The wrath of Hurricane Irma caused significant damage throughout the Sunshine State, with loss of life and massive damage to property far outweighing the “importance” of a simple baseball series. With that in mind, the Marlins’ three-game set with the Brewers - including Friday’s opener - was shuffled from Miami to Milwaukee as South Florida does its best to recover from the storm.
“Marlins Park stood ready to host the games, but we all agreed that burdening public service resources was not the proper course of action,” Marlins president David Samson said in a statement. “All of our employees, as well as our entire community, have other needs that must take a priority.” Miami’s current road trip is extended to a three-city, 10-game swing, although the Marlins officially will be the “home” team and bat second this weekend. While the Marlins have dropped 15 of 17 and were outscored 27-9 en route to being unceremoniously swept by Philadelphia, Milwaukee has won five of six to reside three games behind the first-place Chicago Cubs in the National League Central. Eric Thames has homered in back-to-back contests for the Brewers to highlight his four-game hitting streak.
TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee), FSN Florida (Miami)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Brewers TBA vs. Marlins RH Jose Urena (13-6, 3.61 ERA)
Manager Craig Counsell didn’t let the cat out of the bag in terms of naming a starting pitcher, but did give reporters a little glimpse on what to expect. “Here’s what I’ll tell you: It’s going to be largely a bullpen day,” Counsell said. “We haven’t quite decided on who it will be to start, but it’s going to look like some of the other games we’ve shown here.” Milwaukee, which is expected to add right-hander Aaron Wilkerson from Double-A prior to the game, is adjusting its rotation in the wake of the season-ending injury to Jimmy Nelson.
Urena will get the ball on a full week of rest after fellow right-hander Vance Worley was summoned to face his former team on Thursday. The 26-year-old continued his strong pitching of late last Friday while allowing one run and three hits over 6 1/3 innings in a 7-1 rout at Atlanta. Urena won four of his last five decisions overall and has limited Milwaukee’s batters to a .118 average in his career, although one of the two hits he allowed left the park.
1. Milwaukee UTIL Hernan Perez has recorded three multi-hit performances in the last four games in which he’s had an official at-bat.
2. Miami 2B Dee Gordon is riding a career-high 17-game hitting streak.
3. Brewers 3B Travis Shaw is 0-for-9 in his last three contests and has struck out at least once in each of his last 10 games.
PREDICTION: Brewers 4, Marlins 2