Astros-Brewers Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated September 27, 2012
The Milwaukee Brewers begin their final homestand of the season after a loss that may have devastated any remaining hopes they had of reaching the playoffs. It may be too late to bounce back, but having Yovani Gallardo on the mound should provide a positive outlook for Friday night. The Brewers have won Gallardo's last 11 starts and he's won 10 consecutive outings against the lowly Houston Astros heading into the opener of a three-game set. Milwaukee (80-76) was one out away from victory before closer John Axford blew the save in Thursday's 2-1 defeat at Cincinnati. The Brewers fell four games behind St. Louis for the NL's second wild card with six games left for both clubs. "It's a crushing loss," said Axford, who had converted 15 straight save chances. "It hurts. It put us all in a tough spot." Gallardo (16-8, 3.59 ERA) has two starts left this season to surpass his career-high victory total of 17 from last year. He's 8-0 with a 2.75 ERA in his last 11 outings during the longest win streak of his career. His streak began with a victory over Houston (51-105), and he's the first pitcher to win 10 or more consecutive starts against one opponent since Roy Halladay did it against Montreal/Washington from 2004-11. Gallardo has a 2.78 ERA during his 10-start run over the Astros, and he's gone 8-0 with a 2.70 ERA in eight career home starts against them. No pitcher owns more than his nine victories since the All-Star break. The Brewers have won a major league-best 26 games since Aug. 20 to move within range of a playoff spot, but have now dropped three of four. "Obviously, we'll have to win every game and hope for some help on the other side," Axford said. Milwaukee is only 8-6 against Houston this year, with Ryan Braun, Corey Hart and Rickie Weeks each driving in 11 runs in the season series while combining for 13 homers. Braun has reached base in 14 straight games, batting .418 in that span. The Astros are one defeat shy of their franchise-worst total from last season as they start a six-game trip that will end their 51-year stay in the NL. They won their final NL game in Texas with a 2-0 victory over the Cardinals on Wednesday. Houston named Nationals third base coach Bo Porter its manager for next season Thursday. Porter will remain with Washington through the playoffs, with Astros interim manager Tony DeFrancesco finishing up this season. The Astros are 11-13 in September and insist they are taking these final games seriously. "The guys aren't quitting," DeFrancesco told the Astros' official website. "Our goal now is to try to finish the season .500 for the month of September. We still have a chance to do that." Edgar Gonzalez (2-1, 3.94) will make his fifth 2012 start for the Astros. The journeyman right-hander, on his fourth different team, has posted a 6.00 ERA in six career relief appearances against the Brewers.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Bright future for Minnesota Timberwolves

Eli and Archie Manning say Peyton won’t likely leave Denver if he plays in 2016

NCAA mulls changes to graduate transfer and targeting rules

Cavs active in NBA trade market, covet Jared Dudley

Roger Goodell expectedly dodges Patriots-related questions at Super Bowl

Baltimore Orioles acquire starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne


USC athletic director Pat Haden to retire in June

Report: Browns owner ‘frustrated, emotional’ about Johnny Manziel

Raiders and Texans to play MNF game in Mexico City in 2016

Goodell wants to keep Raiders, Chargers in home markets

Deadly shooting breaks out at Dublin boxing weigh-in

Mike Shula vs. Wade Phillips: The best story of Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name every NFL regular season MVP

WATCH: Avery Bradley nails buzzer beater to beat Cavs

WATCH: Jimmy Butler taken to locker room in wheel chair

Klay Thompson's first five years in historical context

WATCH: Cubs' Kris Bryant went swimming with sharks

Sports Authority taking steps to file for bankruptcy

Major League Baseball threatens to disassociate from DraftKings

NFL considering moving Pro Bowl to Australia

Joe Montana warns NFL players about potential long-term damage after retirement

Report: Two people fired for leaking Jason Pierre-Paul information

‘Crying Jordan’ photographer had no idea it existed until this week

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in the NHL playoff hunt

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in playoff hunt

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker