Reds (26-21) v. Brewers (28-20)

Braden Looper pitched great yesterday, something that he really needed to try and get back on the right track.  The offense is still s-t-r-u-g-g-l-i-n-g.  We were lucky that 2 of our 3 hits were HR’s and we were able to get the W.  That’s all I’m going to say.  I’m going to use the rest of this post to show just how bad the offense has been the last 10 games and why we should be happy that the Crew is 4-6 in that stretch:

  • The Brewers have scored a total of 27 runs over this 10 game span.  That is an average of 2.7 runs a game, which doesn’t translate to many wins.  This suggests that the Crew has been getting some good pitching in order to have won 4 of these games.  Outside of the Minnesota series, this is true.
  • Over this 10 game span, the Brewers have hit for a .218 average.  You don’t have to be much of a baseball fan to know that this won’t win many games.  Once again, I believe they are lucky to have won 4 of the 10.
  • The Brewers are averaging 7.2 hits per game over this period.  While not horrible, you won’t win many games on 7 hits without some long balls.  However, even this number is a little deceiving.  If you take away a 13 hit game in Houston and a 9 hit game in both Houston and Minneapolis, the crew is averaging only 5.86 hits per game the other 7 games.
  • A big reason why the Brewers were winning a lot of games was their patience at the plate and ability to take walks.  The team has only taken 22 walks over the ten games, good for just over 2 walks a game.  This does not correlate with how they were winning games before.  This total includes a 5 walk game in Houston.  If you take that out, they are averaging under 2 walks a game.
  • The Brewers are a home run hitting team.  We always hear the “that’s what kind of team we are, that’s how we’re built” speech.  This is fine, but when you aren’t hitting home runs, you have to manufacture runs.  We all know that this is something the Brewers don’t do well.  Over the 10 games the team has only hit a home run in 3 games, with a total of 5.  Only 7 of their 27 runs in this span have come from the long ball, which is good for only 26%.  The Brewers normally score more than 50% of their runs via home run.  So, this seems like a pretty easy explanation for the recent struggles.

All this said, the Brewers are still in 1st place!! The sky is not falling, i am just simply trying to outline the offensive struggles that the team has had the past 10 games.  The baseball season is long and there will be multiple times when the offense isn’t scoring, or the pitching isn’t keeping the other team off the board.  If the Brewers can get through these stretches and remain on top, even better.

Game 2 of the series will provide a Harang v. Bush matchup.  Aaron Harang had a rough year last year, but is by far the Reds best and most accomplished pitcher.  Through 10 starts this year, he has been overall solid with only a couple rough outings.  Harang has had moderate success against the Brewers in the past, with a record of 5-3 and an ERA of 4.07 in 16 starts.  Bush continued his string of strong starts last time out.  His line was unfortunately effected by Mitch Stetter’s grand slam.  Bush’s career numbers against the Reds are not good, so he’ll need to turn it around.  In 10 career starts against the Reds, Bush is 2-3 with a 6.54 ERA.  The Reds also have a career .300 AVG off Bush.  Ouch.  This is a new Dave Bush this year, so I’m expecting another solid performance.  Go Brewers!!

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