Tonight's Matchup: Padres (Richard) at Brewers (Marcum)

I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to spending the rest of the season watching Shaun Marcum try to one-up Zack Greinke's performances.

Tonight Marcum (2.06 ERA, 3.02 FIP) makes his eighth start of the season and his third at home. He's been excellent lately, allowing just one run on eight hits over 14 innings in his last two starts. He tied a season high with eight strikeouts against the Braves on Thursday, but received a no decision in a game the Brewers eventually lost 2-1.

Efficiency is Shaun Marcum's biggest asset. He's thrown between 89 and 102 pitches in each of his last six starts and has managed to complete six or seven innings in each of them. He's still getting over eight strikeouts per nine innings over that stretch, though. 

Marcum made one start against the Padres last season in interleague play, allowing three runs on six hits over seven innings on June 14, in a game the Blue Jays went on to win. Adrian Gonzalez and Jerry Hairston homered off of him in the game. Both players are no longer Padres. The only current Padre who has faced Marcum ten times is Jason Bartlett, who is batting .185/.235/.250 in 17 career PAs.

Marcum will face Clayton Richard (3.55 ERA, 3.93 FIP), also making his eighth start. Like yesterday's starter Mat Latos, Richard has been hurt by a lack of run support this season. The Padres are 1-4 in his last five starts despite the fact that he's posted a 3.48 ERA over that stretch. The defense let him down in his last outing on Wednesday: He allowed seven runs on four hits over five innings, but six of those runs were unearned.

Richard's fastball clocks in at roughly 90 mph, and he'll also throw a lot of cutters and some changeups. Don't expect him to strike many Brewers out, though: He's averaging just 5.45 strikeouts per nine innings this season, down from 6.52 for his career.

Richard faced the Brewers one time last season and fared very well, pitching six shutout innings with four hits, three walks and eight strikeouts in a 3-0 Padres victory on April 30. Three Brewers have faced him ten times or more:

Player PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
Ryan Braun 12 .182 .250 .182 .432
Prince Fielder 12 .182 .250 .455 .705
Casey McGehee 11 .000 .273 .000 .273

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

Rickie Weeks 2B
Carlos Gomez CF
Ryan Braun LF
Prince Fielder 1B
Casey McGehee 3B
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Corey Hart RF
Jonathan Lucroy C
Shaun Marcum P

And in the bullpen:

LaTroy Hawkins pitched one inning (12 pitches) last night, and also pitched on Sunday.
John Axford pitched one inning (14 pitches) last night.
Kameron Loe pitched one inning (8 pitches) last night.
Sergio Mitre pitched one inning (8 pitches) Sunday. 
Mike McClendon hasn't pitched since Friday.
Mitch Stetter and Brandon Kintzler haven't pitched since Wednesday.

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