GUEST COMMENTARY BY: Adam Rygg
5-6, 4.95 ERA
In his last outing (July 9th), Davis got roughed up by the Chicago Cubs. He allowed 7 ER in just 5.1 IP, raising his ERA from 4.60 to 4.95. The troubles came early and often for Davis, shoved forward by 6 walks and 7 hits. The Cubs have had problems hitting left-handed pitching all season, but I guess "they were due" or some B.S. excuse like that. The bottom line, is Davis got beat…and beat hard.
Why Ned Yost didn’t yank him early makes no sense at all. He was obviously laboring on the hill (91 pitches in that 5.1 IP), and with four off-days coming in a row for the All-Star Break, who cares how many innings your bullpen ends up throwing?
Davis had a fantastic outing just prior to that one in which he allowed only 2 ER in 8.2 IP to the Cincinnati Reds. Just before that one, however, he was flame-broiled by the Kansas City Royals for 6 R (only 3 earned) in just 3.0 IP (again, 91 pitches). He had thrown four quality starts in a row prior to the KC game, so hopefully the two rough outings were the exceptions.
Davis has been good for one horrible outing a month, so let’s just hope he got his piece of garbage for July out of the way and can kick @$$ for the rest of the month.
And his opponent…
8-5, 5.01 ERA
Batista’s last start came July 7th at Colorado. He pitched only 4 innings, allowing 3 ER on 5 H, striking out one. A rain delay prevented him from continuing in the game. Arizona ended up winning that game thanks to shoddy defense by Colorado, but Batista took a no-decision.
Batista threw a complete game, 3 hitter against the Oakland Athletics in his previous start, and had won two in a row since losing 3 straight. Hopefully for the crew, his short start coupled with the break will have him over-rested and sloppy on the hill.
The rest of the combatants…
The big question mark for the Brewers is whether or not Corey Koskie’s phantom concussion will allow him back on the field finally. I’m not saying he didn’t knock something around. I’m just saying he didn’t hit his head on the ground during that play.
The Brewers haven’t faced Miguel Batista this season, but some of the Crew have faced him a few times in the past. Carlos Lee is a pedestrian 2-11 against him. Geoff Jenkins is 2-8 with a solo home run and actually no strikeouts. If Koskie plays, he is 2-5 with 2 BB and 1 K. His probable replacement, Jeff Cirillo hasn’t had a single at-bat against Arizona pitching this season…and that might be a good thing to continue tonight. He is 0-11 against Batista lifetime, with 3 K. Damian Miller has had the most success against Batista in his career, going 3-6, with a double and 2 RBI.
Rickie Weeks, Prince Fielder, Bill Hall and Gabe Gross have never seen Batista. Should Brady Clark get the start, it won’t be with much more experience than Gross. Clark has only seen him once, going 0-1.
What this adds up to is quite simple. If Davis did have what will be his only poor July start, then the Brewer lineup should have enough pop to cause some damage and secure the victory for Milwaukee.
The fact is, we took 2 of 3 at the beginning of the season from this team, and I think we can do at least that again. We face Brandon Webb tomorrow, who started when the D’Backs beat the Brewers back in April, but Capuano goes for us, so I like our chances. The third game is slated to be Claudio Vargas, he of the 7-5 record and the 4.91 ERA, taking on Dave Bush (5-7, 4.34).
There will hopefully be another preview tomorrow for Game 2 of the series, and we’ll see what we can do about getting Game 3 analyzed as well.
Here’s to starting things back off on the right foot, boys.