Tonight's Matchup: Brewers (Peralta) @ Cubs (Jackson)

USA TODAY Sports

A familiar foe awaits in the final installment of this four-game set.

Since the start of the 2011 season there are three starting pitchers the Brewers have faced eight times or more. One is Bronson Arroyo. Another is Wandy Rodriguez.

The third is Edwin Jackson (4.89 ERA, 3.55 FIP), who will face the Brewers for the ninth time in three seasons at 7:05 tonight. Jackson is making his 21st start as a Cub and his first since getting a no-decision against the Giants on Friday, when he allowed two runs on four hits over 6.2 innings. He walked two and struck out five in that game.

This is Jackson's eleventh major league season, and his results are roughly in line with most of his career numbers. He'll throw a low-to-mid 90's fastball but almost a third of all of his pitches are sliders, plus the occasional cutter and curve. He also leads all of baseball with eleven wild pitches this season, a pretty significant increase from the three he uncorked as a member of the Nationals in 2012.

As I mentioned above, Jackson is a familiar foe for the Brewers. He's already faced the Crew three times this season and was the losing pitcher in all three games, allowing a combined 16 runs (12 earned for a 5.89 ERA) on 18 hits over 18.2 innings. Six active Brewers have faced him ten times or more:

Player PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
Yuniesky Betancourt 35 .188 .229 .219 .447
Jonathan Lucroy 24 .348 .375 .739 1.114
Rickie Weeks 21 .300 .333 .850 1.183
Norichika Aoki 17 .200 .294 .267 .561
Juan Francisco 10 .444 .500 .889 1.389
Carlos Gomez 10 .100 .100 .200 .300

He'll face righthander Wily Peralta (4.54 ERA, 4.19 FIP), who is looking to bounce back from a rough outing last time out. He allowed eight runs (five earned) against the Rockies on seven hits on Friday, lasting just 3.2 innings. Before that he had allowed just four earned runs in his last 41.1 innings.

Peralta is arguably one of the Brewers' most reliable pitchers at this point, but it'll be interesting to see if they keep using him every fifth day down the stretch. He's already thrown 125 innings this season, and his career high is 175.2 from a year ago. In theory he's probably capable of climbing up close to 200, but it's worth asking if pushing a 24-year-old that hard is the right decision.

Peralta has already faced the Cubs three times this season and has a 3.44 ERA over 18.1 innings against them, with six walks and ten strikeouts. Starlin Castro is the only Cub who's faced him ten times or more, and he's 3-for-10 with three singles.

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:

  • Jim Henderson pitched in both halves of the doubleheader yesterday, working one inning (23 pitches) in game one and one inning (19 pitches) in game two.
  • Michael Gonzalez pitched one inning (17 pitches) yesterday, and also pitched on Monday.
  • Brandon Kintzler pitched one inning (15 pitches) yesterday, and also pitched on Monday.
  • Rob Wooten pitched one inning (12 pitches) yesterday, and also pitched on Monday.
  • Burke Badenhop pitched two innings (28 pitches) yesterday.
  • John Axford pitched .1 innings (28 pitches) yesterday.
  • Alfredo Figaro last pitched on Thursday.

The forecast suggests it should be a nice night for baseball in Chicago tonight. Expect a game time temperature around 76 with a slight chance of rain and winds blowing from left to right.

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