Pirates @ Brewers
The Brewers took two of three from the red-hot Astros and after a day off, one of three in the next eight days, it’s the Pittsburgh Pirates next on the bill.
The Pirates traded away Jason Bay (BOS) and Xavier Nady (NYY), two of their big boppers, but still have a roster full of up and comers playing for jobs next year. The Bucs also traded 3B Jose Bautista to the Blue Jays to make room for Andy LaRoche, who was acquired from the Dodgers in the three team deal that sent Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers.
RHP Matt Capps is expected to return from the Disabled List (shoulder) Saturday.
The Pirates will have a major say in the Central division. The Brewers play the Bucs nine more times, and Pittsburgh has three games remaining against the Cubs and the Cardinals.
The Brewers have won nine straight home games versus the Pirates.
Dave Bush is 5-2 with a 2.75 ERA over his last 10 starts and is 2-0 with a 1.77 ERA in three starts this month. Opponents are hitting only .178 against Bush in August.
Zach Duke has been struggling recently. Duke is 0-6 with a 8.52 ERA in his last eight starts.
Adam LaRoche is hitting .333 (17-for-51) with five home runs and eight RBI in his last 14 games.
Milwaukee has recorded 36 come from behind victories this season, tied with the Cubs for the most among NL teams.
J.J. Hardy is hitting .406 (28-for-69) with five home runs and 17 RBI in his last 17 games against the Pirates.
The Brewers open the Pirates series 5.5 games behind the Cubs in the NL Central and 2.5 games ahead of the Cardinals for the Wild Card.
Here’s the schedule breakdown for the Brew Crew the rest of the way:
19 home / 15 road
19 vs -.500 teams (vs PIT, @ PIT, vs SD, vs CIN, @ CIN, vs PIT)
15 vs playoff contenders (@ STL, vs NYM, @ PHI, @ CUBS, vs CUBS)
6 vs Cubs
2 vs Cardinals
The Cubs have 35 games left (16 home, 19 road) including 20 versus playoff contenders (Brewers-6, Cardinals-6, Phillies-4, Mets-4)
The Cardinals have 33 games left (18 home, 15 road), 18 versus playoff contenders (Brewers-2, Arizona-7, Cubs-6, Florida-3).
Friday: Dave Bush (7-9, 4.26) vs. LHP Zach Duke (4-11, 5.26) on FSN Wisconsin
Saturday: Jeff Suppan (8-7, 4.62) vs. RHP Jeff Karstens (2-2, 2.25) on WMLW
Sunday: CC Sabathia (8-0, 1.60) vs. LHP Paul Maholm (8-7, 3.64) on FSN Wisconsin
Have a great weekend.