The last time the Brewers won a spring training game, Marco Estrada (6.48 ERA this spring, 3.87/3.86 ERA/FIP in 2013) was the starting pitcher. Today, he'll start again against the Padres at 3:05 Central time. Estrada pitched 3.1 innings against the Royals on Saturday and allowed three runs on seven hits, walking none and striking out one.
We're through three-plus full turns in the rotation for the Brewers this spring, and the only pitcher to complete four innings in a Cactus League game is Tyler Thornburg, who did it against the Cubs in Sunday. Look for Estrada to join him in that group today, as his pitch count may extend into the 70-80 range.
Estrada faced the Padres on April 24 of last season and was a tough-luck loser, allowing two runs on five hits over 6.1 innings in a game the Brewers lost 2-1. No current Padres have faced him ten times or more.
He'll face 30-year-old righty Josh Johnson (5.40 ERA this spring, 6.20/4.62 ERA/FIP in 2013), in his third start of the spring. Johnson is looking to bounce back from a dreadful campaign in 2013, when he dragged a 6.20 ERA across 81.1 innings for the Blue Jays. He pitched three innings against the Indians on Saturday and allowed three runs on five hits, walking one and striking out three.
Johnson was one of baseball's best pitchers for about two and a half years from 2009 through mid-2011, posting a 2.64 ERA in 70 starts and making two All Star appearances. Injuries have dramatically limited him since then, though, causing him to pitch less than 100 innings in two of the last three seasons. When healthy he throws a mid-90's fastball with a slider, curve and occasional changeup.
Johnson has faced the Brewers seven times in his career but only twice since 2010. Two current Brewers have faced him ten times or more:
Mike Vassallo has today's lineup:
The weather today is nice again. Expect a game-time temperature around 77 under sunny skies with light winds.