Carlos Gomez. Image Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Milwaukee Brewers Series Preview

 

Good things happen to the Phillies when they have important games postponed by rain, right? We’ll find out today as they begin the home portion of their 2014 season with a series against the Milwaukee Brewers.

The home opener was originally scheduled for yesterday but due to heavy rains in the forecast, the Phillies used the schedule’s built-in rain buffer and moved the game to today.

Here’s a quick look at the Milwaukee Brewers and what the Phillies should expect in this series:

Brief summary of the Brewers season thus far

The Brewers are in first place with a 4-2 record. Their best players have been outfielder Carlos Gomez (2 HRs, .953 OPS) and starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo (2-0, 0.00 ERA – Yes, that’s correct).

Phillies vs. Brewers: The rivalry

There isn’t that much of a rivalry between these two teams, as the Brewers are relatively new to the National League. Still, the teams did face off in a memorable (at least for Phillies fans) playoff series in 2008 that launched the Phillies to a World Series title. The lasting memories of that series were pitcher Brett Myers masterfully drawing a walk against Brewers ace CC Sabathia, setting up Shane Victorino’s grand slam.

Reason to hate the Brewers

Ryan Braun. Image Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Brewers employ Ryan Braun. Recent baseball history has been filled with notorious PED users, but Braun might be the worst of them all. The first time he got caught, he was let off the hook due to a procedural error, and he acted like this somehow exonerated him. He wasn’t so lucky the second time he got caught and had to serve a 65 game suspension in 2013.

Braun eventually came out with an apology for the “mistakes” he made, but it came off more like a token, scripted apology than a heartfelt confession that he had engaged in any wrongdoing.

It turned a lot of people off when Brewers fans welcomed Braun back this season with a hero’s welcome, but it wasn’t that surprising to me. I imagine that if Lenny Dykstra was brought in for a Phillies alumni event, he’d receive a fair share of cheers as well. Many fans carry the attitude of, “Sure, he’s a cheater, but he’s OUR cheater.”

Outlook

The Phillies are not scheduled to face Brewers ace Gallardo in this series, but they’ll still have some tough matchups. The Brewers will send former Phillie Kyle Lohse, free agent signee Matt Garza, and veteran Marco Estrada to the mound in this series.We should get a better impression of whether the Phillies’ offense is truly improved, or if they’ve just been feasting on weak Rangers and Cubs pitching in the early going.

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