A year ago, the Milwaukee Brewers’ home dominance helped propel
them to their first division crown in nearly 30 years.
It’s early, but they haven’t quite regained that Miller Park
The Brewers try to bounce back from another home loss Saturday
night against a Colorado Rockies team seeking its fourth straight
After finishing with the majors’ best home record last season at
57-24, Milwaukee (6-8) has lost four of its first seven games at
Miller Park. A big reason for the slow start is the offense has
seen a drop in production, which isn’t entirely surprising with
Prince Fielder leaving in the offseason to join Detroit.
The Brewers are averaging 4.0 runs with a .227 batting average
and a .278 on-base percentage at home after averaging 4.8 runs
while hitting .277 with a .344 OBP there a year ago.
“It is not for a lack of effort,” Ryan Braun said. “If
anything, we are trying too hard. When you see other guys
struggling, everyone tries that much harder to pick each other up.
We know we will be all right. It is just a matter of executing and
swinging at better pitches.”
In Friday’s series opener with the Rockies, Milwaukee finished
with five hits and a walk in a 4-3 loss. Braun struck out in each
of his three at-bats – his fourth straight game in Milwaukee
without a hit – dropping his home batting average to .154. The
reigning league MVP hit .351 at Miller Park last season as the
Brewers celebrated their first division title since 1982.
Despite its struggles, Milwaukee’s offense could break out of
its funk against Drew Pomeranz (0-1, 10.38 ERA), Colorado’s No. 5
starter. In his season debut against Arizona on Sunday, the
left-hander allowed five runs and nine hits in 4 1-3 innings in a
This will be Pomeranz’s first appearance against the
Milwaukee’s offense isn’t the only reason the team is slow out
of the gate at Miller Park, as the Brewers also have some pitching
Starter Chris Narveson (rotator cuff) was placed on the disabled
list prior to Friday’s game and closer John Axford has a 10.13 ERA
in three appearances in Milwaukee after posting a 1.15 ERA and
converting all 30 of his save opportunities there last year. Axford
took the loss Friday, yielding Michael Cuddyer’s tiebreaking RBI
single in the ninth inning.
Cuddyer, who was out of the lineup with a bruised big toe until
his game-winning pinch hit, is off to a fast start in his first
season with the Rockies, batting .383 and tying Todd Helton for the
team lead with nine RBIs.
“It’s nice to get off to a good start, no matter where you
are,” said Cuddyer, who had been with Minnesota since 2001. “But
especially going to a new team, it’s good to get off to a good
start. At the same time, we’ve got a long, long, long way to
Helton hit his second homer Friday, while Ramon Hernandez had
two hits for Colorado (7-6), winner of five of seven. In eight
games against the Brewers since the start of last season, Hernandez
is batting .452 with three home runs and eight RBIs.
Hernandez will look to continue his hot hitting against Marco
Estrada (0-0, 3.00), who is taking the place of Narveson.
Estrada has worked exclusively out of the bullpen this season,
throwing two innings or less in each of his five outings. The
right-hander made seven starts last season, going 3-2 with a 3.70
This will be his first career start against the Rockies after
allowing a run over three innings in two relief outings against
them last year.