|4:40 PM PT5:40 PM MT6:40 PM CT7:40 PM ET19:40 ET23:40 GMT7:40 4:40 PM MST6:40 PM EST7:10 PM VEN3:40 UAE (+1)6:40 PM CT, April 16, 2019
Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Attendance: 30,260
Bashing Brewers eye sweep of Cardinals
St. Louis Cardinals at Milwaukee Brewers
- The Brewers won three of four games against the Cardinals in their opening series of the season. The two teams combined for 18 home runs (nine each) in that series. The last time both teams hit nine or more big flies in a four-game series was in August 2017 (Mets, 10 home runs, at Phillies, 11 home runs).
- The Cardinals split a two-game series with the Reds in Monterrey, Mexico. St. Louis has won six of its last seven games after starting the season 3-5. The Cardinals' bullpen has a 1.82 ERA in the past seven after posting a 4.13 ERA in the first eight games.
- The Brewers took two of three from the Dodgers in Los Angeles over the weekend. Milwaukee has scored 6.29 runs per game at home this season and 3.78 runs per game on the road. Their difference of 2.51 runs per game is the third largest among teams who have a higher scoring average at home.
- Freddy Peralta has had one gem of a start -- 8.0 innings with two hits, no runs and 11 strikeouts -- sandwiched by two duds -- 11 combined earned runs over 6.1 innings. Peralta has held batters to a .157 average at home since 2018, fifth lowest among current NL pitchers (minimum 100 batters faced).
- Marcell Ozuna launched two home runs in the win over the Reds on Sunday to bring his season RBI total to 11. Ozuna is one of three Cardinals (Paul Goldschmidt, 10 and Kolten Wong, 10) who have driven in 10-plus runs this season, tying St. Louis for second most in the NL (LAD -- five players).
- Yasmani Grandal went 6-for-11 with 3 RBI against his former club, the Dodgers, over the weekend. Grandal has a 1.148 OPS this season, the second-highest mark among catchers with 25 or more plate appearances this season (Willson Contreras, ChC: 1.198; based on season position).
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The Milwaukee Brewers will go for a three-game sweep of the visiting St. Louis Cardinals when the teams meet on Wednesday afternoon.
The Brewers have won five of six against their NL Central rival this season, and they feature two of the hottest hitters in the majors, right fielder Christian Yelich and catcher Yasmani Grandal.
Yelich has four home runs and 10 RBIs in the first two games of the series, and he is 11-for-21 with eight home runs and 18 RBIs in six games overall against St. Louis this season.
"Every team has got their team or their pitcher, but nothing like what he's doing," Grandal said.
Grandal has been even hotter than Yelich during the month of April.
He's hitting .512 (21-for-41) in 12 games this month to raise his overall average .404. However, Grandal could be in line for a day off after catching the past eight games.
Cardinals right-hander Michael Wacha and Brewers right-hander Corbin Burnes will match up on the mound for the second time this season.
They went head-to-head on March 31, and neither received a decision after Milwaukee won 5-4 on a walk-off, two-run double by Yelich in the ninth.
Wacha (0-0, 5.28 ERA) allowed one run and four hits in six innings in that game and left with a 4-1 lead, but the bullpen gave up two runs in the seventh and the winning runs in the ninth.
Wacha is 5-0 in his career against the Milwaukee with a 3.92 ERA in 12 appearances (11 starts).
Yelich is 4-for-12 off Wacha with a double and a home run.
St. Louis manager Mike Shildt said after the loss on Tuesday that he's considering giving Yelich the "Barry Bonds treatment" and intentionally walking him each time he bats, regardless of the situation.
"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over again," Shildt said. "There's a fine line between giving the Bonds treatment and also appreciating the fact that, at some point, you feel like it's going to end, you know. We also want to be able to trust our guys to compete and execute. Right now, against him at least, we're not."
Burnes (0-0, 10.05 ERA) is under pressure to pitch well after allowing three home runs in each of his first three starts this season, serving up nine home runs in 14 1/3 innings overall.
"We've got to keep working on that and coming up with some solutions for it," Brewers manager Craig Counsell told reporters after Burnes' most recent start. "We've got to figure out a way to keep the ball in the park because it's a tough way to pitch."
The problems have been easy to diagnose for Burnes.
Eight of the nine home runs have come on fastballs that missed their intended targets. Counsell remains confident that Burnes will find his touch.
"He's going to get there," Counsell said. "There's way too much stuff there. He'll get there."
Burnes gave up long balls to Matt Carpenter, Paul Goldschmidt and Paul DeJong when he faced the Cardinals last month. He went five innings and allowed four runs and six hits with one walk and 12 strikeouts.
In four career outings vs. St. Louis (including the one start on March 31), Burnes is 1-0 with a 5.63 ERA.
--Field Level Media
Updated April 17, 2019