Colorado (26-44) at Milwaukee (36-32)

  • Game info: 2:05 pm EDT Thu Jun 24, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Ben Sheets’ emergence as the ace of the Milwaukee Brewers’ pitching staff is one of the main reason for the team’s surprising season.

Sheets looks to continue his impressive year as the Brewers host the Colorado Rockies in the deciding game of their series at Miller Park.

The right-hander is ranked among the league leaders in several pitching categories. He is fourth with a 2.59 ERA, fifth with 95 strikeouts, fourth with a .202 opponents’ batting average and second allowing just 1.4 walks per nine innings.

However, the most obvious example of Sheets’ transformation from promising young pitcher to No. 1 starter is his newfound ability to overcome those outings in which he doesn’t have his best stuff.

That talent was evident in his last start, a 4-1 victory over Minnesota on Friday, an outing in which Sheets struggled to control both his fastball and breaking pitches, throwing 102 pitches over just six innings.

However, he battled throught the contest, limiting the Twins to four hits and one run to earn the victory, impressing Milwaukee skipper Ned Yost.

”(When) you don’t have your great stuff every night, you have to still find ways to compete, find ways to win. It’s very important,” Yost said. “That’s part of getting over the hump of being a mediocre pitcher to being an outstanding pitcher in (our league).”

Sheets is hoping for continued success on Thursday, as he will be trying to help the Brewers end their 12-game homestand on a positive note. A 3-2 defeat to the Rockies on Wednesday dropped the team’s mark to 7-4.

The victory snapped Colorado’s eight-game road losing streak, as Aaron Miles had a two-run single in the three-run third for the Rockies, who are a major league worst 9-26 on the road.

Before Wednesday, Colorado’s last road win was June 1 at San Diego.

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Starting Pitchers

A. Cook COL vs. B. Sheets ATL
6-4 Record 12-14
4.28 ERA 2.70
40 K 264
39 BB 32
1.56 WHIP 0.98