They'll look to gain some ground at 3:05 Central time today when they send Yovani Gallardo (1.93 ERA this spring, 4.18/3.89 ERA/FIP in 2013) to the mound to take on the White Sox. Gallardo pitched 2.2 innings against the A's in his last appearance on Wednesday, allowing a run on three hits with a walk and four strikeouts. The Brewers are likely to try to get four innings out of him today.
The strikeouts last time out were a good sign for Gallardo, who has five K's in 4.2 innings this spring after striking out a career-low 7.2 batters per nine innings last season. The downside is that Gallardo wasn't able to finish the third inning without running into issues with his pitch count. Unfortunately, that's a familiar problem for him.
Gallardo has never faced the White Sox during the regular season, and no current members of the team have faced him before.
He'll face 24-year-old lefty Chris Sale (10.13 ERA this spring, 3.07/3.17 ERA/FIP in 2013), who is already a two-time All Star and Cy Young candidate. Sale got knocked around by the Padres on Wednesday, allowing six runs on six hits and a walk over 2.2 innings. He also hit a batter in that game.
Sale was the #13 overall pick in the 2010 draft, made his MLB debut later that same season and the White Sox have been riding him pretty hard ever since. They used him as a reliever in 2011, moved him to the rotation in 2012 and he's made 59 starts since, including 214.1 innings and an AL-leading four complete games as a 24-year-old last season. He throws a 92-94 mph fastball but relies heavily on his slider (nearly 30% of all pitches) and a changeup.
Sale didn't face the Brewers during the regular season in 2013, but did pitch eight shutout innings against them in a start in 2012. No current Brewers have faced him before.
Mike Vassallo has today's lineup:
Try not to be surprised when today is another great day for baseball. Expect a game-time temperature around 75 to climb into the 80s during the afternoon. The wind is expected to swirl a bit, though, starting the game blowing from the east (in from right) but ending the game out of the west-by-southwest (out to center).