First Place Brew Crew Come to Cleveland in Rematch with Tribe
Bob Toth | On 05, Jun 2018
The Milwaukee Brewers’ first trip to Cleveland since August of 2015 will be over before the team even has a chance to settle in. The National League Central-leading Brewers will tango with the Tribe in a quick two-game set from Progressive Field, beginning on Tuesday night and wrapping up Wednesday afternoon.
The Indians (30-28) faltered during their four-game set in Minnesota, playing the Twins at Target Field for the first time this season over the weekend. After earning a 9-8 win in the series opener on Thursday night (blowing an 8-0 lead beforehand), the Tribe tripped up in three straight losses as the Twins took the series by putting up seven runs in three consecutive games and 29 in total against Cleveland. The Brewers will mark the fourth interleague series of the season for the Indians (Chicago Cubs twice, Milwaukee once); they are 4-2 on the year against the NL so far, with remaining series to play against St. Louis, Cincinnati (twice), and Pittsburgh. They have won four of their last five against Milwaukee after ending an eight-game losing streak against the Brewers that dated back to 2001.
The Brewers (37-33) come into town sitting in the top spot in the NL Central, two games up on the Chicago Cubs. They had a tough weekend with the other Chicago club, the White Sox, over the weekend, as they dropped two of three to lose their first series since May 4-6 against Pittsburgh. The team has used a balance of power and speed on the field this season, as they are second in the senior circuit in homers (74) and stolen bases (41). Their bullpen has been one of the best in baseball – their relievers are second-best in strikeouts with 260 and third in bullpen ERA at 2.68, WHIP at 1.14, and batting average allowed at .212.
The Brewers lead the all-time series with the Indians, 207-205.
PITCHING PROBABLES and NOTES
Guerra, the 33-year-old right-hander, suffered a loss against the Indians back in May in his first career appearance against them. The Venezuelan native struck out a season-high nine batters in defeat, allowing four runs on six hits in five innings. He has gone just 1-0 in four starts since, but has allowed just five runs in that span while making three quality starts. In his most recent outing, he worked six scoreless innings while striking out seven. He has not walked a batter in his last two starts (12 innings worked).
Kluber faced the Brewers for the first time in his career nearly one month ago, but took the loss in a quality start. He allowed three runs on five hits, walking one and striking out four. The Brewers hit a pair of homers off of him during a stretch when Kluber was giving up blasts in bunches. Since that start, Kluber has allowed just one home run in his last four starts, a span of 26 1/3 innings. Not surprisingly, he has gone 3-0 in those outings and left the one no-decision earned in line for a win after six and one-third scoreless innings pitched.
Anderson has faced the Indians just once in his career, taking a loss in 2014 during his rookie season with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He allowed four runs in that start over five innings with seven hits and three walks. Anderson was on the disabled list with an illness when the Indians were in Milwaukee and missed 15 days. He took a loss in his last start, also an interleague appearance, as he allowed four runs (three earned) in five and two-thirds innings against the White Sox. It was an improvement over his May, when he posted a 7.08 ERA in 20 1/3 innings of work (despite posting a 2-1 record in four starts).
Carrasco’s best start of the season was nearly a month ago, when he struck out 14 Brewers in a complete game win in Milwaukee. Since that outing, he has gone 1-3 in four starts since, making two quality starts before giving up five runs against Houston and six runs against Minnesota in back-to-back starts.
