It's been six months since the Brewers won back-to-back games.
They'll get a chance to do just that tonight when they face Travis Wood (0.00/2.70 ERA/FIP in 2013, 4.27/4.84 ERA/FIP in 2012) and the Cubs. Wood was the Reds' second round pick in the 2005 draft but is starting his second season in Chicago and pitched remarkably well on Thursday, holding the Pirates to a single hit over six shutout innings. He threw 85 pitches in that game.
Wood is the fourth left-handed starter the Brewers will face in their first eight games in 2013, joining Jorge De La Rosa, Wade Miley and Patrick Corbin. Despite having a pretty righty-heavy lineup, they're hitting .291/.367/.419 against right handed pitching through 196 plate appearances and just .263/.302/.388 in 86 PAs against lefties. Today they'll see a 90 mph fastball from Wood and a lot of cutters (roughly 30% of all pitches).
Wood has faced the Brewers seven times in his career, including twice last season. He allowed six runs on eleven hits over a combined 14 innings against Milwaukee in 2012, walking one and striking out ten. Three current Brewers have faced him ten times or more:
He'll face Wily Peralta (6.75/5.66 ERA/FIP in 2013, 2.48/2.65 in 2012), making major league start #7. Peralta struggled in a loss to the Rockies on Wednesday, allowing four runs on six hits and three walks over 5.1 innings. He struck out four and allowed a home run in that game while throwing 90 pitches.
If you have an opportunity to watch the radar gun today, Peralta's velocity may be something to keep an eye on. FanGraphs says he averaged 95.5 mph on his fastball in his small sample size in the majors in 2012 (mostly in September), but Brooks Baseball says he averaged about a full tick less on Wednesday. That could be simply a function of it still being early, but hopefully it'll level out over time.
Peralta has never faced the Cubs during the regular season, and the current Cubs that saw him as members of other teams are a combined 0-for-3 with a strikeout against him.
Here are tonight's lineups:
|1||Norichika Aoki||RF||David DeJesus||CF|
|2||Rickie Weeks||2B||Starlin Castro||SS|
|3||Ryan Braun||LF||Anthony Rizzo||1B|
|4||Jonathan Lucroy||C||Alfonso Soriano||LF|
|5||Alex Gonzalez||3B||Nate Schierholtz||RF|
|6||Carlos Gomez||CF||Wellington Castillo||C|
|7||Jean Segura||SS||Luis Valbuena||3B|
|8||Yuniesky Betancourt||1B||Brent Lillibridge||2B|
|9||Wily Peralta||P||Travis Wood||P|
And in the bullpen:
- Jimmy Henderson pitched one inning (30 pitches) yesterday, and also pitched on Sunday.
- Tom Gorzelanny pitched one inning (15 pitches) yesterday, and also pitched on Sunday.
- Brandon Kintzler faced three batters (11 pitches) yesterday.
- John Axford pitched 1+ innings (18 pitches) on Sunday.
- Burke Badenhop pitched one inning (17 pitches) on Sunday.
- Michael Gonzalez pitched one inning (16 pitches) on Sunday.
- Alfredo Figaro last pitched on Saturday.
- Mike Fiers last pitched on Saturday as a starter, and may be available from the bullpen if the Brewers opt to skip his turn in the rotation.
The weather shouldn't be an issue for the Brewers' first true outdoor night game tonight, but never say never. The forecast calls for a game time temperature of 51 with a chance of an isolated thunderstorm later in the evening.