.88 62 1.35
Burns, MikeMike Burns 13 48.2 3 5 6.10 37 1.54

Through August 30, 2009

Relief pitchers

Hoffman, TrevorTrevor Hoffman 41 1 1 29 41.0 1.76 34 0.98
Villanueva, CarlosCarlos Villanueva 51 2 10 3 73.1 6.01 58 1.50
Coffey, ToddTodd Coffey 61 4 3 2 69.0 2.61 58 1.13
DiFelice, MarkMark DiFelice 54 4 1 0 49.0 3.67 46 1.18
Stetter, MitchMitch Stetter 60 3 1 1 38.0 3.79 39 1.34
McClung, SethSeth McClung 38 3 3 0 59.0 5.03 36 1.63
Vargas, ClaudioClaudio Vargas 22 0 0 0 26.0 2.42 20 1.04
Colomé, JesúsJesús Colomé 21 1 1 0 21.1 7.59 15 1.88
Weathers, DavidDavid Weathers 54 3 4 1 49.2 3.26 35 1.13
Smith, ChrisChris Smith 23 0 0 0 33.1 3.62 22 1.27
Dillard, TimTim Dillard 2 0 1 0 4.1 12.46 1 2.77
Narveson, ChrisChris Narveson 12 1 0 0 17.1 5.71 14 1.56
Swindle, R.J.R.J. Swindle 6 0 0 0 6.2 16.20 8 2.40
Julio, JorgeJorge Julio 15 1 1 0 17.1 7.79 13 1.73
Riske, DavidDavid Riske 1 0 0 0 1.0 18.00 0 4.00

Through August 30, 2009

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Nashville Sounds Pacific Coast League Don Money
AA Huntsville Stars Southern League Bob Miscik
A Brevard County Manatees Florida State League Mike Guerrero
A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers Midwest League Jeff Isom
Rookie AZL Brewers Arizona League Tony Diggs
Rookie Helena Brewers Pioneer League Rene Gonzales


External links

  • 2009 Milwaukee Brewers season at Baseball Reference
  • 2009 Milwaukee Brewers season Official Site
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