I think the most apropos term to describe how deftly the Brewers have handled the Pirates this year is "spank." The Brewers have spanked the Pirates and hopefully they'll continue to do so in this three game set at home. However, the Carlos Gomez suspension is going to come down any moment, or at least it should. We've been waiting for days on it and as of this writing MLB has yet to announce it. The Brewers also currently haven't officially placed Aramis Ramirez on the DL or activated Braun so it's kind of hard to know what caliber Brewers team the Pirates will be facing.
The Pirates aren't at full strength either. Andrew McCutchen has been battling ankle soreness, but will likely be playing. Starling Marte has been dealing lower back pain and hasn't played for a few games. It uncertain if he'll be ready to play against Milwaukee. Catcher and resident tough guy Russell Martin is currently on the DL and when he returns he'll have a 1 game suspension to serve so he won't be playing this series. Travis Snider already served his suspension and will be available. To make matters worse, Wandy Rodriguez was activated off the DL and will lose, I mean start a game this series.
Tuesday, May 13th 7:10 PM: Marco Estrada vs Gerrit Cole
We all remember the last time the Brewers faced the young child Gerrit Cole. Everyone is wondering if there will be fireworks tonight because of the hissy fit he threw last time, but I suspect that nothing will happen. The Brewers have always shown themselves to be a pretty stand up team and I can't remember the last time a Brewers pitcher actually threw at someone intentionally. I imagine the adults on Cole's team have sat him down and told him to focus on making his pitches instead of a scene. He's had some trouble as of late allowing 7 runs in his last two games. He did hold the Brewers to 1 run the last time and he a good, if immature, pitcher so it won't be a cake walk.
Of note for the Brewers: I love Marco Estrada.
Wednesday, May 14th 7:10 PM: Wily Peralta vs Francisco Liriano
Who do the Brewers get on Wednesday: Jekyll or Hyde? Liriano was excellent last year and I thought he had righted the ship. That clearly hasn't been the case so far this year. He has a 4.64 ERA and 4.20 FIP. He is striking guys out less, walking more, and allowing more home runs than he has the previous two years. He's also a lefty and even without Gomez the Brewers can kill a lefty. The last time they met (this year) the Brewers tagged him for 4 runs in six innings. Let's hope for a repeat.
Of note for the Brewers: Peralta didn't have his best stuff in his last start but he still only allowed 2 runs in 6 innings against the Yankees. I expect a better outing this time against the Pirates. Last time he allowed 2 runs (1 ER) in 7 innings against them.
Thursday, May 15th 12:10 PM: Yovani Gallardo vs Wandy Rodriguez
Last time Rodriguez faced the Brewers he gave up 4 ER in 4IP. After that start he went on the disabled list. Now he's returning from the disabled list and the Brewers are the first team he'll be facing. If this was an underdog movie about Wandy Rodriguez he'd pitch a no-hitter and the game would end with a tearful embrace between him and the one person who believed he could do it: Either a poor child living on the wrong side of the tracks that formed an unlikely bond with Wandy (does anyone use that idiom anymore) OR perhaps a lovely young nurse that in helping him rehab not just his arm but his soul fell in love with him. Since this is the real world, and Rodriguez kind of sucks, the Brewers will probably scored 6 runs in 5 innings.
Of note for the Brewers: Assuming the Carlos Gomez suspension is announced on Tuesday, and MLB drops it down to two games instead of three like I suspect, AND he begins serving it on Tuesday, this would be the first game back for him.
I'm still a little salty about the Cole meltdown so I'm not going to be rational this time. The Brewer are going to get a sweep. They have the pitching advantage. They have home field advantage so home runs should be easier to come by. Ryan Braun could be returning on Tuesday. Gomez might only miss two games of the series. Also, it's possible this is my dream and you're all only figments of my imagination. So yeah, the Brewers are totally going to sweep.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs.
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