The Milwaukee Brewers desperately need a win.
This year, when they desperately need a win, the Cincinnati Reds tend to show up at just the right time.
Having won 7 of 10 against the Reds so far this year, the Brewers once again welcome them to Miller Park this weekend, trying to end a 5-game losing streak and a month-long offensive skid that's sent them from first place to third place in the NL Central.
If there's good news, it's that the deficit in the standings is still just two games, because nobody seems to want to win the division this year. The first-place Cubs will face a challenge this weekend in Arizona, while the now-second place Cardinals will face the Braves.
Friday, 7:10 p.m. CDT, FS Wisconsin - Homer Bailey vs. Jimmy Nelson
If there's anyone that can break the Brewers out of their month-long hitting slump, it's Bailey. He comes into today with an ERA of 8.86 in 9 starts, but to be fair, he's been unlucky -- his FIP is only 5.74. His ERA+ of 50 means he's literally been 50% worse than the average pitcher. He has a 26:20 K:BB ratio in 42.2 innings, and he's given up 7 home runs. He's coming off a start in which the Cardinals tagged him for 10 earned runs (!!) on 10 hits and 4 walks in 3.1 innings. The Brewers faced him back on June 29th and teed off on him for 3 home runs in 3 innings, scoring 6 runs off Bailey en route to an 11-3 win.
Saturday, 6:10 p.m. CDT, FS Wisconsin - TBA vs. Brent Suter
This will be either Scott Feldman or Tim Adleman taking the mound against Suter. Feldman is currently on the DL with inflammation in his right knee, but may be back to make this start depending on his performance in agility drills. He's been a pretty league-average starter this year, putting up a 4.34 ERA/4.52 FIP/102 ERA+ in 19 starts. The Brewers have won both games in which Feldman started against them this year -- the first in which he gave up 2 runs in 5 innings (but yielded 5 walks) on April 14th, and the second on April 25th when he gave up 4 runs in 5 innings (and again walked 5).
Adleman's had a rougher go of it this year, with a 5.35 ERA/5.66 FIP in 21 games (20 of those being starts). He's struck out 8.1 per 9 innings this year, but he's also giving up 2.1 home runs per 9. The Brewers hit him well the last time they saw him on June 27th -- 5 runs over 5 innings, on the back of 3 home runs -- but they ended up dropping that game after Junior Guerra gave up 8 runs on 4 home runs in 4 innings.
Sunday, 1:10 p.m. CDT, FS Wisconsin - Sal Romano vs. Matt Garza
Romano has struggled mightily with his command, and he's been hit hard when he has found the strike zone. He'll come into this start with an eye-popping 5.1 BB/9, contributing to the 20 earned runs he's allowed in 33.2 innings. The Brewers faced him on April 16th, drawing 4 walks and hitting 2 home runs against him in 3 innings before he was pulled. That would be his last start until July 6th. He's cut down the walks so far in August, with just 2 over 12 innings in 2 starts, but he's still surrendered 9 earned runs in those outings.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference