Cubs-Brewers Preview

The Milwaukee Brewers were on a pretty impressive run at Miller

Park heading into this week, and that’s only been helped by facing

the Chicago Cubs.

Yovani Gallardo looks for a fifth straight victory Wednesday as

he tries to lead the Brewers to a three-game sweep of the woeful

Cubs.

After going 1-5 in Houston and Colorado, Milwaukee improved to

4-2 on a seven-game homestand with a 5-2 win Tuesday.

While the Brewers (56-66) are 19-38 on the road – losing 14 of

their last 15 – they have won 25 of their last 37 home games,

including 10 of 12. They’ve scored at least five runs in eight of

those 12.

Milwaukee has had success against Chicago lately no matter where

the I-94 rivals play. The Brewers are 9-3 this season against the

Cubs, winning four straight.

Gallardo (12-8, 3.67 ERA), who has a 1.88 ERA over his previous

four starts, will try to extend that streak after giving up one

run, four hits and striking out nine in seven innings of a 6-2 win

over Philadelphia on Friday.

“Outstanding ballgame,” manager Ron Roenicke said. “Probably the

best he’s had his curveball all year. Great location on the

fastball, good stuff. Threw some nice changeups, some nice cutters.

I thought it was a great ballgame.”

The right-hander is 5-2 with a 3.15 ERA in 12 career outings

against the Cubs, splitting two this year. He allowed five runs,

six hits and struck out 10 while surrendering two homers in six

innings of a 10-0 home loss June 5.

Chicago (47-75) counters with Travis Wood (4-9, 4.83), who looks

for his first win in eight starts.

Wood is 0-6 with a 7.68 ERA in seven outings since the All-Star

break, allowing 13 homers. He gave up seven runs and nine hits,

including three homers, over five innings of a 7-3 loss at

Cincinnati on Friday.

“He didn’t have his velocity. His pitches were flat,” manager

Dale Sveum said. “He was in a gun fight with a knife.”

The left-hander is 3-0 with a 3.16 ERA in five appearances –

four starts – against the Brewers, all with Cincinnati.

Wood has received one or zero runs of support four times during

his recent skid, and there’s little sign the offense is ready to

turn things around. The Cubs have hit .216 and averaged 3.4 runs

while losing 17 of 21.

They struck out 12 times for a second straight game Tuesday and

have fanned at least eight times in the last five.

“We didn’t do a real good job of taking advantage of a lot of

good pitches to hit,” Sveum said. “A lot of ‘went down looking’ on

some pretty good pitches to hit.”

Chicago has lost 14 of 16 in Milwaukee, and its strikeout woes

have been especially dire this season at Miller Park. The Cubs have

fanned in 31.1 percent of their road at-bats versus the Brewers

this season.