EDITOR'S NOTE: If you're not listening to today's game or would just like a break from it, I'll be appearing on The Home Stretch with Justin Hull on AM 1570 The Score in Appleton from 3-4. I'll be live in studio, so we'll be taking your calls and discussing all things Brewers.
Today's game is televised and I'm sure we'd all like the Brewers to win today, but the best thing that could happen is a game that's over in roughly two hours with no one getting hurt.
Follow the jump for today's pitching matchup and lineup, then join us in the comments to discuss today's game!
Joe Saunders (9.31 ERA this spring, 3.69/4.78 ERA/FIP in 2011) is the mound opponent for the Brewers' last meaningless game of April. This is his fifth start of the spring and none have gone all that well to this point: His last time out was against the White Sox on March 23 when he allowed four runs on six hits over four innings.
Saunders has pitched over 200 innings in each of the last two seasons, including a career-high 212 in the regular season and three more in the postseason in 2011. He doesn't get many strikeouts (4.6 per nine in 2011) and his walk rate is nothing special (2.8 per nine in 2011). He throws a 90 mph fastball with a plus changeup.
Saunders pitched a quality start against the Brewers during the regular season last year but got roughed up in the playoffs, allowing three runs on five hits over just three innings in NLDS Game 4.
He'll face Shaun Marcum (0.00 ERA this spring, 3.54/3.73 ERA/FIP in 2011), making just his second start in a major league game this spring. This game might mean more to Marcum than anyone else, because he needs the opportunity to get his arm stretched out.
Gameday should give us an opportunity to see Marcum's velocity today, which should tell us a bit about how his shoulder's feeling. It might be difficult for Marcum to be consistently effective in the majors if his fastball is any slower than the 86.9 mph he averaged last season.
Marcum pitched six innings and allowed four runs on seven hits in his only regular season appearance against the Diamondbacks on July 4, in a game where he also hit a grand slam. He also had a rough outing against them in NLDS Game 3. Let's not spend too much time talking about that.
Here's today's lineup:
Enjoy the game!