After swapping blowouts in a two game series with the New York Yankees to start the week, the Miami Marlins travel to Milwaukee for a four-game weekend series.
The Miami Marlins come to Milwaukee on a high note after scoring a season high nine runs against the Yankees Tuesday. Starting pitching continues to be hit or miss for the Marlins, and Don Mattingly continues to juggle the lineup.
These two teams were party to Miami’s biggest off-season move (that didn’t include an MVP). Christian Yelich and Lewis Brinson were the headliners in a trade that sent Yelich to Milwaukee and Brinson to Miami. Miami also received three other high end prospects in that deal.
The move seems beneficial to both parties so far. Yelich has come as advertised batting .385 with one HR and a .984 on base percentage despite a brief stint on the disabled list. Brinson has struggled lately at the plate, but is all-in for Miami. His personality and presence will make him an integral part of the building process and as a potential face of the Marlins franchise.
The season so far
Milwaukee comes into the series winning two in a row against the Cincinnati Reds. Their season record sits at 10-9 and they are currently 2.5 games back in the National League Central Division. Yelich came off the DL Wednesday and will play against is former team this weekend. Eric Thames continues his hot start after belting his seventh home run of the year.
Miami is 5-12 and sitting in the National League East cellar. Pitching has been uneven and run production lacking at times. The return of catcher J.T. Realmuto from the DL Tuesday provides some pop and stability in the lineup. He also provides a great deal of leadership on and off the field. Miami looks to get quality outings from their starting pitching and provide the bullpen with some rest.
The series opens at Miller Park on Thursday night. Dillon Peters look to continue with quality pitching and build off of the 6 innings he tossed against the Pirates his last time out. Chase Anderson takes the hill for the Brewers in game one. He is 1-1 with a 2.82 ERA.
Trevor Richards takes the ball for Miami in game two on Friday. He will try to replicate his stellar outing from his seven inning, two-hit no-decision last Saturday at Philadelphia. The Brewers give the ball to Jhoulys Chacin on Friday, looking for his first win of the season.
Miami Opening Day starter Jose Urena will try for his first win of the season after starting 0-3. He has struggled with command and finding the strike zone. He’s matched up against southpaw Brent Suter for a Saturday evening contest.
The series closes on Sunday afternoon with Miami lefty Caleb Smith looking to right the ship after a tough outing against the New York Yankees. Junior Guerra takes the bump for Milwaukee with a 0.82 ERA and 1-0 record.
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The Marlins lineup has been shuffled a number of times by manager Don Mattingly. Look for things to stay fluid until something clicks. You can be pretty sure to find Justin Bour, Realmuto and Brian Anderson in the middle of the order. With Brinson likely to return to the lineup he could be seen batting seventh or eighth. If his bat comes back to life, Mattingly may put him back in the lead off spot.
As Yelich returned to the lineup Wednesday, he hit second for Milwaukee behind leadoff slugger Thames. You may see a little more consistency from day to day for the Brewers lineup compared to what the Marlins will put out there.
It is always fun to watch players face their former teams. Yelich will have the chance during this four game series. Surely he will fare better than his former outfield counterpart, Giancarlo Stanton (0-7 vs. Miami), did earlier this week.
Miami’s bullpen is one to keep an eye on as well. Fireballer Tayron Guerrero continues to be a pitcher to watch. At 6’7″, he can throw 100+ mph and that can be intimidating for any batter. He’s also struck out 17 hitters in 9 2/3 innings.
It is fun to see what lineup Don Mattingly puts on the field each day as the building Marlins look to find success.
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