MILWAUKEE -- With almost three quarters of the season in the books, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke has become more conscious of when his everyday players might need a break.
One game after giving Rickie Weeks a day off, Roenicke held Norichika Aoki, Corey Hart and Aramis Ramirez out of the starting lineup on Sunday against the Phillies. That left three of the Brewers' best hitters and a combined 163 RBIs sitting on the bench. Although it was difficult to give all of them a break -- particularly Hart and Ramirez -- in the same game, Roenicke said it was a necessary evil.
"They've been playing hard and going at it," Roenicke said. "And when I asked them, the day games is when they really feel it's the hardest for them to get out there. You hate to take both of them out, but the good thing is we get them both back tomorrow."
Hart had played every game since the All-Star break, and Ramirez had only sat out twice in that span with a sore wrist. Aoki, meanwhile, has played 109 games in his first year in the Major Leagues, and Roenicke said he has to keep an eye on how the former Japanese Central League batting champion is holding up.
In place of Hart, Travis Ishikawa got the start at first base, batting fifth. Cody Ransom started at third for Ramirez and hit seventh. Nyjer Morgan, who got the nod in right for Aoki, was in the leadoff spot.