MILWAUKEE, WI - JULY 03: Aramis Ramirez #16 of the Milwaukee Brewers is greeted by the team at home plate after hitting a walk off two run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning which scored Carlos Gomez against the Miami Marlins at Miller Park on July 03, 2012 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
The Brewers haven't won five consecutive games at any point this season, and haven't been within three games of .500 since May 12.
They could face an uphill climb if they're going to change either of those facts today, though, as Randy Wolf (5.78 ERA, 4.53 FIP) is on the mound and his recent struggles have been well documented. He lasted just four innings against the Diamondbacks on Friday and allowed eight runs (seven earned) on nine hits. He did not walk a batter in the game and struck out six while allowing two home runs.
This probably isn't surprising, but when Wolf struggles to keep the ball in the park he's not a very good pitcher. He has a 7.05 ERA this season in games where he's allowed a home run, and a 4.56 mark when he doesn't. In a related note, he's allowed five home runs in his last three appearances and posted a 9.19 ERA over that time.
Wolf has faced the Marlins 21 times in his career, but only once since 2008 and twice since 2006. Two current Marlins have faced him ten times or more:
He'll face John Johnson (3.80 ERA, 3.02 FIP), who has bounced back nicely from an injury-abbreviated 2011 campaign. He's pitched six straight quality starts and allowed just five runs in his last four outings. On Friday he held the Phillies to a run on just four hits over six innings, walking two and striking out six.
Johnson's velocity is down a bit this season: His fastball was around 95 as recently as 2010 but is averaging just 93 mph in 2012. He'll mix in a lot of sliders, plus some curves and an occasional changeup.
Johnson has faced the Brewers five times in his career, but only once since 2009. The only current Brewer to face him ten times or more is Ryan Braun, who has a .300/.300/.400 line over ten PAs.
As of this writing today's lineup has not been posted. If you've seen it, please post it in the comments.
And the much-maligned bullpen:
Francisco Rodriguez pitched .2 innings (18 pitches) yesterday and has appeared in three straight games.
John Axford pitched an inning (13 pitches) yesterday and has appeared in three straight games.
Kameron Loe pitched .1 innings (17 pitches) yesterday and also pitched on Monday.
Jose Veras pitched .1 innings (25 pitches) yesterday.
Livan Hernandez pitched one inning (24 pitches) yesterday.
Manny Parra pitched .2 innings (8 pitches) yesterday.
Tim Dillard hasn't pitched since Saturday and seems like a near-lock to pitch today.
Temperatures were already in the low 90's before noon today and could reach 96 before game time. The Brewers have changed their policy for hot days and will attempt to keep the roof open in the event of light rain, but will have to close it if isolated thunderstorms (as forecasted) arise.