This series worries me, only because the Brewers have been bad all year, and they are bound to start playing some better baseball. It’s a new test for the Cubs as good teams are immune, usually, from playing down to their competition. Based on how these teams have played so far you would think that the Cubs would have an easy go of it, that’s why they play the games of course. The Cubs are coming into this series winners in six of their last ten, and just two games behind the Cardinals for first place in the Central. Conversely the Brewers have won just three times in their last ten, and are already ten games back of first in the Central.
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- Game One: Wily Peralta (0-3, 5.79) vs. Jon Lester (0-2, 6.23)
- Game Two: Mike Fiers (0-3, 5.79) vs. Jake Arrieta (3-1, 2.03)
- Game Three: Jimmy Nelson (1-2, 4.03) vs. Jason Hammel (2-1, 3.55)
Who is Hot:
- Brewers: Apparently Adam Lind is making the most of his regular playing time in Milwaukee. The slugging first baseman is hitting .444 (12-for-27) in his last seven games with two doubles, three dingers, and six RBI’s.
- Cubs: It really doesn’t seem like Dexter Fowler has struggled at all this year because of his ability to get on base, but now he is red hot. Fowler is hitting .450 (9-for-20) over his last five games with one double, two RBI’s, and a walk.
Who is Not:
- Brewers: The Brewers have been bitten by the injury bug so they are having to rely on players they normally wouldn’t, one of those guys is Logan Schafer. Schafer is really struggling as he is hitting .200 (4-for-20) over his last seven games with one walk, and six strikeouts.
- Cubs: It seems as though teams have found Jorge Soler‘s swing and miss, it’s the weather. Of course I’m not blaming the weather on his struggles, but he is cold, literally. Over his last six games, Soler is hitting .091 (2-for-22) with twelve strikeouts.
Let’s not kid ourselves, this is pretty bad, sure it’s something that needs to happen in order to get better, but it’s really bad. The Cubs had one more hit than they had last night, a whopping four, at least two of those hits went for extra bases, bright side right? Another piece of good news is that the Cubs only struck out seven times as a team tonight, a moral victory if you will. It’s a shame too as Jeff Samardzija turned in another solid outing as he winds down his first full season as a big league starter. Shark finished his night after seven innings, he gave up three runs, two earned, on seven hits, he didn’t walk anyone and struck out ten. To think that at the beginning of the season the Cubs were “taking a chance” by putting Samardzija into the rotation, he has been a bright spot all year-long, and looks to be near the top of the rotation in 2013. The Cubs had nothing going offensively as Mike Fiers was as equally as impressive as Samardzija, shutting the Cubs down for 7.1 innings. Starlin Castro and Welington Castillo each had a double in the loss, but at least there was something to get excited about tonight if you were a Cubs fan. Congrats to Darwin Barney, who tonight set the NL single-season record with his 114th consecutive error-less game at second base. Wish you weren’t turning into Theriot at the plate, let’s avoid the sweep tomorrow afternoon!
Barney’s RBI Groundout
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I’m not even going to mention strikeouts tonight, that right there wasn’t a mention. The Cubs are tired of seeing the Brewers, can’t really blame them as they have lost 12 of 15 meetings this year. Jeff Samardzija will try to change the Cubs fortunes tonight against Mike Fiers who has emerged as a top of the rotation guy for the Brewers this year. No Rizzo tonight, here is how the Cubs will line up.
1. DeJesus – RF
2. Valbuena – 3B
3. Castro – SS
4. Soriano – LF
5. LaHair – 1B
6. Castillo – C
7. Jackson – CF
8. Barney – 2B
9. Samardzija – P
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The Cubs look to continue their success on the longest home stand of the year as they welcome the Brewers to town for a four game set. Revenge might also be on the Cubs mind as they were swept by the Brewers last week in Milwaukee. At this point both teams are playing out the string, but it’s an important time for many young guys as they are trying to impress the front office heading into next year. One guy that is doing that lately is Brett Jackson, after struggling immediately after his call up Jackson has made the necessary adjustments to find results. It seems to be working as Jackson was 4-for-8 against the Rockies with two home runs and three RBI’s. He will look to continue that success against a Brewers team that is finally finding some traction, just a little too late to salvage this season. The Brewers are 7-3 in their last ten games and are playing much better baseball of late. They are led by reigning MVP Ryan Braun who is putting up similar numbers this year, if the Cubs want to get that revenge against the Brewers they are going to have to shut Braun down. Surprisingly the Cubs have limited Braun this year, sure he is hitting .304 against the Cubs this year but he only has one home run, and four RBI’s.
August 27, 2012 – August 30, 2012; Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
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Here are the pitching matchups for the four game series.
Monday August 27, 2012
Milwaukee: Marco Estrada (1-5, 4.23 ERA)
Cubs: Justin Germano (2-3, 5.40 ERA)
Tuesday August 28, 2012
Milwaukee: Yovanni Gallardo (13-8, 3.62 ERA)
Cubs: Travis Wood (4-10, 4.76 ERA)
Wednesday August 29, 2012
Milwaukee: Mike Fiers (7-6, 2.98 ERA)
Cubs: Jeff Samardzija (8-11, 4.09 ERA)
Thursday August 30, 2012
Milwaukee: Shaun Marcum (5-4, 3.19 ERA)
Cubs: Brooks Raley (1-2, 6.64 ERA)
Season Series: Brewers lead 10-3; What!? That’s unacceptable
Prediction: Cubs Split Series 2-2
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