MILWAUKEE -- Brewers manager Ned Yost did not exactly want to broadcast the news to the Braves, but closer Salomon Torres was off-limits in Thursday's series finale. Torres had pitched in three consecutive games, notching two saves and a win in a trio of one-run Brewers wins. Yost decided over the winter to institute a "three days and you're out" policy with his relievers to avoid the sort of July and August breakdowns that contributed to the team's slide in the second half of 2007. Earlier this season, Yost did not apply the policy to closer Eric Gagne. That changed after April 20, when Gagne blew a save in Cincinnati on his fourth consecutive day of work.
"That's when I decided to do it, once and for all," Yost said. "You're talking about their health and their durability. If you abuse guys, you can hurt them. ... "One thing that I really wanted to focus on this winter was handling the bullpen a little bit more and trying to determine rules for their health and durability," Yost said. "I talked to Teddy [Simmons, the new bench coach] about it a lot. He's helped me think through a lot of things, [since Simmons was] a farm director and a GM. He has some things he's found successful." The "three day" policy was one of them. Yost said he would be flexible in a playoff series, but not in the regular season. "You can go two innings, two innings, two innings [in three days] or one pitch, one pitch, one pitch," Yost said. "Three days is three days." Yost believes the program is working. Entering play Thursday, every reliever but long man Mark DiFelice had pitched at least once in the team's last three games, but Torres was the only man who pitched multiple games in that span. It helped, of course, that the Brewers' starters worked six, seven and eight innings in those games. So who was the Brewers' closer on Thursday? "We'll mix and match it," Yost said.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.