Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 10/4/11
@font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";@font-face font-family: "Cambria";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 10pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; When Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks fell tothe ground in late July with a severe ankle sprain, no one could have predictedthat the injury would have a significant effect on the other side of theinfield.But with Weeks out, the Brewers acquired utility man JerryHairston Jr. and the veteran has played a key role in Milwaukee's 2-0 lead overthe Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL Division Series.Brewers manager Ron Roenicke made a tough call before Game1, benching slumping third baseman Casey McGehee in favor of Hairston. After heplayed well in Milwaukee's 4-1 win, Roenicke made another difficult call andstarted him again in Game 2."It was tough," Roenicke said after announcing thedecision before Sunday's game. "It's going to be tough, I think, thiswhole time in the playoffs. But with Jerry's nice ballgame (Saturday), both ways,defensively and offensively, I think that was the right thing to do."In Game 1, Hairston made more than one key play on the fieldand went 1-for-2 with a walk at the plate while putting the Brewers on theboard with a fourth-inning sacrifice fly. He again shined with his glove andhis bat in Game 2, going 2-for-4 and scoring the go-ahead run on JonathanLucroy's squeeze bunt."Another real good game from him," Roenicke said."Defensively very aggressive, comes and gets balls when they're chopped.Offensively, nice at-bats."And when it's on the line, you feel really good withhim up there."Once Weeks and center fielder Carlos Gomez were both off thedisabled list, Roenicke's actions made it pretty clear that he was looking forways to keep Hairston in the lineup. With McGehee still struggling -- heentered the playoffs in a 3-for-45 slump -- Hairston saw time at third base. Despite irregular playing time, Hairston was able to staysharp and contribute when called upon for Game 1."I always expect to play," Hairston after saidSunday's 9-4 win in Milwaukee. "Do I start? I dont know. Im a guy thatplays just about everywhere so I just prepare myself to play. I know Ive beenplaying a lot of third the last week or so of the regular season so I kind ofanticipated it but Im always ready to play."McGehee has made no excuses in what's been a tough seasonfor him from the start. He's openly admitted he's not playing at the level heexpects of himself. But it's not easy for him, a player who's contributed muchthe past two seasons, to watch from the bench as his teammates play in thefranchise's most significant series in nearly three decades. Ultimately, though, McGehee wants what every member ofBrewers wants: to win. You won't hear any complaints from him. Roenicke chattedwith him about the plan for Game 2 after Saturday's win."He's fine," Roenicke said. "He wants tostart. He wants to get in there and help us. He's actually really lookingforward to . kind of starting with a zero batting average now."If I made a decision to go with Casey, I would havefelt good with that decision also. I just think this is a better decision, theright way to go."It would have been easy for Roenicke to make a loyaltydecision and start McGehee over Hairston, who'd been with the Brewers for justtwo months, but Roenicke has shown this season that he's willing to make the toughcalls.While Hairston just as easily could have gone hitless in twogames and come off the bench in Game 2, he has excelled and made Roenicke's decisionlook brilliant. Thanks to his hot hand, Hairston will remain in the startinglineup, as Roenicke announced on Monday that Hairston will again start in Game3.
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