Series Preview – Cubs @ Brewers; April 19 – April 21, 2013
No rain outs this weekend! It seems as though the Brewers have found a groove since playing the Cubs as they are playing better of late. Yesterday’s Cubs game was very encouraging as far as the offense goes, it was some of the best contact of the year, and they will see the best weather they have all year in Milwaukee, thanks roof. I really think the bats want to take off, Anthony Rizzo hit the ball hard in almost every at bat yesterday, Soriano hit his first home run yesterday, and Castro walked twice yesterday, all good things. Always a fun series in Milwaukee as a lot of Cubs fans usually make the trip up there, and it is rather important that the Cubs get off to a good start to this trip in Milwaukee or this ten game trip might not turn out so great.
The Cubs split a rain shortened two game set with the Rangers at home.
The Brewers swept a three game series against the Giants in Milwaukee.
Game Times and Broadcast Information:
- Friday, April 19, 2013 – 7:10 PM CST on WCIU
- Saturday, April 20, 2013 – 6:10 PM CST on CSN Chicago
- Sunday, April 21, 2013 – 1:10 PM CST on CSN Chicago
Starting Pitchers Scheduled:
Game One - Jeff Samardzija (1-2, 2.75)
- Career vs. Brewers (17 appearances, 3 GS) (2-3, 3.93)
Game Two - Edwin Jackson (0-2, 6.06)
- Career vs. Brewers (8 GS) (3-3, 3.57)
Game Three - Scott Feldman (0-2, 6.00)
- Career vs. Brewers (1 GS) (1-0, 0.00)
Game One - Marco Estrada (1-0, 4.50)
- Career vs. Cubs (9 appearances, 4 GS) (3-0, 3.56)
Game Two - Hiram Burgos (0-1, 4.50)
- Career vs. Cubs (First appearance, Major League Debut)
Game Three - Wily Peralta (0-1, 6.19)
- Career vs. Cubs (1 GS) (0-0, 2.70)
Who’s Hot / Who’s Not:
The Cubs hitting seems to be picking things up, sure it’s really only one game, but at this point I’ll take it. The Cubs could be considered to be falling on some back luck recently, especially in the Giants series. The Cubs went 3-6 on the rain shortened home stand and the record could have been the exact opposite if they could just close games out. Welington Castillo has been red-hot really all season long, as he is hitting .425 on the season with three double, a home run, and four RBI’s. Starlin Castro is also gaining traction at the plate as he has his average up to .311 with four doubles, a triple, two home runs, and six RBI’s. Anthony Rizzo has been struggling a bit, but found some bad luck recently with line outs, I think he has a big series in Milwaukee, he looks better at the plate of late. The Cubs starting pitching has been outstanding this year, the cumulative ERA is 3.15 which is sixth best in the Majors, conversely the bullpen ERA is 5.73 which is 29th in the Majors. Obviously, if that number is just a little bit lower the Cubs could have four or five more wins.
The Brewers are coming off an impressive showing against the defending champion Giants sweeping the three game set and outscoring them 21 to 13. Carlos Gomez is scorching hot for the Brewers, over the last five games he’s hitting .556 (10-for18) with a triple, home run, and two RBI’s. Jonathan Lucroy seems to have snapped out of his early season slump as well, he is hitting .350 (7-for-20) in his last five games with two home runs and five RBI’s. Ryan Braun has gone ice-cold, some are blaming a neck injury that he is coming off of because you just don’t see these types of numbers from him, he’s hitting .091 (2-for-22) in his last six games, those two hits were home runs. Milwaukee’s pitching is what is holding them back right now, and it’s been a mix of starters not getting the job done, and the bullpen being very unpredictable. Their team ERA is 4.75 which is good for 26th in the Majors.
I like the way the Cubs swung the bats against the Rangers yesterday and I think the warm weather (inside) in Milwaukee will continue that trend. I think the Cubs win two out of three this weekend, and might have an opportunity to sweep on Sunday.
Thanks for reading,