Game Thread #-20: Brewers (7-5) v Rockies (7-5)

Narveson Fever. Catch it.

The Brewers, Rockies, Mariners and Rangers are tied for fourth place in the Cactus League, two games back of the 10-4 Giants. Today, Milwaukee opens a rare four game spring training homestand with a chance to gain ground in the meaningless standings.

Chris Narveson faces off against Esmil Rogers today at 2. Follow us after the jump for today's pitching matchup, lineup and more!

Chris Narveson (4.99 ERA, 4.22 FIP in 2010) is making his third spring training appearance and his second start. He started against the A's on Sunday, allowing just one hit and two walks over two innings. 

It'll be interesting to watch how Narveson uses his pitches this spring: Statistics would suggest he shifted strongly away from his fastball last season, using it just 45.8% of the time and replacing it with more sliders and changeups. He's always relied relatively heavily on a curve, and at +1.35 runs per 100 (according to FanGraphs) it was easily his best pitch in 2010.

Narveson is a Colorado native and faced the Rockies three times last season, once as a starter. Over 7.1 innings he posted a 4.91 ERA against them, walking two and striking out three.

He'll face 25 year old Esmil Rogers (6.13 ERA, 3.44 FIP in 2010). Rogers split time between the Rockies rotation, bullpen and AAA last season. In 72 major league innings he was very hittable, allowing 11.8 base hits per nine on a .385 BABIP. He still strikes out plenty: 8.25 per nine innings pitched.

Rogers is a hard thrower, working in the mid-90's with a fastball he throws 63.5% of the time. He'll also mix in a fair number of sliders and curves, plus the occasional changeup. Even in a season where he posted a 6.13 ERA, his slider was worth +0.61 runs per 100 in 2010 (per FanGraphs).

Rogers faced the Brewers one time last season, allowing four earned runs on nine hits in 5.2 innings on August 14.  The Brewers won the game 5-4 in ten innings.

Via Tyler Barnes, here's today's lineup:

Rickie Weeks 2B
Carlos Gomez CF
Ryan Braun LF
Prince Fielder 1B
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Craig Counsell 3B
Chris Dickerson RF
Wil Nieves C
Chris Narveson P

Enjoy the game!

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