Visit to McCarthy's Hometown...........Kenny Mayne

Monday, May 7, 2007

Let's see how good Brewers really are

The Brewers, who haven't made the postseason since 1982, are enduring the longest playoff drought of any team in any of the four major professional sports. So the fact that they now have the best record in baseball must be especially refreshing for their beleaguered fans. Yes, the Brew Crew is back.

They're doing it with quality starting pitching, shutdown relief work in the late innings and power. Speaking of power, J.J. Hardy is supplying loads of it. It's still too early in the season to put much emphasis on statistical paces, but it's worth noting that Hardy is on target for 44 spanks this season. If he pulled that off, it would be the most ever by an NL shortstop not named Ernie Banks. Oh, and Hardy's also on pace for 56 doubles.

So the Brewers are off to a great start. However, they rank only 24th in the majors when it comes to strength of schedule, so when they head to Queens for the three-game set that begins Friday, they'll get to test their mettle against one of the NL's best.

The Mets are in the midst of an NL East dogfight with the Braves, and they've succeeded by dint of a powerhouse offense and the senior circuit's best pitching staff to date. Imagine how they'll fare once Carlos Delgado and David Wright finally start hitting for power.

The pitching probables haven't yet been named, but here's a best guess based on how the rotations are lined up earlier in the week:
Friday: Jeff Suppan vs. Mike Pelfrey
Saturday: Ben Sheets vs. Oliver Perez
Sunday: Chris Capuano vs. Tom Glavine
The Brewers figure to start their top three hurlers, so that gives them a modest edge on that front. The challenge for Milwaukee will be keeping Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran in check, and for the Mets it will be scoring runs off the front of the Brewer rotation and keeping the ball in the park.

Overall, it should be a compelling matchup of two teams with serious designs on the pennant.
Courtesy of Dayn Perry of

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