National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, August 16th
(All times eastern)
Philadelphia Phillies (54-63) at Milwaukee Brewers (52-64), 8:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Philadelphia - Cliff Lee (2-7, 3.85)
Milwaukee - Marco Estrada (0-5, 4.36)
(Sports Network) - Reigning National League MVP Ryan Braun just received an
off day because of his recent struggles at the plate and the Milwaukee Brewers
hope it was enough to get their slugger back on track.
Braun and the Brewers are back home and will take on the Philadelphia Phillies
tonight in the opener of a four-game series at Miller Park. In his last 11
games, Braun is 9-for-47 with a .191 batting average, no homers, four RBI and
15 strikeouts. He also is homerless in 49 plate appearances, last going deep
Aug. 1, and could be back in the lineup Thursday.
"I've said it many times: It's all part of this game," Braun said on the
team's website a few days ago. "You go through stretches where you're really
good, stretches where you're not so good, and you try to keep your sanity in
those bad times."
Braun did not play in Wednesday's tough 7-6 loss at Colorado as the Brewers
suffered a three-game sweep. Jim Henderson couldn't perform much comic relief
in giving up singles to Wilin Rosario and Eric Young Jr., before Tyler
Colvin's double brought both runners home for the win.
Mark Rogers drew the start and put the Brewers in a hole by allowing five runs
and seven hits in six innings.
"Same thing, we played good baseball but gave it up at the end," Brewers
manager Ron Roenicke said. "We had chances offensively to score runs, but
we're not getting that big hit we need to get."
Nyjer Morgan drove in three runs and Rickie Weeks had three hits for
Milwaukee, which has dropped three in a row and five of six games since
sweeping powerhouse Cincinnati.
The Brewers have won six in a row at home and look to Marco Estrada to pitch
them to a seventh straight victory when he toes the rubber tonight. Estrada is
still searching for his first win of the season and is 0-5 with a 4.36 earned
run average in 20 games (14 starts). The right-hander has no record and a 7.84
ERA in seven career meetings, one of which was a start, with Philadelphia.
Estrada allowed five runs in four innings of a 7-6 loss at Philadelphia on
Meanwhile, the Phillies were aiming for a three-game sweep of the Miami
Marlins yesterday afternoon, but dropped a 9-2 decision even with Roy Halladay
on the mound. Halladay gave up three runs and six hits in seven innings to
fall to 6-7 on the year. He allowed the go-ahead home run to former Phillie
Greg Dobbs in the sixth inning.
"You know, it was just kind of in his bat speed," Halladay said. "I really
just left it up a little bit. It was kind of the one I want back. That was
kind of the big one."
Ty Wigginton homered and drove in both runs for the Phils, who entered
Wednesday having won three straight and seven of 10 games.
The last time Cliff Lee pitched against Milwaukee he was bailed out by the
offense and bullpen. Lee draws the start tonight and did not record a decision
in a 7-6 win over the Brewers on July 24, when he yielded six runs and 12 hits
in seven innings. He is 0-1 with a 5.54 earned run average in four career
starts against Milwaukee.
Lee lost his last appearance on Saturday in a 4-1 setback to St. Louis and was
tagged for four runs and 10 hits in seven innings, falling to 2-7 with a 3.85
ERA in 20 starts.
Philadelphia swept the Brewers in three games at Citizens Bank Park from July
23-25, all by scores of 7-6. The Phillies have won seven of the last eight
matchups in this series.
08/16 10:39:03 ET