Tonight's Matchup: Brewers (Greinke) at Cardinals (Garcia)

This is where I normally write a one sentence intro, but all I can think of is "Hello, I'm a bear."

Tonight, in a rematch of Game 1, the Brewers face Jaime Garcia (3.56 ERA, 2.23 FIP in 2011, 7.36 ERA, 7.12 FIP postseason). He's been the losing pitcher in both of his outings this postseason, including a four inning, six run outing against the Brewers on Sunday. He walked three and struck out three while throwing 82 pitches in that game, and allowed home runs to both Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun.

Dating back to August 2, Garcia has failed to record an out in the sixth inning in six of his last 12 appearances, and been limited to four innings in two of his last three. Even with the short outings, though, he's thrown 205.2 innings this season. That's 42 more than his previous career high.

This is Garcia's fourth start against the Brewers this season: He pitched a complete game shutout on May 6, but combined to allow 13 runs over nine innings in the other two games. Eight Brewers have faced him ten times or more:

Player PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
Ryan Braun 25 .280 .280 .560 .840
Prince Fielder 25 .304 .320 .522 .842
Corey Hart 24 .409 .458 .409 .867
Rickie Weeks 22 .294 .455 .588 1.043
Casey McGehee 20 .294 .350 .529 .879
Jonathan Lucroy 16 .125 .125 .125 .250
Carlos Gomez 14 .143 .143 .214 .357
Jerry Hairston Jr 14 .231 .286 .385 .670

He'll face Zack Greinke (3.83 ERA, 2.93 FIP in 2011, 8.18 ERA, 5.93 FIP postseason), who could really use a signature outing tonight to prove that he's not intimidated by big games or something. He pitched six innings on Sunday and gave up six runs on eight hits, walking two and striking out six.

Greinke's results this October have been a microcosm of his season: He's striking out over ten batters per nine innings, walking less than two and somehow he's still giving up runs in bunches. He needed 107 pitches to get through six innings on Sunday, but he's on normal rest tonight so that shouldn't be an issue.

Greinke has faced the Cardinals four times now this season, and his previous start in this series is the only time he didn't pitch a quality start. Nine Cardinals have faced him ten times or more:

Player PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
Albert Pujols 24 .286 .375 .381 .756
Nick Punto 24 .211 .348 .211 .558
Gerald Laird 20 .300 .300 .350 .650
Matt Holliday 16 .467 .500 .867 1.367
Skip Schumaker 16 .333 .333 .400 .733
Yadier Molina 15 .308 .333 .385 .718
Lance Berkman 12 .417 .417 .750 1.167
Jon Jay 12 .273 .333 .273 .606
Rafael Furcal 11 .364 .364 .727 1.091

Tonight's lineup is your garden variety setup vs lefties:

Corey Hart RF
Jerry Hairston Jr 3B
Ryan Braun LF
Prince Fielder 1B
Rickie Weeks 2B
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Carlos Gomez CF
Jonathan Lucroy C
Zack Greinke P

And in the bullpen:

Francisco Rodriguez pitched one inning (18 pitches) last night.
John Axford pitched one inning (16 pitches) last night.
LaTroy Hawkins
pitched one inning (20 pitches) Wednesday.
Chris Narveson pitched one inning (13 pitches) Wednesday.
Takashi Saito pitched one inning (eight pitches) Wednesday.
Marco Estrada and Kameron Loe last pitched on Monday.

The weather shouldn't be a factor tonight: The game time temperature will be somewhere around 61 and falling into the low 50's with no precipitation in sight.

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