Minnesota Twins (33-31) v. Milwaukee Brewers (36-30)
After their previous series against the Brewers, the Twins left Milwaukee three games below .500, while the Brewers were a comfortable 10 games above .500. In the three-plus weeks since, the Twins have gone 13-8 while the Brewers have not fared as well, going 9-13. More recently, the Brewers have lost two of three in Texas and won two of three in Detroit (I always liked the Brewers) on their current road trip. Despite their struggles, the Brewers remain the only team with a record over .500 in the NL Central, and they maintain a 5.5 game lead over the second place Chicago Cubs.
In that last series the Twins won two of three from the Brewers. I was there (and I’ve got the lousy pictures to prove it), as were many others including Nick N. (of Nick & Nick), Cheesehead Craig (of Oracle of Cheese), Freealonzo (of Lost Forest After Dark), and Shane (of Greet Machine).
On to the Brew Crew:
The Brewers have outperformed their Pythagorean win total all year (36 actual compared to 33 Pythagorean). Is that sustainable? Some people seem to think the Brewers have the roster to continue that success.
One new face since the previous series is Ryan Braun at third base. Since being called up he has certainly impressed with an OPS of .937 and a line of .314/.351/.586. He has also been the subject of some mugshot hijinx.
Prince Fielder is still on the team, and he’s still hitting a ridiculous amount of home runs. All those home runs are good enough for Fielder to be ranked the 14th best player in MLB by ESPN’s new metric. There were a few Brewers who made the top 100.
Friday night, Scott Baker pitches against Claudio Vargas. Both pitchers pitched in the previous series, Baker had his auspicious debut, while Vargas struggled a bit (4 IP, 5 ER, 6 H, 6 BB). The Brewers were able to come back and save Vargas from a loss, and since then Vargas has pitched a little bit better. In his 3 starts since he’s pitched into the 6th and allowed 3 or 4 runs. Nonetheless his turn was skipped in the rotation the last time through so he hasn’t started in 10 days.
Saturday, Boof Bonser takes on Dave Bush, who also pitched in the two teams first meeting, in fact, he was Baker’s opponent (7.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 H, 1 BB). Bush has a 6.07 ERA in his last 5 starts, and it always seems like the Twins offense struggles to score against scuffling pitchers like that, doesn’t it?
In the finale on Sunday the Twins youth movement continues when Kevin Slowey pitches against Jeff Suppan. Suppan has been absolutely average in his last 5 starts, going 6 IP and allowing 4 ER almost every time.
The Brewers rotation seems to be in a state of flux right now. The Twins are just missing the Major League debut of hot prospect Yovanni Gallardo who will go on Monday. Needless to say, Brewers fans are excited to see what he can do.
Finally, plenty of baseball player have blogs, and I’ve pointed out some of them in other editions of this series. This is a first though, a baseball player who blogs about football. Specifically, Kevin Mench blogs about the Philadelphia Eagles (you have to log in to see his blog, so I just linked to the article about the blog).