The Brewers will wrap up their short home stand by opening up a 3 game series against the Marlins tonight. The Marlins were the story in baseball the first few weeks of the season, shooting out of the gates to an 11-1 record. Since then the fish have come back to water and currently stand at 17-15, which is still good for second place in the NL East. The Marlins have a lot of good, young talent; namely Hanley Ramirez who in my judgment is probably the best all around shortstop in MLB. Ramirez is currently batting .348, as well as a .421 OBP. Something else important to watch in this series is whether or not the Brewers are able to keep speedy leadoff man Emilio Bonifacio off base. Bonifacio burst on to the scene at the beginning of the year, but has cooled off tremendously since mid-April. Nonetheless, he is still a threat that is guaranteed to make an inning tougher and longer on a pitcher. The Marlins also have some good young pitching, one of which is Josh Johnson who will go for the fish on Thursday. A game preview for today follows:
Another good young pitcher on the Marlins staff is Anibal Sanchez, but he was just recently placed on the DL. Because of this, the Marlins have called up lefty John Koronka to take his place in the rotation and face the Brewers tonight. Koronka has not pitched in MLB since 2007 with the Texas Rangers. Saying that Koronka’s career numbers are bad is being polite. In his 28 career starts, Koronka has a 6.02 ERA and opponents are batting .298 against him. He has also given up 180 hits in only 151 innings. Knowing the Brewers track record, they will probably struggle against him, but this seems like a guy they should tee off on. Manny Parra goes for the Crew looking to record his second straight win. Yes, Manny has pitched better as of late, but he continues to walk too many batters and throw too many pitches. Parra is currently averaging just under 6 walks per 9 innings. Not good. Simply put, he makes things harder on himself than need be. Parra has great stuff, he just needs to harness it and gain control of all his pitches. I’m hoping for another good outing from Parra, but hopefully his first great outing of the year. Go Brewers!!