Bashing Brewers eye sweep of Cardinals
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 MediaHome