Tonight's Matchup: Brewers (Gallardo) at Cardinals (Carpenter)

Weather permitting.

Assuming these two teams are able to get a game in tonight, Chris Carpenter (3.45 ERA, 3.06 FIP in 2011, 3.00 ERA, 3.19 FIP postseason) will make career playoff start #12 for the Cardinals tonight. That will tie him for the fourth most among active pitchers:

Pitcher Postseason Starts
CC Sabathia 15
Cole Hamels 13
Josh Beckett 13
Derek Lowe 12
John Lackey 12
Chris Carpenter Scheduled for 12 tonight

Carpenter, of course, was excellent against the Phillies in NLDS Game 5 on Friday. He pitched a complete game three-hit shutout, walked none and struck out three while throwing 110 pitches in a 1-0 victory.

Carpenter has thrown a lot of pitches in his career, but this year he led the NL with 237.1 innings in the regular season and has thrown 12 more in the playoffs for a total of 249.1. That's the most he's thrown since going 254 innings in 2006: He then missed the entire 2007 season and most of 2008 with elbow injuries.

Carpenter faced the Brewers four times this season and had very mixed results:

Date IP H R ER BB K Result
June 11 6 5 5 5 2 4 Brewers win, 5-3
August 1 5 7 5 5 2 6 Brewers win, 6-2
August 11 8 10 2 2 3 4 Cardinals win, 5-2
September 7 9 4 0 0 2 5 Cardinals win, 2-0

No less than eleven Brewers have faced him ten times or more:

Player PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
Prince Fielder 32 .308 .438 .538 .976
Jerry Hairston Jr 30 .214 .233 .250 .483
Craig Counsell 26 .261 .320 .261 .581
Casey McGehee 26 .250 .308 .333 .641
Nyjer Morgan 25 /174 .208 .261 .469
Ryan Braun 22 .227 .227 .364 .591
Corey Hart 22 .238 .273 .429 .701
Mark Kotsay 12 .364 .417 .455 .871
Rickie Weeks 12 .600 .667 1.500 2.167
Yuniesky Betancourt 10 .444 .500 .444 .944
Jonathan Lucroy 10 .100 .100 .100 .200

It's worth noting that only five of Kotsay's 12 PAs against Carpenter have come since 2001.

While Carpenter and Kotsay were going head-to-head in 2000, Yovani Gallardo (3.52 ERA, 3.59 FIP in 2011, 1.29 ERA, 3.53 FIP postseason) was 14. This postseason he's easily been the Brewers' best starting pitcher, posting the playoffs' only two quality starts. He pitched six innings in NLDS Game 5 on Friday, allowing a run on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts. He threw 112 pitches in the game.

Gallardo has thrown a career high 221.1 innings this season (he threw 185 last year), but his velocity was actually up on Friday: His fastball was averaging 93.5 mph, up from 92.7 on the season. He even touched 95 on the gun. His curve wasn't great but he threw it 29 times, and mixed in 20 sliders. The slider has been his best pitch during his career, but the fastball was his best this season.

Gallardo has faced the Cardinals four times this season, and with one notable exception he's struggled:

Date IP H R ER BB K Result
May 7 8 1 0 0 4 6 Brewers win, 4-0
August 11 5 7 5 4 1 3 Cardinals win, 5-2
September 1 4.2 9 8 8 1 8 Cardinals win, 8-4
September 6 6 4 3 3 3 5 Cardinals win, 4-2

Nine Cardinals have faced him ten times or more:

Player PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
Lance Berkman 34 .296 .441 .333 .775
Albert Pujols 33 .444 .515 .926 1.441
Yadier Molina 27 .238 .407 .524 .931
Skip Schumaker 21 .200 .238 .300 .538
Matt Holliday 20 .222 .300 .667 .967
Ryan Theriot 18 .333 .444 .400 .844
Rafael Furcal 16 .417 .563 .917 1.479
Jon Jay 15 .231 .231 .462 .692
Nick Punto 10 .111 .200 .111 .311

Tonight's Brewer lineup has made me wonder if a rainout would really be that bad:

Corey Hart RF
Mark Kotsay CF
Ryan Braun LF
Prince Fielder 1B
Rickie Weeks 2B
Jerry Hairston Jr 3B
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Jonathan Lucroy C
Yovani Gallardo P

And in the bullpen:

Marco Estrada pitched two innings (37 pitches) Monday.
Chris Narveson pitched two innings (27 pitches) Monday.
Kameron Loe exploded all over the place (13 pitches) Monday.
LaTroy Hawkins pitched .2 innings (seven pitches) Monday.
John Axford, Francisco Rodriguez and Takashi Saito last pitched on Sunday.

Weather:

As I write this it's not raining in St. Louis, and the radar still seems to show what I said this afternoon: The passing storm system may brush tonight's game on the way by, but isn't likely to hit the ballpark at full force. It seems likely these two teams will be able to get tonight's game in.

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