The National League's winningest team visits Citizens Bank Park for a four-game set beginning tonight when Jamie Moyer and David Bush take the mound. Game time is 7:05 p.m. ET.
Preview: The Brewers enter the night as one of the hottest teams in baseball, but my gut feeling says the starting pitching matchups favor the Phils this series, including tonight. Then, I'll cross my fingers when they turn it over to the bullpen and hope the offense does their part. Facing four right-handers in a row could give the feast-or-famine bats a steady lift.
The Phillies will throw left/right/left/right at Milwaukee, starting with Moyer (4-2, 3.00 ERA), who’s gone seven or more innings his last three starts. Moyer’s steady performance has made him perhaps the team’s most valuable player so far. Milwaukee counters with the weakest link of their rotation. Bush (3-3, 5.73 ERA) has been hittable (.310 BAA). He’s one of these guys who will either eat lots of innings or throw in the occasional seven-run meltdown.
The Brew Crew is piling on some hefty offense (Prince Fielder, .957 OPS, 11 HR; J.J. Hardy, .992 OPS, 11 HR; Geoff Jenkins, .990 OPS, 8 HR; Bill Hall and Johnny Estrada both with nice seasons). However, they’re notably better against right-handers and have been much better at home (.727 OPS away, .840 home). The Phillies, meanwhile, have about the same difference between home (.856) and away (.734).
I kind of like the Phillies to keep things rolling at home against Milwaukee’s right-handed pitching, and I like where the pitching matchups fall, including Cole Hamels lining up Wednesday against Jeff Suppan. The key to this series will be the ability of the Phillies to get leads and create breathing room for the horrible bullpen. Besides Adam Eaton, who looked better his last start, the starting rotation is not a concern.
Call me an eternal optimist, and call this a vital series for the Phillies. [Live Boxscore]