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Brewers (2-7) @ Pirates (3-6) series preview: Battle for the Basement 2: The Quickening

These two teams meet for their second series of the season after a short 3 game separation. Neither team is clicking and once again it's a battle for the basement. A battle the Brewers lost last time...

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Well, the season just keeps getting worse for the Brewers. They lost 2 out of 3 to the Cardinals to bring their season record to a dismal 2-7. And as if that wasn't bad enough Carlos Gomez who is either the best or the second best player on the team hit the disabled list with a hamstring injury.

The Pirates's season hasn't gone much better. In point of fact it's gone exactly one game better in the standings as they are just 3-6. Two of those wins came against the Brewers in their recent series at Miller Park. Now the two rivals meet on the Pirates home turf in the pitching friendly confines of PNC Park. That can't be good news for a team whose offense has struggled to get going.

Let's take a look at their numbers from last year.

The Position Players

Player Position DRS UZR PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR
Francisco Cervelli C -1 N/A 162 6.8 25.3 301 370 432 358 128 1.2
Tony Sanchez C 0 N/A 80 3.8 35.0 267 300 360 294 88 0.0
Pedro Alvarez 1B 0 --- 445 10.1 25.4 231 312 405 316 103 0.0
Neil Walker 2B -2 -6.8 571 7.9 15.4 271 342 467 356 130 3.6
Josh Harrison 3B 9 2.9 550 4.0 14.7 315 347 490 365 137 5.0
Jordy Mercer SS 9 0.5 555 6.3 16.0 255 300 387 299 91 2.0
Starling Marte LF 10 1.5 545 6.1 24.0 291 356 453 358 132 4.3
Andrew McCutchen CF -11 -10.8 648 13.0 17.7 314 410 542 412 168 6.8
Gregory Polanco RF -3 -3.2 312 9.6 18.9 235 307 343 293 87 0.3
Corey Hart 1B/OF --- --- 255 6.3 23.1 203 271 319 266 70 -1.1
Sean Rodriguez UTIL --- --- 259 3.9 25.5 211 258 443 305 99 -0.1
Jung Ho Kang UTIL N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Andrew Lambo OF --- --- 39 0.0 20.5 256 256 359 269 71 0.1

The Pitching Staff

Player Position IP K% BB% HR/9 BAA WHIP ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR
Francisco Liriano SP 162.1 25.3 11.7 0.72 215 1.30 3.38 3.59 3.40 3.10 1.9
The Whiny Child Gerrit Cole SP 138.0 24.2 7.0 0.72 243 1.21 3.65 3.23 3.25 3.23 2.3
AJ Burnett SP 213.2 20.3 10.3 0.84 249 1.41 4.59 4.14 3.95 3.03 1.5
Jeff Locke SP 131.1 16.2 7.3 1.10 252 1.27 3.91 4.37 3.90 4.07 0.3
Vance Worley SP 110.2 17.3 4.8 0.73 259 1.21 2.85 3.44 3.54 3.68 1.6
Mark Melancon RP 71.0 25.6 4.0 0.25 1.94 0.87 1.90 2.09 2.47 2.07 2.0
Tony Watson RP 77.1 26.6 4.9 0.58 225 1.02 1.63 2.69 2.84 2.39 1.5
Jared Hughes RP 64.1 14.1 7.4 0.56 221 1.09 1.96 3.99 3.79 3.25 -0.3
Antonio Bastardo RP 64.0 29.9 12.6 0.56 183 1.20 3.94 3.10 3.81 3.17 0.8
Rob Scahill RP 15.0 15.3 12.5 1.80 274 1.73 4.80 6.27 5.07 4.71 -0.4
Radhames Liz RP N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Arquimedes Caminero RP 6.2 25.8 12.9 2.70 296 1.80 10.80 6.43 4.57 3.70 -0.2

Pitching Match-Ups

Friday, April 17th - 6:05 pm CST: Jimmy Nelson vs Vance Worly

Jimmy Nelson faced the Pirates in the last go around and introduced them to his brand new curveball much to their dismay. He held them scoreless for 7 innings. I'm very interested to see how he fares against them after such a quick turnaround.

The Brewers teed off on Worley notching 6 ER against the pitcher. If Nelson is as dominant this could be a nice start to the series for the Brewers.

Saturday, April 18th - 6:05 pm CST: Kyle Lohse vs Jeff Locke

Kyle Lohse has not been able to find his stride this season. In his first two start he got shelled. I doubt he's just done as a pitcher but it'd be nice to see him turn it on sooner than later. Perhaps PNC will help.

The Brewers struggled against Locke last time out. It might be more of the same as they'll have to have a lefty in center field, most likely Gerardo Parra. I'm worried about who Ron Roenicke will play at 2B and 1B. The right choice might be to put Hector Gomez at 2B and either Jason Rogers or Jonathan Lucry at 1B. That doesn't mean that's what RRR will do though...

Sunday, April 12th - 1:10 pm CST: Matt Garza vs The Whiny Child Gerrit Cole

Gerrit Cole is very talented. He has tons of potential and there's no reason he can't starting putting everything together this year. As far as repertoire goes he features a mid-90's fastball, slider, curve, and change.

Matt Garza, much like Lohse, has had trouble finding his groove. Much like Lohse I don't expect that to continue for the whole season. Handing a loss to the Pirates and their whiny ace in the making would be a nice time to start.