Padres Weekly Preview: Tough Homestand Ahead
The Brewers strong staff looks to keep it up in San Diego this week. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
The Brewers continue to defy the odds and sit in first place in the NL Central with a record of 72-58. This is of course only 1.5 games ahead of the surging Cardinals, a team that made some bold pitching moves over the trade deadline and just always seems to be in the playoffs. Yet it is in fact the Milwaukee Brewers, who we last heard of in the playoffs in 2008 when C.C. Sabathia put on the best trade deadline performance by a pitcher since Randy Johnson in Houston in 1999. Their star slugger Ryan Braun of course was disgraced last season after being found guilty (still? again?) of PED use after vehemently denying the charges after he was first round guilty following his MVP title. Braun this season after suspension? Hitting only .278 with only 16 homers. I say only because in 2012 he hit 41 and .319.
Yet the Brewers this year have been led by their catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who is garnering MVP talk and hitting .304 with 13 home runs of his own. Last year he hit .280 with 18 home runs, so the progression is not without warning. Throw in some Carlos Gomez at the top of the lineup, and some great pitching they have gotten this season from Kyle Lohse, Matt Garza, and the emergence of Wily Peralta, who is 15-8 on the season with a 3.56 ERA and you have a recipe for a surprise team that seems built for years to come. Wily Peralty, like Taylor Swift, was born in 1989.
So here they come to pitcher friendly Petco Park. Kyle Lohse returns from missing a start in game 1 opposing Eric Stults who wishes that August can last forever. Yovani Gallardo, who was supposed to be the ace this season, has only gone 8-7 despite a 3.38 ERA. He will get the call in game 3, with youngster Jimmy Nelson getting his 9th start of the year in the second game.
I say Lohse is refreshed for his start, and he puts an unfortunate end to Stultzmania(isn’t that going on?). Tyson Ross shuts down the rookie in game 2, and Game 3 Odrisamer Depaigne gets back on track to defeat Gallardo.