Tonight's Matchup: Brewers (Gallardo) @ Padres (Richard)

USA TODAY Sports

Back-to-back wins on a West Coast road trip almost feels like too much to ask for, but is it possible for the eight-in-a-row Brewers?

A sleep cycle-impacting week continues tonight when the Brewers and Padres stay up late on the west coast.

The Brewers carry a 1-0 series lead into play tonight and will face Clayton Richard (5.28/7.13 ERA/FIP in 2013, 3.99/4.62 in 2012) in the second game. Richard is 29, left-handed and in his sixth major league season. He pitched six shutout innings against the Rockies eight days ago, allowing just two hits and four walks while striking out four.

This is the seventh time in 19 games the Brewers will face a left-handed starter (about 37% of games), which seemed like a lot to me but is actually less often than last year (41%). The Brewers have a .757 team OPS against lefty starters, as compared to a .682 mark against righties. The Brewers have given nearly 85% of their plate appearances this season to right-handed hitters, so that split makes sense.

The Brewers faced Richard a single time a year ago, putting up five runs against him on ten hits over seven innings. Carlos Gomez, Jonathan Lucroy and Rickie Weeks all homered in that game. Just two Brewers have faced Richard ten times or more:

Player PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
Ryan Braun 18 .294 .333 .353 .686
Rickie Weeks 10 .300 .300 .600 .900

He'll face Yovani Gallardo (5.24/3.51 ERA/FIP in 2013, 3.66/3.94 in 2012), who will probably be popular among the hecklers at Petco Park. Recent legal issues aside, Gallardo had his best outing of the season against the Giants on Thursday. He held them to a run on five hits over six innings with one walk and six strikeouts, and also homered in the game.

If you buy into the theory that Gallardo wasn't quite ready for the 2013 season to start on Opening Day, here's some ammunition: In 2011 Gallardo's fastball averaged 92.7 mph but Brooks Baseball says he didn't throw a single pitch above 93 until his third start this season. He's broken 93 with at least a few pitches in each of his last two starts and, with the exception of a single disaster inning against the Cardinals, he's been very effective over that time.

Gallardo faced the Padres twice a year ago and provided two quality starts, holding San Diego to a combined five runs (four earned for a 2.76 ERA) on 12 hits over 13 innings, walking five and striking out nine. Two Padres have faced him ten times or more, and both will be excited to see him again:

Player PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
Chase Headley 14 .417 .500 .667 1.167
Will Venable 13 .400 .538 .800 1.338

As of this writing tonight's lineups have not been released. If you've seen them, please drop them in the comments.

And in the bullpen:

Reading about the weather in San Diego and comparing it to the crap we're seeing makes me want to curse out loud. Expect a game time temperature in the low 60's to remain steady through the game.
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