At 6:10 tonight a matchup of familiar foes will begin with Homer Bailey (3.68 ERA, 3.13 FIP) on the mound. Bailey also faced the Brewers in his last start and was dominant, holding the Crew to a single run on three hits over eight innings on Sunday. He threw 119 pitches in that game despite the fact that the Reds were eight runs ahead at the end of his outing.
Bailey's 3.68 ERA is identical to the mark he posted a year ago, but you could argue he's having a better season in 2013. His strikeout rate is significantly higher than it was a year ago (8.8 per nine innings, compared to 7.3) and his walk rate is down (from 2.3 to 2.0). He's also throwing significantly harder this season, with an increase in velocity on his average fastball from 92.5 to 93.9 mph.
Including the aforementioned start on Sunday Bailey has faced the Brewers three times this year, posting a 4.79 ERA with five walks and 15 strikeouts over 20.2 innings. Six Brewers have faced him ten times or more:
He'll face Yovani Gallardo (4.68 ERA, 3.99 FIP) in his second start back from the DL. After missing a little more than two weeks with a hamstring injury Gallardo dominated the Reds on Saturday, shutting them out for 6.1 innings and allowing just three hits and two walks while striking out three and throwing just 82 pitches. He's a Brewer of the Week nominee for that performance.
Gallardo received an extra day of rest before this start due to Thursday's off day, and will likely get an extra day before his next start too after the Brewers are off on Monday. Assuming the Brewers don't opt to shuffle the rotation, it's possible he'll pitch on normal rest just one time in a span of five starts. Over the course of his career Gallardo has posted a 2.71 ERA in 50 starts on an extra day of rest, and a 4.04 mark when used on normal rest.
Gallardo has faced the Reds three times this season and posted a 1.65 ERA against them, walking nine and striking out 13 over 16.1 innings. Eight active Reds have faced him ten times or more:
Tonight's lineup features Carlos Gomez for the first time in a week:
And in the bullpen:
- John Axford pitched two innings (21 pitches) on Wednesday, and also pitched on Tuesday.
- Michael Gonzalez pitched one inning (20 pitches) on Wednesday.
- Burke Badenhop pitched one inning (eight pitches) on Wednesday.
- Jim Henderson and Brandon Kintzler last pitched on Tuesday.
- Rob Wooten last pitched on Monday, and may not have slept much recently.
- Tyler Thornburg last pitched on Sunday.
The weather should not be a factor tonight. Expect a game-time temperature around 84 under partly cloudy skies with winds blowing out to right.