Just like this gamethread, this hot kringle action is hella live:
This series opener in Milwaukee Is the one day I really like Duane Kuiper, because he brings this fresh from Racine. pic.twitter.com/Sg3LEdLJgw— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) September 7, 2018
You can check out the Series Preview here. In the meantime, just know that the Brewers need these games. They’re 4.5 games behind the Cubs in the NL Central (who play the Nationals in Washington this weekend) with only 3 head-to-head games remaining. They are 0.5 games up on the Cardinals for the first Wild Card, but those Cardinals play their final three games of the season against the Cubs.
Isn’t it better for baseball if the Cardinals and Cubs are fighting it out for the final playoff spot?
Gorkys will get a start on his birthday...
... and Chris Shaw will find himself in a slightly favorable situation. The Brewers’ 9.3% walk rate is 5th-highest in the National League (7th in MLB) and their team strikeout rate is a somewhat pedestrian 22.9% (7th in the NL, 12th in MLB). In particular, tonight’s starter, Chase Anderson has a 51:114 walk to strikeout ratio and has allowed 28 home runs in 145.1 innings (5.28 FIP). Go get ‘em, fellas.
Derek Holland has been just as good on the road as he’s been at home, with a 3.45 ERA (78.1 innings; 3.69 home ERA in 68.1 innings). He does tend to walk more batters on the road (35) and allow more home runs (12), however.
This would seemingly be a huge problem in hitter-friendly Miller Park against an above average lineup like the Brewers, however, only 24% (40) of their 184 home runs have come against left-handed pitching. Then again, only 25% of their team plate appearances have come against left-handed pitching. By comparison, 35% of the Giants’ plate appearances have been against left-handed pitching.
Holland did not matchup against the Brewers when they were in San Francisco. He does, however, have one career start in Miller Park. It was back on May 8, 2013, when he was still with the Rangers. He gave up 10 hits and 1 earned run while striking out six (zero walks) in 7 innings.
In addition to Chase Anderson’s super high FIP and clunky strikeout to walk ratio, he’s also allowed 28 home runs in his 145.1 innings, already tying his career high (set back in 2016 in 151.2 innings). That didn’t stop him from allowing just 1 run in 6 innings back in San Francisco on July 27th, of course, but it didn’t turn his whole season around, either.
Sure, his WHIP is 1.16 in six starts since July 27th, but in 30.2 innings, he’s allowed 9 home runs, 3 doubles, and 1 triple, giving him a 4.99 ERA and a .218 BAbip. That all seems unsustainable.
He’s also lost velocity from his three main pitches (fastball, sinker, changeup): 2 mph off his fastball since July (averaging 91.94 in his sole September start so far), nearly 1 mph off his sinker (down to 91.66 mph from July’s 92.55 mph), and over 1.5 mph off the changeup since June (down to 81.58 mph). Pitchers can work with diminished velocity, and it’s late enough in the season that fatigue can certainly be a factor, but this seems like a good matchup even for the Giants.