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4/30 Open Thread: Brewers (13-11) at Cubs (13-9)

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Lost among all the chatter about streaks, slumps, Pujols, the Reds, and plenty of reasons to be less than 100% optimistic about the Milwaukee Brewers is this:

The Brewers will be over .500 for the first month of the season.

There have been some slightly fluky occurences to help us along, such as Prince Fielder's tear, Carlos Lee's strong first month, and Derrick Turnbow's superhuman (if nerve-wracking) consecutive saves. But the flip side has been more dramatic: think of Brady Clark's slump, Doug Davis's awful April (until yesterday), and the fact that we missed a Ben Sheets start or two. And I'm not even mentioning the bullpen.

We faced a lot of tough teams (on the road, no less) and ran in to a very hot version of the Reds. Even with all that, if we lose today, we'll be on pace for 84 wins. If we win? 91 wins.

Last year after the game on April 30th, we were 10-13. The year before that, 12-11. Back in 2003, a horrific 9-18. There are plenty of reasons to think we could've, should've, darn-it-I-can't-believe-we-didn't do better, but for a rough April with a young team, I'm suddenly very happy about where we're at so far.

And if Chris Capuano outduels Carlos Zambrano today, I'll be even happier.

Starting Lineups
Brewers Cubs
Rickie Weeks - 2B Juan Pierre - CF
Bill Hall - SS Ronny Cedeno - SS
Geoff Jenkins - RF Todd Walker - 1B
Carlos Lee - LF Aramis Ramirez - 3B
Prince Fielder - 1B Matt Murton - LF
Corey Koskie - 3B Michael Barrett
Damian Miller - C Jacque Jones - RF
Brady Clark - CF Jerry Hairston - 2B
Chris Capuano - P Carlos Zambrano - P

Whoa...I didn't realize at first that Damian is in the lineup again. Fantastic. I guess he's serious about catching 125-130 games this year!

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Update [2006-4-30 14:51:40 by Jeff]: Looks like we're going to get underway in about five minutes (1:55 CT).

Update [2006-4-30 15:15:35 by Jeff]: If you're just arriving, be sure to scroll down for minor league updates from yesterday, as well as a WPA spreadsheet and graph from yesterday's game.