Playing in front of the Miller Park faithful, the Milwaukee Brewers look like World Series contenders. This is a stark contrast to how they’ve looked on the road, especially in Cincinnati.
The Brewers again hope to shake their road woes in Monday night’s series opener against the Reds at Great American Ball Park, where they’ve routinely struggled.
Milwaukee (29-24) defeated San Francisco 6-0 on Sunday to complete an 8-1 homestand. The Brewers are an NL-best and franchise-record 21-7 at home. However, they are tied with Houston for the league’s worst road record at 8-17.
“We’re winning, playing good baseball now, it’s always fun,” Prince Fielder(notes) said. “Hopefully we can do it on the road. Take the same game we’ve been playing here on the road. That’s the next step.”
The disparity between Milwaukee’s play at home and the road is alarming. The Brewers are batting a major league-best .288 at home, but are last in baseball with a .220 average on the road. They’re 3-9 on the road this month, plating 18 runs while batting .185.
Ryan Braun(notes) is in the middle of this inconsistency. The three-time All-Star is batting .280 with four homers and nine RBIs on the road, compared to hitting .356 with eight home runs and 29 RBIs at Miller Park.
“I know what this team is capable of doing,” manager Ron Roenicke said. “We can’t continue to be this good at home and not on the road. So, hopefully this carries over.”
That might not be so easy, however.
The Brewers opened this season getting swept in a three-game series in Cincinnati. They also dropped two of three to the Reds at home from April 25-27, the only series they’ve lost at Miller Park.
Milwaukee is 1-10 at Great American Ball Park since the start of last season, averaging 3.4 runs. Fielder is to blame for some of this, hitting .205 with just one RBI.
Unlike the Brewers, the Reds (27-27) are excited about heading to Cincinnati.
The Reds, winners of seven of nine at Great American Ball Park, finished up a 2-8 road trip with a 2-1 loss to Atlanta on Sunday.
Bruce hit his NL-best 15th homer Sunday, and is batting .417 with seven home runs and 16 RBIs in his last 11 games. He is hitting .394 with four homers and six RBIs in nine home games against the Brewers since the start of last season, and is 2 for 4 with a home run against scheduled starter Chris Narveson(notes) (2-3, 4.20 ERA).
Narveson permitted six runs, eight hits and two walks in 3 1-3 innings of a 7-6 win over Washington on Tuesday. The left-hander was 1-1 with a 1.40 ERA in his previous three outings.
It could be tough for Narveson to bounce back, however, considering he was knocked around for a season-worst seven runs in a season-low 2 1-3 innings in a 9-5 loss to the Reds on April 25.
Wood is 2-0 with a 3.30 ERA in five starts this month after going 1-3 with a 6.82 ERA in six April outings.
Although he got off to a rough start, the left-hander was sharp against Milwaukee in his season debut April 2, allowing one run and four hits while striking out seven in seven innings of a 4-2 victory.