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Brewers - Cubs Series Preview: Fearsome Threesome

Hey, remember way back in April, when YOUR Milwaukee Brewers returned home after bludgeoning the Pirates in a three-game set in Pittsburgh -- culminated by a 20-0 disemboweling in the last game of the series -- and the Crew was a game over .500, and the Cubs were limping into town at 6-10, and the world seemed bright and fresh and beautiful and full of promise?

Since then, the Brewers have gone 15-27.


2010 record vs. Cubs: 1-5, 23 runs scored, 47 runs allowed

Current three-game series:

  • Tuesday, June 8, 2010 @ 7:10 p.m. CDT. TV: FS Wisconsin  Radio: 620 WTMJ
  • Wednesday, June 9, 2010 @ 7:10 p.m. CDT. TV: FS Wisconsin and ESPN  Radio: 620 WTMJ
  • Thursday, June 10, 2010 @ 1:10 p.m. CDT. TV: FS Wisconsin (and WGN)  Radio: 620 WTMJ and 1510 WRRD

Cubs Probable Starters (in order):

  • Ted Lilly (1-5, 3.61 ERA)
  • Carlos Zambrano (1-4, 6.14 ERA)
  • Ryan Dempster (4-5, 3.76 ERA)

Brewers Probable Starters (in order):

  • Yovani Gallardo (2009 vs. CHC: 2 GS, 1-1, 7,84 ERA, 10.1 IP, 13 SO, 9 BB, 2 HR allowed)
  • Randy Wolf (2009 vs. CHC: 2 GS, 2-0, 1.29 ERA, 14.0 IP, 12 SO, 3 BB, 1 HR allowed)
  • Dave Bush (2010 vs. CHC: 2 GS, 0-1, 8.38 ERA, 9.2 IP, 4 SO, 2 BB, 5 (5!) HR allowed)


Batting average Marlon Byrd, .321
Batting average Ryan Braun, .314
On-base percentage Geovany Soto, .404
On-base percentage Prince Fielder, .409
Slugging Alfonso Soriano, .563
Slugging Corey Hart, .554
OPS Soriano, .924
OPS Braun, .883
Home runs Soriano, 9
Home runs Hart, 14
Runs batted in Byrd, 31
Runs batted in Casey McGehee, 43
Runs scored Byrd, 33
Runs scored Braun, 40
Stolen bases Ryan Theriot, 11
Stolen bases Braun, 11
wOBA Soriano, .401
wOBA Braun, .397
WAR Byrd, 2.5
WAR Fielder, 1.4


Wins Carlos Silva, 8 Wins Yovani Gallardo, 6
ERA Carlos Marmol, 1.37
ERA Carlos Villanueva, 3.30
FIP Sean Marshall, 1.69
FIP Villanueva, 2.97
SO Ryan Dempster, 79
SO Gallardo, 77
K/9 Marmol, 17.4
K/9 Villanueva, 11.7
WHIP Marshall, 1.02
WHIP Villanueva, 1.23
IP Dempster, 83.2 IP Gallardo, 75.0
Saves Marmol, 12 Saves Trevor Hoffman, 5
WAR Tom Gorzelanny, 1.6
WAR Gallardo, 1.7

Unless you blacked out in the middle of the post, you noticed that the Crew matches up against Ted Lilly, Chuck Zambrano, and Ryan Dempster in this series.  To put it simply: based on their track records, this is not a good thing.  Miller Park splits for the trio, if you're interested, after the jump.

Ted Lilly has started five games at Miller Park.  His record stands at 3-1, and he's put together an ERA of 3.00 in those five outings, but that ERA would be quite a bit lower but for one bad start in 2007, when he gave up six runs in five innings.  He's struck out 23 batters in 30.0 innings, for a K/9 rate of 6.9, and he's surrendered 21 hits and six walks, for a WHIP of 0.900. 

In Lilly's only start in Miller Park in 2010 (which also served as his season debut), he blanked the Brewers for six innings, striking out four, walking two, giving up three hits, and frustrating the hell out of one Rubie Q, who was unfortunately in attendance for said game.  In 2008, Lilly was magnificent in Miller Park: three games started (one of which was against Houston), 19.0 innings pitched, 17 strikeouts against three walks (and a WHIP of 0.684), with a tidy ERA of 1.89.  You might remember that he started the first game of the four-game series at the end of July -- or, as I like to call it, The Series That Caused Me To Write An Awful Fake Screenplay.

Carlos Zambrano's record at Miller Park is only 7-5, but his other numbers are very good: 14 games, 13 games started, 89 punch-outs, a WHIP of 1.188, a K/9 rate of 9.4, only seven homers allowed, and an ERA of 3.39 (but, again, that number is inflated by two bad starts in 2005, when the Crew cuffed Chuck Z around for 11 runs in 8.2 innings of work). 

Like Lilly, Zambrano had great success pitching in Miller Park in 2008: two games started, 19 strikeouts against three walks, no earned runs, a microscopic whip of 0.471 -- and, oh yeah, a no hitter against Houston in September.  And his start against the Brewers at Miller Park in July was nothing to sneeze at, either: 8.0 innings pitched, no runs, nine punch-outs, and one thoroughly-outdueled Ben Sheets.

Ryan Dempster has started nine games at Miller Park and pitched in relief in twelve others, and has put together a line of 5-2, with a 2.50 ERA, 73 strikeouts, 28 walks, a WHIP of 1.167 (the lowest mark for a stadium in which Dempster's made at least five starts), a K/9 rate of 9.1 (the highest mark for any park in which he's made at least five starts), and only five homers allowed.

Like Lilly and Zambrano, Dempster pitched out of his gourd at Miller Park in 2008: two starts (both against the Brewers), 12.0 IP (including an abbreviated five inning stint at the end of the year, when the Cubs had sown up the Central pennant), 13 strikeouts, two walks, no homers allowed, and an ERA of 1.50.

As my boy SgtClueLs would say: it's safe to assume the sweep here.

* The preceding was brought to you by: REVERSE JINX.