Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Previewing Brewers vs. Pirates Game 2: 9/19/12

Milwaukee Brewers: 75-72
Pittsburgh Pirates: 74-73

Probable Starting Pitchers:
Milwaukee: Marco Estrada (3-6, 3.77 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 119.1 IP, 125 K)
Pittsburgh: Kyle McPherson (0-0, 1.54 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 11.2 IP, 11 K)

The Game

I mentioned in my postgame analysis last night that the Pittsburgh Pirates are playing like a team that has already been defeated.

I don't see that changing over the timespan of 24 hours.

The Brewers went into PNC Park with a road record of 28-43. They just aren't that good away from Miller Park. Still, they left with a win, and they did it without hitting a single home run. Two rarities in one night.

Not to mention the seven total stolen bases, three by Ryan Braun alone.

The Pirates are showing just how desperate they are tonight by shoving rookie Kyle McPherson, who has pitched all of 11.2 innings in the majors for his first start.

McPherson is basically a two-pitch pitcher. He has a good fastball in the low-to-mid 90's, and a curveball in the mid-to-upper 70's. He occasionally throws a change-up in the low-to-mid 80's.

He has been average in the minors, and while he's pitched well in relief in the majors, 11.2 innings is hardly a large enough sample size to judge his abilities in the majors. He'll need to bring his best against the hard-hitting Brewers.

There's no word on if Corey Hart will be in tonight's lineup as of this write-up, but he was available to pinch-hit last night, so there is a possibility we see him again tonight, giving McPherson yet another problem to deal with.

It seems like every Brewer is on a hot-streak offensively, so it's officially the worst possible time for a rookie to make his first start. The Brewers are arguably the best offensive team in the National League, and there's a good chance his ERA is going to rise quite a bit.

Meanwhile, Marco Estrada, who has been pitching extremely well lately, is going to be facing a Pittsburgh offense that is all but dead. With the exception of Andrew McCutchen, the Pirates don't have a bat to swing against Estrada.

Other games to watch: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Washington Nationals (going on right now), and St. Louis Cardinals vs. Houston Astros. The Brewers are looking to move one step closer to that wild card slot, and to do that they still need to leap the Dodgers and the Cardinals.

Prediction: Brewers win again, Dodgers lose to the Nats, Cards hold off the Astros.

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