Things weren't looking so hot for the Brewers last week, losing five straight games before rebounding to take the final two against Arizona over the weekend. Now they head back out on the road -- where they've largely been successful this season -- against a team they've already beaten soundly before, the New York Mets.
The Mets come into this series at 21-27, but in second place in the NL East, which might just be the worst division in baseball. They are coming off a series win in Pittsburgh, though, winning the first and third games of the series rather easily and losing the middle game in extra innings.
The Brewers swept the Mets in a weekend series at Miller Park earlier this month, including the incredible comeback on Mother's Day. That series came in the middle of the Brewers' early-month hot streak that saw them win 9 of 11 games before the "rain"out in Chicago. Pitching was a problem for the Mets all series, as the Brewers 39 runs in the three-game set.
Monday, 3:10 p.m. CDT, FS Wisconsin - Matt Garza vs. Robert Gsellman
The Brewers crushed Gsellman for 6 runs (5 earned) on 9 hits in just 4 innings during their first meeting this year. The outing caused the Mets to banish him to the bullpen for a 10-game stretch, but he returned to the rotation last week and turned in a quality start against San Diego (6 IP 6 H 3 ER 1 BB 3 K). He didn't factor into the decision in what eventually be a 6-5 Mets loss, but it was his strongest outing since mid-April, so it's possible he found something during his respite.
Tuesday, 6:10 p.m. CDT, FS Wisconsin - Zach Davies vs. TBD
The Mets haven't announced who their starter is yet for the series' second game, but right now it looks like it will be either Tyler Pill or Josh Smoker, with Terry Collins hinting earlier in the weekend that he's probably leaning toward Pill, who was called up just a few days ago. Pill was carrying a 1.96 ERA in 7 Triple-A starts for Las Vegas, which is hard to do in that hitting environment. The 27-year-old did that despite striking out just 23 batters in 46 innings. That's probably because only 10 of the 17 runs he's allowed this year have been earned. Evidently, the Mets have some defensive issues at Triple-A.
Wednesday, 6:10 p.m. CDT, FS Wisconsin - Junior Guerra vs. Jacob deGrom
The Brewers touched up deGrom for 4 runs in 6+ innings during that comeback on Mother's Day, with most of the damage coming late in that outing. Since then, he's been on fire, striking out 19 batters in 15.1 innings, allowing just 1 run and lowering his ERA from 4.07 to 3.23. He's now struck out 86 batters in just 64 innings on the season, with his 12.1 K/9 leading the league. The one spot he's been susceptible this year is with the longball, having given up 8 home runs already through 10 starts.
Thursday, 12:10 p.m. CDT, FS Wisconsin - Chase Anderson vs. Zack Wheeler
The former almost-Brewer didn't pitch in the first series against the Brewers, but the Mets might just be happy he's pitching at all. He's made 9 starts this year and comes in with tha 3.83 ERA/4.24 FIP, but before this season started, he'd pitched all of 1 inning since 2014. Wheeler was recovering from Tommy John surgery in 2015 when the Brewers nearly traded Carlos Gomez for him, then suffered setbacks that kept him out for nearly all of 2016, too. This year, he's returned to strike out 45 batters in his first 49.1 innings, but has also walked 22. The Mets are still keeping a very close eye on his pitch count -- his season high is 108 and he's been allowed to go above 100 pitches just twice -- and he’s currently battling a blister, so his status for this game is still a bit up in the air, but not enough for the Mets to make this one another TBD game.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs