Brewers need offense to wake up in series vs. Cubs

Cubs slugger Anthony Rizzo is batting .375 with six home runs against the Brewers this season.

DAVID BANKS/AP

The Milwaukee Brewers have had a hard time against the Chicago Cubs this season. In fact, they haven’t beaten them in their last two series.

The Brewers are 0-7 against the Cubs in their last seven games, being swept in a three-game series in Chicago in mid-August and a four-game home series a couple weeks before that.

One of the main reasons for the struggles? Offensive impotence. The Brewers haven’t scored more than three runs against the Cubs since May.

For Chicago, the seven-game win streak without allowing more than three runs in each contest against Milwaukee is tied for its longest such streak against a divisional opponent in franchise history.

The Brewers offense has been productive recently, even if the team hasn’t had much to show for it in the win column. Milwaukee is averaging 5.11 runs per game in September, but has a record of just 8-11. Still, their clutch hitting is encouraging, as they lead the NL with a .289 batting average with runners in scoring position since the beginning of the month.

NL, Highest Team BA w/ RISP — September 2015

Team Avg.
Milwaukee Brewers .289
Pittsburgh Pirates .287
Washington Nationals .273
Colorado Rockies .264
Miami Marlins .264

Khris Davis has been leading the offensive charge, putting up numbers that rival some of the best hitters in the majors. Davis is one of five plays in baseball with at least 15 walks, 15 home runs and 30 RBI since the start of August.

Players w/ 15+ BB, 15+ HR & 30+ RBI — Since 8/1/2015

Player, team BB HR RBI
Jose Bautista, Toronto 31 15 36
Chris Davis, Baltimore 31 18 39
Khris Davis, Milwaukee 17 15 36
Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto 19 15 47
David Ortiz, Boston 24 15 40

The first game of the series, though, should be another pitchers duel. Brewers starter Wily Peralta has struck out 19 batters while giving up only two runs in his last two outings against the Cubs, which is one of the best two-game spans in the league versus Chicago’s Northsiders.

But opposing Peralta on Monday night is Jason Hammel, who has owned Milwaukee in his career, going 7-0 with a 2.13 ERA in 10 starts against the Brewers. That’s historic-level dominance.

Undefeated w/ sub-2.20 ERA vs. any opponent — since 1985

Pitcher Opponent W-L ERA
Chris Carpenter vs. Dodgers 6-0 1.52
Randy Johnson vs. Cubs 13-0 1.91
Marco Estrada vs. Pirates 6-0 1.95
Randy Tomlin vs. Mets 9-0 2.05
Jason Hammel vs. Brewers 7-0 2.13