The Brewers' current hot streak has led them all the way up to second place in the Cactus League, but they are still five games back of the first place Angels with five games left to play in Arizona. As such, today's game is obviously a must win.
Scheduled starters Yovani Gallardo and Randy Johnson are being held back to prevent them from showing too much to the team they'll face in the second game of the regular season. Instead, it'll be Mark DiFelice taking the mound against Joe Martinez.
DiFelice is making his second appearance in three days, having faced just one hitter in Friday night's win over the Giants. He was lit up for six runs in two innings in his previous start, but was riding a 12 inning scoreless streak before that, including four shutout innings in the WBC.
Joe Martinez, known as Joseph to his friends at Baseball Reference, is a 26 year old right hander who spent 2008 in the Eastern League (AA), where he posted a 2.49 ERA in 148 innings (27 starts). He's pitched 15.2 innings in the Cactus League this season, and has posted a 5.17 ERA. John Sickels says he "doesn't throw hard, usually in the 86-89 range. But his breaking ball and changeup are effective, he has a terrific feel for pitching and he keeps the ball down." Sickels rates him as a C prospect. As always, if the Giants are willing to put him on the Brewers' team bus after the game, they can keep Tony Gwynn Jr.
Via Tom H., here's today's lineup:
2B Rickie Weeks
LF Tony Gwynn Jr.
SS J.J. Hardy
1B Prince Fielder
RF Corey Hart
CF Mike Cameron
3B Bill Hall
C Jason Kendall
RHP Mark DiFelice
Game time is at 3:05 from Scottsdale. Sunday's game thread is now open.