The visiting Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates not only are pressing forward through trade-deadline uncertainty, they both are looking to start new winning streaks when they open a series Tuesday.
Milwaukee, which leads the National League Central and is trying to hold off the second-place St. Louis Cardinals, has won seven of eight games since the All-Star break. Milwaukee had a four-game winning streak snapped Sunday in a 7-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox.
The Brewers pulled off the first blockbuster deal in advance of Tuesday’s trade deadline, sending closer Josh Hader to the San Diego Padres on Monday. Hader might lead baseball with 29 saves, but the deal netted the Brewers closer Taylor Rogers, who had 28 saves with the Padres this season.
A starter and two more prospects will be coming the Brewers’ way, in a move that adds assets for the future while reducing the impact on the present as much as possible.
“(President of baseball operations David) Stearns is really aggressive making those moves and trying to push this team to get to the next level,” infielder Kolten Wong said. “Whatever it’s going to take. I definitely don’t have any sense of him not pulling the trigger.”
Indeed, Stearns was not deterred from making a trade by the club’s spot in first pace.
“I think winning games can impact (trade possibilities), certainly,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “The best thing we can do is win games. That’s our job. To win games puts our chances in a better place. That’s what we’re responsible for.”
Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton doesn’t believe his team’s recent stretch will have a major effect on moves the Pirates might make. The Pirates have dropped seven consecutive games, and eight of nine, to fall into last place in the NL Central.
“We’re not going to shake it up just because of the fact that we haven’t won games,” Shelton said.
Pittsburgh has been a revolving door of young players coming up from the minor leagues and being sent down. Shelton expects lineup changes to come, not only from prospective deals made at the deadline, but throughout the season as young players start proving themselves.
“I feel like all year our clubhouse has looked kind of different, with guys coming up, guys going down and things like that,” Pirates third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes said.
Hayes is day-to-day heading into Tuesday’s game after he sat out Sunday’s 8-2 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies because of knee soreness.
In Tuesday’s game, Milwaukee right-hander Corbin Burnes (8-4, 2.31 ERA) is scheduled to face Pittsburgh right-hander Bryse Wilson (1-6, 6.31 ERA).
Burnes is 5-0 with a 2.08 ERA over his past eight starts and has 15 quality starts this year. Against Pittsburgh, Burnes is 6-0 with a 2.63 ERA in 18 career games (six starts).
Wilson is 1-2 with a 3.27 ERA in four starts since he was recalled in early July. Wilson is 1-2 with a 4.30 ERA in five appearances (four starts) lifetime against Milwaukee.
–Field Level Media