Today's Matchup: Milwaukee (Gallardo) vs Minnesota (Pavano)

Ryan Braun appears to be the only happy person in this picture.

There were strong rumors two offseasons ago that the Brewers were heavily interested in and possibly close to signing Carl Pavano (2-3, 5.14). Pavano re-signed with the Twins, of course, and the Brewers went a step above Pavano and traded for both Shaun Marcum and Zack Greinke. Well Pavano was an OK pitcher last year with a 4.30 ERA and 4.10 FIP, he's probably not worth the $8+ million that the Twins have paid him over two seasons.

Pavano has especially dropped off this year, with a 5.14 ERA and 4.38 FIP while battling a shoulder strain. Pavano is a solid-ish workhorse pitcher in the same vain as Randy Wolf. At least, he's been a workhorse his whole career minus the time he spent with the Yankees. Pavano does not strike many hitters out, with just over a 4 K/9 the past two seasons. The corollary to that is that he also has an extraordinarily low BB/9. In fact, his 1.10 BB/9 this season is the second-best in the MLB, falling short to only Bronson Arroyo. He has only had a BB/9 over 2.00 once since 2003, in an injury shortened seven-game stint for the Yankees in 2008. Pavano currently has a 17.2 inning streak without walking a hitter. We'll see what Rickie Weeks has to say about that. (Spoiler: Probably not very much, judging by past results)

Pavano has been very consistent this year, pitching between 6-7 innings every outing except one where he went four innings. He has also allowed between 2-5 runs in every start: Five runs once and two runs twice. Half of his starts have seen him allow four runs.

Pavano is basically a two pitch pitcher. He throws an 87 MPH 46% of the time and an 80 MPH change-of-pace 32% of the time. He'll also work in an 82 MPH slider, an 83 MPH splitter, and an 86 MPH four-seamer less than 10% of the time each.

Pavano has faced six Brewers at least ten times. Here is how they have fared:

Player PA Line
Cesar Izturis 19 .222/.211/.278
Aramis Ramirez 19 .235/.316/.235
Ryan Braun 14 .357/.357/1.000
Rickie Weeks 12 .000/.000/.000
Nyjer Morgan 10 .444/.500/1.000
Randy Wolf 10 .100/.100/.100

For the Brewers, Yovani Gallardo (2-4, 5.04) takes the mound. Gallardo has made eight starts this season. Two of them came against the Cardinals. The rest were against the not-Cardinals. Against the Cardinals, Gallardo has allowed 14 earned runs in 5.2 innings, good for a 22.24 ERA. Against the not-Cardinals, Gallardo has allowed 11 earned runs in 39 innings, good for a 2.54 ERA. In six starts against the not-Cardinals, he has given up three runs just once, with every other outing being just one or two runs.

Although Gallardo's BB/9 is a very high 4.43 right now, that number is inflated by a 6 walk game and a five walk game. Otherwise his walk numbers resemble his earned run numbers in that he has given up three walks just once in six other starts, with the other five being just one or two walks. his 9.07 K/9 is fairly close to his career numbers.

Basically, Gallardo against not-the-Cardinals is generally pretty awesome. The Twins aren't the Cardinals. Ergo, Yovani should be awesome today. I hope.

Gallardo has not yet faced a Twins' hitter at least ten times in his career.

Lineups:

Brewers:

1. Corey Hart (R) RF
2. Nyjer Morgan (L) CF
3. Ryan Braun (R) LF
4. Aramis Ramirez (R) 3B
6. Rickie Weeks (R) 2B
7. Taylor Green (L) 1B
8. Edwin Maysonet (R) SS
9. Yovani Gallardo (R) P

Twins:

1. Denard Span (L) CF
2. Ben Revere (L) RF
3. Josh Willingham (R) LF
4. Justin Morneau (L) 1B
5. Brian Dozier (R) SS
6. Alexi Casilla (S) 2B
7. Drew Butera (R) C
8. Jamey Carroll (R) 3B
9. Carl Pavano (R) P

And in the bullpen:

Juan Perez last pitched on May 14 for the Sounds.
Francisco Rodriguez last pitched on Monday.
Kameron Loe
pitched 1 inning (17 pitches) Thursday.
Manny Parra pitched 0.2 innings (29 pitches) yesterday.
Tim Dillard pitched 0.1 innings (6 pitches) yesterday.
Jose Veras pitched 1 inning (18 pitches) yesterday.
John Axford pitched 1 inning (15 pitches) yesterday.

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