Tonight's Matchup: Reds (Bailey) at Brewers (Narveson)

The Brewers play the Reds. Again. Yes, we've seen this pitcher against the Brewers before, although these pitchers have never faced each other. Homer Bailey (3.64 ERA, 3.76 FIP) takes the mound for Cincinnati tonight. This will be Bailey's third start since returning from the DL in late June. His last three starts, including the one he made right before being placed on the DL in late May, were a change from his first starts of the season. He's been giving up a lot of hits lately. I'm restraining my cynicism and trying not to think that this will be the game where he'll break that trend. Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder are the Brewers who have faced Bailey the most. Bailey has walked Prince 6 times in 20 PA. (And why is he nicknamed Homer? His career HR/9 is 1.04.)

Speaking of trends, this one that I hope breaks, Chris Narveson (4.86 ERA, 3.61 FIP) hasn't been pitching up to his early 2011 standards either lately. He still has that large cap between his FIP and his ERA, much like Zack Greinke...and like Greinke, the problem is largely the same. His LD% is all sorts of ridiculous this season (24.1%.) Narveson is also walking more batters than he's done in previous years. Despite Narveson's HR/9 being lower in 2011 than in his previous seasons, the walks and the line drives aren't helping. (Unlike Greinke, his BABIP is a far more understandable .316.) The 14 hits he gave up in his last start against the Twins were his highest amount of any of his major league starts. Narveson, of course, has faced the Reds before but not in statistically significant amounts. Jay Bruce has hit two HR off of him in 6 AB. Oh dear.

Lineup:

Rickie Weeks 2B
Nyjer Morgan CF
Corey Hart RF
Prince Fielder 1B
Mark Kotsay LF
Casey McGehee 3B
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Jonathan Lucroy C
Chris Narveson P

What's up in the bullpen:

John Axford pitched 1 inning (14 pitches) yesterday.
LaTroy Hawkins pitched 1 inning (9 pitches) yesterday.
Zach Braddock pitched 1 inning (10 pitches) Tuesday.
Marco Estrada pitched 2 innings (28 pitches) Tuesday and 0.1 innings (10 pitches) Monday.
Kameron Loe pitched 0.2 innings (9 pitches) Monday and 1.1 innings (25 pitches) Sunday.
Takashi Saito pitched 1 inning (10 pitches) Saturday.

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