National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, April 25th
(All times Eastern)
Chicago Cubs (7-14) at Milwaukee Brewers (16-6), 8:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Carlos Villanueva (1-4, 10.93)
Milwaukee - Matt Garza (0-2, 4.50)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Milwaukee Brewers look to pad their lead in the
National League Central Division on Friday when they begin a three-game series
with the last-place Chicago Cubs at Miller Park.
At 16-6, Milwaukee owns the best record in the majors. While much of that
early success has come on the road (9-1), the team did improve its home record
to 7-5 with Wednesday's 5-2, series-clinching win over the San Diego Padres.
Kyle Lohse surrendered just one earned run in seven innings, while Jean Segura
delivered a three-run homer and Khris Davis tacked on a solo shot for an
offense that had largely struggled at Miller Park.
The Brewers have won five of their last six games overall.
Chicago lost the final two games of its four-game series with Arizona after
winning the first two. On Thursday, the Cubs were dealt a 5-2 setback to spoil
a quality start from Edwin Jackson, who went seven innings and gave up three
Taking the mound in Friday's series opener for Chicago is right-hander Carlos
Villanueva, who pitched as a swing man for Milwaukee from 2006-10. This could
be his last start for Chicago in the foreseeable future with Jake Arrieta
nearing a return. Villanueva gave up a career-high nine runs in three innings
at St. Louis on April 12, then followed that up by allowing five runs in 4 2/3
innings of Sunday's 8-2 loss to Cincinnati.
"We all know what the plan is, it's no major secret," Villanueva said. "If I
have to go down to the bullpen, I'll keep working my butt off and try to help
Meanwhile, Milwaukee will send right-hander Matt Garza to the mound to face
his former team for the first time. Garza, who pitched for the Cubs from 2011
until being traded away last summer, is still seeking his first win for a
Brewers club that signed him to a four-year $50 million deal, the richest free
agent contract in team history.
"Not really," he told reporters when asked if there was any significance about
facing his former squad. "There's your answer. It's another ballgame."
In his last start, Garza was done in by a five-run fourth inning after second
baseman Rickie Weeks misplayed a routine double-play grounder. Garza entered
Friday 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA.
"I think the last game where we didn't play well behind him defensively and he
had the tough inning, it may have gotten to him a little bit," manager Ron
Roenicke said. "But I thought he kept his composure and still tried to make
pitches. Sometimes we're not making plays, and sometimes he makes a good pitch
and they roll one right between somebody. It's always a little bit of both.
"He can definitely throw the ball better, and I've seen better. Hopefully we
get him in a groove where we see this consistency from him and we get a lot of
good outings in a row."
This marks the first of 19 scheduled matchups between the Brewers and Cubs
this season. Milwaukee went 13-6 against Chicago last season.
04/25 10:30:41 ET