Tuesday, April 20, 2010

SERIES 5 - Brewers

Milwaukee Brewers

Tuesday, April 20, 7:05 PM
Wednesday, April 21, 7:05 PM (FSN)
Thursday, April 22, 12:35 PM (FSN)

PNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA

Listen live on [WPGB]

No TV on Tuesday once again due to the Penguins playoff game.  Go Pens.

As Chuck Finder points out in the PBC Blog, this is the closest thing the current Pirates have to a divisional rivalry.  Whether it was the whole Ryan Braun/Jason Kendall skirmish last year, their stupid shirt untuck thing after they win, or the fact that the Bucs' record against them hasn't been too great for the past few years, there's definitely some hate between these teams.

This series will be the true test for this Bucco team.  This is the team that only lost to the Pirates 5 times last year, sweeping them 3 times.  If the Pirates are for real, they are going to have to win a few series against the Brew Crew.

The Pirates currently are at 7-5, good for an outright second place standing in the NL Central.  2 games behind them sit the Milwaukee Brewers.  It's safe to say that the outcome of this series will determine who controls second place.  If the Pirates win or sweep, they would open up a 4 or 5 game lead on the Brewers, who would most likely fall below current 4th place teams Cincinnati and Chicago. If the Pirates lose 2 games they are tied with the Brewers, and if they are swept they would fall to 3rd place and below .500 once more.

If the playoffs started today, the Pirates would be a half game out of a wild card spot in the National League.  Of course there's tons of baseball left to be played so this is pretty meaningless at this point.

Milwaukee's record to this point is just 5-7, having only won 1 series to this point (against Colorado).  In their last series at Washington, they lost the first two with scores of 5-3 and 8-0, but rebounded on Sunday with an 11-7 win.  Looking at their schedule so far, it's tempting to say that the Brewers aren't as good this year, with their only quality series loss coming against St. Louis in Milwaukee.  Their pitching has been suspect so far, with no game allowing less than 4 runs to the opponent.  Still, this is essentially the same team as last year, and this will still be a test for the Pirates.

Expected Pitching Matchups

April 20: Charlie Morton vs. Dave Bush
April 21: Zach Duke vs. Yovani Gallardo
April 22: Daniel McCutchen vs. Randy Wolf

Dave Bush went just 5-9 last year with 9 quality starts.  He faced the Pirates just once last year, a 6-5 loss for the Bucs on April 28, where he gave up 5 Earned Runs.  This year he has done a little better with 5 ERs on 2 no decisions, both losses for the Brewers.  He has only walked 2 batters on the year, but allowed 11 hits.  If Charlie Morton can stay in the form he has shown in the first few innings of his starts, this could be a nice game for the Bucs.

Yovani Gallardo was the best starter for the Brewers last year, going 13-12 with 17 quality starts and an ERA of 3.73.  He also had the most strikeouts on the team by a huge margin, 204 to the next highest of 116 by Manny Parra.  This year, however, he has just a 5.50 ERA in 3 losses.  He has allowed 18 hits and 8 walks, but had 5 Ks in each game.  He is 0-2 on the year with 1 ND.  Depending on which Gallardo shows up (last year he was 1-1 against the Bucs with 2 NDs), this could be a pitching duel with Zach Duke, who will be looking for his 3rd win of the season.

Randy Wolf is the only starting pitcher with a win that the Pirates will face in this series.  He has an ERA of 4.91 through 3 games and is 1-1 with 1 ND on the year.  He has allowed 10 ER, 19 hits and 6 walks to go with his 15 Ks.  His last start was an 8-0 loss to Washington.  What really causes this game to be a toss-up is trying to decide which Daniel McCutchen we will see.  Will it be the fairly decent start against Cincy on April 17, or the 9 ER, 3 HR nightmare at Arizona on April 11 that this game will most resemble?  Only time will tell.

Proposed Lineups

1-R. Weeks 2B
2-C. Counsell SS
3-R. Braun LF
4-P. Fielder 1B
5-C. McGehee 3B
6-J. Edmonds RF
7-G. Zaun C
8-C. Gomez CF

1-A. Iwamura 2B
2-A. McCutchen CF
3-L. Milledge LF
4-G. Jones RF
5-R. Doumit C
6-J. Clement 1B
7-Bobby Crosby 3B
9-R. CedeƱo SS

Let's Go Bucs.

No comments:

Post a Comment