The Milwaukee Brewers (9-10) will matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals (12-7) this weekend at Busch Stadium. It is Milwaukee’s first trip to St. Louis this season and it starts out a nine-game road trip for the Brewers.
It is critical for Milwaukee to come away with at least two victories this weekend to try and even the playing field with St. Louis. The Brewers will have Yovani Gallardo and Zack Greinke making starts so the odds are in their favor. However, Jake Westbrook and Kyle Lohse have been pitching very will this season, along with the rest of the Cardinals pitching staff that are ranked third in the National League with a 2.65 team ERA.
Marco Estrada, the Brewers fifth starter who will be taking over for the injured Chris Narveson, was scheduled to start Friday. However, manager Ron Roenicke has decided Gallardo will start instead with yesterday’s day off, not to mention, the day off Milwaukee has next week Thursday. Gallardo and Greinke want to pitch on five days of rest so instead of screwing up the order Roenicke will skip Estrada Friday and next week as well.
Gallardo has not pitched well against the Cardinals in his career and Greinke has been unable to transfer his success at Miller Park on the road. Both players must figure out a way to get past their woes because every game this season against St. Louis is of the utmost importance. If the Brewers could somehow find a way to get their hitting and pitching on the same page and sweep the Cardinals, they would be tied for first place in the division (assuming the Cincinnati Reds do not sweep the Houston Astros at home this weekend).
Fans in Milwaukee have been waiting for weeks for the Brewers to bust out the bats and give the starting pitching some run support. They scored 20 runs in their last series and lead the NL in home runs with 27, five more than the second-place Cardinals. They are also fourth in runs batted in (83) and runs scored (87). The starting pitching is playing good as well, but the inconsistencies still lie within the team as the bullpen has been unable to keep leads intact.
I have preached on and on about how the Brewers lack of consistency is single-handedly destroying them this season. Well, if they want to beat the best team in the NL then they must find a way to overcome this problem. Only then will Milwaukee be able to challenge St. Louis for the division.