Tonight's Matchup: Brewers (Fiers) at Dodgers (Eovaldi)

I can't guarantee tonight's game will be good, but if you stay up late to watch it it should be interesting.

It's not often a pitcher like Nathan Eovaldi (making his first MLB start of 2012) enters a game as the more experienced starter, but he will tonight. Eovaldi is 22 years old and making just his eleventh major league appearance (seventh start), and his first of 2012. He pitched 34.2 innings for the Dodgers as a 21-year-old in 2011, posting a 3.63 ERA and walking over five batters per nine innings. Eovaldi's last start came on May 20 in AA, and he pitched an inning in relief for Chattanooga on Saturday.

Here's an excerpt from John Sickels' entry on Eovaldi in his 2012 Prospect Book:

His fastball has always been good, 93-98 MPH with movement.

...

Last year he was healthy, added a slider to his arsenal in place of an erratic curve, and also improved his changeup. Eovaldi's command remains inconsistent and his K/BB ratio in the majors was weak, so there is still work to do here.

...

He has the upside of a number two starter if he continues to progress with his command.

Eovaldi has walked 13 and struck out 30 while posting a 3.09 ERA in 35 innings in AA this season.

One of Eovaldi's starts in 2011 came against the Brewers on August 17. He pitched six innings in that game and held the Crew to two runs on five hits over six innings, walking three and striking out two. Ryan Braun and Nyjer Morgan each had a hit in that game.

Eovaldi's opponent will be Michael Fiers (making his first MLB appearance in 2012), making his first major league start. Fiers is 26 years old and was a 22nd round pick in the 2009 draft, and now he's the first player the Brewers selected that season to make the majors. He started for Nashville on Thursday and allowed five runs on four hits over seven innings. He's pitched seven innings in three of his last four appearances.

This is where I'd normally drop in a scouting report, but Noah did a great job writing one earlier today so I'll direct you to that instead. I will mention this, though: Fiers has 61 career minor league plate appearances and is a .138/.138/.190 hitter. Two of his three career extra base hits have come this season (both doubles).

This is Fiers' first time facing the Dodgers, and no current members of the team have faced him in the majors before. It's possible some of them could have seen him in AAA, AA or Low-A, though, as the Brewers and Dodgers have affiliates in the same leagues at those levels.

Here's tonight's lineup:

Corey Hart RF
Nyjer Morgan CF
Ryan Braun LF
Aramis Ramirez 3B
Taylor Green 1B
Rickie Weeks 2B
Cody Ransom SS
Martin Maldonado C
Michael Fiers P

And in the bullpen:

John Axford pitched one inning (24 pitches) last night, and also pitched on Sunday.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched one inning (28 pitches) last night.
Jose Veras pitched one inning (17 pitches) Sunday.
Tim Dillard pitched one inning (6 pitches) Sunday.
Juan Perez last pitched on Saturday.
Manny Parra and Kameron Loe last pitched on Wednesday.

Finally, the weather in California will not be an issue tonight. The game time temperature should be in the upper 60's and hold relatively steady through the night.

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