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Game Thread #40: Brewers (25-14) at Astros (17-20)

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At the end of play tonight, the Brewers will be approximately 25% of the way through the season. If I had told you the Brewers would have 25 wins at this point, would you have taken it? I certainly would have. With a win tonight, the Brewers could win or tie their eleventh straight series and retain a three game lead in the NL Central.

Tonight's game also has a great pitching matchup: Yovani Gallardo v. Wandy Rodriguez. Rodriguez is 4-2 in 2009 and has posted a 1.90 ERA in eight starts. He's 3-0 in his last four games, and has struck out ten or more batters twice this season. The Brewers have kicked him around a bit over his career: he's posted a 4.55 ERA against the Crew in 12 appearances (eleven starts). Corey Hart is 10-for-23 against him (.435/.500/.478), but has just one extra base hit. J.J. Hardy is just 5-for-17 against him, but two of those hits were home runs.

Gallardo, meanwhile, is making his first appearance since a short outing on Friday in a game that ended up being postponed. He's 4-1 with a 3.09 ERA in seven official starts, and has picked up a win in three of his last four appearances. Gallardo has never lost to the Astros, going 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA in three starts.

With a lefty on the mound for the Astros, Casey McGehee will make his second straight start at second base, and with Kendall in the lineup, McGehee moves up to #7:

RF Corey Hart
3B Bill Hall
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
CF Mike Cameron
SS J.J. Hardy
2B Casey McGehee
C Jason Kendall
RHP Yovani Gallardo

Here's a look at the bullpen for tonight:

Carlos Villanueva pitched one inning yesterday, and has appeared in two straight games.
Todd Coffey pitched one inning yesterday.
Trevor Hoffman pitched one inning yesterday.
Mark DiFelice has not pitched since Monday.
Mitch Stetter has not pitched since Monday
Seth McClung has not pitched since Sunday.
Jorge Julio has not pitched since last Saturday.