The Brewers have three Friday games left in 2013, and two of them are at home against likely NL playoff teams.
They'll play the first of those two at 7:10 tonight when Kyle Lohse (3.59 ERA, 4.19 FIP) takes the mound. Lohse had a rough start last Friday, pitching five innings against the Cubs and allowing seven runs on eleven hits. Over his last three appearances Lohse has a 7.16 ERA and has given up 31 hits in 16.1 innings.
Opposing hitters have a .439 batting average on balls in play against Lohse in his last three starts, so you can make the case that he's been unlucky lately. He's also giving up line drives to almost 30% of all hitters, though, so he's not helping his own cause. The 24 home runs he's allowed this season are the most he's given up since 2004, when he allowed 28 as a Twin.
Lohse has three quality starts in his three previous outings against the Reds this season, holding them to five earned runs (eight total) on 19 hits over 19.2 innings. Eight current Reds have faced him ten times or more:
He'll face 25-year-old, five-year MLB veteran Mat Latos (3.02 ERA, 2.94 FIP), who is making his 30th start for the fourth consecutive season. Latos pitched seven innings against the Dodgers on Saturday, allowing three runs on nine hits over seven innings. He had gone eight consecutive outings without allowing a homer before giving one up in that game.
The Reds gave up four players to get Latos from the Padres in December of 2011, but it really looks like they got the better of that deal. Here's what San Diego got back for him:
- Pitcher Edinson Volquez, who they recently released.
- Catcher Yasmani Grandal, who was later suspended for testosterone use.
- First baseman Yonder Alonso, who has never really panned out and is a career .279/.346/.395 hitter.
- Reliever Brad Boxberger, who has a 2.91 ERA but has appeared in just 37 games as a Padre over the last two seasons.
Latos has faced the Brewers twice this season, pitching very well (two runs over seven innings) in a loss and struggling (seven runs over six innings) in a win. Five active Brewers have faced him ten times or more:
Tonight's lineup is as follows:
And in the bullpen:
- Brandon Kintzler pitched one inning (eight pitches) last night, and also pitched on Wednesday.
- Jim Henderson pitched one inning (21 pitches) last night.
- Rob Wooten pitched one inning (10 pitches) last night.
- Donovan Hand and Burke Badenhop last pitched on Tuesday.
- Jimmy Nelson, Michael Blazek and Alfredo Figaro have all gone unused for the last week or more.
- Tom Gorzelanny is still in limbo somewhere.