Milwaukee Brewers (51-35) vs. Cincinnati Reds (43-41)
Friday, July 4, 2014: 7:10 p.m. at Great American Ball Park
The most consistent starter in the Brewers’ rotation thus far in 2014, Lohse looks to increase Milwaukee’s stronghold on the National Central division. With just a single win in the series, the worst that can happen to the Brewers is a one-game slip over Cincinnati.
On pace to have his best season since 2012 (when he finished seventh in Cy Young voting), Lohse has been stellar. Not overwhelming batters with velocity, Lohse mixes in his deceptive curveball and changeup to keep hitters off balance.
On May 4 at Cincinnati, Lohse pitched 6.1 innings on his way to a no decision. He would allow eight hits and two earned runs, while only striking out two.
Lohse has not lost a start since June 6, when he was bludgeoned by the Pirates in Pittsburgh. His last time out, he threw seven innings against the Colorado Rockies while allowing only a single run, yet he was stuck with the no decision.
With two (or potentially three) starts remaining before the All-Star break, now becomes crunch time for Alfredo Simon on his path to make his first All-Star Game. At the season’s inception, surely not even Simon could have imagined his year would take the path it has, but now that he is here, he has proven himself one of the league’s most effective starters. Simon has made quality starts in 14 of 16 appearances thus far.
Opposite Lohse on May 4 the last time these two met, Simon pitched seven innings while allowing three runs. Also picking up a no decision, the Redlegs would go on to win the game later in the contest.
Simon has only had two poor starts all season, the last of which came all the way back on May 27. The last time the “Big Pasta” took to the hill, he was brilliant against the San Francisco Giants, although the offensive help did not come until later.
On this Independence Day, two of the finer pitchers in the National League this season will matchup in a contest that would make our forefather’s proud.
Be sure to tune in at 7:10 p.m. to watch the Brewers and Reds produce fireworks before the post-game festivities.