It's the dawning of a new age for baseball in Milwaukee. The pariah that was Ron Roenicke has been cast off the necks of the oppressed and a new shining light has taken it's place. Now is the start of the ascension when Craig Counsell shall lead the Brewers and their fans to the promised land. And...what's that? Ron Roenicke wasn't a bad manager in any quantifiable way and Craig Counsell is an unknown quantity and the season is still very probably over because managers very probably don't contribute much to season records? Oh, well then carry on.
Anyway, over the weekend the Brewers won a two games in a row (and a series) for the first time. Huzzah! Clayton Kershaw pitches tonight so chances are they won't be winning a third game. Sadness. It's okay though. We still get to see Clayton Kershaw pitch which is a treat even if it's while he's destroying your favorite team. We get another treat as former Brewer and fan favorite Zack Greinke takes the mound the next night. So yeah, if Craig Counsell wanted to get off on the right foot he wasn't given an easy series to start.
Offensive Spotlight - The Entire Team
The Dodgers currently sport the best offense in baseball. Their .354 wOBA is 10 points higher than second place and they're the only team in the top 6 that isn't an American League team. The next National League team is the Rockies with a .332 wOBA but they have that thin air to boost their numbers a bit. Somewhat surprisingly the next best NL team is the Padres with .318 wOBA. That's right around MLB average (.310 wOBA) which is still impressive considering the ballpark they play in. But Dodger stadium is no bandbox either.
Monday May 4, 6:20 pm CST: Kyle Lohse vs Clayton Kershaw
Clayton Kershaw is a demigod or an alien or a robot. He's awesome. But he's actually been kind of hittable this year. He has a .264 opponent batting average and a 3.73 ERA. Both would be extreme career highs so they won't last much longer. His 2.81 FIP and 1.92 xFIP agree. He's still striking out a boatload (33.3 K%). It's only a matter of time before he resumes murdering offenses for months at a time.
Tuesday May 5, 7:10 pm CST: Matt Garza vs Zack Greinke
I really miss Zack Greinke and I'm really hoping a reporter gets his thoughts on the managerial change that just took place. I'm also looking forward to watching him pitch again. It's always going to be a bummer if/when he's mowing down Brewers batters but it's still fun to watch him pitch. And hey, who knows? Maybe he opts out of his contract with the Dodgers after this year and he returns to Milwaukee to play for his buddy. (Yeah I know that's not going to happen why must you destroy my dreams?)
Wednesday May 6, 7:10 pm CST: Wily Peralta vs Carlos Frias
The Dodgers, unlike the Brewers, walked into this season feeling pretty good about their pitching depth. Brandon McCarthy is out for the season after TJ surgery. Hyun-Jin Ryu won't be back for some time yet with a shoulder injury. Brandon Beachy and Chris Withrow won't be able to pitch for a couple of months while they recover from TJ surgery they had last year. Thus we have Carlos Frias starting for Los Angeles.
He's had a pretty mediocre minor league career as a starter and likely fits best as a reliever. So far this year (7.2 IP) he's thrown nothing but variations of his fastball: 4-seam (mid-90's), 2-seam, and cutter. Last year out of the bullpen he threw a small number of sliders, curves, and change-ups.
Thursday May 7, 12:40 pm CST: Mike Fiers vs TBD
TBD is the longest tenured baseball player in history. You can find instances of his being named probable starter for every franchise in existence going back literally decades. Yet he is shrouded in mystery. In fact, his bio pic on team pages is always a shadow figure devoid of any features at all. He might be a she for all we know. And here is the craziest thing. She/He's never pitched a single game. She/He will be listed as the probable starter, but when the day comes someone else always starts in her/his place. It's spooky.
Statistics courtesy of FanGraphs