Rockies-Brewers Preview

One of the biggest reasons the Milwaukee Brewers fell short of

the playoffs last season was because their starting rotation got

knocked around time after time.

The Brewers sought to revamp their rotation in the offseason,

and early returns are positive.

Making his first appearance for Milwaukee in more than three

years, Doug Davis looks to help the Brewers win a rare series over

the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday at Miller Park.

Last season, Milwaukee (1-1) ranked third in the NL in both runs

scored (785) and homers (182), but finished 80-82 – 11 games back

of NL Central-winning St. Louis – because its starting pitchers

posted a 5.37 ERA, worst in the majors. That result prompted

general manager Doug Melvin to bring in two proven starters to give

the rotation a boost.

The Brewers gave left-hander Randy Wolf a $29.75 million,

three-year deal just after December’s winter meetings and signed

Davis to a $5.25 million, one-year contract in late January.

Wolf made his Milwaukee debut Tuesday, allowing four runs with

eight strikeouts in 6 2-3 innings of a 7-5 win over the Rockies,

snapping a seven-game losing streak in this series.

“That’s why we got him here. He did a nice job tonight. A

strike-throwing machine – 97 pitches, 72 strikes,” Brewers manager

Ken Macha said. “That’s pretty impressive.”

Macha now turns to Davis to try and help Milwaukee win a series

over the Rockies (1-1) for the first time since taking two of three

July 13-15, 2007.

This is the second stint with the Brewers for Davis, who went

37-36 with a 3.92 ERA over 3 1/2 seasons from 2003-06, before

Milwaukee dealt him to Arizona. The left-hander was 9-14 with a

4.12 ERA in 34 starts for the Diamondbacks last season.

Davis’ first start of 2010 comes against one of his least

favorite opponents. He recorded a 10.13 ERA while losing all three

starts against Colorado last season, and is winless in six starts

against the Rockies since beating them April 15, 2007.

Colorado third baseman Ian Stewart has given Davis problems,

going 3 for 8 with a solo home run lifetime against him. Stewart

has homered in each of the first two games of the season, and also

doubled, tripled and scored three times Tuesday.

“I feel good. I’m seeing the ball well. That’s all I can really

say,” he said.

Aaron Cook will make his season debut Wednesday for Colorado

after going 11-6 with a 4.16 ERA in 27 starts in 2009.

Cook spent Aug. 22-Sept. 25 on the disabled list with a right

shoulder strain, but looked sharp upon returning, allowing one run,

eight hits and one walk over 13 innings in his final two outings.

The right-hander gave up one run and four hits in eight innings of

a 9-2 win over Milwaukee on Oct. 1, as the Rockies clinched a

playoff berth.

The Brewers were on the wrong end of another solid showing from

Cook last season, when the sinkerballer yielded one run and seven

hits with seven strikeouts in six innings of a 5-4 victory June 11.

Cook is 4-1 with a 2.25 ERA in six starts against Milwaukee since

2005.