TV: Fox Sports SportsTime Ohio (both); Fox Sports Wisconsin (both); DISH 455 (both); MLB Network (out-of-market, 6/6)
Radio (all): Cleveland Indians Radio Network (CLE); WTMJ 620 (MIL)
TRANSACTIONS and INJURY NOTES
Cody Anderson (P) – 60-day disabled list (2/25) – recovery from April 2017 UCL surgery
Lonnie Chisenhall (RF) – activated from 10-day disabled list (6/5)
Nick Goody (RP) – transferred to 60-day disabled list (5/31) – right elbow inflammation (since 5/3)
Brandon Guyer (OF) – 10-day disabled list (5/20) – left cervical strain; on rehab assignment
Ryan Merritt (P) – 60-day disabled list (3/26) – left knee sprain
Andrew Miller (RP) – 10-day disabled list (5/26) – right knee inflammation
Tyler Naquin (OF) – 10-day disabled list (5/12) – left hamstring strain; on rehab assignment
Danny Salazar (P) – 60-day disabled list (3/26) – right shoulder rotator cuff tendonitis; shut down
Bradley Zimmer (CF) – optioned to Triple-A Columbus (6/5)
Zach Davies (SP) – 10-day disabled list (5/30) – right rotator cuff inflammation
Nick Franklin (UTL) – 10-day disabled list (5/9) – right quad strain
Wade Miley (SP) – 60-day disabled list (5/9) – right oblique strain
Jimmy Nelson (SP) – 60-day disabled list (3/26) – recovery from September 2017 right shoulder surgery
Tyler Saladino (SS) – 10-day disabled list (5/30) – left ankle sprain
Eric Thames (1B) – 10-day disabled list (4/25) – recovery from April 2018 left thumb surgery
Stephen Vogt (C) – 60-day disabled list (3/26) – recovery from May 2018 right shoulder surgery
BREWERS STATS AND NOTES
Travis Shaw, the son of former Indians pitcher Jeff Shaw, an Ohio native, and a product of Kent State University, has always hit his dad’s former team well. The 28-year-old owns a .309 career average against Cleveland in 14 career games with three doubles, three homers, and six RBI. He faced the Indians twice earlier this season and scuffled a bit, getting just one hit in eight plate appearances, but he drove in three runs and hit one home run. On the year, Shaw is hitting .250 with a .342 on-base percentage and a .505 slugging mark with 13 homers and 36 RBI.
Jesus Aguilar, the one-time Indians first base prospect, has been a welcomed addition to the Brewers roster and has performed well in extended playing time with first baseman Thames out injured. He has played in 52 games this season, putting up a .309/.378/.564 slash at the plate with eight doubles, ten homers, and 32 RBI. He was 1-for-3 with a single and an RBI in his first game against his former club earlier this season.
Former National League MVP Ryan Braun has fared well against the Indians during series against them in 2009, 2015, and this season, slashing .357/.438/.714 in 32 plate appearances. He has ten career hits off of Cleveland pitching, including two doubles, a triple, two homers, and eight RBI. He is 1-for-4 with a double against the Tribe this year.
TRIBE BY THE NUMBERS
Edwin Encarnacion was named the American League’s Player of the Week for the first time since 2015 on Monday after a hot week at the plate. The slugger hit in all seven games that he played in last week, slashing .407/.448/1.037 in 29 plate appearances, accumulating eleven hits in the process. Seven of those hits were for extra bases, including two doubles and five home runs. He hit a pair of blasts and drove in four of his 13 runs for the week in the series finale with the Minnesota Twins on Sunday afternoon. Encarnacion’s hitting streak has reached a season-high ten games.
Francisco Lindor carried his strong play all the way through the month of May, winning a pair of Player of the Week awards to open the month before claiming the AL’s Player of the Month award on Saturday. He appeared in 27 games during the month, putting up a .373/.432/.737 line at the plate with a 1.169 OPS. He had 44 hits in the month, including 13 doubles and ten home runs, and had two four-hit games. He was second in the league in hitting in May while becoming the first Tribe player to be named a Player of the Month since Jason Kipnis three years earlier. Lindor went 4-for-9 with two home runs in May against the Brewers.
Michael Brantley will once again face the club that drafted him and dealt him to Cleveland in the 2008 CC Sabathia trade. The two-time All-Star left fielder has cooled off a bit after his 19-game hitting streak came to an end on May 30, but he was one of the club’s top hitters in May, batting .333 with a .398 on-base percentage with seven doubles, seven homers, and a team-high 26 RBI in 27 games.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
It will be back to the road for the Tribe after their couple days at home as they head to Detroit to kick off a three-game series with the Tigers beginning after a Thursday off day. They will follow that trip with four games in Chicago against the White Sox.
The Brewers, who like the Indians had Monday off and will take Thursday off, will continue their three-city road trip with a three-game series against the Phillies in Philadelphia.
Photo: Stacy Revere/Getty Images