Today's Matchup: Milwaukee (Estrada) at St. Louis (Garcia)

USA TODAY Sports

After a breakout season in 2012, Marco Estrada (1-0, 4.50 ERA, 4.20 FIP) has gotten off to a decent beginning to 2013. His first start, against the Rockies, was rough around the edges. He gave up nine hits and two home runs in five innings en route to four earned runs against him. But he struck out eight hitters while walking zero, which is encouraging. Then he pitched wonderfully against the Cubs. Chicago picked up two runs on just five hits and a walk while striking out six times in seven innings against Estrada.

Estrada's biggest issue this year has been the long ball. He has allowed three in his first two starts, good for a 2.25 HR/9. He has had his ups and downs with home runs in the past, and it is unlikely he will get his HR/9 below 1.00, but it certainly won't stay at it's current level.

Three Cardinals batters have at least ten plate appearances against Estrada, and they all have hit great against him.

Player PA Line
Jon Jay 11 .375/.545/.500
Yadier Molina 11 .545/.545/.818
Matt Holliday 10 .500/.500/.700

For the Cardinals, Jaime Garcia (1-0, 2.92 ERA, 4.58 FIP) will make his third start. Garcia is one of just eleven starting pitchers with a double-digit K/9 in the MLB, but that has coincided with a 5.11 BB/9. Despite that, his WHIP is just 1.216 because the two teams he has pitched against have not been able to hit against him.

Garcia started off his season against the Diamondbacks, whom he pitched 5.2 innings against. Arizona only had two hits against him, but they picked up four walks and struck out four times. Garcia allowed just one run in that performance. Then, against the Reds, Garcia tied a personal best with ten strikeouts over 6.2 innings. He gave up six hits and three walks while allowing just three runs.

Garcia isn't an especially hard thrower. His arsenal features an 88 MPH two-seamer that he threw 38% of the time in 2012. He also has an 82 MPH changeup (20%), an 88 MPH four-seamer (16%), and an 85 MPH slider (11%).

He has faced six current Brewers at least ten times. Here is how they have fared:

Player PA Line
Ryan Braun 34 .265/.265/.500
Rickie Weeks 31 .240/.387/.440
Carlos Gomez 23 .217/.217/.348
Jonathan Lucroy 23 .261/.261/.304
Yuniesky Betancourt 10 .200/.200/.500
Alex Gonzalez 10 .100/.100/.400

Lineups:

In the bullpen:

  • Burke Badenhop (10 pitches) and Michael Gonzalez (9 pitches) each pitched 0.1 innings yesterday.
  • John Axford (15 pitches) and Mike Fiers (6 pitches) each pitched 1 inning yesterday.
  • Tom Gorzelanny pitched one inning (12 pitches) yesterday.
  • Alfredo Figaro last pitched on Tuesday.
  • Brandon Kintzler and Jim Henderson last pitched on Monday.
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