It's not all bad news for the Brewers, as it turns out. As you may recall, the Brewers were four games under .500 on May 25 last year, before going on a 9-1 roll that vaulted them back into contention. With that said, the Brewers have significant work to do just to get back to four games under .500 in the next month.
Hopefully the Brewers can get started tonight against Joe Blanton. Blanton was a key part of the Phillies' 2008 run to the NL East title, going 4-0 down the stretch with a 4.20 ERA. One of those starts was a no-decision on September 14 against the Brewers, a game the Phillies eventually won. Blanton is 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in 2009. Mike Cameron has faced him more than any current Brewer, and had some success: in six plate appearances, Cameron has two home runs.
For the Brewers, it's Braden Looper, arguably the Brewers' best starting pitcher so far in 2009 and an increasingly wise offseason investment, adding brief stability to a rotation that desperately needs it. Looper is 1-0 with a 3.27 ERA in 2009. Tonight is the 61st time (third start) he's faced the Phillies in his career, and they've knocked him around a bit: he's posted a 5.53 ERA in 71.2 innings. Looper might want to pitch around Ryan Howard, who is 4-for-5 against Looper in his career with four home runs.
Wednesday's Game Thread is now open.