Strong finish on McClung's agenda

Strong finish on McClung's agenda

MILWAUKEE -- He Twittered his way through rehab, and now that he's healthy, Seth McClung hopes to continue letting fans play along with his return to action.

McClung is @73_MC on Twitter, the social networking site that lets users "tweet" 140-character messages. He set up his account last week, two days before making a rehab appearance in an instructional league intrasquad game, and on Friday he announced via Twitter that he was meeting with doctors to be cleared to pitch.

"I feel like it's a good way that I can connect a little bit with the fans," McClung said. "I guess I have to watch my spelling, that's one of the problems with being dyslexic. It's a cool little outlet. I try to at least answer [fans] and show my support. I've gotten a lot of love. "

The Brewers activated McClung on Saturday, but he has yet to appear in a game. He could get some chances this week, when the Cubs invade Miller Park for the final time this season. The three-game series begins Monday night.

Manager Ken Macha has said he would like to find a low-leverage situation to work McClung back into the mix. With so many options -- the Brewers had 11 pitchers in the bullpen on Sunday, plus lefty Manny Parra, recovering from a neck injury -- it could be difficult to find that spot.

"We'll do the best we can," Macha said. "Right now, I've got some guys out there who are pitching well when the game is close."

McClung has not pitched in a game since July 24, when he sprained -- by definition, suffered a small tear -- the ligament in his right elbow. It's actually a tendon serving as a ligament the result of "Tommy John" surgery in 2003.

Another serious tear could put McClung's career in jeopardy. But the Brewers' medical staff determined that McClung could rehab the injury, and he set a personal goal of pitching again before the season was over. Even if that meant returning with two weeks left and the team out of the pennant race.

"I never want to give up on anything," McClung said. "We felt like we had enough time where I could get ready, come in and pitch in some games and then go into the offseason knowing I'm healthy. I don't necessarily have to 'rehab' this offseason, I just have to work out.

"That's huge. One, from the player's perspective, because it erases doubt. Two, this team has to make a decision on me. I'm a five-plus [arbitration-eligible] player, and I'm going to command a certain amount, whatever that is. They have to make the decision whether they're going to invest in me or not. I don't want it to be a health issue, but a personnel issue."

A few appearances before the end of the year could help that issue come into focus.

"I commend the trainers for keeping me grounded," McClung said. "I probably would have gone out there and hurt myself, been bull-headed. They did a great job keeping me on a program."

Pitching matchup
MIL: RHP Braden Looper (13-6, 4.89 ERA)
Looper struggled to get through the fifth inning at Wrigley Field on Wednesday but managed to win his 13th game, a new career high after notching 12 wins in each of the previous two seasons as a starter. He had to work through some discomfort, the result of a batting-practice line drive that struck him square in the back the previous afternoon and caused his back to tighten in the middle innings of his outing against the Cubs. He knew he was chasing a personal milestone. "I knew that going in," Looper said. "I had 12 [wins] every year, and to get the 13th is nice."

CHC: LHP Tom Gorzelanny (5-2, 5.29 ERA)
The Cubs have decided to skip Rich Harden and insert Gorzelanny into the rotation. Harden was roughed up by the Brewers in his previous start, giving up five runs on five hits and three walks over three innings. This will be Gorzelanny's fifth start with the Cubs. He's 2-1 with a 4.74 ERA in nine appearances since joining Chicago on July 30. In his four previous starts with the Cubs, the lefty is 2-1 with a 4.82 ERA.

With a 1-for-2 afternoon on Sunday, during which he became the first Brewer ever to walk 100 times in a season, Prince Fielder was batting .299445 this season (162-for-541). ... Corey Patterson notched his first Brewers hit with an eighth-inning single on Sunday but was promptly picked off. ... The Brewers have won five straight games for the first time since a seven-game winning streak from May 12-19. ... Ryan Braun went 2-for-3 on Sunday and leads the Brewers with 55 multihit games.

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On radio
• WTMJ 620

Up next
• Tuesday: Brewers (Dave Bush, 5-7, 5.88) vs. Cubs (Randy Wells, 10-9, 3.06), 7:05 p.m. CT
• Wednesday: Brewers (Chris Narveson, 1-0, 4.22) vs. Cubs (Ted Lilly, 12-8, 3.02), 7:05 p.m. CT
• Thursday: Brewers (Jeff Suppan, 7-10, 4.76) vs. Phillies (TBD), 7:05 p.m. CT

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.