As the Milwaukee Brewers (14-16) go stumbling into this series, they’ll do so with a five game losing streak on their shoulders. After getting swept in four games by the St. Louis Cardinals, the Brewers will look to turn it around. For the Texas Rangers (20-12), they lead the American League West and have the parts in place to hold that lead for awhile. They’re coming off a sweep of the Boston Red Sox and one game loss to the Chicago Cubs. Now the Rangers head to Milwaukee for a two game series.
Let’s get into it.
Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish has been dominant from the get-go in 2013. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports
The name of the game for the Rangers so far this season has been pitching. Ranger starter Yu Darvish has been off to a commanding 5-1, 2.56 ERA start with a major league lead in strikeouts (72). Derek Holland has also been effective for the team as he’s 2-2 with a 2.74 ERA. Opening Day starter Matt Harrison ended up on the disabled list with back problems and isn’t expected back until after the All-Star break. In the bullpen, closer Joe Nathan has been electric with eight saves and an ERA of 1.64. Relievers Tanner Scheppers and Robbie Ross have also been solid with a total of 24 holds between the two who also have ERAs below 1.00.
Where the Rangers’ really shine has been through their offense. Year in, year out, the Rangers seem to have one of the best offenses in the league and this season hasn’t been any different. Second baseman Ian Kinsler leads the team with a slash line of .323/.390/.528 and in hits with 41. Designated hitter Lance Berkman has been quite the surprise with a .303 batting average and 15 RBIs. Nelson Cruz, Mitch Moreland and A.J. Pierzynski have all been doing well with the bat. Unfortunately for the Rangers, the bats of Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus and particularly David Murphy, have been cold.
Yovani Gallardo has had varying degrees of success in 2013. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Unlike the Rangers who have had nothing but stellar pitching performances, the Brewers have had a hard time with their starting pitching. Yovani Gallardo does lead the team in wins with three, but just hasn’t had much success on the mound with a 4.50 ERA and only three quality starts. Behind him in the rotation, Marco Estrada has been getting drilled, Wily Peralta hasn’t exactly landed on stable ground and Kyle Lohse seems to be the only positive force at the moment. Bullpen wise, Jim Henderson still has been doing a great job as the closer. Tom Gorzelanny and Alfredo Figaro have also performed well in relief.
Offensively, the Brewers are still going strong. Center fielder Carlos Gomez leads the team in slash lines (.368/.429/.526) and in hits (39). Shortstop Jean Segura is still hitting well over .300 at .333 and leads the team in stolen bases with eight. Left fielder and powerhouse Ryan Braun is finally batting over .300 and leads in home runs (7) and RBIs (23). For the Brewers, they also got third baseman Aramis Ramirez back from the disabled list and will look for him to expand on his role as the clean-up hitter.
The Projected Match-Ups:
Texas’ starters will be listed first followed by Milwaukee’s:
Tonight: Justin Grimm (2-1, 2.28 ERA) vs Wily Peralta (2-2, 6.00 ERA) at 8:10 p.m. ET / 7:10 p.m. CT
Wednesday: Derek Holland (2-2, 2.74 ERA) vs Kyle Lohse (1-3, 3.16 ERA) at 8:10 p.m. ET / 7:10 p.m. CT