|13-14 (3rd place, NL Central)
14-15 (3rd place, NL East)
GAME 1: May 2, 2011 @ 6:10 p.m. CDT
GAME 4: May 5, 2011 @ 6:10 p.m. CDT
Turner Field Atlanta, Georgia
SBN Coverage: Brewers vs Braves coverage
A View from the Other Dugout: Talking Chop
Yovani Gallardo (2-1, 5.70)
Jair Jurrjens (2-0, 1.23)
Marco Estrada (1-0, 3.00)
Tommy Hanson (3-3, 2.57)
ZACK GREINKE (0-0, 0.00)
Tim Hudson (3-2, 3.48)
Shaun Marcum (3-1, 2.21)
Brandon Beachy (1-1, 3.47)
Since we've already talked to Talking Chop once this season, it's time to take a look at the Brewers' best games against Milwaukee County Stadium's former occupants. And since this is 2011's last meeting between the two teams, we'll cover both hitters and pitchers today. Starting with the hitters:
3) J.J. Hardy, May 27, 2008: +.426 WPA
Things didn't look good for the Brewers early in the 2008 season: They entered this late May contest at 24-27 and 10-15 in the month, dropping them to six games back and fifth place in the NL Central.
For a long time on this day, it looked like the Brewers were going to drop another one: Tim Hudson held the Brewers scoreless for the first six innings as the Braves took a 2-0 lead. The Brewers chipped away at the lead, though: Hardy drove in a run with a single in the seventh inning to close the deficit to one, then legged out an infield single with the bases loaded to tie the game in the eighth and give the Brewers new life. Mike Cameron won the game with a walkoff sac fly in the ninth.
All told, Hardy went 3-for-4 in the game with two infield hits.
Follow the jump for more!
2) Richie Sexson, August 5, 2003: +.431 WPA
This game is a perfect example of how anyone can beat anyone on any given day in baseball. The Braves entered this game at 73-38, in first place in the NL East and on pace for 107 wins. The Brewers were 44-67, in last place in the Central and on their way to 94 losses. Yet somehow Richie Sexson was able to carry them to victory on this day anyway.
Sexson homered off Horacio Ramirez in the fifth to give the Brewers a 2-0 lead. Matt Kinney allowed three runs in the sixth to surrender the advantage, but Sexson got it back with a two run shot his next time up to give the Brewers a 4-3 lead they never relinquished.
1) Jeff Cirillo, April 2, 1998: +.454 WPA
Two days after the Braves spoiled the Brewers' first National League game, the Crew bounced back and won an 11 inning thriller in Atlanta. The two teams were tied in the ninth when Cirillo, who was 0-for-3 with a walk to that point, homered to left to plate two runs and give the Crew a 4-2 lead.
The Braves scored two in the bottom of the ninth to tie it but Fernando Vina (single), Cirillo (walk) and John Jaha (reached on error) were all on base when Jeromy Burnitz settled it once and for all with an eleventh inning grand slam, his second homer of the game. The Brewers allowed two runs in the bottom of the eleventh to make it interesting, but still won 8-6.
All told, Cirillo was 1-for-4 in the game with two walks and the home run. Jeromy Burnitz, who homered twice and drove in five of the Brewers' eight runs, has the Brewers' fourth best performance against the Braves at +.413 WPA.
Now, the pitchers:
3) Jeff Suppan, May 28, 2008: +.549 WPA
Yeah, seeing Suppan on this list surprised me too. Suppan had four below average-to-poor seasons as a Brewer but in May of 2008 he was actually pretty good, posting a 2.56 ERA over five starts. His best performance of the month was almost certainly this one, where he shut out the Braves for eight innings en route to a 1-0 victory.
Suppan worked around four hits and five walks in the outing, and struck out seven. The Brewers' lone run scored on Rickie Weeks' eighth inning triple, and Salomon Torres pitched a perfect ninth to close it out.
2) Jamey Wright, June 24, 2000: +.571 WPA
Jamey Wright didn't have a lot of great outings in his three seasons as a Brewer, but this was one of his best ones. Wright gave the Braves a run on two hits, a walk and a balk in the first inning but settled down after that, allowing just the one run on five hits, five walks and seven strikeouts over eight innings. The Brewers won the game 2-1.
Wright outdueled Greg Maddux in the game, with the Brewers scoring the winning run in the fourth inning when Jeromy Burnitz took the future Hall of Famer deep. A 2-1 lead against the Braves probably wasn't all that likely to hold up but Wright made it work, and Bob Wickman pitched a perfect ninth to close it out.
1) Yovani Gallardo, April 5, 2011: +.732 WPA
This one comes as no surprise. Gallardo pitched a complete game shutout against the Braves to secure the Brewers' first win of the 2011 season, allowing just two hits while walking two and striking out two.
Gallardo also, of course, went 1-for-3 in the game and scored the only run in a 1-0 Brewer victory, coming home from third on Ryan Braun's RBI infield single. B-Ref awarded him +.027 WPA as a hitter to bring his total up to +.759 for the day. By that measure, the outing was the 16th best by a starting pitcher in Brewer history.