The Brewers have only swept one series all season, a four game set in Los Angeles in late May. With a win today they'd sweep their first home series since beating up on the Marlins on September 23-25 last season.
You've got to like their chances today with Mike Fiers (1.77 ERA, 2.22 FIP) on the mound. Fiers has been the Brewers' best starting pitcher lately, allowing just four earned runs in his last 48 innings pitched for a 0.75 ERA. He beat the Nationals on Friday when he allowed just four hits and three walks over 6.1 shutout innings, striking out nine.
Fiers is a great story for a lot of reasons, but his strikeout numbers have to be the most fascinating part of his 2012 performance. Despite his relatively low velocity he's struck out nine or more batters in three of his last five starts and has punched out better than nine batters per nine overall. The only Brewer starter with a higher K rate than Fiers is Marco Estrada at 9.8.
Fiers is facing the Astros for the first time today, and no current Astros have faced him in the majors.
He'll face 21-year-old righthander Jordan Lyles, who is already making his 30th major league start. He'll be one of just 17 pitchers in the last 20 years to make 30 starts before the end of his age 21 season. Lyles posted a 7.22 ERA in July, and on Friday he allowed four runs on seven hits over six innings against the Pirates.
For a pitcher barely old enough to drink, Lyles' control numbers are quite impressive. He's walking 2.6 batters per nine innings this season, and gave up just three free passes over 28.2 innings in July. He has also, however, allowed at least one home run in six consecutive starts. He has a low 90's fastball, cutter and curve and will mix in the occasional changeup.
Lyles faced the Brewers on July 8 and received a no decision after allowing two runs on six hits over seven innings. Rickie Weeks took him deep in that game. No current Brewers have faced him ten times or more, but Aramis Ramirez is 4-for-9 against him with a double.
Here's today's lineup:
And in the bullpen:
Jim Henderson pitched one inning (20 pitches) last night.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched one inning (12 pitches) last night.
Livan Hernandez pitched 1.1 innings (37 pitches) on Monday.
Kameron Loe faced two batters (11 pitches) on Monday.
John Axford pitched .2 innings (8 pitches) on Monday.
Jose Veras last pitched on Sunday.
Mike McClendon pitched for Nashville on Thursday.
Manny Parra hasn't pitched since Tuesday, July 24 and is dealing with shoulder irritation.
The roof should be open today with a game time temperature around 84 and no rain in the forecast.