Tonight's Matchup: Brewers (Wolf) vs Pirates (Correia)

Kameron Loe pitched last night for the first time in a week. Can he do it again today?

Once tonight's pregame nap is over, the Brewers will get a chance to stretch, yawn and win their fifth straight game.

They'll be going for it with Randy Wolf (5.73 ERA, 4.67 FIP) on the mound, which doesn't inspire a lot of confidence. Wolf needed 110 pitches to get through 5.2 innings against the Diamondbacks on Sunday, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits and striking out just one. He has been better lately, though, posting a 4.71 ERA in May after a 6.84 mark in April.

Wolf's strikeout numbers have steadily declined since 2007, and 2012 is no exception:

Season IP K/9
2007 102.2 8.2
2008 190.1 7.7
2009 214.1 6.7
2010 215.2 5.9
2011 212.1 5.7
2012 55 4.9

This would be a lesser issue if it wasn't for the fact that Wolf is also walking over 3.5 batters per nine.

Wolf and the rest of the Brewers are facing the Pirates for the first time in 2012 tonight. Wolf faced them twice last year, though, and allowed a combined four runs on 12 hits over 12.1 innings (a 2.92 ERA) with five walks and 13 strikeouts. Five Pirates position players have faced him ten times or more:

Player PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
Andrew McCutchen 26 .174 .231 .174 .405
Garrett Jones 24 .286 .375 .333 .708
Clint Barmes 22 .100 .182 .150 .332
Neil Walker 13 .308 .308 .615 .923
Jose Tabata 10 .400 .700 .400 1.100

He'll face Kevin Correia (4.30 ERA, 5.17 FIP), making his tenth start of a somewhat fascinating season. Correia has kept his ERA under 5 despite the fact that he's only striking out about three batters per nine innings, and also walking almost that many. He's largely getting by on a .227 opponent batting average on balls in play, down from .294 for his career. He faced the Cubs on Saturday and allowed two runs on five hits over 6.1 innings, walking two and striking out two.

Correia had a pretty rough month of May, posting a 5.70 ERA over five starts and allowing six home runs in 30 innings (roughly 1.8 per nine). He'll work around 90 with his fastball but throws a pretty wide mix of cutters, sliders, curveballs and changeups. None of them are anything to write home about.

Correia has faced the Brewers 16 times in his career, including three starts last season. He posted a 5.94 ERA over 16.2 innings in those outings, allowing 20 hits and seven walks while striking out five. Five Brewers have faced him ten times or more:

player PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
Ryan Braun 25 .304 .360 .696 1.056
Rickie Weeks 21 .263 .333 .368 .702
Aramis Ramirez 20 .333 .400 .500 .900
Corey Hart 13 .167 .231 .250 .481
Nyjer Morgan 10 .222 .222 .222 .444

Ryan Braun and George Kottaras are both back in the lineup after taking time off to recover from injuries. Here is the full lineup:

Corey Hart RF
Norichika Aoki CF
Ryan Braun LF
Aramis Ramirez 3B
George Kottaras C
Rickie Weeks 2B
Taylor Green 1B
Cody Ransom SS
Randy Wolf P

And in the bullpen:

Jose Veras pitched an inning (15 pitches) last night.
Kameron Loe pitched an inning (9 pitches) last night.
Tim Dillard pitched .2 innings (8 pitches) last night.
Manny Parra pitched .1 innings (6 pitches) last night.
John Axford pitched an inning (18 pitches) on Wednesday.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched an inning (10 pitches) on Wednesday.
Juan Perez last pitched on Saturday.

It's a little cool in Milwaukee tonight, and the Miller Park roof will be closed for tonight's game.

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