Milwaukee Brewers at Miami Marlins game preview
The worst pitching staff in baseball has often hung the Milwaukee Brewers' capable offense out to dry.
They'll try to subvert that trend for a second straight game in Wednesday night's series finale against the Miami Marlins.
Milwaukee's 5.48 ERA is the highest in the majors, and is perhaps the biggest reason why the Brewers (14-19) share the NL Central basement with Cincinnati. They have a shot at their second series win of the season Wednesday, though, after solid efforts by starter Zach Davies and relievers Blaine Boyer and Chris Capuano in Tuesday's 10-2 road victory.
It marked just the fourth time Milwaukee has allowed fewer than four runs, supporting a balanced offensive performance that saw five players secure multiple hits. Aaron Hill was 3 for 4 with two doubles while Ryan Braun was 2 for 4, drove in two runs and walked twice.
Chase Anderson (1-4, 6.44 ERA) has been among the many Brewers hurlers to struggle, though he started the season impressively. He didn't give up an earned run over 11 innings in his first two outings, but has dropped each start since while allowing eight home runs and 10 walks over 18 1-3 innings.
"I have to give the offense a chance, because I know these guys can score runs," he told MLB's official website after surrendering a season-high seven runs in Thursday's 9-5 loss at Cincinnati. "But when you put them behind the eight ball, like the last couple of times I've been out there, it's hard to score runs. The starting pitcher sets the tone. I have to do a better job of that, for sure."
One of those disappointments came opposite Miami starter Wei-Yin Chen (2-1, 4.66), a 7-5 loss at Miller Park on April 30 in which Anderson allowed homers to Derek Dietrich, Giancarlo Stanton and Adeiny Hechavarria. Marcell Ozuna, 2 for 5 on Tuesday, is 5 for 12 off Anderson.
Chen gave up three runs over 6 2-3 innings in last month's matchup, though he wasn't nearly as good his last time out. The left-hander yielded four runs and a season-high 11 hits over five innings without recording a decision in Friday's 6-4 win against Philadelphia.
"The only thing I can say is I really pitched terribly out there," he said through an interpreter. "My teammates played really well. They picked me up."
Chen gave up three homers in his only other matchup with Milwaukee on May 27, 2014, though none of the Brewers who took him deep in that game are still with the club.
Miami (17-15) lost for just the fourth time in 16 games, though Stanton continued his tear by homering for the eighth time in his last 15 contests.
On the opposite side, Braun is batting .419 during a 10-game hitting streak and is 3 for 6 against Chen. He's hitting .361 off left-handers on the season, though the Brewers are one of the league's worst clubs against lefties with a .238 average. Jonathan Lucroy, who went 0 for 6 on Tuesday, hits .152 against left-handers.