Tonight's Matchup: Brewers (Gorzelanny) vs. Phillies (Kendrick)

USA TODAY Sports

Brewers try to win the season series against the Phillies tonight as they meet for the third straight day. It's Kyle Kendrick vs. Tom Gorzelanny (and the bullpen) at 6:15 pm.

After the second walk-off win in this homestand last night, the Brewers try to win a second game in a row tonight against the Phillies.

They will have to get through Kyle Kendrick (3.12 ERA/3.82 FIP). Kendrick relies on his sinker mainly, pitching to contact and relying more on his defense. His strikeout rate is low (5.58 K/9) and his walk rate is slightly higher than the league average (2.45 BB/9). However, he also is reliable to put up innings every night. He averages 6 2/3 innings a start, and has lasted at least five innings in every start this season. In his last start against the Marlins on Monday, he pitched a complete game, allowing two runs on six hits and one walk with five strikeouts.

As I mentioned above, Kendrick mainly relies on his sinker, throwing it 57.5% of the time at an average velocity of 89.9 mph. He also mixes in a cutter (86.6 mph, 16.3%) and a changeup (82.7 mph, 24.5%), and rarely will throw a slider (78.4 mph, 1%). Only Ryan Braun has faced Kendrick ten times or more, posting a line of .385/.400/.462 against him. Overall, the current Brewers are batting .286/.333/.310 against Kendrick.

With Marco Estrada on the DL, the Brewers turn to Tom Gorzelanny (2.01 ERA/5.49 FIP) for a spot start tonight. It's hard to figure what to make of his ERA/FIP split. He's posted a 7.29 K/9 rate, but also a massive walk rate of 6.45 BB/9. Both his ERA and FIP are not representative of his ability, so both of those numbers will probably regress and meet somewhere in the middle. Even more unsustainable may be his hits allowed and BABIP. In 22 innings, he has allowed a total of 8 hits for a .102 BABIP. Three of those hits were home runs. Looking through all of his stats, he's a tough mystery to figure out. (h/t to @RyanTopp for pointing some of these out during a conversation on Twitter today.)

This is Gorzelanny's first start since October 2 of last season, when he made a start against the Phillies as a member of the Nationals. In that start, he pitch 3 2/3 innings with 65 pitches, allowing one run on four hits with five strikeouts and two walks. In 111 career starts, Gorzelanny has posted a 4.61 ERA and 4.56 FIP. Considering that Gorzelanny's longest outing in 2013 was two innings, something similar to that start last year (3 2/3 IP, 65 pitches) might be what the Brewers are hoping to get from him.

A few of the Phillies have faced Gorzelanny ten times or more. Here is how they have fared:

Player PA BA OBP SLG OPS
Ryan Howard 16 .143 .188 .143 .330
Jimmy Rollins 14 .417 .500 .583 1.083
Kevin Frandsen 10 .200 .200 .300 .500
All Current Phillies 72 .246 .306 .385 .690

As of this writing, I haven't seen a lineup. If you have, please post it in the comments.

Bullpen is stretched a bit thin and will probably be stretched a bit thinner with today's game. Here is their status:

  • Burke Badenhop pitched .2 innings (1 pitch) last night and two innings (20 pitches) on Thursday.
  • Brandon Kintzler pitched one inning (19 pitches) last night.
  • Francisco Rodriguez pitched one inning (17 pitches) last night.
  • Michael Gonzalez pitched .1 inning (17 pitches) last night.
  • John Axford pitched .2 innings (8 pitches) last night.
  • Donovan Hand pitched two innings (28 pitches) on Thursday.
  • Tyler Thornburg pitched two innings (31 pitches) on Wednesday.

It's going to be a little cool at tonight's game, with the game time temperature around 64 degrees. With a slight chance of rain as well, the roof will probably be closed for the game.

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