Today will start a three game series between the Milwaukee Brewers (1-5) and the Chicago Cubs (2-4) at Wrigley Field. For the Brewers, they are not only coming off of getting swept, but a current five game losing streak. The Cubs are also coming off of being swept by the Atlanta Braves.
Let’s get into it.
Last season wasn’t exactly the greatest for the Cubs as they went 61-101 even under the new general manager Theo Epstein. The biggest contributions offensively came from Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo and Alfonso Soriano, which seemed to be the only bright spot on the team. Unfortunately for the Cubs in 2013, second baseman Darwin Barney is currently on the disabled list, but is expected back soon. The offense was the strong suit for the Cubs and they look to retain that in 2013 with their relatively young infield.
Pitching wise for the Cubs, the additions of Edwin Jackson, Scott Feldman and Kyuji Fujikawa may help the team begin to rebound somewhat. Jeff Samardzija who was the 2013 Opening Day starter, has begun to develop himself as the face of the rotation alongside starter Travis Wood. Relief wise, Carlos Marmol is out as the closer due to a blown save and Fujikawa will take over for the time being. Matt Garza and Scott Baker are also on the disabled list for the Cubs pitching wise.
After a series sweep against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the tied for last place Brewers will look to rebound against their division rival Cubs. The Brewers, who are seeing a huge dip in their pitching, are scrambling to stop the runs from scoring. John Axford, who blew a save on Opening Day, has already given up six runs in 2 2/3 innings pitched, but manager Ron Roenicke remains confident in the closer. Starting wise, Mike Fiers‘ job may be in danger due to his last shellacking.
Offensively, the team has been seeing a lot of life from the bats of Norichika Aoki and Jean Segura. Unfortunately for the Brewers, injuries have continued to plague the clubhouse as Aramis Ramirez has now landed on the 15-day DL and Ryan Braun is currently day-to-day with neck stiffness. With these injuries, Alex Gonzalez and Yuniesky Betancourt have been moved all over the infield alongside the newest call-up Josh Prince. Rickie Weeks has also been active with the bat, hitting .333 and showing patience at the plate with three walks and only five strikeouts.
Milwaukee’s pitchers will be listed first followed by Chicago’s:
Today: Marco Estrada (0-0, 7.20 ERA) vs Edwin Jackson (0-1, 3.60 ERA) at 2:20 p.m. ET / 1:10 p.m. CT
Tuesday: Wily Peralta (0-1, 6.75 ERA) vs Travis Wood (1-0, 0.00 ERA) at 8:05 p.m. ET / 7:05 p.m. CT
Wednesday: Kyle Lohse (0-0, 1.50 ERA) vs Scott Feldman (0-1, 7.71 ERA) at 8:05 p.m. ET / 7:05 p.m. CT
As always, good luck to the Cubs, but go Brewers!