The Milwaukee Brewers are set to take on the first place Washington Nationals in a four game series today. Picked as one of the best team’s in baseball at the start of the year, the Nationals are living up to expectations. With one of the best rotations in baseball and the games best slugger in Bryce Harper, the Brewers will have their hands full all weekend long. Here are five things to look for as the series is set to begin.
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1. Jordan Zimmermann Returns to Milwaukee
It was just a few months ago that many around Milwaukee were clamoring for the Brewers to make a move to bring Wisconsin native, Jordan Zimmermann to the Brewers, but that never happened. In his match-ups against Milwaukee so far in his career, Zimmermann is 4-0 with a 2.35 ERA in five starts. This season he is 5-3 with a 3.18 ERA. He will take on Mike Fiers on Friday night.
2. Bryce Harper Continues to Mash
Bryce Harper is just 22-years-old, yet he has quickly become one of the most feared sluggers in baseball. With a fearsome swing and outstanding bat-speed, Harper has already homered 20 times as he leads the league in walks, slugging percentage and OPS. Though the Nationals have plenty of weapons, the Brewers cannot let Harper beat them.
Heading into Thursday night, the Milwaukee Brewers will finally be back to full strength as Smith’s suspension has come to an end. Though the bullpen has been outstanding in the past few weeks, having one of their best arms back will be a big boost.
The lineup will also look to get some offense from second base as Scooter Gennett is back on the roster. After stumbling out of the gates to open the year, Gennett will look to get back on track in his return.
4. Matt Garza Looks to Stay Hot
As the year began, Matt Garza was another veteran who struggled greatly. Often he seemed to cruise through games until he was knocked out with one big inning. But in the marathon finish against Arizona on May 31st, Garza was able to hold the Diamonbacks’ bats silent throughout five innings in a victory.
Going back to that outing Garza has allowed just one run in 12 innings. He will look to keep things going when he takes the hill to open the series Thursday night.
5. Taylor Jungmann‘s Second Start
Taylor Jungmann was excellent in his first start in Pittsburgh earlier in the week. On Sunday, the former first round pick will get his second chance to prove himself in another difficult match-up against Max Scherzer. Still a young arm who could have a big future in Milwaukee, Jungmann will be one to watch each time out the rest of the way.