Tonight's Matchup: Brewers (Wolf) vs Diamondbacks (Duke)

According to the new hotline, Miller Park's roof will be open tonight when the Brewers and Diamondbacks resume play tonight at 7:10.

When they take the field, Randy Wolf (3.33 ERA, 4.18 FIP) will be on the mound. Wolf has been a pleasant surprise this season: FanGraphs estimates his value at 0.8 WAR, which is already more than his 0.7 from 2010. He has a 2.60 ERA over his last five starts, and held the Yankees to four runs on seven hits over seven innings on Thursday.

The biggest difference between Wolf in 2011 and 2010 would appear to be his control. He walked 3.63 batters per nine last season, and is giving free passes to 2.82 batters per nine in 2011. He's walked three batters in each of his last two starts, but has also pitched seven innings in four straight appearances.

Wolf faced the Diamondbacks twice last season, and allowed seven combined runs on 13 hits and six walks over 12 innings, striking out 13. Six Diamondbacks have faced him ten times or more:

Player PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
Chris Young 26 .286 .400 .524 .924
Justin Upton 17 .214 .353 .500 .853
Stephen Drew 14 .167 .214 .583 .797
Xavier Nady 14 .154 .214 .385 .599
Henry Blanco 13 .364 .333 .545 .879
Wily Mo Pena 10 .200 .200 .200 .400

He'll face former Pirate Zach Duke (5.92 ERA, 3.08 FIP), who is making his eighth start as a member of the Diamondbacks. As his ERA/FIP would suggest, Duke has given up a lot of hits this season but there's reason to believe he's been largely unlucky: Opposing batters are hitting .397 on balls in play against him. He was the loser last time out against the Indians, allowing four runs on nine hits over just five innings.

Duke's mix of pitches probably isn't entirely reliable this season because of sample size, but he has a high-80's fastball, a changeup he'll throw a fair amount, and a slider and curve. All four pitches have been below average this season, but the changeup and curve have been above average for his career.

Duke faced the Brewers four times as a member of the Pirates in 2010, and posted an 8.85 ERA over 20.1 innings. Six Brewers have faced him ten times or more:

Player PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
Prince Fielder 42 .333 .429 .639 1.068
Rickie Weeks 42 .270 .357 .459 .817
Corey Hart 31 .250 .387 .458 .845
Ryan Braun 22 .368 .455 .684 1.139
Casey McGehee 14 .091 .214 .091 .305
Carlos Gomez 13 .333 .385 .417 .801

Brewers lineup

Weeks 2B
Gomez CF
Hart RF
Fielder 1B
Betancourt SS
McGehee 3B
Wilson LF
Kottaras C
Wolf P

And in the bullpen:

John Axford pitched one inning (22 pitches) yesterday.
LaTroy Hawkins pitched one inning (18 pitches) yesterday.
Marco Estrada pitched .1 innings (10 pitches) yesterday.
Kameron Loe pitched .2 innings (9 pitches) yesterday.
Zach Braddock pitched .2 innings (22 pitches) Sunday.
Takashi Saito hasn't pitched since Saturday.

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