After this week we won't see Brewer baseball again until spring training in March, but tonight already kind of feels like a Cactus League game.
After not starting a game for most of a month and making just two relief appearances over the entire month of September, Tyler Thornburg (5.00 ERA, 8.44 FIP) takes the mound for the Brewers tonight. This is his eighth major league appearance and his first in ten days. He pitched three innings against the Nationals on September 22 and allowed a run on two hits, walking none and striking out two.
Thornburg threw 37 pitches in that appearance on the 22nd, the most he's thrown since starting one of AAA Nashville's final games over Labor Day weekend. As such, it's unlikely he'll be asked to go very deep into the game tonight and we'll probably see either Josh Stinson or Livan Hernandez follow him to the mound.
Thornburg is facing the Padres for the first time, although it's possible some of their players faced him in the minors.
He'll face 24 year old righthander Anthony Bass (4.50 ERA, 3.89 FIP), pitching in place of the now-shut down Casey Kelly. Bass is starting a major league game for the first time since June, but pitched 1.1 innings in relief against the Giants on Friday and allowed no runs on one hit. He hasn't pitched more than three innings in a game at any level since June.
It's worth noting that Bass has been pretty good in seven major league appearances this September as a reliever, posting a 2.79 ERA over 9.2 innings. He's only struck out five batters over that time, though. He throws a low-90's fastball with a slider, change and cutter.
The Brewers beat Bass on June 10, scoring four runs off of him on five hits over 5.2 innings, walking three and striking out six. He also hit a batter (Ryan Braun) in that game, the only one he's hit all season in the majors. No current Brewers have faced him ten times or more, but Aramis Ramirez and Martin Maldonado have taken him deep.
Tonight's Brewer lineup is Cactus Leaguesque:
And in the bullpen:
Jim Henderson pitched two innings (27 pitches) last night.
John Axford pitched one inning (20 pitches) last night.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched one inning (18 pitches) last night.
Brandon Kintzler pitched 1.2 innings (37 pitches) Sunday.
Manny Parra pitched .2 innings (21 pitches) Sunday.
Josh Stinson pitched .2 innings (8 pitches) Sunday.
Livan Hernandez and Jose Veras last pitched on Saturday.
Kameron Loe last pitched on Friday.