The Milwaukee Brewers remain the best defensive team in baseball, but when that was the case earlier this month, it didn’t stop the San Francisco Giants from taking two out of three in Oracle Park. After taking two out of three in Minnesota, can they carry over some of that winning here? It’s going to be tough.
I feel very strongly that Sean Manaea is not going to beat Corbin Burnes again, mainly because Sean Manaea won’t be facing him in Saturday’s game. Beyond that, his loss on May 5th was just the second loss he’s had against the Giants in six career starts. Otherwise, he’s held them to a 2.35 ERA in 46 IP, a 0.891 WHIP and 12.1 K/9. Am I saying the Giants won’t get him twice in a span of three weeks? Yeah, kinda-sorta.
But this is not the same Corbin Burnes of the past three seasons, who received Cy Young votes in two out of three while winning in 2021. This year, he has a 4.81 FIP in 56.2 IP and his K/9 is the lowest it has ever been (8.1). His Statcast metrics all look above average, but going a little bit deeper and it’s clear he’s lost a full mph off his cutter (94 this year vs. 95 last year), and spin off his slider. He’s been more hittable.
You know what, though, toss all this out. Let’s focus on what really matters here. Rob Manfred is threatening the Brewers with a loss of games if the state of Wisconsin doesn’t approve nearly half a billion dollars in renovations to the 22-year old American Family Field. Yes. I’m being serious.
From Tom Daykin of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Wisconsin’s Legislature and Gov. Tony Evers need to approve a plan to finance $448 million of long-term renovations at American Family Field — or risk the Milwaukee Brewers moving to another city.
That’s the message expected to be delivered Thursday by Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert Manfred, who’s visiting Milwaukee, a source is telling the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
A Brewers representative declined to comment. But the source, who asked not to be named, said Manfred is planning a news conference at American Family Field because of concerns MLB officials have about funding for the ballpark
Now, this is where it gets tricky because I am parachuting into this situation to say that it’s stupid. I don’t know what state American Family Field is in, but I do know that a 22-year old stadium should probably not be such a political hot topic, and in the involvement of Mr. Baseball Commissioner makes me all the more suspicious that this is a really grim situation.
And then I read that the stadium is owned by the state and the Brewers merely lease it. The renovation deal would cause the Brewers to extend their lease. Rob Manfred is coming in to push a threat to get some government approvals going. After everything going on with the A’s and Nevada, he’s probably feeling like an NBA Jam character who’s on fire — now’s the time to really set all the plans in motion!
If it was unclear, the entirety of MLB’s plan is simple: hold a gun to fans and demand they foot the bill for luxury expansion and all of the profits go to the team owners. MLB owners are crooks, and when they’re not crooks, they’re Charles Johnson.
Now, again, I’m parachuting in here, but Mark Attanasio, the Brewers’ owner, isn’t going to let the local press get this news unless he wants it to, and if you’re wondering if there’s any friction between Attanasio and Manfred — why would there be in this instance when the threat is being directed by Manfred at Wisconsin? — I consider this article on sister siste Brew Crew Ball fairly clear that there isn’t:
Though new MLB commissioner Rob Manfred was technically elected by the owners unanimously, in the first vote he had originally fallen one vote short of the 23 needed to name him to the position. It was only after one of the 30 MLB owners shifted positions that retiring commissioner Bud Selig was able to convince the remaining seven to also vote Manfred as a show of unity.
According to reports, that final deciding vote came from Brewers’ owner Mark Attanasio, who appears to have originally voted for Red Sox chairman Tom Werner before changing sides to give Manfred the office.
So, Manfred owes Attanasio a favor, and here it is.
Threatening municipalities is what supervillains do. Unfortunately, comic books are not real life, and supervillains always win. If the Brewers are content with making the world a worse place, I believe it is the Giants’ solemn duty to beat their brains in this weekend (metaphorically).
Who: San Francisco Giants at Milwaukee Brewers
Where: American Family Field, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
When: Thursday (4:40pm PT), Friday (5:10pm PT), Saturday (1:10pm PT), Sunday (11:10am PT)
National broadcasts: None.
Thursday: Scott Alexander (opener) vs. Julio Teheran (seriously)
Friday: Alex Wood vs. Freddy Peralta
Saturday: Logan Webb vs. Corbin Burnes
Sunday: Alex Cobb vs. Colin Rea
Where they stand
Record: 27-22, 1st in NL Central
Run differential: -2, 7th in NL
Postseason standing: leading NL Central
Momentum: 2-game winning streak; 5-5 in their last 10 games
Record: 24-25, 3rd in NL West
Run differential: -20, 9th in the NL
Postseason standing: 0.5 games back of third Wild Card, 6.0 games out of the division
Momentum: 1-game losing streak; 7-3 in their last 10 games
Brewers to watch
Julio Teheran: No, seriously. He’s starting Thursday night’s game. About 90 minutes ago, MLB.com posted that the Brewers had just signed Teheran to a one-year contract and that he’d make his debut tonight against the Giants. He had been pitching for the Padres at Triple-A El Paso and, per the press release:
He went 4-2 with a 5.63 ERA in 8 starts at Triple-A El Paso this season before opting out of his contract on May 22.
Julio Teheran Brewers deal: $1.5M plus $1M incentives (he had multiple offers). Starts tonight vs. Giants— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) May 25, 2023
The 32-year old righty last pitched in a major league game on April 3, 2021. This just feels like one of those wacky games where a journeyman utterly befuddles the Giants.
Darin Ruf: That’s right, he’s on the Brewers now. AND —
Darin Ruf tells me he’s batting second today against LH opener Scott Alexander.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) May 25, 2023
He’s effectively taken the Luke Voit spot on the roster, the other side of the platoon with Rowdy Tellez (140 OPS+ in 45 G), batting .308/.357/.385 in 14 PA (6 games) since signing with the Brewers on May 15th. This just feels like one of those wacky games where a journeyman utterly befuddles the Giants.
Owen Miller: The utility righty has hit .350/.350/.850 in his last five games with 3 home runs and a stolen base in 20 plate appearances. In five career games against the Giants, he’s batting .357/.421/.500 (19 PA) but he’s yet to hit a home run... this just feels like one of those wacky games where a player on a hot streak stays hot.
Giants to watch
Mitch Haniger: I’m not sure if he’s “getting it going” or “getting on track” — the numbers suggest he’s not (.250/.286/.300 over his last 5 games) — but his plate appearances have looked a little teeny tiny bit better. He has one career hit against all the Brewers starters this weekend: Julio Teheran.
Logan Webb: May has been a return to form for the big guy. A 1.30 ERA / 3.13 FIP in 27.2 IP (4 starts) and he’s averaging about 12 groundballs per game. He missed the Brewers in San Francisco, but for his career, he’s got a line of 1-0, 1.89 ERA in 19 IP with 24-4 K-BB. Now, he has allowed two home runs to the Brewers: Willy Adames and (now Marlin) Avisail Garcia. It’ll be ace against ace on Saturday.
Taylor Rogers: This road trip has been a reunion tour through the midwest for Taylor Rogers. The Twins put together a nice video card thanking him yesterday. I don’t think he’ll get a warm response from Brewers fans, though, not after his 5.48 ERA in 23 IP for them last season. This is his chance to show them that their pitching lab just isn’t as good as the Giants’.
Brew your prediction here
Giants at Brewers - How will it go?
This poll is closed
Giants win series, 3-1
Brewers win series, 3-1