Milwaukee Brewers Weekly Check-In (5-2-11)

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If you’re not one of those baseball nerds who follows every single thing going on in the Milwaukee Brewers Organization, don’t worry, because The Sports Bank’s Nick Grays has you covered with what happened in the past week and what’s going on in the future.

And if you are one of those nerds, feel free to join in on some good old analysis of America’s pastime in the Brew City.

This week we go around the NL Central and talk about Zack Greinke’s long awaited debut on Wednesday!

By: Nick Grays

Standings:

Milwaukee Brewers (13-14) (5-4 in series)
– Third in the NL Central
– Trail the division-leading St. Louis Cardinals by 2.5 games
– Brewers are 4-6 in their last ten
– Run differential at +8 (down 5 from last week)

Going Around the NL Central:

The Cardinals are Super Hot

After a sluggish start, St. Louis has found their groove while winning seven of their last ten. In the midst of their winning ways, the Cardinals have been crushing the ball on their way to a league-leading 144 runs and .295 batting average.

Matt Holliday has been on a tear with 15 hits in his last ten games. The Brewers won’t have to wait long to face the hot Cardinals as they meet them in St. Louis for a three-game series starting Friday.

Cincinnati Plays Well at Miller Park

The Reds had no problem staying in the heads of the Brewers this past week when they came and stole two of three games at Miller Park.

Last year’s NL MVP, Joey Votto, had a great series including a three-run shot in a series finale win against Yovani Gallardo who seems to come accustomed to giving those up.

The Reds are now a dominant 5-1 against the Brewers with ten more games against one another this year.

Pittsburgh, Chicago and Houston Staying in the Race

A doormat team has yet to emerge in the NL Central. A few weeks into the season, it appeared as if Houston would capture the title, but they have played some decent baseball of late including three wins against the Brewers over the last two weeks.

The Cubs have really dropped off after losing seven of their last ten. They’re getting hits, but have a very hard time getting runs to cross the plate which doesn’t help when you have a horrendous pitching staff.

If I had to guess which one of these teams will be the bottom-feeder, I’ll put my money on the Pirates. They always show some promise in the first month of the season before diving into a dismal May and June. They can’t hit the ball which directly relates to their 4-8 record at home.

Nonetheless, add in the Brewers and each one of these sub-par teams are still in legitimate contention for the NL Central crown.

Looking Ahead:

Greinke Debuts on Wednesday

It’s the moment everyone has been waiting for and as one of my friends over at Brew Crew Ball would say, the Greinkepocalypse is almost upon us. With the recent display of bad starting pitching from Gallardo and Chris Narveson, the Brewers could really use a great start from Greinke to inject some hope back into the Milwaukee fan base.

Greinke will make his first official start as a Brewer against the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday. The Braves offense has really stumbled out of the gate in 2011, but it’s been their tremendous pitching that has kept them around .500. I would expect the match-up between Greinke and Hudson to be a great pitching duel.

Monday, May 2nd 6:10 PM (@ Atlanta)
Probable Pitchers: RHP Yovani Gallardo (2-1) vs. RHP Jair Jurrjens (2-0)

Tuesday, May 3rd 6:10 PM (@ Atlanta)
Probable Pitchers: RHP Marco Estrada (1-0) vs. RHP Tommy Hanson (3-3)

Wednesday, May 4th 6:10 PM (@ Atlanta)
Probable Pitchers: RHP Zack Greinke (0-0) vs. RHP Tim Hudson (3-2)

Thursday, May 5th 6:10 PM (@ Atlanta)
Probable Pitchers: RHP Shaun Marcum (3-1) vs. RHP Brandon Beachy (1-1)

Friday, May 6th 7:15 PM (@ St. Louis)
Probable Pitchers: LHP Randy Wolf (3-2) vs. LHP Jaime Garcia (3-0)

Saturday, May 7th 3:10 PM (@ St. Louis)
Probable Pitchers: LHP Chris Narveson (1-2) vs. RHP Kyle Lohse (4-1)

Sunday, May 8th 1:15 PM (@ St. Louis)
Probable Pitchers: TBA vs. TBA

What do you think of the other teams in the NL Central and what kind of outing will Greinke have versus the Braves? Let me know by commenting below!

Nick Grays is a senior editor at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers, Green Bay Packers, and Milwaukee Brewers. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best.

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