Tonight's Matchup: Brewers (Wolf) vs Cardinals (Kelly)

Can the Brewers win a game that doesn't involve the Astros? Perhaps we'll find out tonight.

For the second time in about two weeks the Brewers will be facing Cardinal rookie Joe Kelly (2.96 ERA, 4.26 FIP), who is now making major league start #10. The 24-year-old is coming off of the longest start of his career, having allowed three runs on five hits over 6.1 innings against the Cubs on Saturday. The Cardinals lost that game, and have gone 1-5 over his last six starts despite the fact that he's posted a 2.72 ERA over that time.

Kelly's low strikeout numbers in the big leagues way hinder his development a bit: He's striking out about 5.6 batters per nine over 51.2 innings in the majors, down from a career 7.5 mark in the minors. He throws a mid-90's fastball with a slider and changeup.

The Brewers beat Kelly on July 17, plating three runs (two earned) on six hits over six innings. Rickie Weeks took him deep in that game.

Just like he did on the 17th, tonight Kelly will face Randy Wolf (5.45 ERA, 4.78 FIP). Wolf was solid if unspectacular against the Nationals on Saturday, allowing four runs on nine hits over seven innings. Three Nationals homered off him in that game.

Saturday was the first time Wolf has allowed three home runs in a game this season, but his recent long ball trend was disturbing even before that. He's now given up 12 long balls in his last seven starts, including two or more in five different games.

Wolf has faced the Cardinals twice this season, winning on July 17 and losing on April 8. Eight current Cardinals have faced him ten times or more:

Player PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
Rafael Furcal 64 .250 .266 .367 .632
Matt Holliday 53 .279 .415 .605 1.020
Carlos Beltran 47 .310 .362 .619 .981
Yadier Molina 43 .256 .256 .419 .674
Lance Berkman 40 .091 .250 .152 .402
David Freese 27 .385 .407 .423 .830
Allen Craig 22 .182 .182 .318 .500
Jon Jay 11 .182 .182 .364 .545

As of this writing I haven't seen tonight's lineup. If you have, please drop it in the comments.

And in the bullpen:

Mike McClendon pitched two innings (29 pitches) Wednesday.
Jose Veras pitched one inning (15 pitches) Wednesday.
Jim Henderson and Francisco Rodriguez last pitched on Tuesday.
Livan Hernandez, Kameron Loe and John Axford last pitched on Monday.
Manny Parra hasn't pitched since Tuesday, July 24 and isn't expected to be available this weekend.

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