Preview: Cubs at Brewers - July 29
The Sports Xchange The Milwaukee Brewers pulled out of their tailspin for a critical win in the opener of their three-game series against the visiting Chicago Cubs. The Brewers now can reclaim first place in the National League Central standings ...
The Sports Xchange
The Milwaukee Brewers pulled out of their tailspin for a critical win in the opener of their three-game series against the visiting Chicago Cubs. The Brewers now can reclaim first place in the National League Central standings with a second consecutive victory over the defending world champions on Saturday.
Milwaukee held on for a 2-1 triumph in Friday’s series opener, pulling within one-half game of Chicago. The Cubs had been red-hot to start the second half, turning a 5 1/2-game deficit in the division at the All-Star break into a 1 1/2-game lead entering this series.
The Brewers have won 10 of their last 12 at home and were happy to get back after a 2-8 road trip. Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks also enjoys Miller Park, where he is 4-1 with a 2.52 ERA in six starts.
TV: 6:10 p.m., WGN (Chicago), FSN Wisconsin.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cubs RH Kyle Hendricks (4-3, 3.95 ERA) vs. Brewers RH Junior Guerra (1-4, 5.22)
Hendricks came off the disabled list to start Monday against the crosstown White Sox, allowing one run and eight hits over 4 1/3 innings. The 27-year-old could stand to be more efficient as he was lifted after 92 pitches, but he didn’t issue a walk, which is a good sign for a pitcher who relies on command. Hendricks is 6-3 with a 2.80 ERA in 12 career starts against the Brewers, with a win and a no-decision this season.
Guerra is winless in nine turns since May 31 and hasn’t recorded a quality start in his last five. The 32-year-old Venezuelan surrendered five runs in four-plus innings Sunday at Philadelphia and has served up at least one home run in nine straight outings. Guerra is 1-0 with a 2.03 ERA in two starts against the Cubs, with both occurring last season.
- Cubs starting pitchers have posted a 2.54 ERA and 10 quality starts in 14 games since the All-Star break.
- Brewers 1B Eric Thames received a day off Friday against LHP Jose Quintana but should be back in the lineup Saturday, as he is 9-for-23 with four doubles, a homer and 10 runs scored in seven games against the Cubs this season.
- Chicago has not allowed a run in the first inning in 14 games since the break after giving up 80 in the opening frame over the first 88 contests.
PREDICTION: Cubs 6, Brewers 4.