Preview: Brewers at Reds
The visiting Milwaukee Brewers and the Cincinnati Reds are two of the few teams that have the “seller” light lit up already with more than two weeks until the trade deadline and figure to have plenty of scouts in the stands when they meet for the opener of a three-game series on Friday.
Both teams have an All-Star reportedly on the block and will be looking for big returns to spark their respective rebuilding programs.
Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy and Reds outfielder Jay Bruce both had to answer some questions about the trade rumors during All-Star week. “I said this in spring training – and I’m gonna sound like a parrot – but the Reds would be doing themselves a disservice if they didn’t try to better the organization by trading me and getting prospects,” Bruce told reporters. “I’m not saying that’s going to happen, but they have to be open for business. That’s the mode they’re in right now. I get it.”
Lucroy understands his team’s place in the competition cycle as well and could find himself on a contender in need of catching help any day now. Milwaukee and Cincinnati each dropped seven of their final 10 games going into the All-Star break and lag far behind Chicago, St. Louis and Pittsburgh in the National League Central.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee), FSN Ohio (Cincinnati)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Brewers RH Matt Garza (1-2, 5.54 ERA) vs. Reds RH Anthony DeSclafani (3-0, 2.23)The break came at a perfect time for Garza, who was knocked around for a total of 14 runs – 11 earned – over 10 innings in his two July outings. The California native yielded three home runs in 4 1/3 innings at Washington on July 6 and has allowed 37 hits in 26 total innings since making his season debut on June 14.
Garza made three starts against Cincinnati in 2015 and went 1-0 despite surrendering 13 earned runs and 23 hits in 15 innings.
DeSclafani turned in his fifth quality start in six turns when he held the Chicago Cubs to three runs on eight hits in six innings on July 6. The 26-year-old struck out six without issuing a walk in that outing and has 29 strikeouts against nine walks in 36 1/3 innings in the majors this season. DeSclafani faced Milwaukee twice last season and went 1-1 with a total of four earned runs allowed in 12 1/3 innings to go along with eight strikeouts and one walk.
WALK-OFFS1. Brewers LF Ryan Braun is 2-for-20 with seven strikeouts in the last five games.
2. Bruce went 0-for-2 with a pair of strikeouts in the All-Star game while Lucroy singled in his lone at-bat.
3. Cincinnati 1B Joey Votto is 1-for-13 with six strikeouts in the last four contests.
PREDICTION: Reds 5, Brewers 3