Friday, June 21, 2013

Series Preview: Brewers in Beertown USA

We've lost 6 games in a row in Milwaukee, dating back to the beginning of the season in 2011. I'm going to state that for the record, if we win a single game I'll be fine with this series. I just don't want to get swept. I couldn't handle that for a 3rd year in a row, especially if we commit another 5 errrors in the process. On to the matchups:

Game 1: Teheran (5-3) v. Peralta (4-8)
Game 2: Hudson (4-6) v. Gorzelanny (1-0)
Game 3: Maholm (7-6) v. Figaro (1-1)

This opener is the game I'd point to as the most likely chance to win. Teheran was stunning against SF in his last game, he's producing a 4-1 K-BB rate, and he's ratcheted down the ERA to 3.36 on the season. He faces the down and out Wily Peralta, a pitcher that has lost 3 in a row, 8 of his last 10, and has an ERA over 6.00 on the year. Peralta walks people at will, doesn't strike out many, and generally can't keep the bases clean in many innings. Teheran is the exact opposite of all of those statistics. Here's the main problem. The Braves only have 10 total ABs against Peralta. That's right, they've got almost no experience against him as hitters. I expect to be no-hit through the first 5 innings. Hopefully we can win it late.

Hudson goes in game 2 against Tom Gorzelanny, who you may remember from his days with the Nats. Tom has continued his good work from 2012 by carrying a 2.76 ERA in 2013, even though he was relegated to the bullpen for much of his stint in Milwaukee so far. Now, with their rotation in shambles, Gorzelanny gets to return to the starting role he had back in 2011 for Washington. The good news is that the Braves lineup has a wealth of experience against him, and for the most part they enjoy facing his lefty arm. The exception is McCann, who has never hit well against Tom in 15 ABs, with nary a hit. It might be smart to play Laird in this game, but with Hudson on the hill I doubt that will happen. Tim has only given up 5 runs in 4 games through June, and he shows signs of being the dominant pitcher you need at the head of a staff. However, as a result of terrible hitting, he's only had 2 wins in that stretch. He'll need a lot more to cover his bases in Miller Park.

Maholm is drawing the ire of many Braves fans lately. There is talk that they wouldn't mind dealing him when Beachy comes back, if ever. While Paul is up and down in his starts, I think that would be monumentally foolish. Left-handed starters don't grow on trees, and the vets with any modicum of talent don't hit the free market very often. Paul has been strong in May, and then he's suffered a bit in June with the Braves batting slump. 5 runs of support in 3 starts isn't really going to get it done for anybody. He goes as the Braves lumber goes, and right now the lumber don't go. He faces Figaro, a name that inspires thoughts of Bugs Bunny opera cartoons. None of the Braves have seen a single pitch from this guy. I expect a perfect game from him, the way our luck is going. Ok that's enough sarcasm for one day. In reality, Figaro is a mop up guy that converted to starter because the Brewers are awful. In his last outing he got roughed up by the Astros, and the Brewers lost 10-1. To the Astros, the team that's held together by hope and loose change. Should we win this game? Absolutely. Will we? I think my stance on facing new pitchers is well known at this point.

The CPA (35-27) lost along with the Braves last night. How will the Braves fare against young Peralta?

CPA Prediction Game 1: Brewers 5 - Atlanta 2

The CPA thinks the slump continues and the Braves get roughed up by a guy they've never really faced. That seems to be the trend so far. I can't really argue with the math, but I can hope something sparks the team to start hitting with RISP. Otherwise, we're in for some long games.


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