Monday, May 14, 2007
Now the Milwaukee Brewers come to town. The Brewers, in case you haven't been paying attention, are 25-12 and sit seven games ahead of the Houston Astros and Cubs atop the N.L. Central. Since sweeping a two-game series on April 18 & 19 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Brewers had gone 17-4 before dropping two of three to the Mets. This series will say a lot about the Brewers and how strong they really are.
A lot is going right for the Brew crew right now. The Brewers are scoring 5.03 runs per game, third in the N.L. after the Mets and Phillies. The Brewers aren't hitting well in the clutch (.247 BA/RISP, vs. .257 league average), they aren't getting on bases particularly well (.337 OBP is .007 better than the league average), but they are mashing the ball at the plate. The Brewers led the N.L. in slugging percentage and isolated power. Their .182 ISO is something we'd expect to see the Phillies (.162) post.
While the Brewers are playing pedestrian defense (their DER is just .002 better than the league average), their team ERA is very good. Jeff Suppan is 5-3 with a 3.00 ERA and Chris Capuano is 5-1 with a 2.93 ERA. Along with Ben Sheets and David Bush, this is a darn good pitching staff, one of the best in the N.L., in fact, something that was utterly unheralded at the start of the season. It is largely because of this good pitching that the Brewers are running three games ahead of their pythagorean win-loss record, partly a product of being 10-5 in games decided by two or less runs, pretty much the same record the Braves (12-6) have in close games.
Tonight, Jamie Moyer goes for the Phillies. You can always count on Jamie Moyer to get a win.