Tonight's Matchup: Brewers (Gallardo) vs Astros (Gonzalez)

Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

A preview of the first game of the Brewers' final homestand.

If the Brewers win out they could finish with a 52-29 record at home this season. That's not bad.

Tonight they'll send Yovani Gallardo (3.59 ERA, 3.86 FIP) to the mound looking to win his 17th game for the second consecutive season. He struggled a bit but was still able to complete five innings on Sunday, allowing two runs on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts. The Brewers have won each of his last eleven starts.

Unless something goes horribly wrong, Gallardo is going to make a little bit of history tonight as he needs two innings pitched and one strikeout to reach 200 of each for the second consecutive season. The only other Brewer who has done that is Teddy Higuera, who did it in 1986 and 1987. In fact, Higuera (twice), Gallardo (once), Doug Davis (2005) and Ben Sheets (2004) are the only Brewers ever to post a 200 IP, 200 K season.

Gallardo has faced the Astros three times this season and won all three games, allowing five runs over 20.2 innings with six walks and 19 strikeouts. Four current Astros have faced him ten times or more:

Brett Wallace 13 .308 .308 .308 .615
Chris Snyder 12 .333 .333 .583 .917
Jose Altuve 11 .182 .182 .182 .364
Scott Moore 10 .222 .300 .556 .856

He'll face veteran journeyman Edgar Gonzalez (3.94 ERA, 2.92 FIP), making his fifth start for Houston. Gonzalez is a 29 year old in his eleventh professional season, and his career has carried him across six organizations, Korea and Mexico. He pitched 1.2 innings on Friday before being lifted with a blister issue, and allowed a hit and a walk without giving up a run.

It's hard to get too solid of a read on Gonzalez's stuff because of his relative lack of recent big league work, but it looks like he has a fastball around 90 with a big collection of secondary stuff (his slider, changeup, curve and cutter each represent better than 5% of his total pitches). As an Astro he's managed to limit his walks (2.25 per nine innings) and get some strikeouts (7.88 per nine).

Gonzalez has made six relief appearances against the Brewers in his career but none since 2008. Rickie Weeks has faced him six times in his career and is 3-for-6 with a double. No Brewers have faced him ten times or more.

Here's tonight's lineup:

Norichika Aoki RF
Rickie Weeks 2B
Ryan Braun LF
Aramis Ramirez 3B
Corey Hart 1B
Martin Maldonado C
Carlos Gomez CF
Jean Segura SS
Yovani Gallardo P

And in the bullpen:

Brandon Kintzler pitched .2 innings (18 pitches) yesterday and has appeared in three straight games.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched one inning (10 pitches) yesterday and also pitched on Wednesday.
John Axford pitched .2 innings (22 pitches) yesterday.
Jim Henderson pitched one inning (13 pitches) yesterday.
Jose Veras pitched one inning (22 pitches) on Wednesday.
Kameron Loe last pitched on Tuesday.
Manny Parra and Josh Stinson last pitched on Monday.
Tyler Thornburg and Livan Hernandez last pitched on Saturday.

It should be a nice night for baseball tonight, with temperatures in the low 60's at game time. As of this writing the Miller Park Roof Hotline had not yet been updated.

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