St. Louis Cardinals (2-1) @ Milwaukee Brewers (2-1)
4/9 – Kyle Lohse vs. Dave Bush
4/10 – Jaime Garcia vs. Yovani Gallardo
4/11 – Chris Carpenter vs. Randy Wolf
The Brewers are feeling good about themselves after taking a season-opening series against the Colorado Rockies, one of the best teams in the National League. The Cards are coming off a series in which they dominated the Cincinnati Reds in the first two games, and are expected to run away with the Central. For an early-season series, this is a pretty big weekend for the Brewers: close out the homestand with a strong showing against the division favorite, and you’re feeling good before setting out on a 9-game road trip; stumble, and suddenly the road trip becomes a bit more worrisome, even if the last two legs are in Washington and Pittsburgh.
On paper, the pitching match-ups seem to favor the Brewers. The series opener will be a match-up between two pitchers who failed live up to expectations in 2009, when Dave Bush takes the ball against Kyle Lohse. I like this pairing more for the Brewers because I believe Bush at his best is better than Lohse at his best, but this early in the season Bush could just as easily flame out (like he did in his last spring appearance).
The uptight sportswriters of St. Louis will be glad to see that the Brewers have stopped “untucking” after wins (but look at Albert Pujols classily staring down his homer in the photo!). Hopefully the Brewers can show them their “respect for the game” three times this weekend, and then they can find a new irrational reason to hate the Brewers.
EDIT: When I wrote the original preview, brewers.com had Yovani Gallardo squaring off against Chris Carpenter on Saturday, and Jaime Garcia going against Randy Wolf in the finale. Since then, the Cards have swapped their two starters, giving Carpenter an extra day’s rest.