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Thursday, August 7, 2014
Brewers, Giants both trying to get in gear

By David Schoenfield

The Giants and Brewers are playing an interesting and important series in Milwaukee. The perception, I suppose, is that both teams are scuffling after playing their best baseball early in the season, and there's definitely truth to that perception. The Giants led the NL West by 9½ games back on June 8 but had gone 19-31 since then entering Wednesday's game. The Brewers peaked with a 20-7 start, meaning they've played under .500 since the end of April. Further, both teams have been hit by rotation injuries: As expected, the Giants announced Matt Cain would undergo season-ending surgery for bone chips; Matt Garza just landed on the disabled list with an oblique strain.

The Brewers won the opening game of the series, setting up a Ryan Vogelsong-Yovani Gallardo matchup for the second game. On paper and computer screens, the matchup favored the Brewers as Vogelsong, while he's had a nice comeback from a disastrous 2013 campaign, has a sizable home/road split with the road numbers including a 4.70 ERA and eight of the nine home runs he's allowed. Gallardo, meanwhile, was coming off two straight scoreless starts.

Of course, this is baseball, so that's not the way it worked out. Some random notes and thoughts on the Giants' 7-4 victory …