In his last few starts Wily Peralta has faced Matt Garza of the Cubs, Julio Teheran of the Braves, Johnny Cueto of the Reds, Jacob Turner of the Marlins and Tyler Cloyd of the Phillies. That's a pretty remarkable sampling of pitching talent.
He'll get to add to that list tonight when he takes on Stephen Strasburg (2.41 ERA, 3.16 FIP), who might actually be more hyped than any of the guys listed above. Strasburg was the #1 overall pick in the 2009 draft, is still only 24 and made his 60th major league start against the Diamondbacks on Thursday, holding them to two runs on six hits over seven innings.
Strasburg has held opposing teams to two runs or less in each of his last eight starts, and has a 1.47 ERA with 46 strikeouts in 49 innings over that time. His velocity is down a little bit from his MLB debut in 2010 but he still sits in the mid 90's with a relatively frequently used curveball and changeup.
Tonight will be the first time the Brewers have ever faced Strasburg during the regular season. Only two current Brewers have ever faced him before and Juan Francisco is one of them, going 2-for-8 with a pair of singles and five strikeouts. Yuniesky Betancourt is also 0-for-3 with two K's.
As mentioned above, he'll face Wily Peralta (5.58 ERA, 4.60 FIP), who continues his "well, let's hope he learns from it" 2013 season. Peralta gave up seven runs on eight hits against the Cubs on Thursday, but only three of them were earned. I think we're supposed to ignore the fact that he gave up a long home run after an error.
Peralta leads all MLB pitchers with 57 earned runs allowed this season, and is also among the leaders in hits (111) and walks (37), along with losses (9). I guess from our perspective it's hard to tell if this is a learning experience for him or simply a recurring, demoralizing, confidence-shaking nightmare at this point.
Peralta pitched against the Nationals once last season and got bombed, allowing three runs on five hits and four walks over just 2.2 innings of work. No current Nats have faced him more than twice.
As of this writing tonight's lineup has not been posted. If you've seen it, please drop it in the comments.
And in the bullpen:
- Tom Gorzelanny pitched two innings (31 pitches) yesterday.
- Burke Badenhop pitched two innings (28 pitches) yesterday.
- Johnny Hellweg pitched one inning (26 pitches) yesterday.
- Brandon Kintzler pitched three innings (38 pitches) Sunday.
- Jim Henderson pitched one inning (eleven pitches) Sunday.
- John Axford pitched .1 innings (six pitches) Sunday.
- Tyler Thornburg pitched five innings (82 pitches) Sunday.
- Francisco Rodriguez pitched 1.1 innings (39 pitches) Sunday.
- Michael Gonzalez pitched one inning (31 pitches) Sunday.
The best thing that could happen to the Brewers right now might be a rainout, and there's a chance. The forecast in Washington calls for a 60% chance of rain all through the evening tonight.