Today's Matchup: Milwaukee (Gallardo) at Cincinnati (Volquez)

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 16: Mark Kotsay #25 of the Milwaukee Brewers connects for a home run during the game against the Cincinnati Reds on September 16, 2011 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Brewers defeated the Reds 6-3. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)

The Brewers get to face the enigmatic Edinson Volquez (5-5, 5.80) today.  Volquez had the talent and the stuff to put up a performance like his May 17 performance against the Cubs when he struck out nine hitters and walked just one in six innings.  Unfortunately for both him and the Reds, this year he's been closer to the guy who will walk the entire opposing team and get hit hard while doing so.  Even worse, this year he has also been severely prone to giving up home runs, with a 1.60 HR/9--up from 0.86 in 2010 and 1.06 over his career.  All in all, it's led to a 5.44 FIP, a 4.21 xFIP, and a long demotion back to the minor leagues. 

Volquez doesn't really have any significant splits this year.  He's allowing an .850 OPS to righties and an .832 OPS to lefties.  He's also giving up an .840 OPS at home and an .846 OPS on the road.

Volquez has a four-pitch arsenal:  A 94 MPH four seamer, a 94 MPH sinker, an 84 MPH changeup, and a 79 MPH curveball.  Per fangraphs, his fastball has been well below average both this season and over his career while his changeup has been well above average.

Five Brewers have faced Volquez at least ten times.  Here is how they've fared:

PA Slash Line
Ryan Braun 21 .375/.524/.625
Prince Fielder 21 .176/.333/.353
Corey Hart 15 .308/.333/.769
Craig Counsell 13 .333/.538/.333
Rickie Weeks 12 .600/.667/1.300

 

For the Brewers, it will be Yovani Gallardo (16-10, 3.66) taking the mound.  Gallardo's FIP this year is up to 3.77, but his xFIP stands at 3.32 as he has given up a high number of homers this year (1.21 HR/9).  His last start out was phenomenal as he struck out twelve batters while giving up just three hits in seven innings against the Phillies.  The home runs bit him, then, as well as the only two runs he gave up came on two solo shots.

Four Astros have faced  Gallardo at least 10 times.  Here is how they have fared:

PA Slash Line
Carlos Lee 35 .250/.286/.375
Humberto Quintero 18 .313/.389/.375
Clint Barmes 14 .000/.071/.000
Angel Sanchez 12 .364/.333/.455

 

Tonight's Lineup, via Tom Haudricourt:

RF Corey Hart
CF Nyjer Morgan
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
3B Casey McGehee
SS Yuniesky Betancourt
Jonathan Lucroy
2B Craig Counsell
RHP Yovani Gallardo

In the Bullpen:

Chris Narveson pitched two innings (23 pitches) Wednesday, and is expected to start on Monday.
Marco Estrada pitched one inning (22 pitches) Wednesday.
Michael Fiers pitched one inning (21 pitches) Wednesday.
Kameron Loe, LaTroy Hawkins and Takashi Saito last pitched on Tuesday.
Tim Dillard and Frankie De La Cruz last pitched on Thursday, September 8.
John Axford pitched 1 inning (13 pitches) yesterday.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched 1 inning (8 pitches) yesterday.

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