The Brewers have won three out of their last 13 games. Two of those W’s came at the expense of the Phillies.
Despite last weekend’s series nearly turning into a complete catastrophe for the Fightins, they did salvage one game at least, and have since managed to climb back to .500 for the first time since April 15 by virtue of the current four-game winning streak. Their sweep of the Marlins is the club’s first since handling the Mets back on April 26-28.
Now the Phils are looking to move above the .500 mark for the first time in 2013, but it’s that same pesky Brew Crew standing in their way. Are they primed for yet another slip-up?
Nobody can say this team hasn’t had their share of chances to get on the right side of the win-loss column. The fifth time was finally the charm in getting it back to .500, while earlier this season they were having a hellacious time just getting within one game of even, failing to do so in eight consecutive attempts at one point.
It’s felt like one step back for every one forward to say the least, yet here is another opportunity to capitalize with a four-game set in Milwaukee. At 22-36, the Brewers still own the third-worst record in the Major Leagues, better than only Houston and Miami. They have the worst pitching staff in the NL (4.61 ERA), and their best player – Ryan Braun – is hurting (batting .213 with one home run in his last 15 games), not to mention under a dark cloud in the wake of this Biogenesis scandal.
With a series win, the Phillies could give themselves a little two-game cushion above .500, and perhaps even help them continue building some momentum. The current winning streak is their longest of the season, and they are 14-9 since May 11.
They’ll have to solve right-hander Wily Peralta (4-6, 5.94) first. Peralta held the Phils to two runs in seven innings of work on Saturday, by far his best outing of the season. The good guys could certainly use some more help from the bats versus the 22 year old this time around as Tyler Cloyd (1-2, 4.76) is being called upon for the Fightins.
In the grand scheme, this is not a huge game, but Milwaukee is one of those opponents the Phillies must beat if they are to be taken seriously. After the last series, and given the way much of this year has gone, it’s hard to go in with supreme confidence. Tonight would be a good way to continue putting the first six weeks to two months of the season behind them.