Today's Matchup: Brewers (Marcum) v. Diamondbacks (Hudson)

Hopefully being home again can fix whatever's wrong with this team.

Shaun Marcum (3.16 ERA, 3.25 FIP) is hopefully coming out of his roughest stretch as a Brewer. He's pitched just nine innings over his last three starts while dealing with a hip flexor strain and has allowed eight runs on eleven hits and five walks over that stretch, including three home runs. The Yankees chased him early on Wednesday, scoring four runs on five hits and three walks over five innings. Marcum did strike out six in that game.

Marcum's velocity would suggest he's no longer feeling the effects of the hip strain: He averaged 86.9 mph on his fastball (season average 87) and touched 90 with it against the Yankees. His fastball is nothing to write home about but it's possible he should throw it more: He's using it just 31.7% of the time this season, down from 45.1% last season and 42.4% for his career. It's been an above average pitch for his his season, but so have his slider, changeup, cutter and curve.

Marcum has only faced the Diamondbacks one time in his career: last year during interleague play he picked up a win by allowing three runs on six hits over five innings, walking one and striking out eight. No D-Backs have faced him ten times or more, but Willie Bloomquist is 1-for-7 with four strikeouts.

Meanwhile, the Brewers will get another look down the path they chose not to travel when they face Daniel Hudson (3.49 ERA, 2.70 FIP). Hudson was rumored to be available in exchange for Prince Fielder at the trade deadline in 2010, but ended up being dealt to the Diamondbacks instead in a deal that netted Edwin Jackson. Since moving to the desert Hudson has been excellent, posting a 2.76 ERA in 28 starts, striking out 7.5 batters per nine and walking just 1.9.

The Diamondbacks are riding the 24 year old pitcher pretty hard this season: In 17 appearances he's already thrown 100 or more pitches 14 times and 110 or more six times. Eighteen pitchers have more 110-pitch games this season, but most of them are older: The only 24-and-under pitchers who have done it more are Derek Holland of the Rangers (7 times) and Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers (7 times).

One of Hudson's first starts as a National Leaguer came against the Brewers on August 11 of last season. He beat the Brewers on that day by allowing two runs on seven hits over seven innings, walking one and striking out nine. No Brewers have faced him ten times or more, but Casey McGehee is 3-for-3 with a home run.

I haven't had a chance to see today's lineup. If you have, maybe you can post it in the comments?

Meanwhile, here's today's bullpen situation:

Kameron Loe pitched 1.1 innings (25 pitches) yesterday.
Zach Braddock pitched 0.2 innings (22 pitches) yesterday.
Marco Estrada pitched 2.1 innings (36 pitches) Saturday.
John Axford pitched one inning (21 pitches) Saturday.
Takashi Saito pitched one inning (10 pitches) Saturday.
LaTroy Hawkins last pitched on Friday.

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