HOUSTON -- Milwaukee manager Ken Macha decided to try something new in last Sunday's game against the Mets in New York. With Jeff Suppan scheduled to start the game, Macha included Friday-night starter Dave Bush in the pitcher-catcher meeting before Sunday's game. It worked. Suppan pitched the Brewers to a 4-2 victory. Macha said he planned to use the formula only with three members of his rotation: Bush, Suppan and Braden Looper.
"Those three starters have similar stuff," Macha said. "It's nice to have the veteran guys listen to each other." It worked even better Wednesday in Philadelphia. Looper, who had beaten the Phillies, 3-1, on Tuesday, sat in with Bush, Wednesday's starter. Bush carried a no-hitter for 7 1/3 innings in a 6-1 Milwaukee win. Macha said he will only do it with those three pitchers when one of the others has already faced that game's opponent in the series, figuring they can provide information about opposing hitters. "No sense in bringing in Yovani [Gallardo] to talk to Sup, because their stuff is so different," Macha said. Gallardo did beat Houston, 5-2, with a complete game Friday night. Macha did not use the system in the four years he managed the Oakland A's, he said, because the starters were so different. "It can be [helpful]," Looper said of the plan. "For me personally, I come up with a game plan and I'm pretty set when [the meeting] starts. But it always helps to get someone else's opinion and what they see. Especially with a guy who's been out there, you can get a feeling for what a [hitter's] tendencies are." Macha said he will use the plan again for Tuesday's home game with Pittsburgh, bringing in Monday starter Looper to help Tuesday starter Bush. "We'll see how it goes," Macha said as far as continuing the idea indefinitely. "I'm still in the learning phase with this team and the pitchers."
Gene Duffey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.