The Brewers head back on the road after a homestand where the bats fell asleep and everyone in the infield looked like they were wearing gloves on the wrong hand.
For as bad as things felt against the Cardinals and Cubs in the past week, they were a defensive meltdown in the 9th inning away from walking away from the Cubs series with a series split. Of course, if they don’t make a couple of 9th inning comebacks, they also get swept on the homestand.
Still, they’re 5-5 after their first 10 games, and this trip to St. Louis and New York represents a chance to reset in a way.
Even after taking 2 of 3 from the Brewers last week, the Cardinals will come into this second showdown with a record of just 4-5. They just dropped 2 of 3 to the Arizona Diamondbacks, including the series finale where Yadier Molina almost got into a fistfight with Arizona manager Torey Lovullo, who apparently suggested that Molina is especially close with his own mother.
Cardinals, D-backs benches clear after an argument at home plate. pic.twitter.com/8JuybxkWOH— MLB (@MLB) April 8, 2018
Molina made contact with the umpire but probably won’t be suspended.
After years of futility in the shadow of the Arch, the Brewers won all three series they played in St. Louis last year.
Monday - 6:05 p.m. CDT
Jhoulys Chacin vs. Miles Mikolas
Tuesday - 7:15 p.m. CDT
Brent Suter vs. Carlos Martinez
Wednesday - 12:15 p.m. CDT
TBA vs. Adam Wainwright
We don’t know yet who’s starting for the Brewers in the series finale, but Junior Guerra seems like a good bet, considering the schedule basically lines up for Wednesday (he’d be on an extra day rest) and he’s already on the 40-man roster. Brandon Woodruff won’t be eligible to be recalled unless there’s an injury elsewhere, since it will still be within 10 days of his demotion.
For the first time since the San Diego series, the Brewers shouldn’t be overwhelmed in the pitching matchups, at least outside of seeing Carlos Martinez again.
The Brewers will get another crack at Mikolas in the series opener after collecting 7 hits and scoring 4 runs against him in 5.2 innings last week. We’ll see if the Brewers can keep him from hitting another home run this time around. Chacin’s second start as a Brewer was better, but still not great -- he gave up 6 runs, but was only one out away from a “quality start” when half of those runs were deemed unearned (do not confuse this with me saying he had a good start).
St. Louis is also doing the Brewers (and the rest of the division) a favor by putting Wainwright back in the rotation. Last week, the Brewers faced one of the Cardinals’ top pitching prospects in Jack Flaherty, who struck out 9 and allowed just 1 run over 6 innings. He was demoted to Triple-A almost immediately after that start to make room for Wainwright, so the veteran could get the honor of pitching in the Cardinals’ home opener. Wainwright went on to walk 4 and give up 4 hits while allowing 3 runs over 3.2 innings. Flaherty struck out 11 in his next start in Triple-A.
After two meetings in the first couple weeks of the season, this will be the last time the Brewers and Cardinals will play until Memorial Day.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference