We now interrupt your previously scheduled dreadful month of May for the Milwaukee return of one of our favorite recent Brewers.
Before getting to him, though, the Brewers will have to get through the top of the first inning with Hiram Burgos (6.58/5.42 ERA/FIP) on the mound. Burgos pitched five innings against the Pirates on Thursday and allowed three runs on eight hits, walking one and striking out three. He threw 85 pitches in that game and has thrown 90 or less in four of his five major league starts.
Burgos doesn't throw very hard (his average fastball sits around 87-88), so (like Mike Fiers a year ago) it's going to be interesting to see if he's able to use deception and control to consistently get hitters out. At this point he's averaging just 5.2 strikeouts per nine innings but also keeping his walks down (2.4 per nine). He's also allowed 1.7 home runs per nine innings, though, including at least one in each of his last four appearances.
Burgos pitched a quality start against the Dodgers on April 26, allowing three runs on four hits over six innings. No current Dodgers have faced him ten times or more, but Carl Crawford has homered off of him.
He'll face Zack Greinke (1.62/2.49 ERA/FIP), who for the second time in three seasons is getting his year off to a slow start following a weird non-throwing injury. Greinke has been out for a while with a broken collarbone and made just his third start of the season on Wednesday, allowing a run on five hits over 5.1 innings. He threw 83 pitches in that game.
If Greinke's time as a Brewer taught us anything, it's that he'll throw strikes to a fault. He's walked just one batter over 16.2 innings this season, but his desire to avoid the free pass will sometimes lead to him throwing hittable pitches just to get a strike. Despite missing a month, his fastball was still in the low-to-mid 90's last week and he threw his changeup, slider, curve and cutter.
Greinke was a Brewer in 2011 and 2012, but hasn't faced them in a game since a single appearance in 2007. The only current Brewer who has faced him ten times or more is Yuniesky Betancourt, who is 0-for-10.
As of this writing I haven't seen tonight's lineups. If you have, please drop them in the comments.
And in the bullpen:
- Michael Gonzalez pitched one inning (14 pitches) last night.
- Burke Badenhop pitched one inning (eight pitches) last night.
- John Axford pitched one inning (six pitches) last night.
- Mike Fiers pitched one inning (20 pitches) on Sunday.
- Francisco Rodriguez pitched one inning (eight pitches) on Sunday.
- Brandon Kintzler and Jim Henderson last pitched on Saturday.
- Alfredo Figaro last pitched on Thursday.