Series Preview: The Brewers

Current record: 48-37, 1st place in NL Central, 1.0 game ahead

Up Next: Milwaukee Brewers, 40-45, 4th place in NL Central, 8.0 games back

Season Series: 2-1

Notes: Finally, baseball is back from the All Star break. The last time the Pirates went to Milwaukee they had just gotten to .500 at 25-25. They’re record since then has been a lights out 23-12. Milwaukee was 5 games under then and is still 5 games under now. Ryan Braun leads his team in almost as many hitting categories as Andrew McCutchen leads the Pirates

Familiar Faces: Nyjer Morgan, Aramis Ramirez, Cesar Izturis, Jose Veras

Probable Pitchers
Friday: RH James McDonald (9-3, 110.0 IP, 100 K, 2.37 ERA, 0.97 WHIP)
vs. RH Zack Greinke (9-3, 111.0 IP, 111 K, 3.32 ERA, 1.23 WHIP)

Two aces go against each other. This could be one of Greinke’s last starts for the Brewers, as he’s been named in several trade rumors.

Saturday: RH Kevin Correia (5-6, 91.1 IP, 35 K, 4.34 ERA, 1.30 WHIP)
vs. Marco Estrada (0-3, 51.0 IP, 55 K, 4.06 ERA, 1.02 WHIP)

Underwhelming! Estrada’s actually pitched pretty well since returning from a quad injury. Correia’s been put in this spot so that his softer stuff can serve as a buffer between the similar repertoires of McDonald and…

Sunday: RH A.J. Burnett (10-2, 93.0 IP, 79 K, 3.68 ERA, 1.30 WHIP)
vs. Yovani Gallardo (7-6, 108.1 IP, 107 K, 3.74 ERA, 1.38 WHIP)

I’m looking forward to seeing this one live. That’s right! I’m road tripping to Milwaukee this weekend with my wife. We’ll be visiting the esteemable @Wezen_ball and his lovely fiance. After that we’re going to spend the rest of the week in Chicago, so postings may not fall on a regular schedule, if at all. Expect plenty of pictures when I can upload them.

Delusions of Grandeur

Did I pick a crazy weekend to go out of town or what?  The Pirates extend their losing streak to 12, fire a pierogi, then win twice in a row. Pedro Alvarez gets his first hit too. To quote Han Solo, “I’m out of it for a little while and everyone gets delusions of grandeur.”A wrap up of things I missed this weekend:

The Pirates broke their twelve game losing streak by beating Cleveland Saturday and Sunday. Lastings Milledge and Andrew McCutchen had big games, but the moment that everyone was waiting for finally happened in the 5th inning when #Pedropalooza broke out a ground rule double for his first hit and RBI. After three games I was getting worried that he might reach Aramis Ramirez territory so this is great news.

The team also celebrated the 50th anniversary of their 1960 World Series win over the Yankees. Lots of giveaways and old players on hand. Really wish I could have made it to the ‘Burgh for this.

On Sunday John Russell was ejected for only the fourth time in his three two-plus years of managing the Pirates. Call him the anti-Bobby Cox.

Zach Duke has a mild elbow strain and will miss his scheduled start on Tuesday. Monday’s off day means no spot starter will be needed. Duke is expected to be fine for his next turn on Saturday, but that could change later in the week.

Up Next: Interleague play wraps up with a six game road trip to Texas and Oakland.

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