The Brewers righted the ship with a win last night, now they've got a chance to build some momentum with a win today.
To get it they'll have to beat Astros starter Lucas Harrell (4.48 ERA, 5.03 FIP), who has been one of the workhorses of Houston's staff. He'll make his 16th start of the season today, and his first since holding the White Sox to three runs on seven hits over 6.2 innings on Saturday. He's made three appearances in June and pitched three quality starts.
Harrell set a new season high by striking out seven his last time out, so K's aren't a big part of his game. He throws in the low-to-mid 90's with a cutter, changeup and curve. FanGraphs rates all four of his pitches as below average this season, but the cutter, which is closest to average, has been his best pitch.
The Brewers beat Harrell on April 23 of last season, scoring five runs on five hits against him over five innings. No current Brewers have faced him ten times or more.
He'll face Yovani Gallardo (4.41 ERA, 3.91 FIP), who has looked a little more like the Gallardo of old lately. He pitched six shutout innings against the Reds on Saturday, allowing just three hits and two walks while striking out five. He's riding a 14 inning scoreless streak and has allowed opponents to score in just two of his last 20 innings.
Unfortunately, day games have not been kind to Gallardo this season. Consider this split:
Gallardo faced the Astros four times last season and won three of those starts, posting a 3.04 ERA over 26.2 innings with 24 strikeouts. Four current Astros have faced him ten times or more:
Maxwell is one of just two players who have faced Gallardo at least ten times and never reached base. The other is Denard Span (15 PA).
As of this writing I haven't seen today's lineups. If you have, please post them in the comments.
And in the bullpen:
- Francisco Rodriguez pitched one inning (20 pitches) last night, and also pitched on Tuesday.
- John Axford pitched one inning (19 pitches) last night.
- Jim Henderson pitched one inning (18 pitches) last night.
- Burke Badenhop pitched 1.1 innings (28 pitches) on Tuesday.
- Tom Gorzelanny pitched .2 innings (21 pitches) on Tuesday.
- Brandon Kintzler pitched .2 innings (nine pitches) on Tuesday.
- Donovan Hand and Michael Gonzalez last pitched on Sunday.
The forecast in Houston today calls for temperatures to rise into the low 90's, but it won't matter under the roof at Minute Maid Park.