The Milwaukee Brewers have allowed four grand slams. In the past six games.
It’s been that kind of week for the Brewers, who lost to the host Miami Marlins 6-1 on Friday night.
That marks six straight losses – Milwaukee’s longest skid since July 2018.
“You’re going to have rough stretches in a season,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “We’re in one of those stretches right now, but we’ll come out of it by playing good baseball. It will come.”
Meanwhile, Miami has won a season-high four straight games. During this stretch, the Marlins have outscored their opponents 26-5.
Miami hasn’t announced its starting pitcher for Saturday’s rematch between the teams, but the way the Marlins are hitting, it might not matter.
On Friday, the hero was Isan Diaz, who slugged a grand slam. Diaz, a former Brewers prospect who was part of the package Miami received in the trade for Christian Yelich in 2018, lost a spring-training battle for the Marlins’ second-base job to rookie Jazz Chisholm.
But when Chisholm landed on the injured list last week, Diaz got another chance.
“I’m just trying to take advantage of this opportunity,” Diaz said. “But it’s not just me. Everyone is doing their job. We just have to keep going.”
Diaz has seven career homers since making his major-league debut in 2019. Of those sevens, he has hit three on the first pitch.
“I have an aggressive mentality,” Diaz said.
Diaz, who is batting .238, has reached safely in all seven games since being recalled from Miami’s alternate site on April 28.
“He’s seeing the ball (well), and he’s starting to get some results,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said.
Chisholm, who is on the mend from a strained left hamstring, will face live pitching this weekend and figures to reclaim his starting job soon. In the meantime, Diaz likely will get more opportunities against Milwaukee this weekend.
On Saturday, the Brewers will send right-hander Adrian Houser (2-3, 3.52 ERA) to the mound to try to break their losing streak.
Houser, 28, is coming off his worst season, as he went 1-6 with a 5.30 ERA in 2020. This year, he has been especially good in three road starts, going 1-1 with a 2.30 ERA.
He is 1-0 with a 4.76 ERA this year against Miami. For his career against the Marlins, he is 1-0 with a 3.12 ERA in two appearances.
Milwaukee could activate catcher Manny Pina for Saturday’s game. He has been on the injured list due to a fractured left toe.
Miami center fielder Lewis Brinson might return to the starting lineup Saturday. He sat out on Friday due to a finger injury.
Another factor on Saturday figures to be Miami’s bullpen, which has a 2.02 ERA over the past 19 games. Miami’s bullpen tossed four scoreless innings on Friday, helping Trevor Rogers hold on to the win.
“It’s huge knowing the dudes we have in the bullpen,” Rogers said. “The first couple of series this season were sketchy, but I know the dudes we have in the bullpen are studs. They’ve been doing a fantastic job.”
–Field Level Media