MILWAUKEE The Brewers yanked Eric Gagne from the closer's role on Sunday after the reliever called his latest performance embarrassing and said he didn't feel he deserved to pitch the ninth anymore.
Manager Ned Yost said he read Gagne's comments and will use a closer by committee approach while Gagne takes what Yost called a "mental break."
"He's really pushing himself really, really hard and taking it really, really hard," Yost said. "We'll probably just mix and match, I'm not going to do anything crazy."
Gagne, who signed a $10 million, one-year contract with the Brewers days before the Mitchell Report on performance-enhancing drugs included his name, said after Milwaukee's 5-3 loss on Saturday that he wanted to keep pushing through, but he didn't deserve to close.
"It's mental, I think it's negative thinking that creeps back in your mind," Gagne said Saturday. "It's a matter of going out there and executing your pitches, not thinking results and I'm thinking results. I'm going out there thinking three outs before I can even get one."
Gagne was gone from the clubhouse immediately after Milwaukee's 5-3 win over St. Louis on Sunday, but Yost said he hopes his reliever works his way back into the role.
It's been a tough series for closers.
Gagne (1-2, 6.89 ERA) has nine saves, but is tied with Cardinals reliever Jason Isringhausen for the major league lead with five blown opportunities. Isringhausen asked out of the closer's role after he blew a save on Friday night and Ryan Franklin earned his third career save after Gagne gave up two runs in the ninth on Saturday.
Yost said anyone in his bullpen may be called on to close, and that he might take it batter-by-batter depending on matchup.
O'CONNOR DEALT, SCHRODER RECALLED: The Nationals optioned left-hander Mike O'Connor to Triple-A Columbus after Washington's 5-4 loss to the Florida Marlins on Sunday and recalled right-hander Chris Schroder from the Clippers. O'Connor allowed nine runs in 3 1/3 innings in Washington's 11-0 loss to Florida on Saturday and was 1-1 with a 13.00 ERA in five games. Saturday's start was his first in the major leagues since Sept. 28, 2006.
Schroder pitched in two games with the Nationals earlier this season. He has no record and a 3.38 ERA. Schroder is 2-1 with a 1.26 ERA in 10 games with Columbus.
ROCKIES PROMOTE REYNOLDS: Right-hander Greg Reynolds, the second pick overall in the 2006 draft, made his big league debut Sunday with the Colorado Rockies, starting against the San Diego Padres. The Rockies purchased Reynolds' contract from Triple-A Colorado Springs. To make room on the roster, left-hander Mark Redman was optioned to the Sky Sox. Reynolds was removed after two innings of his start for Colorado Springs on Wednesday and his teammates congratulated him on his impending callup. Reynolds, who starred at Stanford, went 1-2 with a 4.85 ERA in 33 1/3 innings for the Sky Sox.
GALLARDO TO HAVE SURGERY: Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo will have surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn ligament in his right knee and will likely miss the rest of the season. Gallardo said there was no chance he could avoid having surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament and he will complete his rehabilitation in Milwaukee. He hopes to return in September or October, but players typically need four to six months to recover.
"I wish I was talking about my performances," Gallardo said Sunday in the clubhouse with his knee still wrapped.
The 22-year-old right-hander was expected to play a prominent role as the No. 2 starter behind Ben Sheets after he went 9-5 with a 3.67 ERA following his midseason callup last year.
But Gallardo, who had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee just before spring training, made three starts before being injured while trying to hurdle a baserunner against the Chicago Cubs on May 1.
Gallardo was on the ground for a few minutes, but managed to walk it off and keep pitching, completing the fifth inning and another. In his three starts, he didn't have a decision with a 1.80 ERA in 20 innings.
Since the injury, the Brewers have been in a tailspin, losing seven of eight.
MAN DIES IN FIGHT NEAR AT&T PARK: An 18-year-old San Carlos man remained jailed on $1 million bail Sunday following the death of another youth with whom he got into a fight near AT&T Park. Police Sgt. Neville Gittens said Taylor Buckley turned himself into police on Saturday night after the 18-year-old Redwood City man died at a hospital earlier in the day. Gittens said the dead teen fell and struck his head on the ground after being punched Friday night at a plaza adjacent to McCovey Cove that is not part of the ballpark. The Philadelphia Phillies-San Francisco Giants game was under way, but it was not yet known if the two, who did not know each other, had attended it before the altercation. Buckley was arrested just after the fight on suspicion of aggravated assault, but posted bail and was released, Gittens said.