The Milwaukee Brewers invade Yankee Stadium Tuesday night for the first time since moving to the National League in 1998. The Yankees and Brewers begin a three-game series with former AL Cy Young Award winner Zack Grienke (7-2, 4.77 ERA) facing Freddy Garcia (6-6, 3.30).
Let's try to get to know a little bit about the Brewers, who -- at least for me -- have been mostly out of sight and out of mind for years now. Here are a few facts about Milwaukee.
- Former Yankee reliever LaTroy Hawkins will be in the Milwaukee bullpen, and Hawkins has been nearly unhittable this season. He has posted a miniscule 0.47 ERA this season, having given up just one earned run in 19.1 innings pitched. Thinking about Hawkins annoys me. He was pretty good before coming to the Yankees, terrible in 33 games with New York (a 5.71 ERA) and -- when healthy -- has been mostly spectacular since leaving the Yankees.
- Former Yankee Sergio Mitre, however, will not be in uniform for the Brewers Tuesday. Mitre, a Yankee in 2009 and 2010 before being dealt to Milwaukee for outfielder Chris Dickerson, was designated for assignment on Monday. He was 0-1 with a solid 3.38 ERA in 21 games. Which makes you wonder if a return to the Bronx might be in the future for Mitre. The Yankees have been collecting arms like Cory Wade, Brian Gordon and Carlos Silva, and Yankee fans know manager Joe Girardi likes Mitre.
- The Brewers are 44-35 and lead the NL Central by three games over the St. Louis Cardinals. The Brewers just swept a three-game series from the sinking ship known as the Minnesota Twins.
- Remember Erick Almonte? Yes, that Erick Almote -- the guy who played 31 games at shorstop for the Yankees in 2003 after Derek Jeter suffered an Opening Day shoulder injury. Now 33, Almonte surfaced in the big leagues for the first time since that 2003 stint for 16 games before suffering a concussion and landing on the disabled list April 26. He is now back in AAA. Almonte hit just .103 in 29 at-bats with Milwaukee.
- The Brewers are led offensively by Prince Fielder (.305/21/68/.426) and Ryan Braun (.308/16/59/.390).