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Game Thread #38: Brewers (23-14) at Cardinals (21-16)

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So we know these things for sure:

  • Regardless of tonight's outcome, the Brewers are 8-0-2 in their last 10 series.
    Regardless of tonight's outcome, the Brewers will open a three game series in Houston tomorrow in sole posession of first place in the NL Central.

With that said, a sweep would still be pretty nice. The Brewers are 12-5 against the Cardinals since the start of the 2008 season, and have won eight of their last nine games in St. Louis.

The Cardinals send Kyle Lohse to the mound tonight. Lohse is 3-2 with a 4.25 ERA in seven starts this season, and is 18-8 with a 3.86 ERA since joining the Cardinals at the start of last season. Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Corey Hart and J.J. Hardy have faced him a combined 36 times and never taken him deep, but Craig Counsell did it once. Lohse threw a couple of innings before the rainout on Friday, but not enough to keep him from starting again on short rest tonight.

For the Brewers, former Cardinal Braden Looper takes the mound. As noted in the Mug this morning, Looper has something to prove to the Cardinals, who let him walk without offering him arbitration after two solid seasons in their rotation. Looper has not pitched well his last few times out, but is still 3-2 with a 4.70 ERA in 2009. He's got big shoes to fill tonight: Brewer pitchers have allowed just two runs over two games in this series.

With Rickie Weeks out for the rest of the season, Craig Counsell gets the start at second tonight and Mat Gamel gets his first start at third:

2B Craig Counsell
SS J.J. Hardy
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
CF Mike Cameron
RF Corey Hart
3B Mat Gamel
C Jason Kendall
RHP Braden Looper

Here's a look at the bullpen's status for tonight:

Todd Coffey pitched two innings yesterday.
Seth McClung pitched one inning yesterday.
Trevor Hoffman has not pitched since Saturday.
Mark DiFelice has not pitched since Saturday.
Mitch Stetter has not pitched since Saturday.
Carlos Villanueva has not pitched since Wednesday.
Jorge Julio has not pitched since last Saturday.

Monday's Game Thread is now open.