Today's Matchup: Milwaukee (Wolf) vs Washington (Zimmermann)

Hi mom. Yeah, yup, I see you. Yeah, I know you're there mom but I have to play now. God this is so embarrassing.

After a breakthrough 2011 season, Wisconsin native Jordan Zimmermann (7-6, 2.31) is having another excellent year for the Nationals. After posting a 3.18 ERA and 3.16 FIP in 26 starts last season, Zimmermann carries a 3.49 FIP with his 2.31 ERA in 20 starts so far this year. He has been absolutely phenomenal recently, allowing no more than one run in each of his last six starts and no more than four hits in his last three starts. Over those last six starts, he has a 0.95 ERA and .520 opponent OPS.

Zimmermann does not rely on large strikeout numbers for his success. His K/9 stands at a fairly average 6.31 this year after being at 6.92 in 2011. However, he is great at limiting walks, with a 1.61 BB/9, and doesn't give up many home runs, either. He is an all around very good pitcher. Zimmermann does not pitch very deep into games: He has not pitched more than seven innings this season and typically lasts six innings.

Zimmermann, a 2007 second round pick out of Stevens Point who was born and grew up in Auburndale, WI, throws three pitches: A 94 MPH four seamer (60%), an 86 MPH slider (24%), and a 78 MPH curveball (12%). He has faced just one Brewer at least ten times. In ten plate appearances, Aramis Ramirez has hit .600/.600/.800 against him.

For the Brewers, it's another Randy Wolf (3-6, 5.49) start. For the most part this year, that has not been very good news. However, he's coming off two straight nice starts. He allowed just two runs in 6.2 innings against the Cardinals and two runs in 6 innings against the Phillies. That's the good news. The bad news is he has been unable to string together a third good start so far this season. I suppose that can be difficult when two of his seven quality starts came in those last two starts.

By my count, Randy Wolf could have twelve more starts as a Milwaukee Brewer. After tonight, he will have just eleven more (potential) starts!

Wolf has faced three current Nationals at least ten times. Here is how they have fared:

Player PA Line
Mark DeRosa 38 .200/.263/.200
Adam LaRoche 25 .318/.400/.500
Ryan ZiMmerman 12 .364/.417/.455

Lineup:

Norichika Aoki RF
Carlos Gomez CF
Ryan Braun LF
Aramis Ramirez 3B
Corey Hart 1B
Rickie Weeks 2B
Martin Maldonado C
Cody Ransom SS
Randy Wolf P

In the bullpen:

Jose Veras pitched one inning (12 pitches) last night.
Livan Hernandez pitched 1.2 innings (15 pitches) last night.

Tyler Thornburg
pitched one inning (20 pitches) Thursday, and also pitched on Wednesday.
Kameron Loe pitched one inning (18 pitches) Thursday.
Jim Henderson pitched one inning (9 pitches) Thursday.
John Axford pitched two innings (26 pitches) Wednesday.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched .2 innings (15 pitches) Wednesday.
Manny Parra last pitched on Tuesday.

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