Tonight's Matchup: Brewers (Gallardo) at Mets (Batista)

Until searching for a picture of Batista I had completely forgotten that he was the one involved in the "Miss Iowa" thing.

Let's start with this, because there's a chance it will be tonight's big story: There's a lot of rain passing through New York today, so it's possible tonight's game will be delayed or postponed. As of this writing, however, the radar would suggest the worst of the precipitation is staying west of the ballpark and it's possible there's a window where tonight's game could be played.

Assuming these two teams do take the field tonight, in the top of the first the Brewers will face 41-year-old righthander Miguel Batista (5.89 ERA, 6.42 FIP), making his third start of the 2012 season. Injuries (most notably Mike Pelfrey's) have forced Batista into the rotation in his 18th major league season. He last started on Tuesday and allowed four runs (two earned) on eight hits over 5.1 innings against the Astros. He walked two and struck out one in the game.

Despite the fact that he's 41 and has thrown nearly 2000 innings in his career, Batista still has pretty good velocity on his fastball. He's working in the low 90's this season with a lot of cutters (nearly a third of all pitches) and an occasional changeup. However, only 40% of his pitches are in the strike zone. As a result, he's walking over seven batters per nine in 2012.

This is Batista's 13th career appearance against the Brewers, but just his fourth start. He's only faced them three times since the end of the 2006 season. Two Brewers have faced him ten times or more:

Player PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
Cesar Izturis 28 .222 .250 .407 .657
Aramis Ramirez 16 .143 .250 .214 .464

He'll face Yovani Gallardo (5.35 ERA, 3.89 FIP), who threw the first of the Brewers' current streak of five straight quality starts his last time out. Gallardo allowed two runs on just four hits over six innings against the Reds on Tuesday, walking two and striking out eight. He also allowed a home run in the game for the first time in six starts.

It's been a tale of two seasons for Gallardo in 2012: He's allowed 14 earned runs in 5.2 innings over two starts against the Cardinals (a 22.26 ERA) and nine over 33 innings against everyone else (2.53). He's pitched a quality start or better in every non-Cardinals outing.

Gallardo has faced the Mets six times in his career, including twice last season. He posted a 4.91 ERA against them in 2011 over eleven innings, walking two and striking out eleven. Two Mets have faced him ten times or more:

Player PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
David Wright 16 .214 .313 .429 .741
Ronny Cedeno 11 .300 .364 .900 1.264

Here's tonight's lineup:

Nyjer Morgan CF
Jonathan Lucroy C
Ryan Braun LF
Aramis Ramirez 3B
Corey Hart RF
Taylor Green 1B
Brooks Conrad 2B
Cesar Izturis SS
Yovani Gallardo P

And in the bullpen:

Vinnie Chulk pitched one inning (31 pitches) yesterday.
Manny Parra pitched one inning (17 pitches) yesterday.
Kameron Loe pitched one inning (17 pitches) yesterday.
Jose Veras pitched one inning (18 pitches) Saturday.
Tim Dillard pitched one inning (10 pitches) Saturday.
John Axford and Francisco Rodriguez last pitched on Friday.

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