MLB 2018 Game #7: Braves vs. BrewersThere's a great race brewing in the National League Central this season. The Milwaukee Brewers (53-35, .602) lead the National League in wins and winning percentage. In second place, the Chicago Cubs (49-36, .576) trail by only 2 1/2 games. Both teams have won seven of their last 10 games, but last night, Milwaukee extended its winning streak to five games while the Cincinnati Reds (39-49, .443) snapped the Cubs six-game winning streak.
Like any season, there are many variables shaping this division race. What if the Brewers fared better against the Cubs earlier this season? The Cubs are 8-3 in head-to-head competition with the Brewers so far in 2018. What if the Cubs could beat the last-place Reds? Cincinnati has won seven of 10 against the Cubs.
This afternoon's game between the Atlanta Braves (49-38, .563) and the Brewers at Milwaukee's Miller Park could hint at a potential playoff preview. With the All-Star Game rapidly approaching, both teams sit atop their respective divisions. As previously mentioned, the Brewers lead the National League Central while the Braves are in a virtual tie with the Philadelphia Phillies (48-37, .565) in the National League East.
The Braves will send 34-year-old Anibal Sanchez (3-2, 2.89 ERA) to the mound with hopes of stopping the team's current four-game skid. Milwaukee will start 29-year-old Aaron Wilkerson (0-0, 15.00 ERA). Wilkerson has appeared in only one game this season and lasted three innings against the Reds. On July 1, he allowed five hits and five earned runs, but struck out three batters. Wilkerson was recalled from the Colorado Springs Sky Sox after Brent Suter (8-5, 4.53 ERA) was placed on the 10-day disabled list due to left forearm tightness.
FUN FACT #1: The last time I saw the Braves and Brewers play at Milwaukee's Miller Park was on September 12, 2012. The Brewers demolished the Braves, 8-2. After trailing 2-0, Milwaukee plated all eight runs during the bottom of the fifth inning. Rickie Weeks clubbed a three-run homer to give the Brewers a lead they would not relinquish.
FUN FACT #2: During the bottom of the fifth inning, Braves third baseman Chipper Jones, made the final error of his regular season career. Jeff Bianchi reached first on Jones' defensive miscue at third base.