The marathon is turning into a two and a half month sprint beginning Friday night in San Francisco. The post all-star pitching rotation is set for the Giants series this weekend: Sabathia-Sheets-Parra. It’s still unknown what Ned Yost will do for the first two games of the St. Louis series beginning Monday…but my guess is Seth McClung, then Jeff Suppan. Sabathia and Sheets will pitch the final two games at Busch Stadium. Suppan is still on the disabled list but threw a successful bullpen session Thursday in San Francisco. Ned is still strongly considering “piggybacking” McClung and Dave Bush with McClung starting road games and Bush starting home games. We’ll have to wait and see if that actually happens but it’s not a bad thought considering Bush’s difficulty on the road. Either way, someone will eventually evolve into the #5 starter.
One thing is for sure, Sabathia and Sheets will not only strengthen the starting rotation, but the bullpen as well. Bullpen success depends, in large part, on bullpen usage. CC and Ben are dominant innings eaters and I suspect the Brewers bullpen, especially middle and long relief, will be much more rested and much easier to manage with two horses at the front of the rotation.
The Brewers worked out at AT&T Park Thursday. Only the all stars (Braun, Hart, Sheets) had excused absences. Everybody else was there, looked great and ready for the stretch drive!
Some news and notes to prep you for the Giants series:
The Brewers have homered in each of their last 13 games (20hr), which marks their longest streak of the season. It’s the longest streak since they went 16 straight games with a homer last season from 6/20-7/7 (29hr).
Bill Hall (12) and Russell Branyan (10) have combined to hit 22 home runs from the third base position this season, the most in the Major Leagues.
The Brewers will be making their first trip to San Francisco since the Giants swept the Brewers in a three-game series in August of last year.
CC Sabathia will be making his second career start against the Giants. Sabathia allowed two runs in 8.0 innings in a win against the Giants on June 10, 2005.
JJ Hardy has recorded seven home runs this month, tied with Adam Dunn for the second-most among N.L. players for the month of July.
The Giants are 14-3 at home when holding opponents to under four runs this year.
John Bowker has been struggling at the plate recently. Bowker is hitless in his last 10 at bats, including six strikeouts.
Matt Cain is 1-3 with a 4.50 ERA in his last four home starts.
Giants Injury Report:
Randy Winn (bruised right knee) left the July 11 game after fouling a ball off his knee and missed games from July 12-13. He is day to day.
Dan Ortmeier (broken left middle finger) went on the 15-day disabled list May 30. He began a rehab assignment with High-A San Jose on July 6.
Dave Roberts (torn meniscus in left knee) went on the 15-day disabled list April 8 and had surgery April 12. He began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Fresno on July 7 and might return shortly after the All-Star break.
Kevin Frandsen (ruptured left Achilles tendon) suffered the injury March 2 and had season-ending surgery March 29. He opened the season on the 15-day disabled list and was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 15.
Noah Lowry (left arm surgery on March 7) opened the season on the 15-day disabled list and was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 30. He’s currently in Arizona trying to strengthen the arm.
Enjoy the weekend.