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Time to Pounce

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Somehow, we're still 1.5 games up in the division.  It seems like we should be buried by now, trying to claw our way back into the race, but we've gotten lucky.  The once-surging Cubs are finally swooning with us, and if the weekend series with Houston is any indication (a series win on the road!!!11!11!!), we might even play over .500 for a while.

This week, we're back at home, taking on the Cardinals and Reds.  The Cubs are doing the same at Wrigley, in reverse order.  Here are the pitchers we're likely to face this week, in order:

  • Kip Wells
  • Joel Pineiro
  • Adam Wainwright
  • Bronson Arroyo
  • Matt Belisle
  • Aaron Harang
The Cubs are getting a slighter easier go of it, missing Arroyo and getting Braden Looper, but it's not a huge difference.  Just as 2-4 was the safe, responsible prediction for last week's road trip--but we better not have done worse!--4-2 would seem to be the conservative standard for this week.  The Cubs could easily match that.

Despite the ugliness of late, the Brewers are still performing spectacularly at Miller Park: 39 wins in 59 games, a .661 clip.  The only pitcher in the rotation coming off a bad outing is Gallardo, and I think we can chalk that up to his failure (or inability) to adjust to Coors Field.  The numbers so far certainly suggest that he knows how to pitch in Milwaukee.

The offense is getting it done, too.  Sure, it didn't keep up with Colorado while Rockies batters crushed just about everybody in the bullpen, but they've averaged close to 5 runs a game for the last 5, and about 4.5 for the last 10.  In fact, we haven't been held under 4 runs in consecutive games since July 17th and 18th.

Long story short, it's easy to be pessimistic about this homestand, because low expectations have been proven accurate for the last few weeks.  But there are plenty of reasons (even some not named Braun or Fielder) to expect better, and this week is nicely lined up to make that happen.