The St. Louis Cardinals may not be very good this year, but it's hard to understate how big the series win was. The Brewers now hold a 2.5-game lead in the NL Central, and head into the second half of June with a very favorable schedule. The next team currently over .500 the Brewers will face? The New York Yankees. On July 7th. The last series before the All-Star Break.
Next up in the soft underbelly of the 2017 schedule is the San Diego Padres, who, despite their best efforts, are not in last place in the NL West. At 27-40, though they're still one of the worst performing teams in baseball this year. Their leading hitter, Yangervis Solarte, is hitting .262/.344/.376. Their team leader in ERA is Clayton Richard (who the Brewers knocked around in May), at 4.30. Yet somehow, the Giants have managed to stink worse. The poor Padres can't even tank right.
In the middle of their May hot streak that helped power them to first place in the NL Central, the Brewers took 3 of 4 from the Padres in San Diego, despite losing the series opener in extra innings when Oliver Drake failed to nail down a save and gave up a walkoff 2-run home run to Hunter Renfroe. The Brewers responded with three wins, stretching their hot streak to 9 wins in 11 games.
Friday, 7:10 p.m. CDT, FS Wisconsin - Miguel Diaz vs. Junior Guerra
I told Kyle this was the projected matchup a few days ago, and his response was something that probably shouldn't be printed on this website. After starting the season in San Diego's bullpen, the former Brewers farmhand and Rule 5 pick returns to Wisconsin to make the start in the series opener. His season ERA currently sits at 6.92, but he did throw 3 scoreless innings against the Brewers during their trip to San Diego in mid-May. This will be his second start of the season, throwing just 2 innings on 46 pitches in his first start last Saturday.
Saturday, 3:10 p.m. CDT, FS Wisconsin - Dinelson Lamet vs. Chase Anderson
Another rookie, Lamet has made 4 starts this year after starting the year in Triple-A El Paso, where he struck out 50 batters in 39 innings. Lamet showed that strikeout stuff in his first two career starts, striking out 8 batters in 5 innings in both outings, allowing a total of just 3 runs. Control has also been an issue for him, though, and things went off the rails in his two most recent starts. He walked 5 batters and allowed 9 runs (7 earned) on June 6th against Arizona and allowed 7 earned runs in 5 innings against Kansas City on June 11th. An extreme flyball pitcher to this point, Lamet has allowed 6 home runs in 18 major league innings so far.
Sunday, 1:10 p.m. CDT, FS Wisconsin - Luis Perdomo vs. Jimmy Nelson
Pitcher wins and losses are pretty meaningless, but the last time we saw Perdomo, he was still looking for his first decision of the year when he faced the Brewers on May 15th. The Padres won that game, but Perdomo didn't, extending his no-decision streak to 6 starts. He took care of that in the next outing after Milwaukee left town, allowing 8 runs on 11 hits in 3 innings to take a loss against Arizona. He's pitched much better since then, though, even getting a win after throwing 6.2 innings against the Reds on Monday, allowing just three runs. Perdomo struck out a season-high 9 batters in his first start against the Brewers, walking none and allowing 3 runs in 6 innings.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference