For the 67th weekend in a row, the Brewers are going for a series sweep of their opponent.
This week's valiant soldier trying to prevent that is Wandy Rodriguez (10-9, 3.43), the subject of much trade chatter this season. Despite his 4.06 FIP being higher than it has been since 2007, Rodriguez is having a good year. He has a 3.70 xFIP and has been giving up a 1.13 HR/9, well above his career norm. He's also striking out slightly less hitters than he has the past three years and is walking slightly more. Still, he's managed to keep his ERA at the second lowest it's been in the last four years.
Unlike Bud Norris last night, Rodriguez is better against right handed hitters than lefties. This year, southpaws hit just .243/.285/.360 against him while righties hit .251/.326/.431. There isn't a huge difference in him home and away splits, as he give up a .714 OPS at Minute Maid and a .746 OPS outside of Houston.
Rodriguez primarily throws a 75 MPH curveball, an 89 MPH four seamer, and an 89 MPH two seamer. But he will also work in an 83 MPH changeup and a 90 MPH cutter.
Eight different Brewers have faced Rodriguez at least ten times. Here's how they've fared:
There isn't a whole lot that I can tell you about Shaun Marcum (11-5, 3.24) anymore. He's really turned it on lately as he has a 1.30 ERA in his last four starts while going at least seven innings in three of them. Also, he's pitching better than Roy Oswalt. So take that Phillies.
Marcum has not yet faced an Astros hitter ten times.
In the bullpen:
Takashi Saito pitched 1 inning (9 pitches) Thursday.