Today's Matchup: Brewers (Gallardo) vs Marlins (Volstad)

I think we all know what needs to happen here.

The recipe for a good night starts with more of the same for Yovani Gallardo (3.60 ERA, 3.71 FIP), who's been on a strikeout binge lately. He tied a career high with 12 strikeouts two starts ago against the Phillies, then broke said record with 13 against the Reds on Saturday. He's allowed just five hits and three walks in his last 13 innings.

Interestingly enough, the home run ball remains an issue for Gallardo. He allowed one to the Reds on Saturday and has allowed nine in four September starts. He was allowing roughly .9 homers per nine innings before this stretch.

Gallardo is facing the Marlins for the second time this season: He beat them on June 4 by pitching six innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits, walking two and striking out five. The only Marlin who's faced him ten times is Gaby Sanchez, who is 3-for-10 with an RBI and three strikeouts.

Meanwhile, the Brewers will look to continue Chris Volstad's (5.13 ERA, 4.43 FIP) rough season. Volstad has posted a pretty high ERA this season but most of the advanced numbers would suggest he's been getting unlucky: Opposing batters are hitting .316 on balls in play against him, 15.6% of his fly balls are turning into home runs (up from 12.3% career) and his walk and strikeout rates are the best they've been in his four big league seasons. He has been better lately, though: On Saturday he held the Nationals to a run on six hits over seven innings.

Actually, Volstad's been pretty good lately: He's posted a 2.50 ERA in three starts in September. He throws a low-90's fastball with a league-average slider, plus changeup and curve. Opposing batters are swinging at his pitches outside the strike zone over 30% of the time this season, which is a new career high.

Volstad was the opposing pitcher when Gallardo beat the Marlins on June 4, pitching seven innings and allowing three runs on six hits, walking one and striking out four. Prince Fielder and Nyjer Morgan took him deep in the contest. Morgan is one of two Brewers who have seen him ten times or more:

Player PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
Nyjer Morgan 18 .200 .235 .400 .635
Jerry Hairston Jr. 15 .357 .400 .429 .829

Lineup:

RF Corey Hart
CF Nyjer Morgan
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
2B Rickie Weeks
3B Casey McGehee
SS Yuni Betancourt
C Jonathan Lucroy
P Yovani Gallardo

And in the bullpen:

Kameron Loe pitched one inning (21 pitches) on Wednesday.
Michael Fiers pitched one inning (21 pitches) on Wednesday.
Francisco Rodriguez last pitched on Tuesday.
Tim Dillard and Marco Estrada last pitched on Monday.
Takashi Saito pitched one inning (5 pitches) Sunday.
Frankie De La Cruz and LaTroy Hawkins last pitched on Saturday.
John Axford hasn't pitched in a week.

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