Series Preview #40: Milwaukee Brewers (53-72) at Cleveland Indians (58-66)
Bob Toth | On 25, Aug 2015
No matter how well the Cleveland Indians’ starting pitchers have pitched at times this season, too often the team has come up just short.
The Indians (58-66) finally return to their home sweet home after the completion of their eleven-game, four-city tour of the United States to host the Milwaukee Brewers as the clubs meet for the second and final time this season. It will be the final interleague series of the year for both teams.
Cleveland wrapped up its roadie with a one-game swing through the Windy City as it made up its earlier June rainout against the Chicago Cubs. Unfortunately, with an opportunity to come home with a winning road trip against Minnesota, Boston, New York, and Chicago, the Indians lost a tough pitchers’ duel, 2-1, as a walk-off home run from Kris Bryant spoiled Cleveland’s ninth inning rally and got Corey Kluber off the hook in yet another start that flirted with perfection while marred by nonexistent run support.
The Brewers (53-72) have a bit of a different look since the two clubs met in July after trading away third baseman Aramis Ramirez to the Pittsburgh Pirates, outfielder Carlos Gomez and starter Mike Fiers to the Houston Astros, outfielder Gerardo Parra to the Baltimore Orioles, reliever Jonathan Broxton to the St. Louis Cardinals, and reliever Neal Cotts to the Minnesota Twins. They won the series opening game of their three-game battle with the Washington Nationals on Friday, 10-3, before losing 6-1 on Saturday night and 9-5 on Sunday afternoon. The fourth place club in the NL Central enjoyed Monday off.
PITCHING PROBABLES and GAME NOTES
The 26-year-old Peralta won 17 games just a season ago, but has struggled this season with an ERA almost one run higher than the one he posted last season while seeing an increase in hits and a decrease in strikeouts. He is 2-3 with a 4.21 ERA in eight games in interleague play and has never pitched against Cleveland. He is 3-2 since returning from the disabled list and earned the win his last time out despite allowing six earned runs in just five innings of work. So far, so good, has been the story on Tomlin in two starts off of the disabled list this season. He has allowed just three runs on seven hits in 13 1/3 innings thus far. In his six big league seasons, he has never faced the Brewers.
Nelson is in his third season with the Brewers and his first as a full-time member of the rotation. The 6’6” righty is 1-3 in four interleague starts and has never faced the Indians. He has won four straight decisions and seven of his last eight, but does have three no-decisions during that stretch. Anderson is expected to be activated from the 15-day disabled list after being scratched from an expected rehab start on Monday night. He will pitch for Carlos Carrasco, who has been dealing with pain in his right shoulder. Anderson has faced the Brewers once, allowing four runs on ten hits in two and two-thirds innings in his shortest career outing. He has allowed 20 earned runs in 17 2/3 innings (10.19 ERA) in his last four starts, after allowing just three earned runs in 30 1/3 innings (0.89 ERA) in his first four MLB starts.
The brief two-game set will appear on Fox Sports SportsTime Ohio and Fox Sports Wisconsin. Radio calls will be available on the Cleveland Indians Radio Network and the Brewers Radio Network.
AL CENTRAL STANDINGS
TEAM W-L PCT. GB WCGB STREAK
Kansas City 76-48 .613 – – W3
Minnesota 63-61 .508 13.0 1.5 W4
Detroit 59-65 .476 17.0 5.5 L4
Chicago 58-65 .472 17.5 6.0 L2
Cleveland 58-66 .468 18.0 6.5 L1
A former American League foe and brief member of the AL Central for four seasons before being moved to the NL Central in time for the 1998 season, the Brewers franchise and the Indians have been almost evenly matched in their 408 contests with one another. Milwaukee holds a 206-202 advantage that becomes a six-game advantage when ruling out the franchise’s 5-7 record during their one year as the Seattle Pilots prior to relocating.
This season, the clubs have split a game each during a brief series after the All-Star break at Miller Park.
ON THE MOVE and ON THE MEND
Cody Anderson (SP) – 15-day disabled list (August 8) – left oblique strain; expected to be activated for Wednesday’s start
Carlos Carrasco (SP) – day-to-day – right shoulder discomfort; MRI on Tuesday was clean; will skip next start
Gavin Floyd (SP) – 60-day disabled list (April 5) – recovery from March 2015 right elbow surgery
Nick Hagadone (RP) – 15-day disabled list (July 8) – recovery from July 2015 left elbow surgery
Chris Johnson (UTL) – 15-day disabled list (August 16) – swollen finger
Michael Blazek (P) – 15-day disabled list (August 13) – right hand fracture
Tyler Cravy (P) – 15-day disabled list (August 19) – right elbow impingement
Cesar Jimenez (RP) – activated after waiver claim from Philadelphia
BY THE NUMBERS
Former Brewers draft pick Michael Brantley remains the MLB leader in doubles this season with 38. He was selected by Milwaukee in the seventh round of the 2005 draft with the 205th pick overall.
Jason Kipnis remains second in the AL in hitting with a .320 batting average, but he trails Texas’ Prince Fielder by just percentage points. He leads the league in on-base percentage with a .396 mark, two-thousandths of a point in front of Los Angeles’ Mike Trout and nine-thousandths ahead of Brantley.
After a pair of three hit games against New York, Francisco Lindor was limited to just one hit and a walk in the loss to Chicago on Monday. He has hit in four straight games and seven of his last eight. His former Columbus teammate, Lonnie Chisenhall, brings into the series an active six-game hitting streak. He has hit safely in eleven of his last 12, despite not playing in five games during that span.
Khris Davis is Milwaukee’s second half leader in homers (ten) and RBI (26), despite hitting just .234 in 34 games. The right-handed-hitting outfielder has hit safely in four straight and eight of his last nine games. He has hit four homers in his last four games and solo shots in each of the last two.
Current Indians television voice Rick Manning spent his entire 13-year MLB career between the Indians and Brewers franchises.
He was selected with the second pick of the 1972 draft out of high school by the Indians and debuted with Cleveland at the age of 20 in 1975, hitting .285. His defensive capabilities in center field earned him a Gold Glove nod in just his second season in the Bigs.
In 1981, he caught the final out of Len Barker’s perfect game. He played in the Indians’ outfield into the 1983 season, when he was dealt to the Brewers for fan favorite Gorman Thomas. Manning spent parts of the next five seasons with Milwaukee, where he might be best remembered as the man whose walk-off hit in the tenth inning at County Stadium on August 26th, 1987, ended the 39-game hitting streak of Paul Molitor, who was standing in the on-deck circle to bat next.
He will be on the call of both games of the series from Cleveland this week for Fox Sports SportsTime Ohio. He has been a broadcaster for the Tribe since 1990.
The Indians will get a much deserved day off on Thursday before opening up a weekend set with the Los Angeles Angels in their only trip to Progressive Field this season. With their brief five-game road trip complete, the Brewers will return home for six divisional games with Cincinnati and Pittsburgh starting Friday night.
Photo: David Banks/Getty Images