The Milwaukee Brewers (44-47) will take on the Cincinnati Reds (52-40) with plenty riding on the series. The Brewers are coming off of back-to-back series wins but none of that will matter unless they can take two out of three from the Reds. Meanwhile, Cincinnati leads the NL Central division by a half game, which means they cannot let up against Milwaukee this weekend.
Friday July 20, 2012
Marco Estrada (0-3, 4.13 ERA) vs. Homer Bailey (8-6, 3.93 ERA)
Marco Estrada came close to his first victory of the season in his last outing but Milwaukee’s bullpen and miscues on defense blew another for the starter. Estrada has surrendered eight earned runs on 13 hits in two starts against the Reds this season. He did however record a career-high 12 strikeouts against Cincinnati in six innings pitched on June 26.
Homer Bailey is one of the reasons why the Reds are 12 games above .500 as he has pitched outstanding in his last few outings. In his last start, he allowed only one run on nine hits in eight innings pitched in a critical matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals. Bailey pitched two days earlier than expected and has given up only five earned runs in his last 22 2/3 innings pitched.
Saturday July 21, 2012
Yovani Gallardo (8-6, 3.62 ERA) vs. Bronson Arroyo (4-6, 4.03 ERA)
Yovani Gallardo is coming off a solid victory against the Pittsburgh Pirates in which he surrendered one earned run on four hits while striking out 14 batters in seven innings pitched. Gallardo has been a rock for the starting rotation and has given the Brewers a chance to win in his last seven outings. He has also only given up two runs in his last 19 2/3 innings pitched.
Bronson Arroyo had his worst start of the season against the Arizona Diamondbacks in which he was tacked for five runs on eight hits in three innings pitched. The starter only tossed 48 pitches after going nine strong innings in his previous start. Arroyo has been on and off for the Reds but must find some consistency for the the team to stay on top.
Sunday July 22, 2012
Michael Fiers (3-3, 1.94 ERA) vs. Johnny Cueto (11-5, 2.28 ERA)
Michael Fiers continues his outstanding emergence in the majors, but unfortunately, the bullpen has yet to get behind him. Fiers’ seven solid innings of four-hit ball without giving up a run was wasted when closer John Axford blew the save and the game in the ninth inning against the Cardinals Monday night. Axford was removed from his closer duties after the game. Fiers has been a shining star in Milwaukee’s minor league system and he has certainly proved he can play at the big league level.
Johnny Cueto has been phenomenal for the Reds this season and continues to dominate opposing offenses. He has given great performances every start and gives Cincinnati the confidence they need to win the division. Cueto has had nine consecutive quality starts and has only allowed 19 earned runs all season in 67 innings pitched.