The stakes always feel a little bit higher when you head into a rubber match at the end of a series, but it's a step above that this afternoon as that rubber match comes against Pedro Martinez.
Pedro has been...well, Pedro so far this year. Seven starts, 5-0 record with a 2.89 ERA. WHIP is under 1, BAA is a puny .164, and he hasn't yet failed to go six innings in a single one of his starts. The only chink in the armor is that in his Opening Day start against the Nationals--hardly a bastion of Brewers-like offense--he did walk five and give up five runs, four of them earned. Counterargument: everything since then has proven that to be an outlier. His K/BB this year is 52/14.
However, Doug Davis has been better his last couple starts, and the Brewers are tied for the Major League lead in home runs. Today Ned goes with the same lineup that won him the game on Friday and scored eight runs yesterday, which means JJ Hardy sits one more day. In Willie Randolph's lineup, we're spared Paul Lo Duca after last night's heroics, though you could make an argument that his backup, Ramon Castro, is actually a better hitter.
Tags: Pedro Martinez, Milwaukee Brewers, Paul Lo Duca, Willie Randolph, Ramon Castro
Update [2006-5-14 14:27:6 by Jeff]: Sorry, Marty. Demaria stays, Fernandez goes. I haven't heard whether Brian Shouse is available today, but if this move was made before the game, I have to assume he is.