Today's Matchup: Milwaukee (Lohse) at Los Angeles (Kershaw)

USA TODAY Sports

The Brewers have a tough task today.

So far, Kyle Lohse (1-1, 2.52 ERA, 2.40 FIP) has certainly been worth the big contract he signed with Milwaukee in the offseason. Three of his four starts have been quality starts. The fourth, his latest outing, he pitched just five innings but only gave up one run. Lohse has not given up more than six hits in a game so far and, best of all, he has walked just two batters over the course of 25 innings. If he were to pitch 200 innings this year, that puts him on pace to walk just 16 batters.

Lohse has also maintained his pitch counts really well. In three of his four starts, he probably could have gone an extra inning or two before reaching 100 pitches. He has had 87 pitches in six innings, 82 pitches in seven innings, and 71 pitches in five innings. The Brewers may still be taking it easy with him after his signing so late in Spring Training, but right now he looks like the perfect guy to fit the Brewers rotation. It's still too early in the contract to really judge, but right now you have to give Doug Melvin an A+ for this move.

Lohse has faced seven Dodgers hitters at least ten times. Here is how they have fared:

Player PA Line
Adrian Gonzalez 23 .381/.435/.714
Jerry Hairston 21 .176/.300/.294
Andre Ethier 20 .353/.400/.412
Juan Uribe 19 .167/.211/.167
Matt Kemp 17 .235/.235/.471
Mark Ellis 16 .188/.188/.438
Carl Crawford 13 .077/.077.077

He'll have a tough task ahead of him today as he faces off with Clayton Kershaw (2-0, 2.14 ERA, 3.14 FIP). Kershaw won the NL Cy Young award in 2011 and likely deserved to win it again last year, but came in second to R.A. Dickey. Since his rookie season in 2008, he has had four straight seasons of sub-3.00 ERAs. Though he had control issues earlier in his career, he has really improved that element of his game and, really, has no true weaknesses. Kershaw is one of the top-5 pitchers in baseball. An argument could be made that he is the best pitcher in the majors. And he is still just 25 years old.

Kershaw has been much better at home than on the road over his career. Think about that, then think about how he has a 3.31 ERA and .627 opponent OPS away from Dodgers Stadium. When in his home ballpark, he has a 2.32 career ERA with a .586 opponent OPS.

Kershaw throws three pitches primarily: A 93 MPH four seam fastball (63% pitch selection), an 85 MPH slider (23%), and a 74 MPH curveball (11%). The only current Brewer Kershaw has faced at least ten times is Ryan Braun. In 17 plate appearances against Kershaw, Braun has a .250/.294/.313 line with four strikeouts.

Lineups:

In the Bullpen:

  • Tom Gorzelanny pitched one inning (12 pitches) yesterday.
  • John Axford pitched one inning (15 pitches) yesterday.
  • Jim Henderson pitched one inning (23 pitches) yesterday.
  • Michael Gonzalez pitched .2 innings (16 pitches) Friday.
  • Burke Badenhop pitched .1 innings (6 pitches) Friday.
  • Brandon Kintzler pitched one inning (21 pitches) Friday.
  • Alfredo Figaro last pitched on Monday.
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