Tonight's Matchup: Brewers (Greinke) vs Dodgers (Eovaldi)

In 40+ years of franchise history, the Brewers have never once had a stretch of the schedule where they won 19 of 21 games. That's what they could do with a win tonight.

Zack Greinke (4.08 ERA, 2.87 FIP) gets the ball tonight, and a chance to keep the Brewers recent streak of impressive outings going. Greinke has a 1.75 ERA over his last six starts, and is coming off his longest outing of the season: On Friday against the Pirates he pitched 7.2 innings, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk while striking out nine.He had a shutout going in that game until the eighth inning.

When he's hot, Greinke's efficiency is really something to behold. In his last two starts he's had six innings where he's thrown nine pitches or less, nearly half of his 14 completed innings. 74 of his 112 pitches on Friday were strikes (66%), his highest percentage since June 21. Over a quarter of his pitches in the game were curves.

This is only Greinke's second career start against the Dodgers, and his first since 2005. Three current Dodgers have faced him ten times or more:

Player PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
Casey Blake 28 .320 .393 .640 1.033
Rod Barajas 13 .154 .154 .462 .615
Jamey Carroll 12 .250 .250 .250 .500

Greinke will face rookie Nathan Eovaldi (1.64 ERA, 2.83 FIP), making his third career major league start. He's looked pretty good in a small sample size: He's struck out ten in eleven innings and is holding opponents to 4.9 hits per nine innings. He's already walked six batters, though, and his BABIP against is an unsustainable .222. He shut out the Astros for six innings on Friday, allowing just two hits and four walks while striking out three.

The sample size is small, but so far as a big leaguer Eovaldi has shown a mid-90's fastball and a slider he'll throw over 25% of the time, along with the occasional curve and splitter. Before being called up he had posted a 2.62 ERA in 103 innings for AA Chattanooga. Here's what John Sickels said about him in the 2011 Baseball Prospect Book:

Nathan Eovaldi has one of the best arms in the Dodgers system, with a fastball that can hit 95 MPH. However, his curveball and changeup remain inconsistent, and he struggles to throw quality strikes

...

There isn't a lot to like here statistically; his component ratios were all below average, his K/IP and H/IP definitely don't reflect the talent reported by scouts.

Sickels rated Eovaldi as a C prospect.

Here's tonight's lineup:

Corey Hart RF
Nyjer Morgan CF
Ryan Braun LF
Prince Fielder 1B
Casey McGehee 3B
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Jerry Hairston Jr 2B
Jonathan Lucroy C
Zack Greinke P

And in the bullpen:

Takashi Saito pitched one inning (10 pitches) last night.
John Axford pitched one inning (9 pitches) Monday.
LaTroy Hawkins last pitched on Sunday.
Francisco Rodriguez last pitched on Saturday.
Kameron Loe last pitched on Friday.
Tim Dillard and Frankie De La Cruz last pitched on Thursday.

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