The Milwaukee Brewers are in town for a three-game series, looking to enact revenge for their early exit in the NLDS last season at the hands of Shane Victorino and Brett Myers. They’ll be sending out Manny Parra, some guy named “TBA” (ESPN reports that it will be Braden Looper), and Conestoga High School alum Dave Bush. The Phillies counter with Old Man Moyer, Joe Blanton, and King Cole.
The Phils find themselves a game under .500 and five games out of first place behind the 11-2 Florida Marlins, who they’ll face after completing this series with the Brew Crew. The Marlins have two more games left against the Pittsburgh Pirates, who shut them out 8-0 last night behind the great pitching of… Ross Ohlendorf? Did I read that right?
Obviously, no games in April are “must win,” but the Phillies would be putting themselves squarely behind the 8-ball if they were to lose more ground to the Marlins.
How do the Phils and Brewers match up with each other? Let’s go to our trusty old tables.
The following two charts show the hitters’ success against each of the pitchers slated to start, using each team’s most-used batting order. There’s a small change in the way I made the charts: a – indicates that a hitter never faced the pitcher while a 0.000 OPS indicates that the hitter has faced the pitcher and has not had any success. I used to mash them both together with a 0.000 OPS.
Also note that most of the Phillies only faced Parra in one game, so their plate appearances are 3 or under. Ditto Joe Blanton against the Brewers. And remember that this data does not include the post-season, so last year’s NLDS stats aren’t counted.
The current Brewers lineup has had great success aginst Jamie Moyer — only Bill Hall and Jason Kendall have an OPS under 1.000 against him. However, the Phillies roughed up Manny Parra the only time they saw him in the regular season.
The next two tables show how each pitcher has fared against the opponent in their respective careers.
The Phillies have had enormous success against the Brewers pitchers they’ll be seeing in the series. Howard in particular loves to face Braden Looper, as he’s hit four home runs in seven plate appearances against him. And the Phillies have shown no mercy to Pennsylvania native Dave Bush.
With the way the Phillies have been pitching and with the lack of success Brewers pitchers have had against Phillies hitters, this could be a very high-scoring series. While Phillies pitchers have been victimized by abnormally-high BABIPs, even FIP agrees that they’ve pitched poorly thus far.