Reds @ Brewers
The Brewers started the homestand leading the Wild Card race by 5.5 games over the Phillies and 4.5 games behind the Cubs in the Central Division. After a 2-5 start to this 10-game stand, the Crew is looking to plug some holes in the boat. They remain four games ahead in the Wild Card, and four games behind in the Division with 19 games to play. They’re still in good shape but hope to clean up the defense and find the barrel of the bat this week.
Next up, the Reds. Dusty Baker’s club took 2 of 3 at home against the Cubs to help keep the Brewers in striking distance. Sunday, Jolbert Cabrera had a walk-off hit as the Reds scored three times in the ninth to beat Cubs closer Kerry Wood. Chris Dickerson had a two-run pinch-hit single in the ninth to tie it after the Reds had only three hits and one run entering the inning. The Reds are coming off a 6-3 homestand and the walk-off win on Sunday was their 11th of the season, tying Florida for the most in the majors.
Cincinnati sends two hot pitchers against the Crew in Edinson Volquez (16-5), a Cy Young candidate, and Bronso Arroyo (14-10). Arroyo has a 3.13 ERA in 10 starts since the All-Star break. In 69.0 innings pitched, Arroyo has 50 K’s and only 18 walks.
These teams have split the first 12 games in the season series, with each club going 4-2 in the opponents’ park.
The Brewers split their four-game series with the Padres. After averaging 5.6 runs per game in August, the Brewers are scoring 2.3 runs per game this month.
Edinson Volquez looks to become the first Red to win 17 games in a season since Pete Schourek posted 18 victories in 1995. Mario Soto was the last righthander to win at least 17 games when he went 18-7 in 1984.
Jay Bruce was 1-for-2 Sunday and has reached base in 11 consecutive games, batting .316 (12-for-38) in the process.
Edwin Encarnacion is slugging .569 with the bases empty, compared to .349 with runners on, the largest disparity in the National League (minimum 3.1 PA per team game).
Ryan Braun’s 21 homers versus the NL Central this season are the most by any player against a single division.
Monday: Dave Bush (9-10, 4.33) vs. RHP Edinson Volquez (16-5, 3.12)
Tuesday: Jeff Suppan (10-8, 4.56) vs. RHP Ramon Ramirez (0-0, 2.70)
Wednesday: CC Sabathia (9-0, 1.42) vs. RHP Bronson Arroyo (14-10, 4.84)
Monday and Tuesday’s game will be televised in High Definition on FSN Wisconsin, while Wednesday’s matinee can be seen on WMLW at 1pm in the Milwaukee area. John Walsh will produce, Michael Oddino will direct.
Have a great week.