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Steady Bush continues string of solid starts

Steady Bush continues string of solid starts
It was a question Dave Bush was asked numerous times during spring training.

How would the Milwaukee Brewers fare after losing co-aces CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets to free agency?

"I'll say the same thing I said back in spring training," said Bush. "If each one of us picks up a little bit of slack, we'll be fine. We're not going to find the talent to replace those guys. They were pretty special pitchers.

"Each one of us tries to go out and have a decent start every time. If you go out there and try to pitch like CC pitched at the end of the year, it's not going to happen. Each one of us just has to go out there and be consistent, so we know every time someone is on the mound, we know what to expect."

What the Brewers have come to expect out of Bush is a quality start practically every time he takes the mound. He turned in yet another Thursday, allowing two earned runs over seven innings as the Brewers swept the Florida Marlins out of town with a 5-3 victory at Miller Park.

For those scoring at home, that's six quality starts (at least six innings, no more than three earned runs) in the seven games Bush has started this season. Admittedly not crazy about that statistic - few pitchers aspire to a 4.50 earned run average - Bush said he embraced the concept of giving his team a chance to win each time out.

"It kind of symbolizes staying in the game a decent amount of time," said Bush (2-0, 3.83). "It's something to keep in mind, especially in games you give up a few runs early, to stay in there long enough to get to that point.

"I've got the confidence that we're going to score runs. My goal is to stay in the game as long as I can."

In fact, Bush was prepared to go out for the eighth inning after getting through seven in 97 pitches. But manager Ken Macha told him he had done his job and turned the game over to relievers Mark DiFelice and Trevor Hoffman, neither of whom allowed a base runner.

With Mike Rivera off the disabled list just before the game, Bush had his personal catcher back behind the plate. Macha took that notion to an extreme by removing both from the game after seven frames.

"I told Mike I had never seen that before," Bush said with a laugh.

"I don't even try to understand what managers do. They have a lot going on in their minds. He has a rationale for everything he does. When he tells me I'm finished, I'm finished."

Whether Macha comes with the hook or not, understand that he has been praising Bush almost from the time the 29-year-old righty showed up in spring camp. Macha recalled seeing Bush pitch for Toronto against Oakland in 2004-'05, when he managed the Athletics.

"When you're sitting on the other side, you say, 'This guy's really not throwing that hard and he's getting us out.' When you watch him pitch, he's a - quote, unquote - a pitcher," said Macha.

"He uses all his stuff to control bat speed. He knows how to maneuver the ball. He's not lighting up the radar gun, but he's controlling the bat speed and pitching to contact. He excels at that."

Macha went on to say there's not a lot of "bling" with Bush. Unsatisfied with that description, Macha went more high-brow and used the word "panache."

What Macha was getting at is that Bush does the job in workmanlike fashion. No neon lights, or as Al McGuire used to say, no French pastry.

Informed of that description by his manager, Bush grinned and quickly agreed.

"I'm not a flashy guy," he said. "You guys know that by now. I just go out there and try to pitch."

Copyright 2009, Journal Sentinel Inc. All rights reserved. (Note: This notice does not apply to those news items already copyrighted and received through wire services or other media.)

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 15, 2009

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