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Speed a big concern

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MILWAUKEE -- Speed, speed and more speed. That's the M.O. for the Florida Marlins. And that fact wasn't lost on Milwaukee manager Ned Yost as he prepared the Brewers for a three-game series that started Tuesday against the Marlins at Miller Park.

For good reason.


After all, when you check the National League leaders for stolen bases, it's a virtual who's who of Marlins. Juan Pierre leads the theft parade with 24 heading into the week. Skip two spots for Dave Roberts of the Dodgers (18) and Eric Young of the Brewers (16), then add three Marlins -- Luis Castillo with 13 and Derrek Lee and Juan Encarnacion with 12 each.


As a team the Marlins have a whopping 77, which is 34 more than runner-up Montreal. Milwaukee is third with 40.


That's why Yost is so impressed.


"Speed wreaks havoc on a game," Yost said. "With some of these guys, a walk can turn into a triple if you don't pay attention. So they're pretty good, and are far and away the leaders in the stolen base department."


The tonic would appear to be simple, but Yost said it's easier said than done.


"The first thing you've got to do is keep them off the bases," Yost said. "Two, pitchers have to vary their looks, change their times between deliveries and they have to slide-step, give the catchers a chance."


Extra consultations with the pitchers were a part of the preparation.


"Yes, of course we did. We went over it three or four times at our defensive meeting today," Yost said.


Whether the talks help remain to be seen because, as catcher Ivan Rodriguez will tell you, there's more to the Marlins that speed. But every area needs to perform well for the Marlins to be successful.


"If we do that, we'll win a lot of games," Rodriguez said. "We just have to go out there and play hard all the time."


Impressive numbers: Reliever Allen Levrault, a former Brewer, is happy with his new organization and he doesn't care if he starts or works out of the bullpen.


He was used in both roles, without success, by the Brewers. But since being called up from Triple-A Albuquerque in late April, he has pitched in 14 games. His record is 1-0 and his ERA is a miniscule 1.42 in 19 innings.


"I'm feeling pretty good, going out every day and just pitching every time they give me the ball," Levrault said prior to Tuesday's game. "In any situation, I just go out there and have fun.


"Whenever the phones rings, I'm ready. Any time they want to get me up and put me in ... third inning, men on base, I'm ready for anything."


His confidence received a big boost from his callup. At Albuquerque, he was 1-0 with a 0.82 ERA in eight games. In 11 innings, he struck out nine, allowed five hits and walked one.


"I feel pretty confident over here," he said. "I know I'm not going to get sent down or anything like that if I have a bad outing. It's been a great time since I've been with them."


He certainly likes what he's seen of the pitchers.


"It's a great pitching staff," Levrault said. "The starters are taking us into the sixth and seventh innings, the defense is unbelievable and the offense has speed and some pretty good hitting."


But for a six-game losing streak, three each at Los Angeles and Montreal, and Levrault believes the Marlins would be in great shape.


"That was our downfall this season," he said. "You take those away and we'd be at .500. But we'll get back to .500, probably by the end of this month."


Trading places: Manager Jack McKeon made a slight switch in the lineup, moving Alex Gonzalez (.333) to the seventh spot and dropping Todd Hollandsworth (.266) to eighth.


McKeon said it was nothing to get excited about.


"There's nothing to read into it," McKeon said. "We just flip-flopped them; it's no big deal."


Asked if he had talked about the switch with his players, the veteran manager said, "The way I look at it, you better be happy to be in the lineup."


Quick hits: The Marlins swept the Brewers in a three-game series April 22-24 in Miami. It came after the Brewers had won three of four against Houston. ... Florida called up RHP Kevin Olsen from Triple-A Albuquerque and optioned RHP Vladimir Nunez to AAA. Olsen was 2-1 with a 2.11 ERA in 38 1/3 innings in seven games for the Isotopes. ... The game time has been changed Friday night (7:10 CT) and Saturday (7:35 CT) in Texas. On Friday, the Rangers have planned a tribute to honor Rodriguez, their former star. On Saturday, the Rangers will honor 1B Rafael Palmiero for his 500 home runs. ... Although the team has struggled to an 11-19 record on the road this season, Gonzalez started the week tied for second place with a .374 batting average away from Pro Player Stadium. Atlanta's Gary Sheffield is hitting .441 away from home. ... RF Juan Encarnacion's season-high four RBIs went for nought Sunday, when the Marlins blew a 5-1 lead and lost, 8-5, to Anaheim. ... 3B Mike Lowell, who is having an All-Star season, has been a hot topic of conversation on Chicago sports talk radio shows. Many callers and media believe Lowell would be the missing ingredient to a Cubs' postseason berth







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Yes we know you were suspended no need to continue to bring it up


Good Article

well sry if u get mad



BTW: thx I'm not going into details bc this should not go off topic but we all know you were suspended and I'm not mad now back on topic...

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