Milwaukee Brewers (51-36) vs. Cincinnati Reds (44-41)
Saturday, July 5, 2014: 4:10 p.m. at Great American Ball Park
Having gotten a 4-year/$50 million payday, Matt Garza got his big contract. An exactly .500 pitcher for his career (72-72), Garza has pitched efficiently, but has not been a member of a winner since the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays.
The last time Garza locked up with the Reds, it was a nightmare for him defensively. Creating his own unearned runs, Garza would get a case of the yips on his throws to bases. He would pitch seven innings and allow five runs, but only one would be earned. He would go on to receive a no decision for his effort.
Garza has allowed at least three runs in each of his last five starts, and 11 of his last 12, dating back to the end of April. His last time out was an offense-aided win as he would allow nine hits and four earned runs over the course of 6.2 innings, but watched as the Milwaukee bats slugged their way to his fifth victory.
Sitting with a slightly higher winning percentage (57-49, .538), Homer Bailey also received a massive guarantee in the offseason (6 years, $105 million).
Bailey last faced the division rival Brewers on May 1, back home in Cincinnati. Bailey would go for a season-high (at the time) eight innings in which he would only allow three runs while striking out four. With the help of the offense, it would be his second win of the year as he battled early season struggles.
For his career, Bailey has been less than inspiring against Milwaukee. In 18 starts (tied for second-most of any opponent), Bailey sits at 4-7 with a 5.24 ERA. His 64 earned runs over his career against the Brew Crew are the most he has allowed to a single club in baseball.
With the Reds needing a sweep to pick up significant ground in the National League Central, the bats on both sides of the field will certainly come into play tonight.
Historically, the Brewers have hit Homer hard. On the other hand, Garza has been nothing more than ordinary thus far in 2014.
Looking to win the series and avoid the rubber game, Bailey will make the first pitch around 4:10 p.m. as the Brewers and Reds square off.
Tags: Cincinnati Reds