Lately, the veteran has been at his worst.
The inconsistent Wolf hopes to shake off a couple of dreadful outings and help the Brewers win their fifth straight game Tuesday night against the light-hitting Los Angeles Dodgers.
Wolf (3-3, 4.11 ERA) has reached his mediocre stat line with highly erratic performances.
In four of his starts, Wolf has looked like an All-Star, going 3-0 with a 0.65 ERA. In his other four outings, the left-hander is 0-3 with a 9.33 ERA.
Wolf’s two starts this month have been particularly bad, as the former Dodger has surrendered 11 runs in 8 1-3 innings.
He got tagged for five runs and a season-worst 12 hits in 3 1-3 innings as the Brewers fell in a 5-0 hole against San Diego on Wednesday. Milwaukee (20-21) rallied to take the lead but ended up losing 13-6.
“To give up 12 hits in three innings is awful,” Wolf said. “It’s hard to really put my finger on exactly what it was, but what it was was awful.”
He’ll try to get back on track in his first appearance at Dodger Stadium since 2009, when he pitched for Los Angeles. Wolf, who also played for the Dodgers in 2007, is 3-3 with a 3.68 ERA in 10 career games against his former team.
While Wolf is struggling to prevent runs, Los Angeles is having scoring them.
The Dodgers (19-23) mustered five hits in Monday’s series-opening 2-1 loss, and have scored just two runs while batting .161 during a three-game skid. Los Angeles has plated three runs or fewer in 12 of its last 16 games.
Kemp is batting .200 in his last eight games, dropping his average 23 points to .323, while Ethier has gone three straight games without a hit and is 2 for 19 in his last five contests.
“Our confidence is down a little bit, offensively,” manager Don Mattingly said. “We have to fight and scratch for every run.”
The Brewers’ offense suddenly had some problems of its own Monday after averaging 7.2 runs in the previous five games. Milwaukee, which has won four in a row and seven of nine, had several chances to score but went 2 for 14 with runners in scoring positions and stranded 14.
Braun, who grew up in the Los Angeles area, has hit safely in all nine of his career games at Dodger Stadium, batting .450 with 12 RBIs. The three-time All-Star is 3 for 7 with a double against scheduled Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda(notes) (4-3, 3.21).
Like Wolf, Kuroda has been a hit-or-miss proposition. Unlike his Milwaukee counterpart, Kuroda has enjoyed more good starts than bad ones.
The right-hander is 4-1 with a 1.90 ERA in six of his starts. He’s also had a pair of bad outings in which he allowed 10 runs in 10 2-3 innings.
Against Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Kuroda allowed three hits and three walks while striking out a season-high eight in seven innings of a 2-0 victory.
“He can do pretty much what he wants with the baseball, if he’s going,” Mattingly said.
Kuroda has won each of his two career starts against the Brewers, but has a 6.28 lifetime ERA versus Milwaukee.