Found April 07, 2013 on
Fox Sports Wisconsin:
If the Arizona Diamondbacks are to record their first-ever series sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers, they likely must find a way to finally get the best of Yovani Gallardo.
The visiting Diamondbacks look to accomplish both while trying for a fourth consecutive victory Sunday against the injury-depleted Brewers, who hope to avoid a fifth straight defeat.
These teams have previously played 33 series in the regular season, and Arizona has not swept one of them.
The Diamondbacks (4-1) are in position to end that 15-year-old drought after outscoring Milwaukee (1-4) in the first two games of this set by a 12-3 score. Jason Kubel, Paul Goldschmidt and Aaron Hill all homered and seven players each had two of the Diamondbacks' 16 hits in Saturday's 9-2 victory at Miller Park.
"Obviously there's been an emphasis on moving runners and playing small ball at times," Goldschmidt told the Diamondbacks' official website. "We've got guys that can hit. Obviously some days you hit homers and other days you try to scratch a couple of runs across and win."
The latter may be their best shot to beat Gallardo (0-0, 5.40 ERA). Including the postseason, he's 7-0 with a 1.09 ERA in nine career starts against Arizona. He's allowed only three runs -- all solo homers -- and struck out 30 over 33-23 innings while going 3-0 in five overall starts versus the Diamondbacks at Miller Park.
Gallardo, however, allowed three runs on two homers and eight other hits in five innings of a 5-4, 10-inning victory over Colorado on Monday.
"With 'Yo,' obviously it's early in the year and that's not the Yovani Gallardo we know," catcher Jonathan Lucroy told the Brewers' official website. "He's a lot better than that, and it says a lot to how good he is that he only gives up three runs."
The right-hander might not have an easy time continuing his success against the Diamondbacks if the Milwaukee offense is unable to overcome a rash of early injuries.
Already without Corey Hart for at least the first month of the season as he recovers from knee surgery, third baseman Aramis Ramirez was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained knee this week and star Ryan Braun is likely to miss a third straight game with neck spasms.
Braun was 4 for 10 with a homer and four RBIs in three games.
"Those are big holes, the best hitters on the team," said Lucroy, who ended an 0-for-13 slump with two hits Saturday. "We have a lot of great hitters. We just have to step up and get the job done. That's the bottom line. Period."
Arizona ace Ian Kennedy should be glad he likely won't have to see Braun, who is 9 for 18 with three doubles and a homer against the right-hander. Kennedy (1-0, 2.57) enters this matchup with a 2-3 record and a 3.38 ERA in seven starts, including the postseason, versus Milwaukee.
He allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings Monday, striking out eight in a 6-2 win over St. Louis.
"He just had everything working, the fastball pumped up to 94 (mph)," manager Kirk Gibson said. "That's kind of the old Ian we saw a couple of years ago."
Goldschmidt is batting .375 with two homers and five RBIs in the last three games after going 1 for 6 in the first two. He's 2 for 3 versus Gallardo.
BEST OF MAXIM
MILWAUKEE Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun's neck was feeling better Sunday, but he wasn't in the lineup against Arizona.
The five-time All-Star was scratched from Friday's lineup after suffering a neck strain during batting practice and hasn't played since.
"As soon as I'm able to get to a point to where I have any chance to contribute and play, I'...
Monday afternoon, the Brewers were leading the Cubs 7-2 going into the bottom of the ninth. Brandon Kintzler took the mound, but after three straight batters reached base, he was replaced by Jim Henderson. Henderson allowed a little bit of damage, but he successfully slammed the door, picking up a save. Henderson pitched in part because John Axford threw 18 pitches on Sunday. Henderson...
Monday was a pretty mundane day for Milwaukee Brewers pitcher John Axford as he literally was given the axe as the closer in the Milwaukee bullpen. Taking over until Axford gets back on track is Jim Henderson.
In 2 and 2/3 innings this season, Axford had allowed four home runs and a 20.25 ERA. Don’t over think yourselves though, as Axford does have 81 combined saves the past...
MILWAUKEE This was certainly not how the Milwaukee Brewers wanted to start their season -- especially having been gifted with six games at home.
Not only did Sunday's 8-7 extra-innings loss to Arizona drop Milwaukee to 1-5 on the young season -- its worst six-game start since 2003 -- but the Brewers lost three more starters to injuries in the process.
Bruised in the lineup...
MILWAUKEE -- It was only a matter of time before the question got asked. Has Ron Roenicke had any thoughts of changing closers?
Due to a tired bullpen, John Axford came out for the 11th inning Sunday after working a scoreless 10th. Following a leadoff double by Diamondbacks shortstop Cliff Pennington, Wisconsin native and pinch hitter Eric Hinske belted a curveball to center for...
MILWAUKEE -- After a one-day hiatus, Milwaukee's starting pitching struggles continued Saturday night.
In the rotation with a short leash, Mike Fiers put the Brewers in another early hole, allowing six runs in five innings as Milwaukee fell, 9-2, to the Diamondbacks, its fourth straight loss since a win on Opening Day.
It was simply a performance Fiers couldn't have. After...
Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun was scratched from
last night’s lineup due to neck spasms, according to Tom Haudricourt of The
#Brewers scratch Ryan Braun with neck spasms that began during batting practice. Kris Davis gets first major league start.
— Tom (@Haudricourt) April 5, 2013
Braun began experiencing the spasms during batting...
Shortstop Jean Segura has left the Milwaukee Brewers' game against the Arizona Diamondbacks with a bruised left quad.
Segura was injured when Gerardo Parra made a hard slide into his leg to break up a potential double play in the third inning. Segura was down for a bit, but stayed in Sunday's game after a brief jog in the outfield.
The injury-riddled Brewers then pulled...
The Arizona Diamondbacks are off to a great start thanks in large part to an impressive offensive surge. The Pittsburgh Pirates, in contrast, haven't been able to get anything going at the plate.
The Diamondbacks will go for a fifth consecutive win Monday night as they open a three-game set against the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates, who will try to avoid a fifth straight defeat...
Actual major-league pitcher Brandon McCarthy is the guest on this brief edition of FanGraphs Audio, recorded live on tape from the bowels of Miller Park.
Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @cistulli on Twitter.
You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or other feeder things.
Audio after the jump. (Approximately 8 min play time.)
Jason Kubel, Paul Goldschmidt and Aaron Hill each homered in Arizona's 9-2 victory over the injury-depleted Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday night.
Kubel's two-run homer gave the Diamondbacks a 3-2 lead in the fourth. Goldschmidt then hit a two-run drive in the fourth to make it 6-2. Hill's solo shot capped the scoring in the eighth after his RBI double in the first gave...
Marco Estrada pitched seven effective innings and doubled home a run Monday, helping the Milwaukee Brewers stop a five-game slide with a 7-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs in the first game of the season at Wrigley Field.
With a strong wind blowing out at the start of the game - a rare sight for an April date at the iconic neighborhood ballpark - Estrada allowed two runs and five...
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Pinch hitter Eric Hinske belted a long two-run homer to straightaway center field in the 11th inning and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Milwaukee Brewers 8-7 on Sunday to complete a three-game series sweep.
With Cliff Pennington aboard following a leadoff double, Hinske drove a 1-2 pitch from John Axford (0-1) onto the concourse beyond the wall in center. Hinske...