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A Storm's 'A-Brewing

To the left are our aces for this series, hard at work during spring training. After a disappointing rain-shortened series against the Phillies, where Aarons Rowand and Heilman stole wins from our grasp, the Mets square off against the Milwaukee Brewers in a series that is sneakily important. This series could put the Mets and Phillies perilously close in the NL East standings if the Mets can't get hot again. It is also worth noting that the Mets will face the Cardinals and Yankees in the two ensuing series. This makes this seemingly meaningless Wisconsin three-gamer 2003 Mo Vaughn-huge in terms of momentum. For the sake of the blue-'n-orange, this series will hopefully be something of an easy one. Here's why it won't.

Game 1: Friday, 8:05 (EDT)
Jose Lima, RHP (0-1, 9.00 ERA) vs. Dave Bush, RHP (2-4, 4.13 ERA)
  • Edge/Analysis: What did this guy do to earn another start? Wait... you can't be serious about John Maine, Victor Zambrano and Brian Bannister being injured? Holy cow. Well, ladies and gents, it's (reluctantly) that time again. It's Lima time! Dave Bush is an average pitcher in too many ways, though when he's on, he can be tough to hit. The Mets need to get to him early and often before he gets in a groove. But, wait, we're starting a batting practice pitcher. Something of a little hope, though? This batting practice pitcher has a career record of 10-0 against the Brew Crew in his career. How many of those wins came in the last 3 years? Just what you thought. 0. The Bush Man.

  • Game 2: Saturday, 7:05 (EDT)
    Jeremi Gonzalez, RHP (0-0, -.-- ERA) vs. Dana Eveland, LHP (0-0, -.-- ERA)
  • Edge/Analysis: How dare you spell Jeremi with a y? It's unbearable! It's an I! And furthermore, sign me for spring training. J-Gon will make his first showing of the year for the Mets, which will allow me to plug a previous post. That being said, he will face another man making his season debut in Dana Eveland, a husky lefty replacing the injured Ben Sheets. I call this a push.

  • Game 3: Sunday, 2:05 (EDT)
    Pedro Martinez, RHP (5-0, 2.89 ERA) vs. Doug Davis, LHP (2-2, 5.32 ERA)
  • Edge/Analysis: Step right up, bring your kids, and watch as the Mets look for more ways to deprive Pedro Martinez of his sixth win. I'm expecting a freak accident, rather than a Wagner blown save or an offensive slump for the first seven innings. I think maybe the ghost of Lyle Overbay from that series with the Brewers in early 2004 is more likely. You remember that game, the Sunday one? Overbay had murdered the Mets all series, but then on Sunday KazMat hit a heroic triple or ground-rule double to save the team. No? Well then, this game won't have anything to do with that. The Mets destroyed Doug Davis last year and his season hasn't exactly been phenomenal to this point. Pedro.

  • MIL Breakdown: Record- 17-18
    This team is okay. They've been inconsistent and are streaky without a doubt. As of now, they're a squad buoyed by young production from Bill Hall, Prince Fielder and J.J. Hardy. However, they would be nowhere without the 15 HR and 30 RBI of Carlos Lee. His production is the difference between a record of nearly .500 and a markedly worse one. This Brewers squad is not a pushover by any means. The only everyday players on the team below a .275 BA are J.J, Hardy and Brady Clark, two players with suberb defensive capabilities. And Clark, to his credit, has still managed a .331 OBP. The Mets saw this group earlier this year, in a series where viewers were treated to Glavine's brilliance, Trachsel's underwhelmingness (along with Jorge Julio pre-success) and Bannister's magic acts. This time around, the Brewers are long separated from their torrid start and are proving to be a team with a moderately good outlook for the ensuing years. Their pitching has been about average, considering their injury-prone ace Ben Sheets has done what he does best: get hurt. Chris Capuano, the left-hander with dirty changeups and pickoff moves, has been strong. Innings-eater Tomo Ohka has done exactly that and Dave Bush has held his own. While Doug Davis has been disappointing, his performance is offset by a dominant bullpen, spearheaded by closer Derrick Turnbow (11 SV, 1.38 ERA) and reclamation project Dan Kolb (2-0, 0.93 ERA). Change-up artist Matt Wise (2-2, 3.65 ERA) completes a tough triumverate in the endgame.

    Players to Watch for:
    MIL: Carlos Lee. El Caballo, a notoriously streaky hitter, has gotten off to a good and surprisingly consistent start. Watch for him to hit some balls really, really far.

    NYM: Jose Reyes. No SB in the last 11 games. Killing my fantasy team? Yes. Hurting the Mets? Yes. Let's go, Jose.

    Player of the Series: Carlos Lee

    Picks: The Beermakers take two of three in this one, with the Mets salvaging the final start of the series on a strong show from Pedro. Pero no, they get swept.

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