The NL East Champion Braves (It feels damn good to say that again) come home for the final seven games of the regular season starting with the Milwaukee Brewers. With the division wrapped up, it's time to rinse off the beer and champagne and focus on securing the best record; Atlanta is 1.5 games ahead of St. Louis in that category.
Milwaukee has suffered its first losing season under manager Ron Roenicke, who led the team to the NLCS in his first year helming the team in 2011. Losing Ryan Braun to a suspension didn't help matters, but others have tried to pick up the slack. Jean Segura leads the team in hitting (.296) and leads the NL with 44 stolen bases, but hasn't played since September 18 because of a bad hamstring.
Carlos Gomez has appeared to have come into his own as a hitter, belting 21 homers with a .336 OBP. Gomez, Segura and Norichika Aoki combined have 101 of Milwaukee's NL-leading 133 stolen bases. In his last 10 games, Gomez is hitting .314 (11-35) but has just three hits in his last 19 official at-bats; five of his last six hits have been extra-base hits.
Jonathan Lucroy has been Milwaukee's top RBI guy with 79, but has all of six of them this month and is hitting just .209 in September. He has a modest four-game hitting streak after going 0-10. Aramis Ramirez is 8-20 during a six-game hitting streak as part of a 2013 season in which he's played only 87 games.
Milwaukee's pitching overall has been nothing to write home about, but its bullpen actually has the third-lowest ERA in the NL. Tuesday's starter Tyler Thornburg started the year in the bullpen, but has made six starts with a 1.25 ERA. Opponents are hitting just .217 against him, but Thornburg's FIP of 3.33 suggest smoke and mirrors. Atlanta has seen Estrada and Lohse before, previously facing Estrada last September 11 and getting shut out over six innings; Lohse is 3-1 in 10 starts against the Braves, but they're hitting .323 against him in four regular season starts at Turner Field.
Monday, September 23, 7:10 p.m. ET
#36 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves
Dec 26, 1987
|2013 - Mike Minor||13-7||3.19||1.08||169||43|
#41 / Pitcher / Milwaukee Brewers
Jul 05, 1983
|2013 - Marco Estrada||6-4||4.26||1.15||104||26|
Tuesday, September 24, 7:10 p.m. ET
#50 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves
Oct 06, 1976
|2013 - Freddy Garcia||1-2||1.31||1.02||13||4|
#63 / Pitcher / Milwaukee Brewers
Sep 29, 1988
|2013 - Tyler Thornburg||3-1||1.96||1.19||40||25|
Wednesday, September 25, 7:10 p.m. ET
#28 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves
Jun 25, 1982
|2013 - Paul Maholm||10-10||4.44||1.42||98||47|