Miami Marlins (37-40) @ Milwaukee Brewers (36-42) July 2nd, 8:10 PM EST (Game 79)
By Ehsan Kassim
Fresh off of a sweep of their division rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies, the Marlins will be traveling to Milwaukee to face off against the Brewers in a four-game series. The Marlins will take their four-game winning streak up against a Brewers team, that like the Marlins, have underachieved in 2012.
The series will be a nice test for the Marlins, as they have only won two series since the beginning of June, both of them against the Phillies. In fact, five of the Marlins last nine wins have come against the Phillies, and that being over a span of 27 games. Not too impressive.
The Marlins will have their hands full on Monday evening, as they will be facing the Brewers ace and potential trade candidate, Zach Greinke. Carlos Zambrano will be taking the mound for the Marlins, in the stadium where just four years ago, Big Z no hit the Houston Astros.
|East||W||L||PCT||GB||L10||STRK||HOME||ROAD||LAST GAME||NEXT GAME|
|Washington||45||32||.584||–||5-5||W1||20-14||25-18||7/1 @ ATL, W 8-4||7/3 vs SF, 6:35 PM|
|NY Mets||43||37||.538||3.5||5-5||L1||23-17||20-20||7/1 @ LAD, L 3-8||7/3 vs PHI, 7:10 PM|
|Atlanta||41||37||.526||4.5||5-5||L1||18-20||23-17||7/1 vs WSH, L 4-8||7/2 vs CHC, 7:10 PM|
|Miami||38||40||.487||7.5||5-5||W4||22-22||16-18||7/1 vs PHI, W 5-2||7/2 @ MIL, 8:10 PM|
|Philadelphia||36||45||.444||11.0||3-7||L5||17-24||19-21||7/1 @ MIA, L 2-5||7/3 @ NYM, 7:10 PM|
Five-year Run PF*: 0.99
Five-year HR PF*: 1.02
Left field line—342 ft.
Left-center field—374 ft.
Center field—400 ft.
Right-center field—378 ft.
Right field line—356 ft.
*Five-year regressed park factors provided by Patriot here
Head to Head
|Earned Run Average||4.13||4.17|
|Opponent Batting Average||.258||.264|
It’s funny, looking at the numbers for the two teams, they are so similar. Both teams have decent pitching that is underachieving. Both teams also feature offenses that have not hit to their full capabilities yet. Both teams come into the series sitting in fourth place in their respective divisions.
This is going to be a fun series to watch, both teams are so evenly matched. Their ERA and FIP show that the teams have both done decently on the mound but the results just have not turned out that way. The Brewers offense is led by superstar, Ryan Braun, while the Marlins offense is led by budding superstar, Giancarlo Stanton.
The Marlins enter this series as losers of their past four road games.
Carlos Zambrano, RHP
Zack Greinke, RHP
Greinke is sporting a 1.67 ERA over his last six starts. He might have some extra motivation in his return home after being left off the NL’s All-Star roster that was named Sunday. He is 15-0 with a 2.47 ERA, and the Brewers have won 20 of his 21 regular-season starts at Miller Park. He held opponents to a .203 average in June. He has not pitched at home since June 6, when he struck out a season-high 12 during an 8-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs. Greinke did not have his best stuff when he faced the Marlins at home Sept. 24, giving up four runs, nine hits and five walks over five innings. He’s 2-0 with a 4.50 ERA in three career starts against Miami. Greinke has not lost a game against the Fish in his career yet. Logan Morrison is four-for-four lifetime against Greinke.
As good as Zambrano has been for the Marlins this season, he is nowhere near as good as Greinke is. He has a 7.88 ERA over his last four-starts, but was charged with five unearned runs – all in the first inning – in a 5-2 loss to St. Louis on Tuesday. Zambrano committed one of Miami’s two errors during the opening frame when his throw to second base went into center field. Big Z has plenty of experience against the Brewers, as he has tossed nearly 200 innings against his former rivals. It will be interesting to see how effective Zambrano will be, as Zambrano’s 125 pitches in his last outing, a loss to the Cardinals, was his most since tossing 128 at Phillies on June 10, 2011
Marlins Projected Lineup
|Lineup||Player||Current wOBA||Proj. wOBA vs RHP||Career BA vs Greinke|
Greg Dobbs gets another start at first base, that has to make you wonder if the Marlins patience with Gaby Sanchez is running thin. With the trade deadline approaching, the Marlins will have an interesting decision to make with their first base position moving forward. Gaby Sanchez’s struggles now have been going on for a full season. He needs to figure out how to hit again or his Major League career, not just with the Marlins, could be in serious jeopardy.
Unfortunately, with the Brewers best pitcher going, I cannot see the Marlins pulling of this win. The Brewers will jump on Zambrano early, and force the Marlins bullpen to pitch a long game. Greinke on the other hand, will have a strong start and shut the Marlins lineup down for eight innings. The Marlins will score a run in the ninth, but the Brewers will hold onto a 7-1 victory to end the Marlins four-game winning streak.