Tonight's Matchup: Brewers (Estrada) vs. Twins (Diamond)

Scott Diamond has pitched a few gems for the Twins in 2012.

It was a rough road trip, but tonight the Brewers return to Miller Park to start a six-game home stand. Tonight's game also marks the start of interleague play, which we will get to see year-round starting next year. Their first opponent is the Twins, a team they have defeated six straight times at Miller Park.

Starting for the Twins tonight is Scott Diamond (0.00 ERA, 1.76 FIP). The Twins acquired Diamond from the Braves in the Rule 5 draft in 2011, and put him in the minors by working out a trade with the Braves. He made his debut that year in July and made seven starts that year, posting a 5.08 ERA and 4.36 FIP. He started 2012 in the minors before getting called up at the start of May. He has made two starts so far, pitching fourteen shutout innings and allowing a total of nine hits and one walk while striking out ten.

Scott Diamond has four different pitches that he throws. He primarily throws a four-seam fastball (50%, 89 MPH) and a two-seam fastball (20.8%, 89.7 MPH). He also mixes in a curveball (23.3%, 80.8 MPH) and a changeup (5.9%, 83.1 MPH).

Scott Diamond has made only nine major league starts (all against AL teams). As a result, he has never faced any member of the Brewers even once.

For the Brewers, Marco Estrada (4.20 ERA, 5.23 FIP) makes his fifth start of the season tonight. In his last start against the Cubs, he rebounded from a couple of rough starts with a quality start. He pitched six innings and allowed only two runs, striking out four and walking one. He did not factor into the decision in that game.

Marco Estrada's problem so far this season has been allowing home runs. In his four starts, he has allowed seven home runs, including two in each of his last three starts. His HR/9 rate is up at 2.4 this season, up from 1.07 last season. Also, 19% of his fly balls are leaving the park, up from a HR/FB rate of 10.3% last year.

No current Twin has faced Marco Estrada at least ten times. In the eighteen combined plate appearances that Twins hitters have faced him, they have put up a batting line of .267/.389/.400. Ryan Doumit has the most plate appearances against Estrada with six, and he is 0-6 in those PAs.

There are some major changes in today's lineup. Corey Hart moves up to the leadoff spot with Norichika Aoki batting second. Jonathan Lucroy and his league-leading batting average with RISP (.542, 13-24) takes Hart's previous spot at #5, with Rickie Weeks sliding down to the sixth spot in the lineup.

Here is the rest of the lineup:

Corey Hart RF
Norichika Aoki CF
Ryan Braun LF
Aramis Ramirez 3B
Jonathan Lucroy C
Rickie Weeks 2B
Travis Ishikawa 1B
Cesar Izturis SS
Marco Estrada P

In the bullpen:

Vinnie Chulk pitched 1 inning (19 pitches) last night, and also pitched on Wednesday.
Kameron Loe pitched 1 inning (17 pitches) last night.
Jose Veras pitched 1 inning (15 pitches) last night.
Tim Dillard pitched 1.2 innings (26 pitches) Wednesday night.
Manny Parra pitched .1 innings (3 pitches) Wednesday night.
John Axford last pitched on Tuesday.
Francisco Rodriguez last pitched on Monday.

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