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

Mike McGinnis

This is likely to be the Brewers' last series against a team below them in the standings.

The Brewers are 2.5 games better than the Cubs with 14 to play.

They'll get a chance to improve that number to 3.5 games tonight with Wily Peralta (4.49 ERA, 4.27 FIP) on the mound. Peralta carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning against the Cardinals on Tuesday but still allowed three runs on two hits over 6.2 innings, walking four and striking out seven. He picked up the loss, his 15th of the season.

If this season's small sample size is any indication, moving to a six-man rotation may help Peralta stay fresh. He has a 3.46 ERA in seven starts on five days of rest this season, but a 4.86 mark over 18 starts on normal rest. He had an extra day of rest in his last start and his fastball speed averaged around 97 mph after being closer to 95 most of the season.

Peralta has already faced the Cubs four times this season, posting a 3.86 ERA over 23.1 innings with eight walks and 15 strikeouts. Four current Cubs have faced him ten times or more:

PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
Starlin Castro 13 13 5 0 0 1 2 0 2 .385 .385 .615 1.000
Anthony Rizzo 12 10 4 1 0 2 5 2 1 .400 .500 1.100 1.600
Nate Schierholtz 12 11 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 .000 .000 .000 .000
Luis Valbuena 12 11 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 .182 .250 .182 .432
Total 80 75 17 2 0 4 13 4 13 .227 .263 .413 .676
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/16/2013.

Schierholtz, for what it's worth, is the only major leaguer who has faced Peralta ten times or more without a hit.

He'll face familiar foe Edwin Jackson (4.76 ERA, 3.62 FIP) in the 29th start of his first season as a Cub. Jackson last pitched against the Reds on September 10 and allowed a run on nine hits, walking none and striking out four. He's been solid lately, posting a 3.52 ERA over his last five starts. Before that, his season ERA was up over five.

Jackson has tied a career-high with 15 losses this season, and he and Peralta are currently tied for the National League lead. His average fastball velocity is down a bit this season at 93, but he's still throwing sliders almost a third of the time. The slider has easily been his most effective offering.

This is the fifth time Jackson has faced the Brewers in 2013. In his previous four outings he's posted a 4.74 ERA over 24.2 innings, walking eight and striking out 15. Seven current Brewers have faced him ten times or more:

PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
Yuniesky Betancourt 38 35 7 2 0 0 1 2 5 .200 .237 .257 .494
Jonathan Lucroy 28 27 10 2 0 3 8 1 2 .370 .393 .778 1.171
Norichika Aoki 21 19 4 1 0 0 0 2 0 .211 .286 .263 .549
Aramis Ramirez 20 19 6 1 0 2 4 0 3 .316 .300 .684 .984
Carlos Gomez 13 13 1 1 0 0 0 0 5 .077 .077 .154 .231
Juan Francisco 11 10 4 1 0 1 1 1 2 .400 .455 .800 1.255
Martin Maldonado 10 9 4 1 0 0 4 1 0 .444 .500 .556 1.056
Total 179 164 46 11 0 6 21 7 24 .280 .310 .457 .768
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/16/2013.

Tonight's Brewer lineup is as follows:

Norichika Aoki RF
Jean Segura SS
Jonathan Lucroy 1B
Aramis Ramirez 3B
Carlos Gomez CF
Scooter Gennett 2B
Caleb Gindl LF
Martin Maldonado C
Wily Peralta P

And in the bullpen:

  • Jim Henderson pitched one inning (19 pitches) yesterday.
  • Rob Wooten pitched one inning (ten pitches) yesterday.
  • Donovan Hand pitched one inning (eight pitches) yesterday.
  • Michael Blazek pitched one inning (19 pitches) on Saturday.
  • Alfredo Figaro pitched one inning (15 pitches) on Saturday.
  • Jimmy Nelson pitched one inning (eleven pitches) on Saturday.
  • Burke Badenhop pitched one inning (ten pitches) on Saturday.
  • Michael Gonzalez faced two batters (eleven pitches) on Saturday.
  • Brandon Kintzler last pitched on Thursday.
  • Tom Gorzelanny is hoping to pitch again before the end of the season but is still bothered by shoulder soreness.

I called the Miller Park roof hotline today for the first time since May. They said they're expecting a game-time temperature in the 50's, and the roof is expected to be closed.

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