Programming note: Giants-Brewers coverage begins on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area with Giants Pregame Live at 4:30 p.m. Stick around after the game for Giants Postgame Live. Channel listings.
MILWAUKEE – Buster Posey hasn’t hit a home run through 13 games. He didn’t go deep all spring, either. The Giants’ cleanup man owns an RBI in just two of his 11 starts.
But he’s going to the right place.
Is he anxious to end the home run drought? Is he eager to play three games at Miller Park, where he’s 12 for 24 with six home runs and 15 RBIs?
Well … this is Buster Posey. He doesn’t get anxious or eager about much.
“It’s always nice to go somewhere where you’ve felt comfortable and had success in the past,” he told me. “But the main thing you try to do, wherever you are, is go up there and put together solid at-bats. The other stuff will take care of itself.”
Posey’s return to his personal hitting haven will be just one interesting aspect of this three-game series, which begins Tuesday. Here are a few others:
Something’s gonna give on Tuesday. The Giants have won 16 consecutive Barry Zito starts, dating back to last season and including the playoffs. But he’s 0-4 with a 7.67 ERA in seven career starts at Miller Park. The Giants are 2-5 in those outings.
Zito opposes right-hander Wily Peralta (0-1, 4.50).
The Giants will get right-handed starters on all seven games of this trip to Chicago and Milwaukee. It’s Kyle Lohse (0-1, 2.08) vs. Ryan Vogelsong (1-1, 7.15) on Wednesday and Yovani Gallardo (0-1, 6.61) vs. Matt Cain (0-1. 5.94) on Thursday.
That means it’s been a busy week for Gregor Blanco, who starts most of the time in left field against right-handers. Blanco was 6 for 18 with a pair of RBI doubles in the series at Wrigley Field while hitting safely in all four games.
Gallardo is usually tough on the Giants (5-3, 2.96 ERA in eight career starts). But his velocity is down and he’s not missing bats with his fastball. According to ESPN Stats and Information, opponents have hit .439 (18-of-41) with a .659 slugging percentage against Gallardo's fastball this season. Opponents hit .264 against his fastball last season.
[NEWS: Gallardo arrested on DUI charge]
The Brewers offense nearly entered this series with a record-setting streak of futility. Until they rallied in the eighth inning at St. Louis on Sunday, the Brewers hadn’t scored in 32 consecutive innings – the longest streak in franchise history since 1972. Then they kept rallying to take a 4-3 victory in 10 innings on Jonathan Lucroy’s home run.
Overall, Milwaukee ranks 28th out of 30 clubs with just 36 runs through 11 games. And when they do get a lead it hasn’t been safe. John Axford lost the closer role after giving up runs in four of his five outings; Jim Henderson is the Brewers’ main man in the ninth inning now.
Finally, a fun fact to impress your friends: The Giants and Brewers sent more players to the World Baseball Classic than any other major league clubs.