The Brewers are the story of the NL Central, mashing taters and holding first place in the division. They’ve won five of their last six and took two of three from the Padres over the weekend.
The Pirates (31-38) failed to capitalize on an opportunity, losing two of three to the Cubs over the weekend, with a blown lead late on Friday. Now they hit the road for two more big divisional series, starting at the house of horrors in Milwaukee, with St. Louis to follow.
Season Series: 2-1 Pirates
May 5: Pirates 4, Brewers 0
May 6: Pirates 2, Brewers 1, 10 innings
May 7: Brewers 6, Pirates 2
Monday, 7:40 p.m. - Gerrit Cole (4-6, 4.54 ERA) vs. Matt Garza (3-2, 4.17), TV: Root
Tuesday, 7:40 p.m. - Chad Kuhl (1-6, 5.61) vs. Zach Davies (7-3, 4.91), TV: Root
Wednesday, 8:10 p.m. - Trevor Williams (3-3, 5.16) vs. Junior Guerra (1-1, 2.84), TV: Root
Thursday, 2:10 p.m. - Ivan Nova (7-4, 2.91) vs. Chase Anderson (5-2, 2.92), TV: Root
38-33 (37-34 Pythag, 4.89 RS/G, 4.65 RA/G)
Milwaukee has hit 103 home runs, good for fifth in the majors. Eric Thames (.269/.402/.616, 20 HR), you’ve probably heard, has gone bonkers. Travis Shaw (.296/.350/.532, 12 HR) has gone just slightly less bonkers. Thirty-year-old catcher Manny Pina (.306/.347/.470) has come out of nowhere, which is bonkers. We already knew Hernan Perez was bonkers. Keon Broxton and Domingo Santana have been a little more expectedly solid. Eric Sogard was picked up off the scrap heap and has hit .340/.446/.521 in 112 plate appearances since being called up, which is completely bonkers.
The Pirates will miss Jimmy Nelson, who pitched a complete game on Sunday. Chase Anderson (8.32 K/9, 2.70 BB/9) has been quite good, though. Matt Garza and Zach Davies have had success despite lower strikeout numbers, and Junior Guerra is regaining his footing after recovering from a strained calf suffered on Opening Day. The bullpen will be fresh after Nelson’s complete game; it’s generally been in flux with the struggles of Neftali Feliz, who has been DFA’d. Corey Knebel (15.90 K/9) has been nasty and has taken over the closer role. Jacob Barnes (9.36 K/9, 4.28 BB/9) has been serviceable. Carlos Torres (4.95 ERA, 5.53 FIP) is tied with Knebel and Barnes for the team lead in appearances (36), though.
Miller Park is a bad place for the Pirates to go. When they’re doing well, they stop doing so at Miller Park. When they’re bad, they continue being bad there. When they’re whatever they are this year, they’ll probably just be bad at Miller Park. That’s what happens.
How bad will this series be?
This poll is closed
Pirates sweep (inserted for completeness only)
Pirates 3-1, strangely