ST. LOUIS -- The memories come flooding back whenever Jonathan Schoop sees the Little League World Series on a clubhouse television. Maybe there's a lesson there, too.Schoop, along with Rangers infielder Jurickson Profar, played in two Little League World Series for Curacao, winning the event in 2004. He had two
ST. LOUIS -- The memories come flooding back whenever Jonathan Schoop sees the Little League World Series on a clubhouse television. Maybe there's a lesson there, too.
Schoop, along with Rangers infielder Jurickson Profar, played in two Little League World Series for Curacao, winning the event in 2004. He had two hits and pitched the final inning of the clincher, calling it the best moment of his life.
"It's tough right now, but that was a really good time," said Schoop, who began a second straight game on the bench Sunday and had eight hits and 19 strikeouts in his first 49 at-bats since being acquired by the Brewers. "That's why sometimes we've got to remind ourselves to play the game like you were in Little League.
"Have fun. Sometimes we put pressure on ourselves to do good, and when things don't go your way, you press, you press, you press. You know what I mean? In Little League, you just have fun and enjoy the game and everything takes care of itself."
Thanks to the Little League World Series, Schoop experienced pressure at a very young age. He delivered the go-ahead RBI in International play that sent Curacao to Williamsport, Pa., then earned a save in the final game against the U.S. team from California by recording the final two outs.
Schoop remembers forgetting to cover first base on the game-ending groundout to first base. He also remembers the heroes' welcome back home and getting a coupon that granted players free McDonald's for a year. Of course he took advantage of that, Schoop said with a smile.
"One thing I remember, I was pitching and the crowd was going crazy with, 'USA, USA,'" Schoop said. "It was so loud. I wasn't even feeling my hand. I was throwing, but I was nervous. That's a moment you won't forget."
He's been reminding himself of those moments lately.
"I am, but it's tough." said Schoop, who was also asked whether he worried about losing at-bats. "I'm not worried about it because I know what I can do and what kind of player I am. … I just do what I can to help the team win. I don't worry about losing at-bats."
• Reliever Joakim Soria struck an optimistic tone Sunday before throwing his first bullpen session since sustaining a strained right groin that landed him on the 10-day disabled list. Soria is eligible for reinstatement beginning Monday, but he said there is no timetable for his return to the Brewers.
"We'll see how it feels 'downhill,'" he said, referring to pitching off a mound. "Then we'll go from there. Basically [the timetable] depends on how it feels. … It feels like I'm going forward."
• Ryan Braun returned to the starting lineup Sunday for the first time since he tweaked his right rib cage in Wednesday's loss to the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.