Today's Matchup: Brewers (Greinke) at Cubs (Garza)

It's hard to write about today's pitching matchup in the more usual terms. We have two career AL pitchers new to the NL in 2011. Today's Cubs starter Matt Garza (3.84 ERA, 2.30 FIP) has only faced the Brewers once--and that was in April of 2011. He pitched 5.2 innings in that game, giving up 5 runs on 8 hits and 3 walks, striking out 8. Yuniesky Betancourt is the Brewer with the most experience against Garza; he's 5 for 18 against (and this being Betancourt, he's obviously not drawn any walks.) Garza may not be the same pitcher that he was with Minnesota and Tampa Bay either. Harry Pavlidis of Cubs f/x found some interesting things about Garza's early-season pitch selection: he's throwing more sliders and changeups to righties than he did in previous seasons. His primary pitch is still the 4-seam fastball, which he is throwing at an average velocity of 92.9 this season.

Zack Greinke (4.69 ERA, 2.52 FIP) is more of the same story. Carlos Pena, another AL lifer and NL newbie, is 3 for 27 against him. Greinke has never faced the Cubs during the regular season.

From looking at the FIP for both pitchers, this looks like the Battle of the Leaky Defense. Greinke's 2011 BABIP is .344 and Garza's is .349. Garza's career BABIP is .290 and Greinke's is .308, so they are both having very unusual seasons...or it's their new teams.

Lineup!

Rickie Weeks 2B
Nyjer Morgan CF
Ryan Braun LF
Prince Fielder 1B
Casey McGehee 3B
Corey Hart RF
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
George Kottaras C
Zack Greinke P

I wouldn't get worried about Kottaras replacing Lucroy. It's a day game after a night game and last night's night game was delayed. It's probably just a case of tired catcher.

Bullpen usage:

Say hi to Daniel Ray Herrera! He last pitched for Nashville on Tuesday. (2.0 IP, 34 pitches)

John Axford pitched 1 inning (20 pitches) last night.
Kameron Loe pitched 1 inning (13 pitches) last night.
LaTroy Hawkins pitched 1 inning (12 pitches) last night and 1 inning (12 pitches) on Tuesday.
Tim Dillard pitched 0.2 inning (10 pitches) last night and 0.1 inning (5 pitches) on Tuesday.
Marco Estrada pitched 0.1 inning (9 pitches) Tuesday.
Sergio Mitre occasionally warms up for the heck of it but hasn't pitched in a game since last Thursday.

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