CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 26: Aroldis Chapman #54 of the Cincinnati Reds somersaults after pitching the final out of the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Great American Ball Park on June 26, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds won 4-3. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
With today's game starting at 11:35, the Frosty Mug is off today. It will return tomorrow. - KL
The Brewers have looked absolutely awful at times this season, but they've still never dropped more than four in a row. They'll look to avoid consecutive loss #5 today.
They'll do it against Homer Bailey (4.20 ERA, 4.52 FIP), who is in his sixth major league season but on pace to pitch a full year for the first time. Today will be his 15th start of 2012, and his career high of 22 was set last season. He last pitched against the Twins on Friday and allowed five runs (four earned) on eight hits over 5.1 innings, walking three and striking out three.
Bailey has a pretty typical arsenal: He'll throw a low-to-mid 90's fastball and mix in sliders and the occasional curve and splitter. The slider is his best pitch, with everything else grading out at average or below. He'll throw strikes with about 50% of his pitches, but is only striking out a little more than 6.3 batters per nine in 2012.
The Brewers roughed up Bailey on May 8, knocking him out after 3.2 innings with six runs on six hits and three walks. Four current Brewers have faced him ten times or more:
He'll face Zack Greinke (2.81 ERA, 2.05 FIP), who seems increasingly likely to be in the final stretch of his Brewer career. He's posted a 2.07 ERA over his last nine starts and a 1.46 over his last five. He lowered both of those numbers by pitching nine scoreless innings against the White Sox on Friday, allowing just three hits.
Greinke led the American League with a 1.073 WHIP when he won the Cy Young in 2009, but his 1.177 mark in 2012 is the closest he's come to that number since. 1.177 is the 18th best mark in Brewer franchise history, and only three qualified pitchers have ever finished a season under 1.1:
Greinke dominated the Reds on May 9, pitching eight scoreless innings and allowing just two runs while striking out eleven. He received a no-contest in a game the Brewers eventually lost, though. Six Reds have faced him ten times or more:
Today's Braun-less lineup, courtesy of Mike Vassallo:
And in the bullpen:
John Axford pitched one inning (12 pitches) last night.
Tim Dillard pitched one inning (10 pitches) last night.
Manny Parra pitched .2 innings (11 pitches) Monday.
Kameron Loe pitched one inning (nine pitches) Monday.
Livan Hernandez pitched .1 innings (4 pitches) Monday.
Jose Veras and Francisco Rodriguez last pitched on Sunday.
It's another perfect day for baseball in Cincinnati, with temperatures expected to be in the low 80's during the game today.