Tonight's Matchup: Brewers (Marcum) at Giants (Cain)

MILWAUKEE, WI - MAY 21: Ron Roenicke asks umpire Marty Foster if he's available to pitch out of the bullpen tonight.

For the fourth straight series the Brewers have dug themselves an 0-1 hole they'll have to try to find a way out of in game two.

The good news is that Shaun Marcum (3.31 ERA, 3.39 FIP) is on the mound tonight, and he's done a very good job of giving the Brewers a chance to win in his starts in 2012. He got roughed up a bit against the Astros on Thursday but still completed five innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on nine hits. He walked one and struck out five in that game.

Since allowing two home runs in his first start of the season against the Cubs, Marcum has only allowed two more over 43 innings of work. He's also getting more strikeouts than normal this season, with a K/9 rate over eight for the first time in his career.

Marcum pitched a quality start against the Giants on May 6, allowing three runs on five hits over six innings in a game the Brewers eventually lost 4-3. Two Giants have faced him ten times or more:

Player PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
Aubrey Huff 21 .412 .524 .765 1.289
Melky Cabrera 16 .375 .375 .375 .750

The Giants will send Matt Cain (2.67 ERA, 3.06 FIP), who is also pretty good. His 2.67 ERA, (NL-leading) 0.820 WHIP and 1.6 BB/9 are all career lows, and he's also striking out a career-high 5.40 batters per nine innings. He last pitched against the Cardinals on Thursday and allowed four runs on eight hits over six innings, walking one and striking out six. He threw 112 pitches in that game and has averaged 109 over his last five starts.

Cain will throw a low-90's fastball but his best pitch is a slider he throws nearly 20% of the time. He also has a plus changeup and an average curve. He throws first pitch strikes nearly two-thirds of the time.

The Brewers faced Cain on May 6 and handed him a no-decision despite the fact that he allowed just two runs on six hits over seven innings. He struck out ten and walked one in that game. Six Brewers have faced him ten times or more:

Player PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
Aramis Ramirez 23 .200 .261 .250 .511
Nyjer Morgan 20 .222 .300 .222 .522
Ryan Braun 19 .389 .421 .556 .977
Corey Hart 18 .125 .222 .188 .410
Rickie Weeks 17 .333 .412 .467 .878
Cesar Izturis 10 .200 .200 .300 .500

Lineups:

And in the bullpen:

Juan Perez pitched one inning (26 pitches) last night, and has appeared in three straight games.
Manny Parra pitched two innings (33 pitches) last night.
Jose Veras pitched two innings (28 pitches) last night.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched one inning (25 pitches) last night.
John Axford pitched one inning (24 pitches) last night.
Kameron Loe pitched one inning (35 pitches) Sunday.
Tim Dillard pitched .2 innings (8 pitches) Sunday.

There was no answer when I called the Miller Park Roof Hotline today. There's no rain in the forecast but it is supposed to get down into the 40s overnight, so it might be cool inside if the roof is open.

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