The Milwaukee Brewers (62-68) will host the Pittsburgh Pirates (70-60) for a three-game series at Miller Park this weekend. The Brewers took two out of three from the Pirates last weekend at PNC Park while winning eight of their last 10 games. Meanwhile, the Pirates are still battling for a playoff spot, as they are currently a half game back in the wild card race.
Friday August 31, 2012
Mark Rogers (2-1, 4.28 ERA) vs. Jeff Karstens (5-3, 3.47 ERA)
Mark Rogers has two consecutive wins, including a victory in his last outing against the Pirates. Rogers battled through five innings without surrendering a run on three hits while striking out five batters. He needs to continue to pitch well as this is clearly a tryout for next season to see if he can win a spot in the starting rotation.
Jeff Karstens took a win in his last outing, which came against Milwaukee Saturday night. Even though Karstens pitched seven innings, he was forced to leave the game with a groin injury. There is no telling how this could affect his outing Friday night. Karstens has pitched at least seven innings in seven of his last 10 starts.
Saturday September 1, 2012
Marco Estrada (2-5, 4.02 ERA) vs. A.J. Burnett (15-5, 3.67 ERA)
Like Rogers, Marco Estrada has two straight wins after going winless for the entire season. In both victories, he has not given up a run on a combined eight hits and 11 innings pitched while striking out 17 batters. Estrada took a no-decision the last time he faced Pittsburgh, which came on July 14 when he allowed three earned runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings.
A.J. Burnett has been outstanding for the Pirates this season, as the trade from the New York Yankees has clearly rejuvenated his career. Burnett took a loss in his last outing in which he allowed three earned runs and surrendered the lead mid-game to the St. Louis Cardinals. To get an idea of how good he has been this season, Pittsburgh has scored a measly eight runs in Burnett’s five losses.
Sunday September 2, 2012
Yovani Gallardo (14-8, 3.52 ERA) vs. James McDonald (12-6, 3.57 ERA)
Yovani Gallardo continued his streak of pitching at least seven innings to eight games. He has recorded a win in six straight starts, all of which have come since Zack Greinke was traded on July 27. In those six wins, he has given up nine earned runs while striking out an incredible 44 batters. In Gallardo’s last outing against the Pirates on July 15, he received the win after surrendering only one earned run while striking out 14 batters.
James McDonald needs to find his command and consistency again if Pittsburgh wants a shot at making the postseason. He is certainly getting better as two of his last three starts have been wins, both against St. Louis, in which he did not give up a run and struck out 13 batters.