Mets-Brewers Preview

Rickie Weeks is having a major impact on the Milwaukee Brewers’

revival, which includes staggering success at home.

They’ll try to keep that going before embarking on their longest

road trip of the season.

Weeks and the Brewers look to conclude a six-game homestand with

a fifth victory Sunday against the sputtering New York Mets.

Milwaukee (73-72) is 2 1/2 games back of the tie between St.

Louis and Los Angeles for the NL’s second wild-card spot, but the

club is also one-half game behind Pittsburgh.

“It’s just one of those things where we need some help,

obviously,” Weeks said. “But at the same time we want to get this

thing done.”

It’s remarkable that the Brewers are even in the race after they

were 12 games under .500 on Aug. 19, but they’ve gone 19-6 to

transform into playoff contenders.

Their success at Miller Park may be even more impressive.

They’ve won 18 of 21 there while hitting .284 with 36 homers.

Weeks has provided an unexpected spark, batting .343 with seven

homers, 14 RBIs and 19 runs in 16 games. That includes going 6 for

17 with five extra-base hits – three homers – while driving in

seven runs in the past four contests.

The second baseman came up big again Saturday, connecting for a

two-run homer and a run-scoring double in a 9-6 win over the Mets

(66-79).

Despite his recent efforts, Weeks has a career-low .230 season

average, but his 20 homers match his total from last year.

“I’ve been swinging the bat pretty well for more than a couple

of weeks,” Weeks said. “I just keep coming back to the ballpark and

working hard. That’s all you can do.”

Ryan Braun is 5 for 13 in his last three games, but has managed

just one RBI in seven contests since hitting his 38th homer.

After facing the Mets, the Brewers will be looking to carry

their home success onto a season-high 10-game road trip, which

starts Tuesday against the Pirates before they face NL East-leading

Washington and Cincinnati, the top team in the Central.

Wily Peralta (1-0, 3.46 ERA) will try to keep Milwaukee rolling

ahead of that trek as he makes his third start since being recalled

from Triple-A Nashville. The 23-year-old rookie right-hander has

allowed four run over 12 innings in his first two outings.

He was impressive Monday, yielding one run and scattering seven

hits in six innings before the offense scored four times in the

seventh en route to a 4-1 home victory over Atlanta.

The Mets have dropped nine of 11, averaging 3.0 runs and hitting

.157 with runners in scoring position during that span.

Chris Young (4-7, 4.39) is expected to get the ball in an effort

to continue his recent success on the road.

The right-hander is 2-0 with a 2.86 ERA in his last four starts

compared to 0-4 with a 4.26 ERA in seven home outings.

Young continued his success away from Citi Field with a 5-1 win

at Miami on Sept. 2, giving up one run in five innings. He followed

that up a week later by allowing two runs with seven strikeouts and

four walks in six innings of a 3-2 loss in 10 at home to the

Braves.

He’s 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in two career starts against the

Brewers, both in Milwaukee. However, the most recent outing – a

two-hit victory – came with San Diego on Sept. 7, 2008.